You Feeling Something – That’s what Sells

One of my favorite TV shows is Mad Men. Small business owners or other leaders can learn a lot about advertising their organizations by watching Mad Men. There is a line in one rerun episode that I jotted down recently. The advertising firm leader said to his protégé copy writer:

“You are the product. You feeling something – that’s what sells”. She replied that sex sells. He corrected her and said that the people who believe sex sells think that monkeys can do advertising. He also added that just because there is sentiment does not mean an advertisement is sentimental.

Well, how does this apply to low budget social media marketing? It is all very relevant. The bottom line is that when we market and advertise our products and services, we need to feel something. In my mind’s eye, that means feeling what the ideal customer needs and can relate to. It is simply about putting yourself in the customer’s shoes.

Where does sentiment come in? Well, buying is emotional. For example, I am drawn toward traditional furniture and classic clothes because that is what my mother enjoyed. She wore the classics. She looked very 1950s and 1960s. I love this era because emotionally it reminds me of my mom. So, when we sell our products and services, we should give some thought to what emotions or feelings will resonate with our prospects.

The age old business lesson is to tap into our prospect’s pain. That works; but so does nostalgia. When I started my firm and made my routine rounds to visit prospects, many told me that lemongrass resonated with them – their tea, Zen teachings, candles, aromatic distillers, oils, and perhaps Thai dishes. All of these things provoked a “feel good” experience. People want to or should want to feel better and be happy. To be sentimental, we have to appeal to tender emotions and feelings such as what our prospects need, love and yearn for. It is about giving the customers and prospects an experience. This is all the rave right now! Businesses coaches are teaching – give them an experience. Many small businesses are thinking – yeah, well, how? How would you go about it?

By Clovia Hamilton, President, Lemongrass Consulting, Inc.

Clovia founded Lemongrass Consulting in 2005 with nearly 30 years of government work experience and serves as a procurement counselor in the Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center (GTPAC). Lemongrass Consulting provides strategic planning solutions including government contracting strategic marketing plans, intellectual property, social media marketing strategic plans, and other services. Contact Clovia at:
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