Category Archives: push marketing

The Master Salesmen of Self-Help: Pitching Vague Concepts, Which Can’t be Measured, by Means of Savvy Messages and Emotional Tactics

By James D. Roumeliotis

In a Mad Men episode (Season 5, Episode 12: “Commissions and Fees”) actor Don Draper stated: “What is happiness? It’s the moment before you need more happiness.” Life should be a “do-it-yourself project.” Each level has its obstacles and perks, and you will be required to have a plan in order to navigate through it. With that said, the business of selling hope has been here since the bible. According to Marketdata, estimates are that the self-improvement market was worth $11.6 billion in 2019 ─ profiting off people’s problems. Not totally against this as it may actually help some individuals. However, most of the information provided is far from objective. The extravagant promotions (i.e., hype) utilized to stoke-up interest for the overrated and undervalued costly courses, as well as the 2-3 day “success concerts”, disguised as a business event with secrets to offer, along with all the hoopla on display, seem to be working for their intended target audience ─ mainly those with insecurities and inferiority complexes who believe they have been offered something of value and anticipate getting inspired. Needless to say, not everyone is a good fit for the schemes being sold.

Sadly, the euphoria, from success preaching concerts and sessions, wears off after several days, thus the attendees return to their pre-session selves. Evidently, you can’t be motivated by not being dedicated. Think of what was gained watching/listening to the “masterminds.” Possibly doses of motivation and common sense with a placebo effect.

Sold are also rehashed success “blueprint” programs where methods to become triumphant, on paper ─ in theory are scientifically unproven. Such recommendations are not blanket solutions to everyone’s challenges which one may be actually facing.

Then there are the coaching sessions which most of the time are not conducted by the extremely busy and prohibitively priced charismatic motivational “guru” himself or herself. Instead, the coaching task has been outsourced to a trained soldier who, despite his or her best effort and intention, does not possess the same persona compared to the one who had you sold on the overpriced sessions in the first place.

Master Salesmen at Manipulation & Emotions

There is a big difference between telling people what they like to hear and telling people what they need to hear. The new-age motivational gurus know exactly how to create a sense of urgency. Their charisma, voice inflection, observable passion, stage animation, audience engagement, and presentation skills are traits that create the buzz and draw crowds. They are most certainly very clever in marketing and packaging their personal image/brand. They put on a fancy light show accompanied by dramatic sound designed to evoke an emotional response in oneself creating the belief you are getting transformative change. There is no evidence to support the idea that those types of seminars have long-term positive changes in people attending them. People go to them because there is something about themselves that they want to change. There are other options and modes of therapy that are far less expensive that have been proven to be efficacious (think clinical psychology). What does it mean, for example, “to have a date with destiny”? Feel-good advice is a vague concept and an illusion. It does not solve anything or explain “how to” do something such as to overcome adversities in life or in a business.

Success trainers, income experts, and business coaches preach personal success systems. They supposedly know and share methods/strategies that will help you dream big and achieve your goals along with a substantial income. They do so by encouraging their audience to look at things from a different perspective and to become more attentive to their own talents and abilities. Yet most personal development coaches at motivational events often sell products including courses, books, and coaching. Apart from this, most built their success by selling rehashed advice. 

The Use of Verbal Jujitsu

Straight talk and common sense only go so far. Apparently, sometimes it pays to overcomplicate a simple message by using simple terms into scientific or eloquent lingo as a good way to sell ideas. As a result, this should make the success guru a thought leader or mastermind on that specific subject which in turn will cause his or her reputation and authority to surge. They use this in their favor to communicate to their audience what it must do to achieve success by seeing things from a different viewpoint using vague concepts which can’t be measured. It sounds good!

Alternative and Practical Complimentary Advice

On stage, the ‘Masters at Manipulation & Emotions’ deliver glorified common sense, stirring tales of how they attained success, as well as package their most important concepts and turn them into a compelling manifesto.  On social media, they deliver videos speaking about how they earned their millions. Likewise, those (self-proclaimed) success authorities use remarkably effective strategies to sell them in the form of books, talks and consulting engagements. Essentially, the takeaway from them should be how to approach personal branding with splendor.

Consider that life should be viewed as a “do-it-yourself project.”  Be proactive and responsible for your own destiny. No one has a silver bullet to offer you or do for you what’s necessary to progress in your life. Furthermore, no one owes you anything! Every single one of us (barring those with physical or psychological handicaps) is capable and should be responsible for self-development and for each of our outcomes.

There are some who have stated that they have spent a reasonable amount of money on Tony Robbins books and watched free videos on YouTube. They didn’t spend anything on his costly and at times reworked courses. Perhaps this is how people should learn from such popular motivational personalities. Avoid joining and following pricey cults and simply avoid parting with your money.

As a process, this is how one should essentially consider when working on thyself (from my perspective):

1. Define/find your purpose. Discover what drives you and pursue it…relentlessly.

2. Define your goals (short and long-term).

3. Deconstruct your goals into stages and steps.

4. Create a plan with specific date targets.

5. Execute consistently. Keep pushing yourself!

6. Fail, adjust and improve.

7. Persist until achieved along with the aid of practical resources (a tenacious mindset

    development is an important benefit).

8. Move on to the next.

As a final point, consider applying the SMART goals acronym to assist you in guiding your goal setting. It stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. Details of this here.

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Filed under Business success, lifestyle marketing, Marketing, niche marketing, push marketing

The Art of Sparking Emotions: Building Desire for Your Brand

By James D. Roumeliotis

Couple in Love

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Whether offering products or services, a business is expected to create connections and engage in conversations with its prospective clients ─ but equally important, with its existing clienteles. While these connections might come in the form of attractive print ads, or utilizing social media/digital platforms, or even face-to-face interactions at various touch points, they should all be tailored to initiate meaningful conversations between brand and consumer. Conversations that can achieve sales targets along with obsessive fan followings which ultimately boost the popularity of the brand.

