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Moments of Truth Cartoon: Bridging the Connection Gap


This is the ninth in a series of cartoons by award-winning cartoonist Tom Fishburne, titled “Moments of Truth,” sponsored by Motista.

By Alan Zorfas

The brain, more specifically the “right brain,” (more accurately the amygdala), carries in it the powerful emotions that drive people’s decisions.   As marketers, we intuitively feel that if we could only unlock “why” someone does something—their true motivations—then we could turn our marketing program into the next rave.

The “what” is easy.  There’s no shortage of consumer opinion about our products and services.  Through social media and our own websites, consumers have outlets to share a steady stream of consciousness about their likes and dislikes.

But the “why” is hard.  Unlocking the “unconscious” motivators that lie beneath the surface requires time, money, expertise and “brilliant” insight—if not a hypnotist, as implied by our latest Marketoon from Tom Fishburne.  I have to empathize with the marketer hero here.  Her eager disposition hints at the enormous pressure she’s under to get the next campaign into the market fast to impact next quarter results.  She impatiently waits for the moment when the consumer “reveals all.”

If probing the right brain of consumers wasn’t hard enough whether through hypnosis, tea leaves or a more robust means of research, her next challenge is the “left brain.”  Not of the consumer, but of the management team.  Soon, she’ll be presenting her findings and implications to executives, most of whom put their intuitive thinking on hold during business hours.  Buying into “emotion” doesn’t fit with the business-minded, numbers driven context that drives the C-Suite.   Can you imagine the divisional president telling his directors that he’s counting on the “hypnotist” findings to drive performance?

While connecting with consumers on an emotional level is clearly good for business (even essential as it becomes harder and harder for companies to differentiate themselves and their offerings) bridging the consumer’s right brain with management’s left brain is no easy task.

No wonder there’s a “connection gap” between companies and consumers.

What marketers need is critical intelligence that speaks to the “why” and that can be used to inform campaign development and motivate consumers.  Having the right intelligence gives your company the internal language—the data and analytics—to help left-brained executives understand and buy into emotion.  In the process, that intelligence also helps our marketer transform from helpless and hopeful to successful and persuasive.

That’s a moment of truth.

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