COO, Chimp Technologies

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What is more important: to manipulate or to inspire?

We are currently devising a new marketing/advertising plan and this is a constant point of debate. Regardless, the intent is to influence consumers to use our product but when deciding on tone and design for the campaign this question is at the heart of the debate. Is one harder to do than the other? Is one better than the other at generating sales? Is one better than the other in generating brand loyalty? Are these to ideas one and the same?

*the word manipulation should not be strictly taken in a negative context.

  • Jan 28 2012: I agree with the fact that the product can influence the decision. Yet inspiration can lead to fattening of your bottom line. This ties into my sub questions whether manipulation, or inspiration, increases brand loyalty or overall sales? Do you feel that manipulation or inspiration can have a greater business effect for these two variables?
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    Jan 28 2012: True leaders understand the appropriate applications of both.
    • Jan 28 2012: 100% agree but I will challenge you to make an impulse decision or analysis of the benefit of inspiration vs. manipulation.
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        Jan 28 2012: I don't usually. Manipulation takes great thought and many variables need to be thought through to be an effective tactic. It is not amenable to an impulse decision at all. It is also usually a last resort to meet a deadline. If wielded too often, it will backfire.

        Inspiration on the other hand can stand the test of time. If done correctly, inspiration becomes a constant. Neither work really well for impulse decisions.

        Usually impulse decisions require an either or consequence. Risk benefit analysis quickly with the data at hand. Different technique entirely.
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    Jan 28 2012: It depends on the product you are trying to "inspire". If this is bottom-line speak then it is all manipulation. On the other hand, if this is truly for the benefit of "all" with a superior product and selfless intentions, then that would truly be "inspirational" Only you can answer this, that is , if you know your product.
    It might be less painful to disregard altruism and and just manipulate the heck out of all of them and sell your product whether they actually will benefit from it or not. I am not in agreement with this, however, I do hold realistic views of corporations, advertising, and sales.