August 13, 2005
never try to change people's behavior
Ed Byrne is right, of course:
Having said that, I donít think this is the case with the Stormhoek promotion - the deal is that you must have a Blog, live in Ireland or the UK, be of legal age - and you get a free bottle of wine. A less intelligent marketer may have demanded coverage in each blog for this - but that would have backfired.
So for receiving a bottle of wine, I am under absolutely no obligation to post about it. Of course, if the product is as good as they believe it to be, and I really enjoy it (which I did Ö thanks Stormhoek!), of course Iíll share my experience - on-line and off-line.
Had we made the conditions of the Blogger's Wine Freebie
more conventional ["Cool A-List bloggers only. Oh, AND you have to blog about it. Oh, AND you can only say nice things" etc], the idea would have gone down like a lead ballon.
From a marketing perspective, one useful thing blogging teaches you is: people do what they want to do, not what you want them to do.
So you never try to change people's behavior. You just try to align your behavior with theirs.
That makes sense, right?
Posted by hugh macleod at August 13, 2005 7:10 AM
[NEWBIES:] More background reading here.
[GROOVY:] Found a cool UK site that sells Stormhoek online.
I don't think it's just behaviour, as I blogged (*snicker*) it's also marketing by guilt. You know what the British are like, there's a good probability we'll say nice things because we feel obliged.
Perfect sense, Hugh. Strong relationships are based on an alignment of interests. If you can't find that alignment, if it is not obvious, you have to walk away.
Barry - You mean damning with faint praise? If you read a pub like Car and Driver, which depends on automotive advertising revenue, you learn that a scathing review is one with the least hyperbole. As Steve said recently:
> Positive social networks are created and grow naturally because the nodes on the network achieve mutual benefit. The nodes attract. In negative social networks the nodes repulse each other and naturally want to decay. I'm not sure how you'd protect a negative social network from decaying. Most people don't hold grudges for very long.
Ergo. If you don't have anything good to say, don't say it. Why add insult to impending injury?
"You just try to align your behavior with theirs."
Well I don't believe that's true. People will change their behaviour if they see what's in it for them (one of the Freakonomics themes). The great thing about the Internet is that it's transparent and everything is visible. So to thine own self be true. That may switch a light bulb on in someone else's head. If you're insincere then that will be equally obvious and you've wasted your effort and their time and bandwidth. Anyway it's a great topic. It all links in with Seth Godin's now historic theme of Permission Marketing.
I'm fascinated by this whole experiment. One thing occurs to me though. Has anyone blogged any negative reviews of Stormhoek?
One would anticipate people who've enjoyed the wine blogging about it, and those who didn't thinking, well I got a free bottle of wine and leaving it at that.
Would the silent bloggers in effect say more about the wine than the vocal ones?
It would be interesting to know the proportion of freebies sent out to the number of blogs covering their experience of the wine positively.
Alex, I'm not sure if I agree with you. Bloggers like a bit of controversy, ergo I think a credible "Stormhoek is crap" idea-virus would spread like wildfire.
The fact that one hasn't emerged yet, I interpret as a good sign for Stormhoek. One that far outweighs any "blog silence".
Besides, it's not as if "blog silence" has been a much of problem lately ;-)
I'm sure the wine is very palatable and more probably absolutely delicious. I guess because wine is a relatively subjective experience, some bloggers will find it more to their liking than others.
Clearly nobody has yet found the wine tastes like vinegar otherwise we'd all have heard about it by now. In addition, I don't imgaine a man of your talent and integrity would be hoiking around the online equivalent of Blue Nun ;)
The more I think about it, the more I think Stormhoek can only win from this exercise. The question is whether they will win big or win small?
What's happened to your site? Sunday night, 10pm, est, the far right pane is filled with gibberish:
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Hope everything's OK, as I otherwise quite enjoy the site.
People's behaviour can be changed in the long term but rarely in the short term. Marketing and any advertising strategy in trying to be 'in line' with customers' behaviour, that hopes to change customer behaviour have to look in the long term rather than in a short period. Don't expect to change your customer's behaviour with one marketing move of yours. It takes hundreds of these moves to change them.
I always thought that point-of-sale offers were used to change our behaviour in the short term.
In Taiwan, the local convenience stores use various tactics to get people to buy more than they would have done had the offer not been there. A recent craze here was the offer of a special, "collectable" Hello Kitty magnet if you spent more than 79 NT dollars (not sure the exact amount). I know that if my total came to 65, I'd grab another pack of gum so I could get one to give my daughter.
"So you never try to change people's behavior. You just try to align your behavior with theirs."
Martial artists call this "Ai-Ki," as in "aikido," or "The Way of Harmony with Spirit," where spirit means "energy." Rather than block or confront your opponent's (or client's) energy by projecting your energy at them, you instead turn your energy along the same path as theirs and blend with it.
In aikido, once you've blended their energy with yours, you can direct their energy to more... uh, constructive ends - in combat, putting them down on the floor and immobilizing them as opposed to getting hit in the face, calming their angry energy and redirecting it in a way that's safe for them and for you.
The best aikido schools teach that Ai-Ki is something to practice in all things you do in life, not just if you're attacked; you've just come at that same lesson from a very different direction, Hugh! :)
I don't think I agree with that. I think there are huge numbers of people who don't do what they want to do, because marketing has changed their behaviour.
For example, huge numbers of people want to eat healthy food, local food, food they have cooked themselves, but they do not do so because of the prevalence of supermarkets and other junk food juggernaughts.
Some commenters have suggested that if you make clear what's in it for them, people will change their behaviour. That is true - the supermarkets made clear that convenience and low prices were in it for the customer and behaviour changed. We used to spend an hour cooking the main meal of the day - on average, now we spend ten minutes.
The aspect that may be missing from this conversation is leadership. Leadership in the sense of motivating people to align their behaviour with what they truly want, not with what marketers tell them is in it for them.