How Did We Get Here?
We owe a lot of the way marketing currently works to one man: Sigmund Freud’s nephew, Edward Louis Bernays — known as “the grandfather of PR.”
Before Bernays, marketing relied mostly on facts: here’s what we’re selling; here’s what it does; here’s what you’ll get.
He realized in the early 1900s that people’s emotions were the key drivers of their decisions, which meant that manipulating those emotions could elicit whatever reaction you desired.
And the world of marketing changed forever.
What’s Really Happening
We know you are committed to making a difference, and just like us, this marketing approach feels “off” to you. You’re frustrated because there doesn’t seem to be another way. So you stick with the status quo. It’s the way marketing has been done for over 100 years, right? You may try to soften it a bit, but at the end of the day you still feel trapped by a marketing ecosystem that just doesn’t align with your core values.
I completely get it. This is something we’ve struggled with for a long time. Wasabi Publicity has been in the PR game for two decades, and we’ve been very successful at one-on-one marketing through personal connections and conversations — but when it came to online marketing, we repeatedly stepped into the existing marketing trap.
For example, we even hired a very successful internet marketer to launch a new training program. And from the outside world, we had success. But at the end of the day, it just didn’t feel like us. It wasn’t just that the approach made us feel like an overly pushy salesman; it was more than that.
During a recent conversation with a dear friend of mine, a light bulb went off.
I’m fascinated with neuroscience. I don’t know if it’s my geeky engineer side, or that I’ve dealt with OCD most of my life, but I love learning about how our wiring impacts our actions and the quality of our lives. Luckily, my friend shares this passion.
One day we were discussing the brain’s amygdala — as you do! — the tiny, almond-shaped chunk of brain that tells us whether we feel safe and secure, or anxious and fearful. And something clicked.
It all made sense. Our current “Bernays” marketing model is designed to aggravate our amygdala, leaving us feeling unsafe, insecure, and unsure — and desperately seeking a solution to escape that feeling. While people are in this vulnerable state, present them with your book, product, or service, and voila! Solution.
I think we can all relate to this feeling.
But there’s a much bigger picture here than selling books.
For most of humanity, the pull is already toward our default wiring of fear, scarcity, and feelings of insignificance. Our amygdala is hijacked. We make decisions that are not in our best interests, or the world’s.
It’s why we have the world we do.
I think intuitively we knew we were reinforcing humanity’s default, which is why amygdala-driven marketing felt so off for us. And I knew we couldn’t go back to business as usual. There was too much at stake.
So, how do you market differently? Perfect question, but the answer is not simple.
It’s Your Choice
For sure, we know the change needs to start with YOU and a commitment to market and promote your business without your amygdala being activated — i.e., with your own deep knowing that you are safe, you are secure, and you matter immensely!
This is easier said than done, I know. Like matter drawn toward a black hole, there’s a constant pull toward business as usual. Just think of your email inbox. There are probably hundreds of emails in your promotional folder with experts offering you a panacea, the perfect solution to calm your aggravated amygdala. We know how that works out!
I want you to know up front: we don’t have the panacea. What we do have is a commitment to support you in delivering results that truly make a difference, to take actions that are aligned with your commitment, and to always have your back.
If this sounds like the PR partner you’re looking for, I’d love to connect. But first, I’d like to share a documentary with you called The Century of the Self that I found truly enlightening. You can watch the four parts below: