It’s reassuring when people bigger and more successful than yourself share your views.   So when I logged on to a recent Economist webinar I was delighted to hear four heavy hitters from the world of advertising endorsing many of the points I’ve been making for months on this blog.

 You read it here first

In an early post on this blog, ‘Are you pushing on a door marked “pull”’, I made the point that “a hi-tech approach will get the message delivered.  But you need a hi-touch one to get it accepted.  Hi-touch is all about seeing things from the audience’s perspective – understanding their feelings and emotions, hopes and fears, then tapping into them.”

I returned to this theme again in my ‘From USP to UPS’ post, quoting the words of neurologist Donald Calne: “The essential difference between emotion and reason is that emotion leads to action while reason leads to conclusions”.

 Are you feeling anything yet?

The Economist webinar was entitled HOW TO MEAN SOMETHING and addressed the question “In a world saturated with media platforms and marketing messages, where attention spans are short and consumers increasingly cynical, how can companies capture the imaginations of their audiences?”

Or, putting it another way, “How do you make sure your message is not just heard but actually stirs an emotional response?”

Addressing that issue, in conversation with Chris Webber, senior editor at the Economist Intelligence Unit, they have:

  • Steve Barton, Global Business Partner at OgilvyOne/WW
  • Patrick Collister, Renowned creative director and editor of Directory
  • Hamish Pringle, Strategic Advisor, 23red 
  • Martin Troughton, Marketing Director of Anglian Home Improvements, founder Harrison Troughton Wunderman. 

If you’d like to see a video of the webinar click here.   However, if you just want the key points that came out of the discussion, read on….

Something old, something new

In the webinar Steve Barton explains that companies need to embrace online and social media, but mix those efforts with more traditional forms of advertising, like television and print: “One doesn’t replace the other.”  Hamish Pringle agrees, saying that “average television viewing figures in this country are at an all-time high…the TV advert isn’t dead.”

Home in on the heart

Hamish Pringle argues that “The research has shown pretty conclusively that an emotional platform is the most compelling one for a brand.”   To create engagement the Economist suggests that “experts are increasingly looking to insights from the behavioural sciences and thinking about how they can harness these to influence consumer decisions.  Connecting with a customer’s emotions or values seems to be the key lessons here.”

Couldn’t have put it better myself

Obviously they’re all avid readers of my blog!

Seriously, though, a lot of sensible people seem to be in agreement on this one – you can be as geeky as you like, with all the latest tools, but it’s a total waste of time if you don’t have the wit to woo.