The Law of Dissatisfaction - How To Motivate Prospects
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The 7%-38%-55% Communication Rule
Dr. Albert Mehrabian, Professor Emeritus of Psychology, UCLA is best known
for his 7%-38%-55% Rule that states 55% of communication is attributable to
non-verbal behaviors like body language and facial expressions; that 38% of
communication is attributable to voice including volume, tone, pitch, cadence,
and quality; and only 7% of communication is attributable to the words used.
Despite this persuasive evidence, companies continue to pile on the Web-text
in the vain hope that search engines will index it and that someone might
actually read it, even though the reality is 70% of website visitors merely scan
for headlines, bulleted points and captions.
The evidence is clear, the most effective way to deliver a marketing message
is a Web-video using a professional performer who knows how to use his or her
voice, expression, and body language to drive the point home.
"But Wait, There's More ..."
I have noticed a proliferation on the Web of the sad old direct marketing
formula that you see in sales pitches for magazine subscriptions. Can you really
expect people to take you seriously when you adopt this 'Barnum and Bailey'
approach to marketing? It is a formula that flies in the face of Dr. Mehrabian's
research and every other usability study that warns against over-burdening
website visitors with too much text. Your search engine optimizer may think it's
great for driving traffic to your landing page, but I'll bet if you check your
logs, 50% of that traffic disappears in under 5 seconds.
This format is an outdated sales technique that doesn't work in a Web
environment where people find it difficult to read large amounts of text. It is
also a tactic that insults your customer's intelligence.
A Red Flag Marketing Formula
If ever there was a red flag telling people to stay away from your company
it's a website presentation that includes:
- Huge bold headlines,
- Copious amounts of text,
- Bright yellow highlighted key phrases,
- Photos of smiling semi-ugly customers,
- Photos of smiling semi-pretty nonexistent staff,
- Lots of useless free crap,
- Loads of bulleted points with big red check marks,
- Numerous testimonials on pale yellow backgrounds and quotations in Courier
with more bad photographs,
- More extra bold, underlined, red text,
- The phrase 'But Wait, There's More' offering more useless free e-books
you'll never read and special bonus gifts you don't want or need,
- Lots of 'Click Here To Order" buttons,
- And finally make sure you bury the price at the bottom of over 4689 words.
The entire presentation could be made in two minutes using a cost effective
video presentation delivered by a professional, but that wouldn't be search
engine friendly would it, never mind it's the best way to sell your product or
Reducing Video Load Times
Which brings me to the issue of load times. We all know that video and audio
files takes longer to load than text, however there are many ways that load
times can be reduced and kept to a minimum.
- The size of the video can be adjusted.
- Choose an alternative codex to compress the file.
- Design your presentation with simple, minimalist backgrounds so the number
of pixels that change from frame to frame are reduced.
- Decrease the frame rate.
- Alter the audio settings.
- Adjust the amount of video that is preloaded.
We also know that there is a class of Web-surfer who will not wait for videos
to load. This is a fact of life, I admit it, but from a marketing and sales
perspective it really doesn't matter and I'll tell you why: websites visitors
who will not wait a reasonable amount of time for a presentation to load will
also not read your copious amounts of text and the reason is simple: they are
not motivated enough by what you sell and if they aren't motivated they're not
If They Aren't Motivated, They're Not Customers
Two things motivate all potential customers: a feeling of dissatisfaction and
a desire for change. All good advertising creates a focused storyline with a
singular message that stirs the emotional dissatisfaction in the audience and
offers a solution that will initiate change.
Thank goodness people are insatiable for what's new and improved. We are a
species motivated to constantly strive for more: more money, more power, more
success, more stuff; and when we have more stuff, we want better stuff. We are
in a constant state of desire. The advertisers job is to access that desire and
push that motivational button so that the audience takes action.
The Law of Dissatisfaction
The job of advertisers is to create dissatisfaction in its audience. If
people are happy with how they look, they are not going to buy cosmetics or diet
books; if people are happy with their old twenty-inch tube television they are
not going to buy a sixty-inch LCD flat screen TV. If people are happy with who
they are, where they are in life, and what they got, they just aren't
customer-potential, that is, unless you make them unhappy.
