“Always enter the conversation already taking place in the customer’s mind.” – Robert Collier

Is there a difference between writing content versus content marketing?

YES – A HUGE difference!

Most copywriters just write content. They do not understand content marketing … the planning … the strategy … how emotional urgency primes sales … or what type of content works best for different types of buyers, products or services.

All of these things are key components to successful content marketing.

And these are just the tip of the iceberg. 

Imagine you get to choose between:

  • A writer who can write a blog post, or
  • A writer who can craft an article or blog … PLUS
    • Help their clients come up with an integrated content marketing plan that is audience specific, and
    • Creates Emotional Urgency within the potential buyer

OK – of the two choices, which one would you choose?

So, you might be wondering, “What is a Content Marketing Concept Consultant?”

Content marketing concept consultants create written advertising and marketing designed to create emotional urgency. The writing they create is called “copy.”

Why do many Fortune 500 companies hire former comedians when they need direct response sales letters, case studies,  and outstanding sales presentations?

As it turns out, stand-up comedians are the acclaimed experts in creating unique and memorable copy, story-telling concepts, and memorable presentations.

More to the point, they are creative, they understand the subliminal power of humor … they not only think out-of-the-box, they live outside of the box.

Actually, they live on the edge, but that’s another story … and that is good news for you.

Do you always recommend the use of humor in direct response content or sales copy?

NO! In some cases, humor can be distracting or misinterpreted as offensive! It depends on the target audience.

The problem is this:

  • Most copywriters are not funny, because
  • Most copywriters do not understand the science of humor

So, when you need humor (or sarcasm or irony), it only makes sense to seek out someone who understands the art and science of humor (and as the saying goes, “humor is harder than it looks”).

The demand for intentionally humorous copywriting has grown alongside viral marketing; truly funny content is more likely to be virally passed along than almost anything else.

Old-school copywriters warned against any attempt to use humor within their copy. In their words, the ONLY job a professional copywriter had was to “get people to buy … as soon as possible”.

These old-school writers were experts (in their day) using the specific tools within their copywriter’s toolbox.

However, a valuable tool they did not own, did not grasp, and consistently underestimated, was humor (and to a greater degree, comparative sarcasm).

When was the last time you saw a segment of 60-Minutes “go viral” … as opposed to YouTube videos with humorous content?

The most important concept I learned during my years as a stand-up comedian was … “You can’t MAKE people laugh; you can only make them WANT to laugh.”

The same idea holds true for sales.

“You can’t make people buy – you can only make them WANT to buy.”

Writing Content versus Content Marketing

A professional Content Marketing Concept Consultant is a person who is a master of the triggers of persuasion, the science of humor, the art of making your message UNFORGETTABLE, and who knows how to create Emotional Urgency … by design.

Persuasion isn’t about getting people to take an action … it’s about getting people to believe the action you want them to take is their own idea!

I work with people who want to build “Know, Like, Trust” relationships with their customers.

If you would like to know more, click on the button below … and let’s chat.

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“Good judgment comes from experience.  And experience?  That comes from poor judgment.” – Dean Martin

 

“People don’t change behavior or positions based on what they know. They change based on what they feel.” – Oprah Winfrey

Photo of Matt Rix

Shaping – Emotional Triggers and Subliminal Embedding

What if there were ways to subtly influence people (and increase the odds of getting what you want) by embedding subliminal suggestions and ideas into their memory?

In this newsletter, I will share some amazing information on one particular type of Sublim Embed (short for subliminal embedding) technique called Shaping.

Within top-level sales and marketing groups, there is a saying, “The mind, once pointed in a specific direction, is unlikely to reverse course without much further thought and consideration.”

Shaping

DISCLAIMER: The information I am sharing with you is very powerful, and with this power comes an ethical and moral decision that you, the reader, must make for yourself. As in all powerful information, you have an obligation to NEVER misuse these techniques.

Much like a loaded gun, it is neither good nor bad … it’s the person wielding the gun that determines how the gun is to be used. That being said, we can proceed!

Fact #1 – Normally, questions are used to help extract useful information from others – but shaping questions will help people create connections between concepts, past experiences, and emotions.

As Kevin Hogan Ph.D., a leader in the field of social psychology explains, “Shaping is asking a question in such a way as to shape or highly influence the answer – immediate input to get an immediate and influenced response.”

