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Psych Insight #1 (Show 2)
Here’s John’s Rant this show is based on:
Civilians have the luxury of adopting any wacky worldview they like, but marketers must face reality.
Your human prospects have one foot still in the jungle; or rather, the ancient part of our brain is still there.
We’re talking dark needs, reptilian instincts and basic greed-fear responses that lie just under the thin veneer of the neo-cortex modern slab.
This is not a cynical nor a negative view.
It’s just fundamental step one knowledge for anyone needing to understand how to communicate at the levels required to influence, persuade and perform complex capitalistic functions; in other words, to exchange moola for goods.
Most humans have zero clue how the brain works at all.
I remember a girl in high school who refused to visualize any of the goo inside of us. She didn’t like thinking of us as pumping blood or having hearts or brains or that we’re essentially bags of gas and fluid.
They find examples of brain surgery going all the way back to prehistoric times.
The thing that scares a lot of people is that they think that takes away our humanity if we break it down to machinery and complex mechanical functions and chemical dumps and stuff… it takes away somehow our soul or something.
It’s the Castaway effect… everybody’s lonely and everybody needs a “Wilson” to dress up, put a face on and talk to.
For me, learning how the human brain works, why people buy, why they’re afraid of certain things, why they do things; the reality of the way humans interact in the world, in this modern concrete jungle that we’ve created to mimic the old, natural organic jungle that we came out of; it makes me love humans more, not less.
When you’re trying to sell something to somebody you’re not just dealing with what he needs right now, what she has needed or whatever problem she’s having; there’s a whole bunch of stuff going on there.
A lot of great products are in the marketing graveyard because nobody figured out how to sell them.
The fear isn’t necessarily the Hitchcockian thing of being scared out of your wits. It’s understanding that people live in a constant sense of losing out, of the anxiety of not being hip, of not being invited to a party somewhere where everybody’s having much more fun than they are now… of the fears that they’re going to die lonely and forgotten and the degree that they want recognition.
There’s the reptile part of the brain that controls the basic things that we’re not conscious of; breathing, eye movement, making sure the body sweats and things like that.
The limbic system then starts making us human in that we have memories. We start having emotions like we care about something. We care about someone else. We start doing things that put ourselves in danger to save the person we love.
Then, the big one is the neocortex… the big slab over everything else that makes us human. It’s the most recent part of the brain and it’s where higher-level language, consciousness, imagination and abstract thought come from.
That reptilian brain doesn’t say, “If I do this, it will be good. If I do this, it will be bad.” It’s not doing that. It’s like, “Me see; me want; me hungry; me eat …” That’s happening all the time. That’s happening every second of the day that you’re alive.
It’s something that wasn’t there before and the human built… the human made up and for whatever reason we’ve decided that this is how we’re going to live. We made our own caves rather than search for naturally occurring caves.
Good salesmen know that a good sales process often involves getting interest with logic and rationality, but selling on emotion.
If you want to get into the Hall Of Fame as a salesman or as a copywriter or a marketer, you’ve got to understand this at a slightly deeper level. You’ve got to swim out of the shallow part of the pond.
I’ve written ads where I know people say, “Wow. I bought that product. I was so excited. It just changed my life.” I said, “Well, how did you like the product?” They go “Oh, I never watched it. I’ve never cracked the cellophane off.” They felt that they did what they needed to do by just buying the ad.
The brain can change, it can do things and there’s no one set way. We think of the right brain as being creative, the left brain being logical. Sometimes that’ll change. Sometimes the left brain is destroyed and then the right brain just picks it up and does stuff.
Start getting into the head of the prospect or the mass of prospects and realizing, “Yeah, there may be 15 different reasons why the mass is buying, but there may be one reason that really stands out and that’s the one that maybe your ad should focus on and then bring the others in.”