Marketing Is The Most Work You Can Do Entirely Inside Your Brain
I’ve always been a marketer, even when I didn’t quite realize it. Actually, I’m not so sure I like the term anymore. I’ve always been a person obsessed with words, with language, with ideas. I’m enchanted by how we can change things just by changing the way we’re looking at them. It’s the most amount of work you can do for the least amount of actual effort.
You Won’t Believe How Different Sex Becomes With One Weird Mental Trick
Think about what it would mean if we switched from using the term “lose your virginity” to “make your sexual debut”. Then think about what would happen if we used pizza as a metaphor for sex, rather than baseball. (There’s a TEDtalk about that one.) Apparently heroin use went down in Zurich when they changed their campaign from “drugs are bad for you” to “drugs are for losers”. The book Made To Stick by Dan and Chip Heath dramatically changed the way I thought about this.
That’s great marketing. And by marketing, in this case, I’m talking about the way you frame something to change people’s minds. Marketers in this sense are like movie directors, but we’re not directing movies so much as we’re directing experiences. And we have a lot of limitations to work with. Limitation number one being Reality. We can’t just make something up and hope it works.
Marketing is dramatically different for different agents playing different games. Marketing P&G is completely different from marketing Tesla Motors, which is completely different from marketing Shopify, which is completely different from marketing a blockbuster movie, an indie film, so on and so forth.
The P&G Ad That Changed My View Of Marketing Forever
I recently rewatched the P&G ad, Thank You Mum at the 2012 Olympics. It’s really heartwarming, hits you right in the gut. I’m pretty sure I cried. But I wasn’t going to switch from Energizer to Duracell, or from Colgate to Oral B. So naively I think to myself, Ha Ha, P&G, you just wasted your marketing dollars. You’re not getting a penny out of me.
I realize on hindsight that my interpretation of the situation was very naive. According to Wikipedia, P&G had 121,000 employees in 2013. Do you know what it’s like to run a company with 121,000 employees? I have absolutely no idea. But I bet that that P&G ad made those employees a little more proud to work at P&G. I probably would’ve been. They’re a publicly traded company, which means that they have shareholders to care about. (This also made me think about Pepsi CEO Indra Nooyi talk about how she wrote to the parents of her employees.