Marketing with Wonder - Jaffer Ali - MediaBizBlogger
Published: August 8, 2011 at 07:45 PM GMT
Last Updated: August 8, 2011 at 07:45 PM GMT
By Jaffer Ali
The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed. -- Albert Einstein
This article was inspired by Dr. Robert Fuller of Bradley University. He is a professor of Religious Studies and my son sent me a link to his brilliant lecture which was taped and made available online: http://admissions.bradley.edu/clients/bradleyedu/btvplayer/index.php?videoid=14&btv=off
Some may find it odd that I could gain marketing inspiration from a religious scholar, but as I listened and watched Dr. Fuller, I could not help but think that the major problem today with marketing in general and with online marketing in particular, is the conspicuous absence of the essential and vital capacity to wonder.
Our sense of wonder has been crushed under the weight of false promises promulgated by technological clay idols of our own design. In fact, I contend that the failure of these algorithmically precise yet dispassionate media models is in direct correlation to our estrangement from that special sense of awe.
So, what is wonder? Perhaps it’s easier to describe through what Jung called circumambulation…or talking around the subject. Wonder involves the unexpected, those inexplicable, spontaneous feelings that inspire our thoughts and actions. And isn’t that what good advertising and marketing is all about?
Wonder invites possibilities. This is in stark contrast to algorithmic limitations. In fact, if your marketing campaign does not evoke a sense of wonder, you should immediately go back to the drawing board. Why? Two reasons: 1) Because wonder gives new meaning to the world around us, and 2) It’s our job! If we decide that what we do is indeed a sacred journey, then not only will we be enriched through wonderment, we will enrich all around us.
That’s because wonder connects us. We live in a fragmented world and wonder draws us into something greater than ourselves and unites us. Great marketing sustains this sense of wonder by reaching and touching something inside of us. It is an emotional connection, a transcendent state through which soul is injected into the process.
We have become so enamored of numbers that we have closed ourselves to the possibilities and potential in what we do. Wonder emanates from within. But the growing noise in our heads has all but drowned out the wondrous feelings our hearts beg to express.
It is not our possession of knowledge that threatens our sense of wonder. It is our abandonment of wonder and mystery as essential, that is destroying it. You have to remain open to the possibilities in order to experience wonder. And you need to experience those possibilities before you can articulate them.
It’s a damn shame that our online industry has ceased to wonder, because we could all use a healthy dose of what could be. That being said, I find it interesting and utterly appropriate that the antidote to what ails us would come from a professor of religious studies.
Reawakening our sense of wonder is really the task at hand. If you can do this, from the inside out, you will transform your life. This inside-out transformation will manifest in your business model…in your advertising campaign…and most of all, in your relationships with others and the world around you.
Carl Jung said, “The self is our life’s goal, for it is the most complete expression of that fateful combination we call individuality.” Once we experience wonder for ourselves, we then can then transcend our individuality and speak to others in a shared language of the heart.
If we believe that life is a sacred journey, then wonder is our roadmap to a great life. It’s also the blueprint for true marketing. If you are heading up an advertising or marketing campaign, please heed this simple advice from one of Dr. Fuller’s heroes:
If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in. -- Rachel Carson
About Jaffer Ali Jaffer Ali is CEO of Vidsense, the Web's largest video advertising network. With more than 80,000 advertiser-friendly video clips licensed from major film and TV studios, the Vidsense network of more than 50,000 safe-for-work partner websites delivers millions of qualified visitors directly to advertiser websites on a pure Pay-Per-View (PPV) basis.
To communicate with or to be contacted by the executives and/or companies mentioned in this column, link to JackMyers Connection Hotline.