Monday Morning Marketing Quote: Show Don’t Tell

Is showing part of your marketing strategy?

This week’s edition of Monday Morning Marketing Quote shares a technique for speaking more credibly with your customers, and comes from Steve Cohen and his book, Win the Crowd: Unlock the Secrets of Influence, Charisma, and Showmanship

“In my own work as an entertainer, I’ve found that the nonspoken suggestions help set the stage even before I open my mouth. Novelists use this technique extensively. When an author wants you to think something about a character, he doesn’t flatly write, for example, ‘John is sad,’ Instead, he may write ‘John’s shoulders slumped forward, his eyes red from crying.’ Based on this description, the reader gets a better impression of the author’s intentions. It’s the old adage Show, don’t tell.” – Steve Cohen

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2 Responses to “Monday Morning Marketing Quote: Show Don’t Tell”

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  1. Thank you, thank you, thank you for writing about “Show, don't tell” — one of the most important lessons any marketer needs to learn about persuasion. Without authenticity, there is no persuasion.

    Not sure the LifeLock example stands the test of time, though. Their CEO's identity has been stolen countless times because of that PR stunt. Persuasive? Absolutely. Something you could do as an average LifeLock customer (who isn't looking to gain tons of new business and publicity)? Not so much.

    Of course, this stunt put LifeLock on the map, but you'll notice their marketing has changed course in the past couple of years. For good reason.

  2. Tom Wanek says:

    You're welcome, Robert.

    The LifeLock example worked because the company demonstrated the effectiveness of its service in such a bold way. The move immediately elevated the company's credibility and visibility. At the time, the company had no perceived reputation to speak of, and was hindered by marketing a subject that conjures up an unpleasant mental image in the public's mind.

    But you're right, now that the company has gained traction, I'm not so sure that it needs to keep risking so much, especially with thieves having some success with using the CEO's identity.

    Thanks for the excellent observations, Robert.

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