Push Through the Noise

June 16, 2013     / / / / / / / / /


reeze! Anybody thinking about your business right now?

Back in the early 1990’s (yes, I was around then…) there was a show called, “Inside Herman’s Head.” Remember that? It was amusingly funny because it was based on the idea that poor Herman Brooks had all these voices in his head that directed his every move (and seriously complicated his decision making the majority of the time). Okay…so there was his Intellect, which composed all the wise, well-thought concepts. Then, sensitivity, urged him to cry at love stories and remember his mom’s birthday. Anxiety was the incessant worrywart and pretentious hypochondriac. And of course, Lust, who was –as he put it – “the good stuff…fun, food, babes” and the like. Herman was college-educated, gainfully employed, single, not bad looking and living a decent life was it not for the relentless, and often hilarious, chatter being dramatized in his mind about every single decision of his life no matter how seemingly irrelevant. It’s funny because…well…it’s true! Be honest with yourself. You have driven home from work before on complete auto-pilot. You arrived, safe and sound, yet with no recollection of anything except the screenplay of nothingness that unfolded in your mind all the way home. You, my friend, are a Herman! And guess what? So is your customer.

Every day, you are fighting for valuable real estate in the mind of your consumer. As a business, marketing executive, entrepreneur or even CEO it is imperative that you force yourself to think about your multi-faceted customer. During a first meeting with a potential marketing client, the Moten Group takes a moment to talk about your Hermans. It’s overly simplistic, I know, but it’s a good starting point to help the client analyze his or her own client base. There is an intellectual, a sensitive soul, a worrier and a gutsy lusty inside each of us and it is marketing’s job to communicate with this complex enigma we call self, compel a consensus and convince that self to fall in love with your business and buy.

For a case study, consider my recent analysis with a potential client, a gourmet cupcakery facing a very saturated market in a downturned economy. If the client considers one element of the base for analysis, moms, a pretty good idea of that customers’ thoughts will push to the front. Sensitivity (I want to do something special for my kids) and Lusty (I like cake) are yours for par. However, the Intellectual part of mom could rationalize that gourmet cake is an unnecessary luxury expense and Anxiety can immediately conjure images of a chubby little Dick and Jane with silver caps on their sugar-plaqued teeth. It ain’t a pretty picture. So as a business, the cupcakery can now understand that it is only at 50-percent consensus and mom can sway either way on any given week about whether or not she will buy. We all know that the cupcakery needs mom onboard for more than the annual birthday cake. So the client and I can now brainstorm ideas of offerings to tip the scales in the cupcakery’s favor to 75-percent or more headspace. For example, perhaps offering organic products or gluten-free could sway Anxiety to harmonize with Sensitivity and Lusty more than annually. The options become plenteous to capture more of that marketshare. Obviously there was a much more detailed analysis required concerning strategy, etc., but Herman’s Head was very effective in helping the client recognize the need for diversification in products and services. It also opened the door to the notion of seizing opportunities for organic growth by having broader appeal within certain segments of the current customer base.

Of course, The Moten Group could jump into marketing buzzwords and jargon. We could delve into a thesis on The Psychology of Consumerism or introduce a lengthy discussion on ego, super ego and ids but the “Herman” method is so much more relaxed. And really, it’s very difficult to not “get it” and help the client garner a quick understanding of marketing relevance using this simple analogy. So, think about your Hermans (or those of your current clients if you are the marketing agent). Number one, consider the low-hanging fruit of the client base. Number two, confirm the win with marketing that speaks to the part of your client that already wants you. And then, Number three, add that little extra spark to the marketing strategy that appeals to at least one of the other selves. Get your product or service inside your Hermans’ heads! Push through the noise and STAY there! 

Lucy D. Barnes-Moten
Plan Your Next Project


©16-Jun-2013; The Moten Group, LLC. All rights reserved.

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