How to Market Your Products to Smart People (And Dumb People, too!)

For the sake of simplicity, let’s say that there are only two types of people in the world. Smart people… and dumb people. In reality, we know there is a wide spectrum and varying levels or degrees of both. Just bringing this subject up reminds me of a story I heard several years ago about a landscaper (a professional one at that) who decided to use a push mower as hedge trimmer. He wound up losing several fingers and part of his hand in the process. That wasn’t too bright.

On the other hand (no pun intended), we have people who are very intelligent. Smart people are obviously responsible for bringing us the technological advances we’re enjoying today. The computer that once filled an entire room in the 1960’s now fits in the palm of your hand and does twice as much.

As a business owner, or a business owner in the making, you will be marketing to both extremes and everyone in between. Smart and dumb people will eventually see your ad, stop in your place of business, schedule an appointment with you… etc.

With all this in mind, the bottom line still comes down to this – you have to “sell stuff” to stay in business. So while you deliberate over your pricing, specials, ads, etc., do so knowing that studies over the past 50-years have shown that people (from the highly educated right on down) make the majority of their buying decisions based upon emotion. That’s right. Good old-fashioned emotion. The only difference is, educated people use their intellect to justify their decision afterward. The guy with the low IQ doesn’t give it a second thought.

In my opinion, they didn’t need 50-years worth of data to prove this out. All you have to do is look at the divorce rate to come to the same conclusion. People put their life on the line and make decisions based upon their emotions every day. Ask a “smart person” after their divorce has been finalized. They’ll usually admit (sometimes off the record) that they inwardly knew it wasn’t a compatible match to begin with. Isn’t that true? So why did they do it? Because they based their decision upon their emotions – not logic.

People make decisions and come to conclusions based upon how someone (or something) makes them “feel” at the time.  It can happen through ads, videos, in person, etc.

Your partner may be considered an idiot by most, but for some reason, they make you feel good so you convince yourself they’re endearing in some way. When emotion finally takes flight, however, you suddenly realize that all you’re left with is the idiot.

If you’re an intelligent person, you most likely use reason in your marketing and promotions. How’s that working out for you? Trying to convince someone of your point of view is usually an uphill battle all the way. I’m not saying that it can’t be done, but it’s not easy. People hate feeling like they’re being coerced into doing anything. Make them feel good (brilliant, understanding, attractive, interesting, etc.) and you’ll have their attention.

The same thing that hold true with “relationship marketing” holds true with product or marketing.

You don’t motivate an overweight person to buy into a weight loss program by telling them, “I hate to say this, but, you look like hell.”

No, you motivate them by helping them remember what it was like before they got to the point they’re at today. And by getting them to picture how much things might change once they started heading back in that direction again – even if they just take baby steps.

Help people see the benefits of buying your “stuff” instead of someone else’s. Once they “see it,” they will naturally “feel it,” even if it’s just on a subconscious level. The emotional undercurrent that’s triggered as a result will begin to challenge reason as the dominant voice. Let’s face it, people make money selling crappy products every day because they understand how to use this principle on some level. PT Barnum used this technique to build an empire. He understood human nature. People will line up and pay to see something strange, unique or unusual. Being part of a “special viewing” makes them feel special.

At the end of the day, most people laughed at the ridiculousness of the show, but guess what? They didn’t storm the gates shouting for refunds. Not at all. Why? Because the whole experience was fun and pleasurable. Make people feel good and they’ll be back for more. That was Barnum’s secret. Now, it’s yours.

With a genuinely good product or service… the possibilities of how far you could go are endless.

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Painting “Up On The Roof” By Frary (Sarasota’s Top Rated Contemporary Art Gallery – www.frarygallery.com)

Jim Galiano

Jim Galiano is an online consultant and author who began doing business online in 1998. His consulting, marketing and publicity services are focused in the area's of SEO and website publicity. Jim has been interviewed by variety of media sources including the Wall Street Journal and CBS News in New York.

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21 thoughts on “How to Market Your Products to Smart People (And Dumb People, too!)

  1. Jim, as you know most artist are not really good at marketing their own work. As a gallery owner myself while living in England, I found it much easier to talk about other’s art rather than mine. Well my entire career was always managed by an agent that picked up my art from my house and sent me money when the art sold. That was great but when I lost my agent I also lost all my contacts and Galleries. Since I am very interested in how to get my artwork out of the Tampa bay area again, I must start thinking out of the box. Although I do have a website I find it not working as I would wish. Since I have decided to let it go again for another year, until September 2011, how can I make it work? I can’t even get into it to make simple changes, I really hate the guy that made it up for me. I’m paying $450.00 a year,but I really feel I need to keep it until I figure out the next step. Marketing Maddness is what I suffer from… So I am open for your suggestions signed artist needing a kick in the ass! I know the economy is tight now, but I feel there still is a place for the arts. Thanks Ron

  2. Hi Ron,

    Did you sign some type of contract when you had the website done? You should be able to have access to your photos/pictures.

    Most people focus on certain pieces of a marketing campaign such as logos, websites, blogs, social media, etc. The problem is, the plan has to be created first, then – everything else propels or becomes a vehicle for that plan.

    That’s what gives the publicity campaign for the product or service the best chance to gain traction in its particular niche.

    I would spend some time reviewing the overall plan, decide what exactly you want to accomplish, and then redo everything from Facebook right on up to support that plan.

    I had to do the same thing in my own niche several years ago. It took a year for me to position myself the way I really wanted. That may sound like a long time, but in the big picture, it’s not too bad!

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    Keep up the good work!

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