Fascinate: How to Persuade and Influence

Written by NAMA on Tuesday, May 3, 2011 , 8:32 am

How the thing that makes you different will be the very thing you come to love.

Hogshead. With a last name like that, surely Sally Hogshead would have had a terrible time of it. Yet, she uses that distinction to be memorable. Maybe even to poke a little fun at herself.

Sally’s keynote address at the opening session of the NAMA Conference challenged us to stand out in a cluttered business environment – to be memorable. How? “By capturing and holding onto an ever-decreasing attention span,” explains Sally.  “Our biggest problem is that the average attention span used to be 20 minutes. Now, it’s nine – yes nineseconds.” That’s the same attention span of a goldfish.

Using examples from well-known products, advertisers, and even online dating, Hogshead illustrated how Marketing that Fascinates can bring meaning to a meaningless product. For example, ‘Nose Worms’ are simply gummy worms renamed and repackaged at a higher price. Jagermeister, though not especially tasty (in fact, hardly anyone likes the taste) continues an astounding sales growth. This is due to the emotional attachment, a badge of honor for drinking the stuff. And with online dating, it’s simply not enough to grab attention with a simple ‘Hi.’

Sally covered seven response triggers that fascinate and engage: 1) Power – taking command; 2) Passion – attract through emotion; 3) Mystique – building curiosity; 4) Prestige – increasing respect; 5) Alarm – urgent need; 6) Rebellion – change the game; 7) Trust – loyalty to a cause, person.

By using one or more of these fascination advantages, you can harness the first nine seconds of fleeting attention. Then, maybe hold it for a bit longer. Says Hogshead, “Ninety-nine percent of what we are, is the same as everyone else. It’s the one percent that’s truly amazing and memorable.”

Thanks to the American Business Media Agri-Council for sponsoring this very memorable keynote address.

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