Most cosmetic advertisements feature beautiful woman, igniting the promise
that you too can look like a drop-dead glorious model if only you use their
product. This approach is based on showing an ideal that the audience will
undoubtedly be unable to stack-up against. The audience after seeing what they
could look like, is no longer happy with what they do look like, and are now
motivated to buy into the promise of change.
The Psychology of Contrary Thinking
Anyone who is interested in marketing and the Web is most likely aware of the
brilliant Dove Self-Esteem campaign. For those who want to excise all video from
the Web in favor of search engine optimization tactics in order to drive
traffic, it should be noted that the original Dove Web-video has been viewed by
over 3.3 million viewers and has driven huge numbers of traffic to the Dove
website, not to mention an incredible amount of free publicity.
On the surface it may seem like the Dove campaign is an example of the
opposite of the law of dissatisfaction. The series of campaign videos show real
people with all their flaws and the message that people should be happy with who
they are, and how they look. But what's the real underlying message of
advertising videos that show slightly over-weight, wrinkled, aging women?
If ever there was a case of reverse psychology, this is it. Women may
initially be attracted by the sentiment expressed and it certainly generated a
lot of media coverage, but when all is said and done, women will look at these
ads and say, 'hell no, I don't want to be fat, wrinkled and old, and I'm going
to do whatever I can to avoid it." Dove has masterfully managed to create a
positive campaign that still remains true to the law of dissatisfaction. Whether
or not that was Dove's intent doesn't matter, the psychology of contrary
Creating Successful Dissatisfaction
In order to implement a Web-video marketing campaign that motivates action,
you must present a storyline that accesses the emotional and psychological
subtext of desire. Your campaign is based on this defining underlying message.
In order to create this underlying communication we must first decide to whom
the campaign is aimed. We each have a self image, in fact we each have four
self-images. We must figure out which self our product or service serves.
- The Public Self is the self we present to the world. If we sell high
priced luxury goods or services that appeal to status, we are probably aiming
our presentation at the public-self, the one we display to others.
- The Private Self is the self we hide from the world. If we sell a hidden
pleasure product or service we should probably direct our presentation to the
private-self, the one we keep locked away and hidden.
- The Ideal Self defines who we wish we were. If we sell a self-improvement
or motivational product or service, we want to access the ideal-self, the self
we desperately wish to become.
- And the Actual Self defines who we really are. If we sell a product or
service that justifies our real behavior, then it's the actual-self we want to
The dissatisfaction we are accessing may be active or inactive. Active
dissatisfaction like having acne, being overweight, or worrying about a
dysfunctional website is a concern that the audience is aware. Inactive
dissatisfaction like halitosis, body odor, or ineffective marketing is a
problem that the audience is unaware.
To what degrees is our audience able to acknowledge a problem exists even
after we make it active? Does our audience acknowledge they are
overweight, have halitosis, or need a new marketing strategy or do they deny
or fail to recognize the existence of the problem?
Next we need to decide whether the essence of dissatisfaction is general
or specific. Will our audience suffice with any solution that comes along
or does satisfaction depend on fulfilling a specific requirement.
Lastly we must determine if the dissatisfaction is based on a desire for
something or on the avoidance of something. We may desire an exotic
sports car to show-off our wealth and status to friends and colleagues, or we
may avoid driving a flashy car no matter how rich we are to avoid showing-up our
friends and colleagues.
Once we have analyzed the nature of our audience's dissatisfaction and the
ability of our product or service to effect change, we can create an effective
Web-video marketing campaign. If your website content doesn't connect with your
audience's desire for change, if you're website traffic is not motivated by
dissatisfaction, then that traffic is just congestion, not prospects.
About the Author
Jerry Bader is Senior Partner at MRPwebmedia, a website design firm that
specializes in Web-audio and Web-video. Visit
Contact at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone (905) 764-1246.
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2007-10-14 22:53:21 in Business Articles