Laws of Marketing Power: Enter Action with Boldness

“Everyone admires the bold; no one honors the timid.”

So states the summary of Law 28 of Robert Greene’s 48 Laws of Power, which is “Enter action with boldness.”

bold spider

Bold jumping spider

One way marketers can achieve power is by boldly grabbing opportunities for influential communication. Marketers should also grab opportunities, period. As best-selling author Bernard Marr writes, “Success in work and life often depends on spotting and grabbing opportunities as they present themselves.” He argues that capitalizing on opportunities is “the one thing successful people never fail to do.” Marketers should heed the truth behind this statement and take chances.

Whether experimenting with a new technology or being genuine with customers about your limitations, the calculated risks we habitually avoid are often the ones with great payoffs. The new marketing channel may increase your reach, and customers may reward your honesty with increased loyalty, resulting in more business. The key is being decisive in whatever course of action you choose. Swiftness trumps hesitation, engendering confidence from others.

Another way boldness manifests itself for marketers is in creativity. As the German philosopher Goethe famously said, “In boldness lies genius, power and magic.” In inventing surprisingly good content, messaging or approaches, a marketer can become a magician, turning users into leads, leads into customers and customers into loyalists. Just as a rabbit materializes from under a magician’s hat, so, too, does the potential business reward emerge from certain forms of boldness. The very essence of an appropriately placed “call-to-action” button, for example, is in its contrast to the surrounding text (color, size, shape).  The principle? Direct the user to take action by making it easy and undeniable. The suggestion becomes the reality.

In this vein, perception matters more than anything else. The bold approach suggests strength: Consider the company that openly compares itself to competitors in marketing messages. By showing no fear of exposing its audience to its rivals, it puts itself first and asserts its assumed superior value to users. In fact, this strategy is highlighted in the Nielsen Norman Group’s B2B website usability report as one evidence-backed way businesses can earn the trust of Web users.

What marketing action have you taken recently? Has it been bold or lukewarm? Are you separating yourself from competitors and dazzling your customers? Or are you just trying to get by and copy what everybody else does? Take a cue from this law and use “shock and awe” to the advantage of your business.


This post is part of a series in which I explore in-depth how some of Robert Greene’s 48 Laws of Power relate to marketing.


Photo courtesy of Holley and Chris Melton via Flickr.

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