Customer engagement: the essentials

More than 20 years ago, a popular method for companies to obtain sales was to utilize a sales force and apply pressure tactics. Some companies used the telephone as their tool of choice for cold calling. This was a typical marketing and sales approach. Sales staff where trained in persuasion and closing techniques including answering the most popular objections. This is what is known as a “push” strategy. Today, customer engagement works in reverse. It is the customer, whether an end-user or a business, who decides if and when to communicate with a company. The typical contemporary consumer has the power of the internet and word of mouth in determining great deals and which brands they should be transacting with. Moreover, on the consumer side, there are countries with strict national regulations concerning telephone solicitation. This has had companies scrambling to stay relevant with the times and is considered a “pull” strategy. There is also a refined marketing method known as Permission Marketing” (opposite of interruption marketing) which was coined by marketing maven Seth Godin. As a result, marketers have been adjusting their strategies and integrating them with online and offline marketing activities, along with a laser focused approach with their specific audience. This has resulted in deep customer engagement.

Customer engagement is not a single outcome ─ it is an ongoing dialogue. They have come to expect more personalized interaction, customized solutions, timely results and most certainly a “bang for their buck.” This requires brands to be customer centric ─ with everyone in the organization on-board, in addition to being well versed in the digital age. This includes blogging, Twittering, Instagram posting and viral marketing among others. One other notable trend is towards widespread audio and video production and communication. From podcasting to mobile video, audio and video is predominating in our digital world.

Push vs. Pull marketing

Push marketing and pull marketing are different yet complementary marketing methods for promoting a business – most notably online.

Push marketing is more traditional methods of advertising – essentially, you are pushing your message to your audience, regardless of whether they want to receive your message or not. Push marketing focuses on product features and awaits the audience to respond. Examples of push marketing include email marketing, website advertising, and cold calling.

Pull marketing is more proactive, pulling the customers toward your brand/product with targeted messages they care about. Pull marketing is all about brand building. Examples of pull marketing include media interviews, public speaking, and word of mouth advertising.

The holistic approach

Consumers today are more brand conscience, better informed and with more options. Despite this, there are companies which continue to spend money advertising and selling product rather than brand. They place emphasis on price and quality as differentiators despite these two being overused by many copycats. Successful brands take a holistic approach to selling by exploiting the five human senses which now constitute the brand. This is accomplished by what I regard as “ambiance marketing” and “sensory/sensorial branding”, through a captivating designed setting, yet alluring. This adds character and invites clients to truly feel the brand experience.

The five senses, when applied toward the customer, are regarded as follows:

  • Visual – lighting, decor, colors, layout…you can get a real sense of movement using these elements.
  • Auditory – music, effects, volume, vibrations…you set the tone and the energy of the room with your sonic selections.
  • Tactile – textures, comfort, climate…this is all about how your guests interact with the environment.  This is a big thing to consider when you are designing the layout.
  • Olfactory – fragrance, emotion, ambiance…this sense is under-rated and powerful. Of all our senses, the sense of smell is most closely linked to emotion and memory. You can use something as simple as burning incense or candles to something far more complex like computer controlled scent machines to enhance your environment. This could just be the extra touch needed to set the mood.
  • Gustative – with food establishments, the challenge is in finding the perfect balance between sour, salty, sweet, and bitter during menu designs and beverage selections.  The presentation also makes an impact on the overall image.

Storytelling along with the total customer experience

Standard products and mundane user experiences don’t offer compelling reasons for consumers to do business with certain brands. If a business can’t articulate its USP (unique selling proposition) ‒ as to why anyone should do business with your brand, your product and/or service merely becomes a “commodity” whose price will be the sole determinant in any transaction.  Being formidable and considered top of mind in your B2C sector requires a philosophy – a certain culture which will develop a following by consumers who share your values.

Quality materials, assembly and final product look increase a company’s competitiveness. The quality of a product may be defined as “its ability to fulfil the customer’s needs and expectations”. If the characteristics and specifications of a brand’s product line are equal or superior to its competitors, along with a fair price-value equation, the brand will turn out to be a preferred choice.

Storytelling, on the other hand, builds relationships by the stories that are well told. Stories add personality and authenticity to products which customers can better relate to and feel affinity with. Luxury brands tend to boast their pedigree since their discerning clientele desire a deeper level of involvement and understanding of the history and heritage of the brand when it comes to their luxury purchase. This is referred to as “experiential luxury.”

It is essential that the sales professional be product proficient and adept at assisting and guiding the client to the purchase making use of flattery, romance and showmanship. To illustrate, when selling a niche automobile such as a Porsche, the sales consultant can talk about racetracks, describe road-holding capabilities, build-up a fascinating story – after which time he/she can bring-up reliability and the technical details which confirm to the discerning client what he/she is already aware of.

When consumers are delighted by a particular brand experience, they begin to bond emotionally with it. They become brand loyalists and advocates – purchasing the brand more often and recommending it to others. This behavior serves to build the brand’s reputation.

In the end

With a plethora of marketing noise, differentiation in the delivery of non-evasive communication, personalized service and focus in niche markets will be the determining core value equation for success in attracting and retaining clients.

When consumers are treated with honesty and delighted by a particular brand experience, they begin to bond emotionally with the brand. They become brand loyalists and advocates – buying the brand more often and recommending it to others. This behavior serves to build the brand’s reputation. This approach is priceless –even though it may take longer to take positive effect.

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Filed under Business, business development, Business success, customer engagement, customer experience, customer service, Marketing, pull marketing, push marketing, sales strategies, sensuous brands, sensuous products, total customer experience