- Wed, March 14 2007
- Filed under: Marketing essentials
This is my broken record alert (from flickr’s 45 street), as well as a signal I’ve broken the rule I laid out yesterday, which is to be unexpected.
Here’s my broken record refrain: If you know me, you know I’malways
talking about how it’s best to appeal to the existing values of an audience instead of trying to convert them to your set of values. Don’t make your world view a prerequisite to a person taking action.
Made to Stick, the book I’m blogging this week, explains a fresh new reason why it’s better to work from an audience’s existing schema than to try to build them a new one. It allows you to make profound ideas compact, which in turn makes them stickier. I quote:
How do you do that? You use flags. You tap the existing memory terrain of your audience. You use what’s already there.
People are tempted to tell you everything, with perfect accuracy, right up front, when they should be giving you just enough info to be useful, then a little more, then a little more.
Nonprofits are very guilty of that second point - telling everything. Tell less, in fewer words. It’s more effective, always.
Another way to think of this approach is to visualize a person’s mind as a bunch of little hooks (the Heaths say the brain really has them). If you can attach your message on a bunch of existing hooks, it’s going to stick like velcro. If you try to make new hooks, you’re in for a big, messy self-help project.