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Thursday, October 11, 2012

In Marketing, Trivia Is Not Trivial

Woody Allen does not consider movies his finest accomplishment. He speaks far more lovingly about being in a jazz band and enjoying sports. Early in his career he was a standup comedian and is a published author too.

Still, most people know him as the old guy who married his adoptive stepdaughter. A few, a dedicated few, lionize his films.

People like trivia. A colleague once told me about a well-respected, high achieving woman she knew. The colleague didn't know much about her career. But she remembered the flower in her lapel. The one she wore every day.

I like to go to the movies. But I don't just notice the main event - the show. I notice things like how much the candy costs, how clean the restrooms are. The stand-up movie posters in front of the doors.

Once I had a boss the memory of whom is fairly dim. But what sticks in my mind are all the minutes and hours she kept me waiting. She'd call me in ostensibly for a staff meeting, line me up in a chair seated next to my colleague, and type away, make phone calls, etc. I remember the view through her window.

I don't remember high school graduation. I do remember the dress.

I remember once a nice house we saw with a stone roof, and that day someone threw a rock through a plate glass window of a Jewish store and we didn't move there.

We remember small things, because the big things are too much to capture.
That is why car ads should be shot from inside the car looking out (VW, Subaru), or even hanging out of the car (Kia Soul) not outside looking in. You want the target to see themselves, personally, inside the vehicle. Inhabiting it.

When you sell things to people, especially major things - car, house, etc. - you have to think small. As in from the perspective of what a single, simple mind can handle. You put freshly baked chocolate chip cookies at the entrance to rhe Open House.

The same holds true in elections. People vote for who they like - who they'd want a framed picture of themselves with - not for a theory or plan.

Trivia is the essence of marketing and life - a very big deal.