Marketing is tricky. There’s a fine line between enticing people and tricking people. The marketer’s job (that’s everyone, by the way) is finding the line and staying on the honorable side of it.
For instance, when marketer’s use language like, “you” or “yours” (e.g. “Don’t you wish there was an answer to your problem?”), we need to be mindful of manipulation quotient.
The Manipulative Marketer will use these keywords as an inception-like tool to hijack someone’s thought process. The goal is to get the subject’s thinking in line with the brand messaging: “Why, yes! I do have that problem and Product X is my solution!”
Yuck. It treats people like lab rats. Marketers use this method because, unfortunately, it works. It draws on our deepest needs, insecurities, and desires and exploits them for the benefit of the marketer.
The Mindful Marketer, however, is different. They use words like “you” and “yours” to make things easier for their tribe. They raise thoughtful questions surrounding their offering, always keeping in mind they are marketing to someone’s grandmother. The subject may not need or want the marketer’s offering, but they walk away from the interaction thinking, “that felt nice. I don’t feel slimed. They thought of my needs over their own.”
I made a decision three months ago to be a Mindful Marketer. It started with asking people to leave my email subscription list if they weren’t finding value. Some people thought I was stupid. It was one of my most-read emails and, coincidentally, I lost nearly 10% of my list. Ouch.
Most marketers would continue to blast these folks with email after email, ensuring the majority of their messages ended up in the SPAM folder. But my reasoning behind asking people to unsubscribe was simple: I want atypical results.
I’m not content with industry averages. I believe you can increase your list size and your open and click through rates, all at the same time. But that only happens by being a Mindful—not Manipulative—Marketer. “The goal of art is connection,” as Seth Godin would say.
I had a friend tell me in an email recently, “I love your emails. I know they’re not even addressed to me personally, but I l actually look forward to them.” We’re getting there.
The way of the Mindful Marketer is much more difficult. It’s the long-play. There’s a financial short-term cost. But in a day when people have more control than ever before over the messaging they receive, it’s the only way forward.
The question is, what type of marketer do you want to be?