So i asked a question a few hours ago on Facebook:
VOTE: Assuming all 3 had great values, what would you most want to see;
- Zimbabwe’s first female president?
- Zimbabwe’s first non-black president?
- Zimbabwe’s first president under 50?
Which option do you think was most popular? Who would you vote for? A young black man – maybe. An old white woman? Probably not!
The question seeks to expose how people feel about gender, age or race and how those perceptions influence behavior. The answers will tell you something about the stories people are telling themselves, and the worldviews they’ve adopted. Can we trust a white man to have the interests of the black majority? Can we trust a young black woman to be capable of leading a nation?
It’s all about how you perceive.
I’ve said it before, marketing deals not with reality, but with perception. Not with facts, but with feelings. In the next two weeks, you’re going to see these truths used extensively by the two main party’s.
To catch ZANU PF’s marketing campaign, Simply read the Herald Newspaper or watch ZBC TV. MDC – T might have to go with the ‘all of a sudden’ new TV Station.
Team Mugabe will no doubt remind us of the liberation war…the heroics that brought us freedom and how the opposition (in collaboration with their evil western masters) is attempting to undo this work. It’s a strong angle.
The opposition (MDC-T) in turn will blame the collapse of the economy on the President and promise a wonderful new future in record time, if you’ll just vote for them. Also a strong angle.
Political opinions aside, as a marketer, watch carefully and you might learn a trick or two that will help you in your business. Watch which emotions the various parties appeal too. Logic is only a small part of what it takes to get someone’s vote, emotion is far more powerful.
Watch also which world views and perceptions they appeal to. It’ll be an education for any observant marketer.
You see, if you want people to nod their heads, appeal to their logic. If you want to move people to take action, you’ll appeal to their hearts. If you want to get people to respect your intellect, tell them the facts, but if you want them to vote for you…tell them a story.
Accusations of rigging aside, this is how an election is won – it’s also how a market is won. It doesn’t always go to the best, cheapest or strongest product. It goes to the marketer with the most believable and inspiring story, the one who is most skilled at making us feel, the way we want to feel.
The smart marketer is not trying to get you with mere facts. People regularly ignore facts in favor of emotion. The smart marketer is telling you a story, based on your worldview…a story you want to believe, want to hear more of, a story that will move you to act.
Probably only one in 1 000 marketers genuinely understands the importance of this, and far fewer do it well. You?