Friday, August 31, 2012

Whole Brain Marketing

I had the misfortune recently of confusing the "left brain" vs. "right brain" definitions during a recent presentation for the Southern California chapter of the Business Marketing Association (my presentation will be made public on SlideShare in October). The underlying assertion I was making was still apt: that I believe successful marketing has to involve both the logical and emotional sides of the brain.

Too often we bring to our work one or the other. We talk the language of the creative -- tag lines, visuals, sounds, colors, metaphors, emotions -- but then forget to appeal to the logical side, resulting in a pie-in-the-sky thinking that can't measure whether we were successful and can't tie what we're doing back to the objectives. Or we talk the language of the logical -- cost/benefit statements, ROI, click-throughs, heat maps, lead conversion -- while ignoring the emotional appeals that actually motivate human behavior.

In B2B marketing in particular, there seems to be a historical emphasis on the logical appeal. We may be marketing to companies, but the decision-makers are people. So as Claire Weekes describes in the B2BMarketing, our messages and demand systems need to appeal to both. Not just "will is save my company money", but also "will I look like an idiot in front of my boss". I think one thing we're learning from social media marketing is how to bring back the emotional appeal to B2B marketing.

P.S.: thanks for indulging me yesterday with my gratitude list. Upon reflection, I think I'll continue to share personal stories and experiences, but the specific list I'll keep private.

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