I’ve recently found myself watching a British programme on Netflix called ‘Embarrassing Bodies’. And very odd it was too.
If you didn’t see it (and why the hell would you if you’ve got anything approaching a half decent life?), the idea is that a team of three doctors set up a surgery in the middle of a busy city centre where they then invite the public to go in and discuss any embarrassing medical problems they might have – the sort of thing they haven’t been able to pluck up the courage to go to their own GP with.
All well and good you may say.
But what followed was an hour long display of various malady-ridden genitalia, misaligned breasts and other bodily areas that are normally best kept under wraps… and all in full glare of TV cameras and lighting.
And it appears it is all for the entertainment and education of the viewing public.
Now call me old fashioned if you like, but if I was the possessor of the sort of troublesome todger or sorrowful scrotum that dissuaded me from visiting my GP, I doubt that the opportunity to whip it out for the masses on National TV, would be one that I’d readily jump at.
And yet there were plenty of people doing just that, happily getting them out for the lads and lasses around the world to perv on.
I can only think of two possible reasons for this sort of behaviour, and each gives us a clue as to what really makes people tick.
The first possibility could be that it’s the lure of fame that influences people to happily do this. But is it really possible that people will set aside considerable embarrassment of this nature, just to get their face (and many other bits) on TV?
And if it is, then how easy would it be to get them to do something far less daunting for me and my business, if there was some promise of fame, notoriety or recognition at the end of it?
Well I might not be able to get my followers on TV, but I may well be able to get your photograph in a newspaper, a newsletter, a magazine, a blog or some other form of publication. I may be able to get your story featured across social media. I might even be able to publish something myself with the sole purpose of featuring your work, stories, achievements, photographs for you… whatever.
The key is that as a reward for doing something that I want (liking my page over at www.facebook.com/localadserv), you may get to experience some degree of fame or recognition in return… while (hopefully) still keeping your underwear firmly in place I might add.
The second possibility is that people are so inertia-bound these days, that something really necessary, but seemingly unpleasant (like visiting a GP with an embarrassing pair of goolies for instance), simply doesn’t get done.
But when they are presented with a more effort-free way to get the problem looked at there and then, the inertia is magically overcome, and they take it without hesitation.
In marketing anything (yes, I’m on about my facebook page again) – particularly direct marketing – inertia is a big problem to the guy who’s doing the marketing.
And this is because whilst buying a product as such, wouldn’t be classed as an unpleasant task, the ordering process may well be.
Have you ever wanted to order something, but couldn’t be bothered to fill in what looked like a complicated application form? I know that I have.
Or perhaps you wanted to order, but couldn’t bear the thought of enduring an encounter with a phone system that makes you go through several menus before getting to someone who will take your money. That’s happened to me too.
So it seems the key to overcoming inertia therefore is to make what you want done, as close to inertia as possible.
In other words, make it as easy as possible for as many as possible. Do as much of the work as you can. The less a customer has to do, to do business with you, the more likely that they’ll take the desired action.
In summary, the easier things are for your target audience, the more you’ll achieve.
So for this purpose alone, I am now willing to come round to yours, and read my page out loud to you, subscribe to it for you and even comment on it for you. I won’t even ask you to buy anything. All you need do is open the door. Is that too much to ask?
Or you could be a luvvy and do it for me (www.facebook.com/localadserv) Just pop over and click the ‘like page’ button… I think I just earned it 🙂
And in the meantime, ‘Embarrassing Bodies’ still has another couple of nights to run. Apparently, tonight’s episode is a vagina and anus special. I’m tempted to tell you that I’ll be otherwise engaged watching a documentary about top politicians Malcolm Turnbull and Tony Abbott instead, but that would just be rude.