If there’s a trend in my recent posts on the truth about customer loyalty, it’s the running dialogue on what motivates humans to do the things we do. At first blush, human nature may seem like a heady topic for a humble marketing blog. But on second thought, marketing is about getting a group of people (target audience) to do what you want them to do (buy your product/service), so it’s once more unto the breach, friends!
As is usually the case, something specific triggered an idea for a post. This week, it was episode three of a new TV series called American Gods, based on Neil Gaiman’s novel of the same name. Gaiman’s story is about many things and the plot complex, but it has much to say about one relevant concept: the power of belief.
In the book, Gaiman’s main character, Shadow Moon, powerfully sums up belief:
“It's what people do. They believe. People populate the darkness; with ghosts, with gods, with electrons, with tales. People imagine, and people believe: and it is that belief, that rock-solid belief, that makes things happen.”
Marketing and the Power of Belief
The notion that having “rock-solid belief” in something wields the power to make it a reality is a common one, it’s just not usually positioned this way. If you’ve ever read a book on self-improvement or productivity that mentioned the influence of positivity, it’s essentially the same thing.
However, the word belief seems to carry significant weight, like it somehow has more meaning. This got me to thinking about marketing and the power of belief, and after much deliberation, I landed on an observation for not only the marketer in all of us but the also the consumer.
Foster True Belief in Your Strategy
As powerful as belief is, disbelief has a similar impact. Unfortunately, this is something marketers know all too well.
Whether you run your own marketing agency or work in a marketing department, you need stakeholder-approval to execute your campaigns. There are meetings, pitches, and presentations, followed by discussions, additions, and subtractions, all of which lead to the inevitable “green light.”
Of course, there’s eventual approval of a strategy because you’re paid to do a job. But does it look anything like the one you originally proposed? More importantly, is there true belief in the campaign, or was the approval pushed through with a “wait-and-see” stakeholder approach?
Let’s get one thing right out in the open: getting stakeholders to fully buy-in is extremely difficult, and also completely different than a partial, begrudging sign-off.