Today I want to talk all about a reliance on science.
One of the things I’ve noticed over the last couple of decades being in and around publishing, media, events, marketing and those sorts of areas, and certainly being a thinker on that topic since my master’s degree 22 years ago, is that we have evolved a reliance on science.
What I mean by that is that it is all about the numbers, it’s all about the stats, we’ve lost our intuitive sense and our intuitive way. We’ve lost that and I think we need to get it back. And some of us are, certainly I really try very hard.
I think we’re entering an age that I call the art of heart, where we are relearning to connect with intuition, to re-establish that gut feel, so that we don’t just rely on numbers. That comes from experience which creates knowledge, because that’s the difference between intuition and data, and information and knowledge really.
Ultimately it comes down to just winding back a bit.
What allows you to reconnect is the understanding that empathy is what customers want. Gary Vee said recently that the best marketing strategy in the world is four letters CARE.
I completely agree and and it’s empathy that tells prospects and customers that you’re human, that you’re authentic. It’s not possible to be human or authentic without demonstrating that you care.
One of the best ways we care, is by demonstrating understanding and sentiment.
People are reading us all the time, as a brand, as a company, when we’re talking to our clients they’re paying very close attention to what is superficial. But they’re also paying really close attention to what is beyond the superficial?
What is below the surface?
And so that empathy and that authenticity really has an impact.
It’s as Frank Zappa says (and I’ve quoted him many times)
“An algorithm can tell you a story, but it can’t tell you the whole story it just doesn’t have the eyebrows”
What Zappa meant, I can only assume, is that the reliance on science is dehumanising. And we have to get back to the art of heart, we have to focus on intuition and that part of our brain and self and soul that allows us to connect with a truth, a piece of knowledge that we know to be true, irrespective of whether the data supports it or not.
Sometimes in life the data tells you one thing and you have to make an opposite decision – that’s life.
Anyone who’s had a sat-nav, if you’ve ever been driving on sat-nav and it tells you to go the wrong way and you override it because you just know it’s the wrong way, that’s what I’m talking about.
There are plenty of examples of people driving into rivers because their sat-nav told them to, that’s a reliance on science.
That interplay between intuition and data, and information and knowledge is really really powerful.
But the ultimate end point of moving away from a reliance on science and reintegrating the art of heart back into what we do, is a different approach when it comes to marketing.
The relevance to marketing is really clear for me;
It’s the difference between service and expectation.
Good marketing should serve its marketplace, and should add value to its marketplace.
The purpose of good marketing isn’t to sell. The purpose of good marketing is to inform your market, so that they want to buy.
There’s a very big difference there and it’s the difference between service and expectation.
The belief that marketing serves only to create prospects to close, ultimately is part of the problem. It leads to a reliance on science because we start focusing on funnels and conversion rates, and don’t get me wrong conversion is of course important, but it’s an endpoint not a start point.
Up until now, the last twenty years have been if anything, the demonstration of a reliance on science, statistics are everything. Because of the internet. Because of digital.
But it creates a hunting culture because we’re always seeing the prospect as statistics and as a result we’re not only dehumanising them, we’re dehumanising ourselves.
So there’s a rehumanising that’s going on in marketing, broadly around in business, in the world, all the way up to IBM, and massive companies. The reason for that is there is an understanding that prospects are smarter than that, they don’t want to be hunted.
So we have to re-engage the art of heart, our empathy, and our eyebrows.
We have to reestablish the dominance of service versus expectation.
It’s not our right to expect a client to convert just because we’ve got the marketing right.
It is our duty to serve our market and if they like us and if they find this valuable, they will come towards us, and they will tell us what they want to buy, what model, what colour, what make, what year, all the variables, because that’s what we do when we want to buy a car nowadays. We don’t go to a car showroom and say sell me a car, we go there and tell them exactly what we want, because we’ve done the research because the marketing worked.