Is Human Intellect 95% Feelings?

7 Apr

My background is information technology – 23+ years actually.  When I had to study advertising and marketing to write my business plan for Nosey Parker, the goal was to help small business quantify buyers.  So I needed to know how they currently track results from traditional advertising methods. The first question I ask was “Show me your stats. Give me some evidence of how this works.”  As a past systems engineer, I was very into fact-based discussions.  What I learned is that no matter how much evidence you have that something works or doesn’t work, if a mind is made up for whatever reason, this type of fact -based salesmanship is pointless. There is also a comfort in staying with the same old thing because it’s been around along time.

I was talking to a boutique once and ask them the results they achieved from a print publication.  They said that over the years it’s been hit and miss but that the opportunity to be seen by 75k+ people was the biggest enticement.  However, they could not tell me how many clients they had gained over the years from all of their ads.  I called it playing darts, which they thought was slightly insulting. I also made the mistake of pulling in my own personal preference and behaviors in regards to looking at advertising.  I don’t look at ads online or in most publications to be honest … except in InStyle Magazine  … my mindless pleasure.  I watched an Ignite Video once called “A Barbie Girl in a CS World” – that’s me, kinda.  When speaking with the boutique, I was assuming everyone was me.  They are not.

It is hard to associate comfort, relationships and the “nontechnical factors” when you are a statistics based person.  Give me the facts not your feelings.  Guess what?  I am quite sure now that the human intellect is made of 95% feelings for the most part.  Ignoring it will get you nowhere fast.

I was reminded this week of the selling game, gaining clients by permission, building relationships when my 18 year old son text me the following:  “Mom, a pacemaker company brought all the doctors and nurses here in the ER lunch today from Caruso’s!!! So cool, right? I can’t wait til I’m a doctor!”  I am sure that if you just read the stats and information on results from this pacemaker company, you could make a decision on whether you should put it in a human body.  However, with lots of competition and everything being equal … who to use?  The one who brings us lunch that’s who!

According to permission marketing guru Seth Godin “evidence isn’t the only marketing tactic that is effective. In fact, it’s often not the best tactic. What would change his mind, what would change the mind of many people resistant to evidence is a series of eager testimonials from other tribe members who have changed their minds. When people who are respected in a social or professional circle clearly and loudly proclaim that they’ve changed their minds, a ripple effect starts. First, peer pressure tries to repress these flip-flopping outliers. But if they persist in their new mindset, over time others may come along. Soon, the majority flips. It’s not easy or fast, but it happens.”

So true. Press on and go buy someone lunch.

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One Response to “Is Human Intellect 95% Feelings?”

  1. Paul Merrill May 12, 2011 at 11:32 am #

    I loved your son’s reaction to the free lunch – a good highlight of the importance of “perks” too.

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