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The Elusiveness of Marketing Success – Part 2


Compulsion is defined as an irresistible urge to behave in a certain way.

Isn't that what you would like to generate with your marketing? If people have an irresistible urge to like, re-tweet, share, comment, click to download, visit your website or call you, not only will your message spread like wildfire but you will have a flood of new leads and sales.

What are the ingredients of compulsion?

What makes someone like, re-tweet, share, comment, click to download or call you? People take action for two reasons only:

  • they either want to gain something; or

  • they want to avoid losing something.

At any point in time that a potential prospect encounters your marketing message they will have numerous other options presented to them – not least moving on to another website, blog or presentation. It is the option offering the highest perceived value to gain or avoid losing something that gets selected. You have a very finite period of time, sometimes mere seconds, to capture someone’s attention and persuade them that your option is the one they should pursue.

There are hundreds of great articles about creating better content. They usually look at content structure, layout, language, style and different formats. However, I am going to share two key ingredients that are critical for making any content truly desirable.

  • The Rational part – the visitor must be in no doubt that you and your solution is going to help them gain or avoid losing something.

  • The Emotional part – you must trigger a strong emotional reaction that is aligned with your solution: excitement, curiosity, delight, joy, optimism, fear, shock … Emotions trigger actions. Most of the options a prospect faces will offer them some potential gain or loss avoidance. It is the option, at the moment of decision, carrying the biggest emotional load that will get acted on.

If I tell you that I can gain you 10,000 new visitors within a week, your first reaction might be scepticism. That’s presenting a clear rational argument but with a misaligned emotional trigger. If I tell you I can gain you 10,000 new visitors and manage to trigger huge excitement, curiosity and optimism … it’s a done deal.

Now let’s look at some of the key elements that need to be in place for each of those parts to be effective.

The Rational part

The challenge is to leave the visitor in no doubt that you and your solution is going to gain them something or help them avoid losing.

  • What’s in it for me? You need to instantaneously make clear what the person is going to gain from your content – in an unambiguous, jargon-free, differentiating and value-adding way.

  • Explain it so I get it. Once you have their attention you need to get them interested. You have to create that crucial ‘aha’ moment with the minimum time and effort from the audience.

  • How is this relevant to me? The audience need to see the solution in theircontext – solving their particular problem. That means the right solution at the right price, in the right time-frame.

  • Why you? The web has made everything a commodity so why should they choose you rather than the person just one click away that is cheaper, prettier and drives a better car?

The Compulsion part

The challenge is to create a significant emotional response to your message. The role of emotion is to prioritise decision making and give clarity as to what action should be taken. So if you can get someone to jump up and down with excitement about your proposition and the person next to you is as dull as dishwater, guess who will be the chosen one?

For compulsion there are two outcomes you typically want:

  • Get people to share your message.

  • Get people to act on your message.

Here are some key considerations to create a compulsion to share and act on your message:

  • I feel good! The most powerful method to get content shared is to boost the sharer’s social status. Make the person sharing your content look good in the eyes of the community they are sharing with. It must make them look connected, knowledgeable or simply remarkable. They will go for it because it will make them feel accepted and appreciated.

  • Wow, what’s that?! Will you look at that!It must be different. Nobody is interested in things they’ve heard or seen before. It’s got to be something new or presented in a completely different way that makes it more engaging or better understood.

  • Oooh! Tell me more! What happens next? !Use storytelling to keep people engaged. Content shared in a storytelling format keeps people engaged because we are naturally curious to know how events pan out. Soap operas, books and movies are good examples. Presented with a series of facts or statements and we can easily drop out of the loop; but with a properly structured story we remain engaged to the end.

  • Ha, ha, ha! It does not take rocket science to know that humour makes people feel great. Don’t take yourself so seriously that you can’t crack a joke now and then. People will love you for it. It will show them that you’re human and a fun company.

So, what can you take away from this?

Marketing is really simple: you need to create an engaging story packaged in a way never seen before and filled with jaw-dropping facts and fall-off-your-chair humour that, when someone shares it with their community, will make them look like the bee’s knees. You need to make sure that the content instantly incinerates any doubts so they will know that YOU, and only you, have the true answer. Not only that, you’re affordable, deliver on time and are simply awesome to work with.

Once the message is ready all you need to do is drop it into your selection of social media rooms and it will spread like wildfire. Even if your room is tiny, you’re just six or less rooms away from hitting the big time (if you haven’t yet read Part 1 of this blog: Connections, click here).

The leads will start pouring in, sales will go through the roof and you will be rolling in profits.


Erm, actually it’s not so easy. Let’s get real. It is possible but crafting such an irresistible, compulsion-inducing message takes a lot of skill and usually requires a lot of testing and measuring to get it just right. It’s a process and even if you don’t hit it on the head the first time, you will be heading in the right direction in terms of building an irresistible brand and a large loyal following.

WAKSTER offers you the opportunity to gain access to a tool that makes creating irresistible brands and a growing fan base of enthused followers possible: Characters.

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