I enjoyed a lovely and lively lunch with Phil Harvey, aka @CodeBeard, discussing the ins and outs of how to encode empathy and ethics into Artificial Intelligence. At one point, we talked about business basics and the arduous task of selling. Phil made the comment that that “if you don’t see anyone in the room else selling your product, you’re the salesperson.” Then, as our exchange wandered on, Phil said, “The best salespeople listen, while marketers talk.” It’s not new news, but marketers are known for their talk, even scream. They (we) are notorious for the ability to abuse any tool at their disposal. And it’s no different with talking (where they’ve all morphed into telling stories). Marketers systematically want to talk louder and louder as they try to cut through the noise, until their talking becomes indistinguishable with shouting. Moreover, if they could clog every possible channel and hit you up multiple times with the same message (i.e. spam to the rest of us), they continue to consider that good marketing principles.
This got me to thinking… maybe marketers should stop talking and shouting and learn to whisper.
In the future, the best marketers will whisper. While salespeople will continue to listen ever harder.
Lean In Marketing
“Have you come across the phenomenon of the ASMR video?” Phil asked me. No, I had not properly tuned into it, I replied. Now I have, however, and I wanted to bring it to you. ASMR stands for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response. It’s essentially a tingling feeling that often starts at the crown of your head and runs down through the brain and down your neck, although it can take many other paths around the body. [Check out this BBC video on ASMR by Nick Higham]. There’s a hypnotic quality to (some of) these videos. The best of them make you want to lean in… listen intently. And they can also have a wonderfully soothing effect. The activities and topics in the ASMR videos range from makeup, sleep, folding, cooking, massage and much more. As I see it, ASMR involves the power of excellent sound editing, combined with visual queues, creative effects and stories, and, more often than not, younger women. Check out ASMR Darling’s video on Youtube, which has 28.4 million views and counting (and slightly over 1% thumbs up rating).
If I were an earnest marketer, I would spend a considerable amount of time looking at this phenomenon. I don’t believe it is a lightweight small trend. It “speaks” to the needs and wants of people for calm, gentle experiences. It’s a service that many brands would do well to embrace. N.B. Some ASMRers have well over a 1 million subscribers. The top viewed ASMR video on YouTube is standing at 41 million views currently.
Learning to Whisper
The main takeaway: learn the power of the whisper. And if I were still working in the hairdressing industry (esp. any manufacturer of hairbrushes, scissors…), I’d be tempted to hook up with MissASMR or with Diddly both of whom recently did a video arranging/cutting hair (but give her a better pair of scissors). I suggest that are many possible complementary associations with other industries.
As marketers, what do you think?
Article first published on MinterDial.com