A repost from 5 years ago, November 2007:

For all the research studies, for all the technological improvements, for all the traditional old media advertising to ignore human beings and the way we do things and why we do things is almost as big a waste as any other spending of time, energy and money. Over and over, people ask the wrong questions and then wonder why the answers don’t produce the results that all the research said it would.


The key to relationships is emotion.

And emotions are within all of us that are alive.


Buying a car. Did you buy a car that you did not feel good about? My last three cars, when I forked over the money, I felt good about it. I remember one car we bought exactly 5 years ago, on the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend. It was a snowy afternoon and we made the sales guy work. We test drove about 6 cars and picked one that had the right number of cup holders. I’m sure there were other factors too, but that’s what I remember most. When we decided and the sales guy started to go through the financing options and we stopped him in mid-sentence and asked, “Will you take $X,XXX if we pay you cash right now?”; I’m sure it surprised him and made it all worth while. We still have that car,it’s been passed down a couple of times and has a really cool sound system.

Let’s examine this for a moment: When we arrived at the dealership, I already knew what my price was and how I was going to pay for it. So all the sales guy had to do was make me feel good about driving the car for the next few years. And what he really did was stay out of the way while we experienced it ourselves.

Going out to eat: Wow, here’s a doozy. First of all, we have about 6 sit-down restaurants that we could go to. In reality, there are a couple hundred we could go to within a 30 minute drive, but we have our favorites. From that list of 6, I have 3 favorites and one of those you have to be 21 to enter. We will have (most likely) our 19 year old with us, so that cuts my list down to two. We are going to go to the one that is the most fun. Interestingly, I do not like a lot of the items on their menu. But there are a couple of things that I can have and the atmosphere makes up for the lack of selection. (In reality, there are over 50 items on the menu, I have self-limited my selection due to my own personal tastes).

If the service at this restaurant sucked, we would not be regulars, no matter how tasty the food was. If the car that I bought a few years ago did not have the right combination of cup holders, I wouldn’t have bought it, no matter what the price.

These are just a couple of examples of the relationship factor and emotion factor that makes advertising and marketing work.