Tuesday, October 30, 2007

"Hearing" New Truths In A Decade Old Book

I finally just got around to listening to the audio version of positioning guru Jack Trout's 1997 book, co-written by Steve Rivkin, (The New Positioning, published by McGraw Hill). Of course, I read the book back when it was first released, but hearing it brought home the important quotes in it from University of Washington psychologist Dr. Elizabeth Loftus:
"In many ways the ear is superior to the eye. There is evidence that shows people remember more if they hear lists of words than if they see them."
Trout and Rivkin state: "Advertisers prefer the eye, the consumer prefers the ear."
"Marketing people and people's minds are often in conflict. Marketing people love to sit down and create carefully crafted arguments on behalf of their products. They are beautiful rationales to behold. Ripe with reasons, benefits and facts. Unfortunately, today, these arguments are being presented to minds that really aren't up to dealing with all that glorious information. Our perceptions are selective, and our memory is highly selective. Seeing is not akin to photographing the world, merely registering an image. Memory is not a tape recorder that stores information when we turn it on. First, your message has to get by the mind's ‘volume control.’ Then, you must get from short term memory into long-term memory.”
The best way to really enter minds that hate complexity and confusion is to over-simplify your message. The most powerful position statements will be compacted into ONE WORD. Like these: ATT - true. Crest - cavities. Volvo - safety. Prego - thick. Radio marketers won't try to tell their entire story, but SIMPLY focus on one powerful non-music attribute - fun, family, dependable, etc - and drive it into the mind.

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