Everything is a Movement
“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” ― Buckminster Fuller
We have built a reputation for knowing how to take a cause and turn it into a movement. Movements are why people act. When they take off they can change the world. But convincing people takes more than a clever message or idea. There is a secret sauce and do you know what it is? To apply the same principles to a movement as you would any other campaign. In our agency, we coined the phrase Return on Emotion. It's a part of everything we do. Whether we are helping to recruit volunteer firefighters in other states (there is a desperate need across the country), to getting people to pay it forward with the Tree of Life Movement, or even here when it comes to generating awareness, advocacy and action for beach trash, the same principles are at play as when we work to get consumers to buy new tires at Community Tire or get businesses to migrate their technology into the cloud with Adopt Technologies. The key elements are the same. Create emotion: 1. An interesting thing happens when you tap into people's belief systems. They take notice. 2. An even more remarkable thing happens when you stimulate empathy with a clear objective in mind. Author Mark Stoiber in a recent Fast Company Article describes it as clearly outlining a thought process that is focused on the person you need to act. In an automotive manufacturing facility a sign was placed over the recycle bins that read: Recycling cans creates a less expensive source of aluminum. Which means we can build our engines cheaper. Which means we can sell our cars cheaper. Which means more people buy our cars. Which means you have job security. 3. In order to get people to act, it has to be clear what the benefit is to themselves.
Fix systems problems:
Many times the biggest problem with causes is the amount of friction that exists for the donor to make a donation. (Or in your case, get the consumer to buy your stuff).
When it comes to movements we are focused not just on our target audience, but how we can engage other audiences to advance the cause. For example, how do we get a grandma to do something that brings awareness to the desperate need for volunteer firefighters. She isn't our target for recruitment, but she is our target for the movement.
We put tabs on the fire recruitment site for other audiences so they know how to help. That includes students, teachers, businesses, churches and groups. There are key messages, and there are sharable things like FB profile filters, text for tweets, yard signs, even branded face masks.
4. Create easy ways for people to act. Text this number to ____, or scan this QR code to volunteer to help (the QR code launches an email to you with their name and information). QR codes are easy to set up and they've evolved to the point where you can do many actions with them like launch a video or website or app.
5. Are you a cause soliciting donations from companies? DON'T MAKE THEM FILL OUT YOUR FORM. Fill it out for them so all they have to do is sign ELECTRONICALLY. Same is true for selling to consumers, reduce the friction it takes to get an answer or to speak to someone. Doctor's offices take note. Do not make us fill out our name and address on 10 different forms. It's horrible customer service and it signals you don't care. Better still have the concierge log you into the system on an ipad.
6. If you have a fundraising event coming up, put a banner on your home page. Do you know how many times we've had to hunt for the date and location for a well known event? It is shocking.
Create great art:
7. If you brand it they will come. Seriously. One of the reasons why we are so successful with restaurant marketing is that we brand every holiday or seasonal celebration and push it out to our audience even if the menu never changes and we only have one signature cocktail promotion. The audience doesn't know that. All they know is that a really cool thing is happening for Thanksgiving Eve - we don't want to miss it! We treat every holiday, like a ... you guessed it, a movement.
8. Every piece of art is meant to invoke emotion, while solving a systems problem at the same time.
Of course there's a lot more than what I can cover here and that you have the patience to read, but suffice to say that it takes a lot of deep thinking to create the right sense of emotion that results in advancing your movement forward. Whether that movement is tied to a cause or to gain momentum for your products and services. Doesn't matter if the intention is the same.