Spanning the globe for insights into human behavior and persuasion.



The Persuasive Power of Truth

Wow, it's been almost a month since I've blogged. Yet no one's complaining...

Back to marketing to higher motivations...

Let's face it. We work because we have to. Not that marketing and communications isn't rewarding, but I know I'd be writing books (or blogging more) if I had all the money I needed. We all need to provide for ourselves and those who depend on us. True, many of us have gone beyond need to greed, but it all stems from the same root.

How can we market to the highest of motivations if we don't have high motivations ourselves?

I don't classify providing for one's self as a "high" motivation. Why? A high motivation is, by my definition, one that prompts us to live outside ourselves -- to accept a world view that doesn't have "me" at the center. Think Maslow's hierarchy of needs. Anytime that we are self-focused we are meeting the lower needs on the hierarchy. Only when we are self-actualized do we start focusing on others.

Thinking past ourselves means more than just putting ourselves in our audience's shoes. So many times when I do that, I'm really saying, "What would I do or think or say if I were them?" All I'm doing is projecting myself on my audience.

The key to marketing to higher motivations? Truth. I'm not referring to the fuzzy, relativistic "truth." That type of truth subscribes to the mantra, "What's true for you may not be true for me." That isn't really truth at all. That's a self-focused world view.

Philosopher Terry Warner wrote a book called "Bonds That Make Us Free," a book that was the result of his years of studying human relationships. The book completely changed my outlook on life. His idea of truth is one where truths are independent, meaning truths don't change based on our experience. Our experiences may bring us closer to or move us away from independent truths, but our experiences will not -- can not -- change truth.

The problem with humans and truth is the walls that we build up around ourselves, according to Warner. These walls act as filters and keep us from truly seeing, feeling, experiencing the truth. We may come close to understanding. But true understanding only comes when we get outside those walls and see things, people, events as they truly are.

That is the type of truth that makes a difference. That is the type of truth that alters an opinion, that moves one to action, that brings about a change of heart. That is the type of truth that makes true persuasion possible.

What is the practical application for this? That is something I'd like to explore here...

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