MATTRIXX Tip: Shaping provides a process that allows you to subliminally introduce an idea into a person’s subconscious … an idea they will eventually come to think of as their own … all through the use of questions!

Shaping can increase awareness of specific issues, it can aid in the thinking process, and it can force a person to explore deeper levels of understanding about a particular subject.

When we understand how the brain processes information and stores memory, we gain an insight into certain forms of instantaneous subconscious memory formation, such as in certain types of Déjà Vu.

Fact #2 – There are many ways to construct a question; in fact, there are five distinct categories of questions that can be utilized in the shaping process. These are Factual, Convergent, Divergent, Evaluative, and Combination.

For example, a divergent question is a question with no specific answer, so it can force a person to explore different scenarios and possible outcomes at virtually the same time.

Divergent questions are VERY effective if you supply key information to the reader or listener immediately before or after posing the divergent question. This is because of two related factors:

  1. People make their decisions emotionally when the answer to a question isn’t obvious, and
  2. People rationalize their emotional decisions instead of making rational decisions.

Fact #3 – Divergent questions can also be directional, meaning that while your question may not offer the correct answer, it will block or eliminate other less desirable alternatives and push the person toward the desired conclusion. Rhetorical questions can be very influential in shaping a person’s opinion, especially when critical information has been introduced within several minutes of asking the question.

A great example of a divergent question would be, “Where do you think we would be today if our country’s Founding Fathers and the signers of the Declaration of Independence had been as self-absorbed, greedy, and morally corrupt as today’s politicians seem to be?”

This is a divergent question followed by an inferred statement that today’s political figures are corrupt, greedy, and self-absorbed. I offer no supporting information other than a simple declarative statement; yet, this statement cannot help but shape and narrow the response to the question.

Very few people will spend the time to consider that some of our politicians may not be corrupt, greedy, or self-absorbed, even though I have offered no proof one way or the other.

In short, I have narrowed and SHAPED the reader’s (or listener’s) response to my seemingly rhetorical question. Additionally, I have embedded a subliminal thought of “self-absorbed, greedy, and morally corrupt”, which will be reinforced each time the reader (or listener) encounters this issue.

MATTRIXX Tip: Highly successful evangelical preachers, comedians, TV infomercial hosts, and trial lawyers are very good at using divergent, rhetorical questions. When shaping is used, some of the best questions are presented in such as way as to appear to be a statement rather than a question.

One of the primary sectors I work in is the Assisted Living and Continuous Care Retirement Communities (or AL/CCRC) market. During a recent corporate workshop, I helped a large multi-state corporation create a collection of signature stories to use within their “Story-Selling” campaign.

Divergent questions were purposely embedded within these stories to help trigger a desired (and very predictable) response within the reader and prospective client. These questions will shape specific answers (and emotional responses) based on the information embedded within the Signature Story.

MATTRIXX Tip: When you can make the person consider alternate scenarios, some of which are painful or emotionally uncomfortable, you can then offer unique and unforgettable solutions.

MATTRIXX Tip: One additional bonus of learning about Sublim Embeds is that once you know about them and understand how and why they work, you will become less susceptible to them when others try to use them on you.

The beauty of a divergent question is that it can appear spontaneous while virtually eliminating any answer but the one you want your client to come up with.

In the end, our goal is not to simply offer products or services – our goal is to offer unique solutions to our client’s problems … solutions that, once the client becomes aware of them, they find they cannot live without.

“You must become the only viable choice in your market.” – Jay Abraham

 

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“It becomes increasingly easy, as you get older, to drown in nostalgia.” – Ted Koppel

The word “nostalgia” is a Greek derivation of two root words: “nostos” that means to “return home” or “go back to one’s local land” and “algos” referring to “pain, suffering, or grief”.

MATTRIXX Tip: Nostalgia has been exploited by clever marketing and advertising professionals (as well as highly successful leaders) for as long as there has been a need to “Get What We Want Without Negotiating”.

Johannes Hofer first mentioned this condition in 1688. Today, we think of it as a desire to return to a former time in our life or to our home or homeland (homesickness).

Nostalgia is a very effective emotional urgency trigger of influence because it focuses on our inner feelings and emotions.

“People seek pleasure”, wrote Aristotle, “and they seek to avoid pain.”

