Method Marketing

This is probably not going to come as a big shock to you, but there’s not a lot happening on a Monday night in Rotherham. Which is why I found myself heading up the M1 to see Tommy Steele (No, you’re wrong…he’s still alive) in Doctor Dolittle at the Leeds Grand. 

I can heartily recommend both the show and the theatre ~ a fantastic characterful venue, and a great family production. Tommy Steele is excellent, but you do have cause to wonder (or at least I do) what motivates someone like him to be spending a freezing cold March evening in Leeds. 

He must be the living embodiment of what I’ve been banging on about for ages…when you find what you’re really meant to do for a living, you’d rather be doing it than just about anything else. And you’ll continue doing it long after the financial need has passed. Not that I have any insider knowledge on Mr Steele’s financial situation, you understand!

Anyway, I gather the show was great. It gets my recommendation. 

What doesn’t get my recommendation though, is the coach we travelled in. Now normally, there’s no way you’d get me on a coach. But it was a trip organised by my daughter’s school, and she wanted us to go on the coach. So we did. It’s only a 50-minute journey. How bad could it be? Hmmm… 

What I didn’t know until I got on, was that this was no ordinary coach. It was one specifically designed for transporting small humans…kids. I didn’t even know they made such things, so I learned something there. Anyway, all the seats were child-sized, and although I’m not what you’d call large ~ now how can I put this politely?… 

I found that I’d got a lot more arse than seat. 

Naturally, I moaned and grumbled all the way there, and most of the way back. It was so uncomfortable. And then I realised something ~ this must be how it is for grossly overweight people all the time. But you just don’t realise until you’ve experienced it. If you want to understand something completely, being told about it or reading about it is no substitute for experiencing it first-hand. 

Method actors know this of course, which is why when they’re preparing for a part, they often put themselves in the position of the person they’re about to portray. They know that it’s not enough to learn about the person, they have to actually feel like them. It’s only then that true understanding comes. 

And it’s exactly the same in the
tawdry business of selling stuff… 

Some of most compelling sales messages I’ve created have come because I’ve been able to completely empathise with the potential customers for the product or service. You see, I’ve been in exactly their position. I’ve felt what they’ve felt. I’ve had the same pain, the same doubts, the same anxieties, the same goals ~ the same everything… 

And when you’ve done that, it makes it so much easier to craft a message that will appeal. The reason is simple: if it appeals to you, it will appeal to them. 

If you’ve only heard, or read about, the problem your product or service solves, second-hand, you’re detached from the emotion. And it’s the emotion that sells. The closer you can get to experiencing the raw emotional appeal of your offering (or the problem it solves) at first-hand, the more powerful will be your sales message. 

It’s not method acting…it’s method marketing! 

Before this trip, if I’d been asked to write an advertisement for a diet product, I would have focussed exclusively on the health and cosmetic benefits. The problems of living in a world built for people half your size wouldn’t really have occurred to me, and even if it had, I don’t think I’d have thought it very important… 

Now I know better…and I have the
painful buttocks to prove it.  


 John Harrison




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Best Wishes

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John Harrison 

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