People like to help. Ask any mother-in-law. People also like to be helped, but there is social stigma about being helped too much. Ask a teenager or the under privileged. But helping and being helped are the two most important motivators in marketing. Selling is not helping. Helping is helping.
If a brand planner doing my job from a wheelchair, is it likely I’d be more effective at getting consumers to open up? Yep. It’s human nature. If I was a brand planner suffering from depression, would I have the same chance at getting someone to open up? Not unless I looked particularly sad.
Overt selling is overtaking helping in marketing and consumers are shutting down. Why do you think students writing papers can get through on the phone to executives, but researchers can’t? We are a helpful people. Why, in a recent study on homeless in NY (I think ideated by Droga5), did moms and dads walk right by family members on the street dressed as homeless? People want to help but are inured to the scale of the problem.
So as you think about your brand planning rigor for your day, think about helping – bidirectional helping. Not selling. Create an environment where consumers can really hear you and then you can begin the steps to a sale. Peace.