Monday, October 1, 2012

Practical Persuasion

A book that has influenced
me more than most others...
I wonder why?  
I teach a workshop that helps managers and teams increase organizational effectiveness.  The emphasis is practical persuasion, maximizing the impact of Market Research in an organization.

I was watching a TEDTalk today where a neuroscientist was describing the brain development of teenagers.  I live with two of them (teenagers, not neuroscientists) so you can see how this would intensely interest me.  She described how humans (adults and teenagers), when given a specific rule, can complete a task with great accuracy.  She then demonstrated how accuracy goes down when instead of a rule, they are given someone to please.  Even if the rule is effectively the same, introducing the human element drastically reduces accuracy. 

In a recent persuasion workshop, I had a client who folded his arms, sat back in his chair, and said “I could do a really great job if Marketing would stay out of my office and leave me alone.”  I was momentarily stunned.    You see, accuracy is unimportant if there is no impact from what you have done. 

Why? Well – it’s a little like trees in the woods.

I could sit in a closet and sing The Star Spangled Banner with complete accuracy, but it’s not going to secure a spot for me on The Voice.   Accuracy without audience is futile.  And, oh, but the way, without impact you’ll probably be fired. 

Practical Persuasion is rooted in knowing the business, creating insight that is relevant, and sharing it in ways that shows understanding of internal constituent needs and visibility vehicles.  It’s Marketing 101.  It’s the Marketing of Insight.  And, because all good marketing should have measureable results, the uptake of ideas should be apparent.   With enough practice at the human element, we can also become just as accurate in launching our ideas as we are in creating them with data.

For more on Persuasion, I recommend Robert Cialdini's excellent book called INFLUENCE.  Available online everywhere you shop for books.

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Today's guest post is from Kelley Styring. Styring is principal of InsightFarm Inc. a market research and consumer strategy consulting firm. She has led insights for Procter & Gamble, Pepsico, Black & Decker and NASA prior to founding her own firm in 2003. Kelley is a published author and has been featured in USA Today, ABC News, Good Morning America, Brandweek, Fortune, Quirk's Marketing Research and The Market Research Daily Report from RFL Online.  She will be live blogging from The Market Research Event 2012 this November 12-14 in Boca Raton, Florida.  If you'd like to join her, register today and mention code TMRE12BLOG to save 15% off the standard rate!

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