The Power & Perils of Interruption
Interruptions are one of those experiences that people would more often than not avoid. But because interruptions are predictable it pays to know exactly how people respond before the interruption occurs so you know where to go next.
Here's an example:
If I am raising money for UNICEF as we do most Christmases here
at www.kevinhogan.com , I could start by telling you that 1,000,000,000 people go to bed every single night around the world and they are starving. My goal is to cause you to write a check to Oxfam or UNICEF, which I will then match and send to the appropriate agency to help feed people.
Almost no one but mathematicians and scientists can wrap their mind around 1 billion. Certainly most economists are unable to grasp what a billion dollars are. The same is true for a billion dollars.
So I explain that there are all these people and that they need food. I want you to help.
I share that you'll never know what child receives food with your donation. I tell you that this person lives in another country and that they are almost certainly brown or black colored skin. I'll explain that the chances of them being Christian or Jewish is possible but relatively small.
But none of this is going to "work."
At no point do you identify with the people, particularly children you will be feeding.
I've got one chance to capture your check.
I can interrupt the thinking process you are using to make a decision. I know right now my chances are about 1/200 you will help.
I can flash to an image of a beautiful woman (or man) that you would LIKE to identify with and be reading about.
I can flash to an image of a business meeting where the presenter is making a persuasive presentation and about to close the deal with a potent story.
Or I can flash to an image of ONE child that might receive food if you write that check today.
In each case I have interrupted the BOTTOM UP thinking process where you are rationally trying to debate in your mind the benefits and drawbacks of helping to feed desperate people in a nation you'll probably never visit.
You're just about ready to turn to the next page in the article when I flash a photograph of ONE SINGLE CHILD.
I could easily show you photos of millions
of starving kids, knowing that showing you a photo of one starving child
is extremely persuasive in causing donations.
The fact is that each additional child you add to the picture has a
dramatically less "value" appeal.
Why is that?
In a sense, the original child becomes depersonalized and the picture
To be influential, you must interrupt and then change the previous frame because now when the person's mind shifts, they will process from the TOP DOWN. Obviously the frame has to be framed correctly; and to frame something
it must be different, or seen from a different point of view than something
Now I'm simply going to tell you a story about this one child. I will tell you the child's name. I will tell you about what this child will be "doing" today. I will describe how hunger feels. I will explain just what a single dollar can do for this child. I will explain how grateful this child would be to you if you were standing there feeding the child right now instead of an Oxfam worker.
And the chances that you will write that check and have me match it increase dramatically.
In fact the FASTER I get to the "close," (write check/send here)the more likely I will meet your newly framed thinking process (TOP DOWN) which doesn't consider money but looks at the POINT of the conversation, the goal, and if I have done my job you write the check and send it.
So if there were 100 websites and only one was a white background
and all the rest were black, the white site would get a lot of attention. You interrupt the pattern. You now cause the person to think TOP (goal) DOWN instead of BOTTOM (facts/foundation) UP.
The contrast is stark. And contrasts can draw attention.
Attention all by itself isn't enough, of course.
Feelings and emotions need to be triggered in order to "label" what is
being seen/heard/experienced as some emotion (sexy, fun, cool, happy,
The contrasts and differences cause us to see what is there when we
might otherwise be looking elsewhere.
What's one of the most powerful tools of marketing? ...
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