Thursday, October 14

Cultural gut instinct 

From the musings of consultant Michael Aschenbach:
Over the hood of a lawn tractor, my teammate and I had a fascinating debate
with a tough-minded Bush supporter. Although it was clear that we were not
going to convert him, it seemed valuable, in the present climate, that we
three were able to have an honest give-and-take there in the middle of his
driveway. He agreed that Kerry was smarter but preferred Bush’s aggressive
directness. “Too bad we can’t cut up pieces of candidates and put together
one perfect one,” he mused. Turned out all three of us were consultants and
often agreed on the facts; we just came to different conclusions about what
they meant. What seems clear to me from this discussion is that many people
vote more on cultural gut instincts rather than on rational analysis or
personal self-interest.

My two cents on this one: it's amazing to me that "people
vote more on cultural gut instincts rather than on rational analysis or
personal self-interest." And it seems dangerous and foolish and blind.

Speaking of dangerous and foolish and blind, in one of my public seminars this
week, I mildly berated a rather unimaginative group of entrepreneurs for
wasting time, money, and effort on traditional "me-too" advertising (which
to me is the LEAST effective way of communicating with prospective
buyers of your product or service). They were all excited about their
cold calling plans, mass mailings, and ads in various publications after
we had just spent a good deal of time talking about separating yourself from
the crowd, and how advertising is the LEAST effective marketing tool for the
small or entrepreneurial business. This idea is not new. It's not revolutionary.
It's a FACT. Remember Guerilla Marketing? HELLO???

Why do people do sales and marketing this way, despite paying consultants
like me exorbitant sums to tell them it's the WRONG thing to do?

Simple: "cultural gut instinct rather than rational analysis or
personal self-interest."

In other words, they don't care if it WORKS; it's what they KNOW.


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