We find pleasure in nostalgia because it allows us to mentally relive our past feelings of friendships, status, safety, security, freedom, or love.

Ironically, when people become nostalgic, they typically become happier. This allows us to increase sales conversion rates or more easily motivate and persuade others. For example, President Ronald Reagan was a master of applying nostalgia as an emotional trigger within his speeches, and his ability to move people to action was legendary.

Studies indicate that when people are asked to think back on experiences, objects, or songs from the past, their positive feelings increase. In some cases, nostalgia can also be bittersweet since our feelings of happiness can be mixed with feelings of sadness or loss.

However, in most cases, the net result is positive. In short, nostalgia simply makes people happy … and nostalgic people are more receptive to subliminal influence and persuasive presentation techniques.

MATTRIXX Tip: Many of the homes I sold as a New Home Sales Agent were due to the use of well-timed nostalgic phrases and comparisons. During showings or model demonstrations, I would use phrases such as “This neighborhood reminds me of …” or “I don’t know about you, but doesn’t this take you back to your childhood when …”. These comparisons were always factual, yet they were customized to create an emotional trigger based on the warmth of childhood memories.

Amazingly, people have a tendency to view the past as certain and safe. Even younger generations of people who have not lived through a specific time period are prone to becoming nostalgic about it.

This helps explain the popularity of television shows such as Antiques Roadshow, the craze in collecting Barbie Dolls, and the American auto maker’s retro versions of the Ford Mustang, the Chevy Camaro, and the Dodge Charger.

While scientific research is trying to understand the neurological causes of nostalgia, social psychology studies point to nostalgic emotional urgency triggers that may be utilized to create favorable attitudes about products and services.

As we age, we appear to become more receptive to the use of what researchers call “a longing for positive memories from the past.”

Using the trigger of nostalgia to associate positive feelings with your product or service also increases the effectiveness of other subliminal triggers including scarcity, association, reciprocity, and contrast.

MATTRIXX Tip: Time tends to smooth out and erase the bad while enhancing and magnifying the good. When developing an advertising campaign or a sales presentation, make sure the nostalgic emotional urgency triggers you plan to use fit the demographics of your target market while avoiding any real or perceived negative connotations.

For marketing professionals, the key is to find the right music and images that have a way of relating to their specific products or services. For leaders and sales professionals, past memories provide the context for nostalgic feelings, and you can use them to guide people’s decision-making process.

It is the emotion generated from the Emotional Urgency Trigger, nostalgia, that will influence people’s perception of your products or services.

MATTRIXX Tip: When used correctly, nostalgia can also make us feel younger (at least for a short period of time) because it can compress time within our mind … we feel young when we recall pleasant memories. When we “relive” our nostalgic memories, they become mental images. This is an extremely powerful trigger when you know how to use it. As I tell my clients, “The soul never stirs without first creating a mental picture!”

MATTRIXX Tip: Case in Point: Valentine’s Day – Our memories become especially potent during holidays like Valentine’s Day. Cards, flowers, and candy are powerful triggers that allow us to recall past experiences. Through annual rituals, we play mental tricks on ourselves … and when the ritual works, we feel happy combining past memories with a new pleasant experience.

In today’s environment of a troubled economy, global unrest, and an aging population base conjuring up past experiences that engender hope is a great strategy to produce your desired outcome. A nostalgic approach might just help your employees or clients see a clearer vision of what you have to offer.

It reminds me of a bumper sticker I saw on an old pick-up truck in Montana. The sticker said, “It’s hard to be nostalgic when you can’t remember anything.”

Oh, how we long for the “Good Old Days” when our lives were simpler, our neighborhoods were safer, and we felt more secure. Yes, nostalgia really kicks-in when we listen to our favorite old songs while sitting in a retro-style diner, eating a good old juicy hamburger with hot crispy French fries on the side while sipping on an old-fashioned chocolate milkshake or cherry coke … complete with hot-rods, hard-tails, and muscle cars cruising around the parking lot!

If you want to increase your ability to influence others; if you want 3X to 10X ROI on your sales and marketing efforts; if you want to boost your sales closure rates, or if you want to become a persuasive salesperson, start using nostalgia, one of the more powerful Emotional Urgency Triggers.

You will be amazed at the results … and how good it makes others feel!

You don’t have to beat your competitors, you just have to invalidate them.

 

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