April 14, 2016

You’re not in charge

I’m fasting at the moment.

I don’t normally tell anyone when I’m fasting because well-meaning people come round to force-feed me bananas.

I’ll normally fast for one to two days. After a while the hunger pangs die down, and you realise that all the meltdowns you had in the first six hours were created entirely by your subconscious.

It’s a bit like spending quality time with an unruly teenager. You think you’re doing fine, and suddenly your subconscious will call out.

“Go to the cupboard,” it says. “Eat the chocolate spread. Dare you.

Before you know it you’re in the kitchen holding a jar of Nutella and a spoon. I normally come to my senses in time, but not always.

Sometimes the subconscious calls are more bizarre.

“There is raw broccoli in the fridge,” says the subconscious. “Eat it. Eat it all…

I was watching a BBC series recently about the brain, which suggested that all the decisions we make are largely dictated by the subconscious mind. If you left decisions to your rational mind you wouldn’t make any. Your rational mind would be too busy weighing up thousands of pros and cons.

The lady above is Tammy. Tammy fell off a motorcycle and injured her head. It seems that in the accident emotion and logic in her brain have somehow become unlinked.

The reporter and Tammy walked in to a store which sold six variations of potato. Tammy became upset, unable to make a decision.

“How am I supposed to pick one option over another?” she asked.

She could see there were six types of potato. She could take on the information. But with no emotion attached to her choices she could not value one option over another.

I think this is what makes marketing so fascinating, and so difficult. Customers are rarely able to tell you exactly why they bought. They choose first based on emotion then justify it with logic.

If you think you and your customers all make logical purchasing decisions try fasting for a day to see what happens.

Rob Drummond

Rob Drummond runs the Maze Marketing Podcast and Maze Mastery. Rob specialises in content production, ad creation, storytelling and CRM systems. He has two published books, Magnetic Expertise and Simple Story Selling, affordable on Amazon.