Current Issue
This Month's Print Issue

Follow Fast Company

We’ll come to you.

In reading Sway by Ori Brafman and Rom Brafman, I found a study that was compelling enough to share.  As a sales and marketing professional hearing studies like this continues to dissappoint me.  I want to communicate objectively as possible, providing real value to consumers, and then earning the sale/business.  This paragraph is in reference to a consumer lending bank who sent out multiple variations of a basic loan offer letter.  Here is the exerpt that I am referencing:

Men who received a picture of one of four smiling women were much more likely to sign up for the loan than were the men who received a picture of a smiling man.  According to the study, the magnitude of this effect is "about as much as dropping the interest rate 4.5 percentage points."

A picture of a beautiful women equals an increase in 4.5%?!  With that knowledge, it becomes difficult to avoid using sex to persuade a consumer to buy our clients products.  We, as marketing professionals, have a responsibility to serve our clients by providing the most compelling and effective campaigns to grow their business.  The most compelling pull remains the human connection.

It would be novel to deliver a crisp value proposition that can provide meaningful change for a consumer looking to purchase our clients product.  However, placing an image of a beautiful person may remain the most effective model for converting a consumer touch point into a sale.

I feel as people become more aware of the gimmick marketing, true ingenuity in product development and communications with the consumer will become more transparent.  Showing consumers what is behind the curtain can be the most dynamic move we can make as marketers.  Sharing the true value proposition, and devleping a storyline that weaves our product into their daily lives.  That being said, pasting an attractive person on a label or within an ad is still proven to be the most effective means of earning the sale.