It still shocks me that many self-proclaimed brand gurus, marketers, and creative types ignore old school marketing strategies because they’ve gone out of “fushun”.
And by “old school”, I mean paying attention to what makes a marketing message persuasive, regardless of whether you’re talking about today, 20 years ago, 200 years ago, or 2000 years ago.
I wrote a post about this on Instagram today.
While the ‘elite marketers’ and ‘goo-roos’ are raving about the latest and greatest trend taking the marketing world by storm (TikTok/ChatGPT etc), I spent the morning watching a 1996 infomercial on the George Foreman Grill.
Why? Because the latest and greatest trends of today are the strategies that stop working tomorrow.
Hear me out.
When is the last time you opened up your Myspace?
These were all the ‘next best thing’ once upon a time. They were all the rave and the goo-roos couldn’t help but fanboy over them.
Now they’re memes.
Know what’s not a meme? Classic ads.
That’s because they’re as persuasive now, as they were when they released closed to 30 years ago.
Hence me crawling through the archives finding George Foreman Grill ads… responsible for persuading more people to put an electric grill in their home than any other kitchen appliance…
Because you gotta remember… the grill company that owned the patent was about to go bust until it rebranded itself as the “Lean, Mean, Fat Fighting Grilling Machine” and used a celebrity boxer to endorse and sell it (I really do hope he negotiated a good royalty).
The ads were designed with a simple formula:
Benefit, then proof.
Then back to benefit and proof.
George would talk about the benefit of the slanting grill that ‘melted the fat away’, then it would cut to real-world users who would reinforce the benefit by dimensionalising the benefit:
“Look at all the grease that came out. Better in the drip tray, than in my body” she professed.
And on and on it went.
By the end of the infomercial, you couldn’t help but want a Foreman grill… yet the ad is close to 30 years old.
Marketing is about understanding principles of human communication and decision making.
It’s not about ‘hacking the algorithm’.
Because while hacking the ‘algo’ might help you gain thousands of followers quickly, their followers that would never actually buy from you (or recommend you to someone who would buy from you).
It’s like hiring a Lamborghini to impress a chick on a first date… but without the cash to actually put it on a long-term lease.
At some point, you’ll get sick and tired of paying the hiring fees and your charade will be up.
So for as long as platforms go in and out of fashion, they will never be as important as understanding your prospect’s psychological drivers and triggers.
This will be true for as long as you’re selling to human beings and not robots.
You can apply this exact same concept to sales.
Principles and Psychology > Platform and tactics.
And in this month’s alley-oop newsletter, I’ll be diving into just that…
How you can apply tried and true principles of buying psychology to facilitate a decision by a prospect.
Hint: It’s the same strategy that counsellors use to facilitate transformative change with their patients.
You can subscribe here so you get the scoop when it drops:
– Karl Goodman