Over the course of the last 3 months, I’ve been reading The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene and exploring the sales and marketing parallels every Monday on this blog. I’ve learned quite a bit, and I hope you readers have, too. What’s been particularly striking in the course of writing this series are the areas of overlap I discovered between laws, which I’m going to dig a little deeper into today.
Let’s start with “court attention at all costs” and “play to people’s fantasies”—these are similar in that the overriding principle is Do what you can to captivate people. Captivating people, i.e., getting and keeping their attention, allows you to influence them. And the more deeply you resonate with their elemental fears, desires and other primal emotions, the greater your influence will be. Another law ties into the ‘captivation’ theme: “Create compelling spectacles.” Do things in such a grand and interesting way that people will have no choice but to be persuaded by the larger-than-life quality of your creations.
Timing & Vision
Another nice parallel can be found between “master the art of timing” and “plan all the way the end.” Much marketing power lies in creating a clear vision and organizing a durable structure for that vision. Taking the long view of a project, campaign, strategy or goal requires careful planning … and the patience to maintain course when short-term interruptions threaten to derail the execution of a vision. Along this path, timing is the difference between success and failure.
Try to sell a buyer something too early in the research process, you’re going to turn them off—unless they’re one of the few that come to you already a fan. Talk only about features, benefits, and how great your company is, and you’ll kill the mood when the buyer wants to know how you can address their problems and teach them more about your field or why/how people use your offerings.
The other side of timing is making it easy for users to buy from you when they’re ready to buy. Are links to your product/service pages easy to find throughout the site? Are these pages themselves accurate, detailed and up-to-date? Do they actually inform the user, or are they more a ‘marketese’ commercial?
Another crucial timing element of web-buying are conversion signals. Clear and appropriately placed calls-to-action prompt those who are predisposed to take action. They also encourage users to convert themselves into leads when you offer them something valuable in exchange for their contact information: A report, demo, free trial, no-strings evaluation, or custom pricing request. If you don’t collect their information at the opportune time, then you potentially lose the ability to communicate directly with them later when you have something else worth sharing.
Speaking of action, another great echo reverberates between “action over argument” and “enter into action with boldness.” The first of these two speaks to the power of demonstrating your point with your action vs. mere words, and the second seems to set it up by exhorting the value of taking definitive action. In other words, doing—walking the walk—is more powerful than saying, and if you’re going to act, you need to commit 100% for maximum effect. No toes in the water, you need to dive in headfirst for the biggest impact.
I hope you readers also have been able to find your own parallels and apply them to the job, if not your lives.
Archive: Laws of Marketing Power
In case you’ve missed my previous posts applying Robert Greene’s laws of power to marketing, you can explore any that interest you below:
- Action Over Argument
- Re-create Yourself
- Master the Art of Timing
- Enter Action with Boldness
- Plan All the Way to the End
- Court Attention at All Costs
- Play to People’s Fantasies
- Avoid the Unhappy and Unlucky
- Be Royal in Your Own Fashion
- Concentrate Your Forces
- Create Compelling Spectacles
- Despise the Free Lunch
- Work on the Hearts and Minds of Others