There’s a great post from Seth Godin’s Blog that’s worth reading over and over again. The reason? In just four lines he describes one of the most powerful statements in marketing:
People don’t believe what you tell them.
They rarely believe what you show them.
They often believe what their friends tell them.
They always believe what they tell themselves.
There’s the key to make an impact whether you’re selling a product, a nice holiday to your family or just helping somebody to find her way. The key is not to tell them what they need to hear, but to make them tell themselves the thing you want them to believe.
The only way to make change happen is to make them tell themselves the story you want them to believe.
Here’s where it gets trickier though: you have to make your own ethical decisions.
As Uncle Ben says in Spiderman: “With great power comes great responsibility”
Marketers have the responsibility to make their own ethical decisions.
The challenge here is to be super clear with yourself and know the difference between manipulation and marketing. Manipulation is to get somebody to buy you something they regret later. And marketing is to get somebody to buy something they’re glad they bought.
Most of the marketing out there is manipulation, but you can do better than that. Maybe every impact should start from the inside first.