Marketing and the hardest thing in the world: Changing people

Change image

Changing people’s choices is at the heart of all economic activity. If I offer coffee, I want to change the coffee of choice of my potential clients. But also I want to offer the very best coffee compared to all other competition, and I want to convey in a succinct and effective manner that the coffee (and surrounding experience with my product) is not only better than my competitors, it is the very best choice for my discerning customer.

All economic activity is based on choices. Sometimes it doesn’t seem like it because the choice at hand may be trivial, such as you are running out of fuel in your vehicle and you simply choose the very next gas station. Or it may not feel as an active decision since your choice was won a long time ago- you are simply ignoring all the other offers around you and acting on impulse- for example when you find yourself always buying Tide detergent while ignoring all other offers.

Because economic activity is based on choices, one could say that economic indicators are mass-human-behaviour indexes. Earlier this year when the winter in the midwest and eastern parts of the USA was brutally cold, a sharp drop in GDP (gross domestic product) for Q1 showed that no matter how big sales became, most rational humans were not going to trudge out of their homes and spend freely.

Whenever I think about marketing this concept of changing people’s choices comes to mind. It’s not just about messaging and images, its about modifying the behavior, the choice, the preference of an individual. And as an entrepreneur innately involved in producing the product which I am selling, I’m obsessed with making a product that truly delights my customer. A product that will realign their future buying choices because we so thoroughly met their need, satisfied their desire and delighted their senses.

Getting all this done means, I must change myself constantly. I must drown out the noise of thousands of things attempting to grab my attention and focus on the signal of those things that truly help me achieve my own goals.

PS: This post has taken more than 3 years to write. I wrote up the first few sentences back in 2011. Not because the concepts are unique, or terribly profound. It is more likely to do with the fact that I have grown enough to more carefully understand how I make personal choices, and what I need to do to surround myself with people and activities that continually help me make better choices. It guess it comes down to this: If you are talking about change, you better feel comfortable understanding how to change yourself first. I’m further down that path now than in 2011. And it feels great to be honest with myself.