December 6; Does Cold Logic Always Sell Better Than Emotion?
MANAGEMENT BY THE BOOK:
365 Daily Bible Verse &
One-Minute Management Lessons For The Busy Faithful

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December 6

Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone,
to win as many as possible.
To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews.
To those under the law I became like one under the law
(though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law.
To those not having the law I became like one not having the law
(though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law),
so as to win those not having the law.

1 Corinthians 9:19-21

Does Cold Logic Always Sell Better Than Emotion?

Simplify

“No Car Tax.” It was short and sweet. It fit on a bumper sticker.

It was genius.

“Don’t we need more nuance?” I asked. “Aren’t the masses such @sses that have to have complicated ideas carefully explained?” I was thinking of Aristotle’s tripod of persuasion: ethos, pathos, logos.

I was sure that the detailed logic of eliminating an unpopular personal property tax would move voters with the force of numbers and logic.

“Maybe,” said the political consultants. “We can do that in a debate. But not on a billboard.” The regressive tax hit everyone owning a car; rich and poor. Even liberal democrats didn’t care for it. It was an Everyman Tax and every man hated it.

I was going the reasoned rhetoric of the Athenian-Lecturer-Philosopher route. The politicos were more Spartan and warlike. Politics and Sales and Leadership at the highest levels use Short Attention Span audience engagement like the Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3) of the 1990s.

Logos is getting it right which serves blowhards like Your Business Professor. But the campaign didn’t need to work that hard. The candidate for Virginia’s governor, Jim Gilmore, had the ethos: he was the Attorney General with a track record of integrity. “We need the emotion of a short story,” said the advisors. Pathos trumped logos. “No Car Tax” appealed to common pocket book values shared by a large part of the voting population.

This is a lesson that would be lost and re-discovered. Too late.

***

Author Sasha Issenberg writes of account management in The Victory Lab: The Secret Science of Winning Campaigns where, “Relationships between salespeople and customers were once considered an ineffable part of business, where commerce mingles with courtship.” (Issenberg 2012).

Alex Gage, founder and CEO of TargetPoint was the first to develop,

“perception analyzers,” which allowed researchers to monitor a viewer’s instantaneous response to words and images by turning a dial to reflect support or disapproval.

These so-called dial sessions became the dominant tool for campaigns trying to understand how particular phrases or ideas from speeches and debates resonated with voters.  (Issenberg 2012).

Years ago, Gage made a presentation to the Romney campaign for governor.

Gage gave his primer on what he called “super-segmentation,” explaining how with the latest technology and data it should be possible to merge new consumer records with traditional political information to develop a rich profile of each individual, and then model them to look for once-hidden patterns that could help predict which voters would make the worthiest targets.

Once Gage was done, he looked around the table for questions.

Alex Dunn, a former high-tech venture capitalist who had left the business world to serve as Romney’s deputy campaign manager, raised his hand. “You mean,” Dunn asked Gage, “you don’t do this in politics?” (Issenberg 2012).

Chris Cillizza writes in The Washington Post, “Gage said that when he pitched microtargeting to the Harvard MBAs advising Romney in his gubernatorial campaign, they were stunned that the idea had never been used in politics.”

Gage was preaching to data-driven marketers in the choir loft.

“The concept is ‘know your customer,’ ” says Gage. “When you touch him, know how you touched him. Did the touch cause him to do something you want him to do?” (Issenberg, 2012).

Gage’s advice would not be embraced completely by the Romney campaign. The micro-strategy would be used by another candidate.

Obama’s data-driven team would win.

***

Bible scholar, Dr. Randy Yeager, explains the value of connecting with different demographic segments,

Paul would do anything legitimate in order to win the lost. His motivation was the same as that which prompted him to refuse money for his preaching.

He was trying to employ every possible psychological strategy to commend himself to his prospects…fellowship between persons who have a common round of interest.

Social or political …opens the door of opportunity for witnessing for Christ…Paul’s interest was not in social camaraderie as such. Rather it was his means to an end – the salvation of the prospect. (Yeager 1998.)

Saint Paul could have been referring to voters or customers.

***

Jim Gilmore would win. Mitt Romney would not. The best managers know how to sell emotionally (pathos), with character (ethos) and with reason (logos).

Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. 1 Corinthians 9:19-21

###

Issenberg, Sasha (2012-09-11). The Victory Lab: The Secret Science of Winning Campaigns (p. 112). Crown Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

Issenberg, Sasha (2012-09-11). The Victory Lab: The Secret Science of Winning Campaigns (p. 110). Crown Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

Randolph Yeager, The Renaissance New Testament . Page 540 volume 12, 1998

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