Our job is to get people to do something. Believe something. Care about something. Our job is to affect human behavior. And to affect it, we must understand it.
I’m not saying we all need to run out and get our doctorate in psychiatry. But I am suggesting we’d better be avid students.
On any given day, a marketing professional might have to:
- Understand what motivates a 33 year old suburban mom
- Talk a client down from the figurative ledge because their boss is demanding instant results
- Ask questions that get people to think in a new way
- Write in a way that’s native and comforting to a person facing their death
- Motivate employees to do superior work for a client who nitpicks and changes direction mid-stream
- Take a furious customer from screaming to calm and feeling heard
- Guide a group discussion to help a client unearth an uncomfortable truth about their company’s service
- Figure out how and why three 19 year olds react completely differently to a new product
- And so much more
I don’t believe a person can be successful in marketing if they don’t understand and care about how people tick.
Of course, the couch is optional.
What do you think? Am I placing too much importance on this aspect of marketing?