Sunday, May 25, 2014

Warning: Learning Copywriting from Marketing Masters Can Radically Change Your Mind

calf and dog playing chase - mind changing views
(Is the dog chasing the calf, or the calf leading the dog?)
 Doing some intense study with the Masters of Marketing Secrets and Copyblogger Authority - which has shifted my mind immensely.

This quote is fascinating from "Masters of Advertising Copy" by J. George Frederick (1925):

Speaking loosely, there have been and are in America only two types of copy analysis and prospectus which by any stretch of the imagination can be dignified by the name of definite philosophies.
One of these two schools of advertising thought assumes in the mass-mind an almost invariable response to certain adroit and plausible appeals.
The other holds the mass-mind in somewhat higher esteem but assumes a similar responsiveness to appeals of a substantial and more or less virtuous character.
Putting it crudely and bluntly, the first is a clever and semi-scientific application of the thesis that all men are fools, while the second maintains that while men may be fools and sinners, they are everlastingly on the search for that which is good.
Needless to say, both formulas have registered great successes because each is at least founded on a half-truth.
That tells everything about how our modern media (and government) is acting and why. It also tells how people are widely rejecting that influence in their lives. And why marketing is changing drastically from what it's been up to this point.

We are really dealing with the situation of that 97/3 or 99/1 percentages. The bulk of humanity is at the effect of their emotions - which is a self-willed activity, since they created their emotional patterns and programs to begin with.

If you release all these programs, then you can get outside the traps of conventional wisdom and start living simpler and more peaceful lives.

Marketing will always be part of such lives, as it is a communication to our journey. We should each understand it fully and master it's complexities. Below is an overview which forces these into simpler statements.

Freud's Foibles

The biggest problem within marketing is that they don't understand the true motivations of humankind, since the bulk of this is based on stimulus-response studies which are in turn based on Freud's study of the insane. There isn't a similar magnitude study of the successful as Maslow did.

Advertising (and all "news" media) are into this rabid "avoiding pain instinct is stronger than seeking pleasure." And that immensely shortcuts the wealth of data which tells you why and how a person will respond to your marketing, your communication. It also leads down a more and more limiting rabbit hole (which is why more people are rejecting what passes currently for both advertising and "news".)

While the bulk of humanity is also seeking entertainment, it's not true that people are trying to always trying to avoid their personal journey. In fact, the apparency is that people have few choices other than either doing their journey or not-doing their personal journey. (To say any of us has a single journey is also in error - there are journeys within journeys and journeys following journeys. Every journey is a metaphor - if that doesn't warp your reality a bit...)

Entertainment can be said to be a simple distraction from the business-end of living. It exists with education and enlightenment as the three types of valid marketing approaches. These have application to the Hero's (Heroine's) Journey, which gives us a pragmatic handle on marketing.

Roughly speaking, there are two-flip sides to Campbell's mono-myth which are divided right at the journey start, and the rebirth/metamorphosis. You have the travel to and the return. Both halves encounter various trials.
  • Entertainment is doing something else than whatever it is you should really be doing to progress on your journey. 
  • Enlightenment happens at both crux points. 
  • Education is needed to help survive the trials, solve the puzzles, and meet/survive all the challenges.

All of these are themselves just meta-scenes, which can be understood by Huna's four methods: objective, subjective, symbolic, and holistics. The most optimal solution solves them in all four ways at once. None of this is written in stone, there is no single correct answer, and "no school has all the teachers."

Back to our Marketing Hero

That really gives you a short-hand solution to the basic problem all the Marketing Masters never solved. Each of them had a piece of the puzzle, which is only being solved now in our Internet Age - when all the historic data is readily available in digital format.

The Marketer must work to become self-transcendant, and always create to help others live their lives in order to improve the Marketer's own.

So the motivations stem from Maslow's observations, which are actually more powerful than the motivations which are found in the Freudian-based psychology and its related research (the ones which ignore the spiritual basis of life to concentrate on the material.) Physical and Spiritual are just two of the four approaches to living (see Huna above.) A balance is required for optimal results.

(Sidebar: While Cialdini (in his "Influence" book) has studied the 7 points which marketing has used and abused to make their sales, the only more basic work along this line has been Levenson, who sorted out that the glue holding all of these motivations together were the urge to increase or escape control, security, approval, and belongingness - with an underlying motivation of "fear of death," which is actually a problem in losing/retaining individuality. See my "Get Your Self Scam Free" book.)

Campbell's Soup: Marketing's Missing Ingredient

That is the breakthrough which came to me. Why I write it here rather than on a marketing blog is that it's so philosophical in it's native state that no marketer would accept it. Those are very pragmatic types with the mindset: "But will it make me more money?"

Schwartz' "Breakthrough Advertising" starting talking this way at the end of his book, but he missed the next step. When you stir in Campbell's Monomyth into Marketing, you see what's been missing this entire time - you also get an explanation as to why the incredibly successful marketing campaigns worked.

Marketing works when it forwards a journey with products that "make sense" (meaning, both emotionally and logically simultaneously) by filling a symbolic, practical, rational, and holisitic need - preferably all at the same time. In short, they provide a useful tool for continuing the journey (or avoiding it.)

You need only determine which part of the journey your avatar-customer/client is looking for and communicate to them with that reality/understanding.

Within those paragraphs above lies a definition of "desire" which explains what star you hitch your marketing wagon to. (Yes, a study of Scwartz' book makes this easier, although I should be starting a series of lessons on that Masters of Marketing Secrets blog soon.)

"What's It All Mean Mr. Natural?"

The shorthand version of this is then:
  • Everyone has a personal journey they are on.
  • People are motivated to either continue their journey or avoid it. Maslow, Cialdini, and Levenson list these.
  • Marketing is communication which enables people to get tools to assist or avoid their journey.
  • The consumer/client is always the protagonist (hero/heroine) of that journey, the marketer is preferably the Mentor (but could fit another archetype.)
  • The best-selling marketing campaigns have provided optimal solutions of one or more (or all) of subjective, objective, symbolic or holistic natures.
There is no "bad" way to do marketing. You can run out of money to advertise with.

You cannot market something to someone they don't want or desire. Or not for very long. Once you've tricked someone once, you are shunned thereafter. The point is to treat others as you'd like to be treated, which balances things out for everyone. In order to improve your life radically, you are going to have to be working at improving other people's lives radically. Screw people over and find yourself screwed.

Too simple. None of us truly are individuals, as hard as we work at it - because we are all connected.

The point of this is to help you improve how you interact with others.

That's Marketing.
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