Episode #31: The Remarkable Power of Stimulus Response

The marketing world has changed. We’ve moved from a broadcast model, to a conversation model. It’s no longer about yelling your message to unwilling recipients. It’s about authentic conversations that change minds and behaviors. Comedians get this, which is why they’re able to influence your thinking, without you even knowing it. Listen to the episode to learn how they do it. Plus, a prediction for 2021.

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Oh, yeah, coming in hot today. It is all about the experience. And since experience is the new brand, this is the CXM Experience. Oh yeah. So important, we use the word “experience” twice in the headline of the show, although one of the times it’s just an X. Because you know, that’s super cool. Anyway, so CXM Experience.

Today, I’m going to do two things today. One is that we are now in the month of December, which is super exciting. It is my favorite month of the year. I am a Christmas fanatic. And Christmas, which also, by the way, has an X in it if you spell it the cool way. I am just super jazzed for December. It is like the only thing you can do to really make me angry is to ruin Christmas for me. And there are a couple people on my list who’ve done that over the years. And you know, they know. But this is a very important time of year for me. It’s very important. This time of year is precious. And there are only so many Christmases in our life. And I love it. I am going to be buying a new lawn decoration this year. It’ll be pretty cool. It’ll be Santa, and reindeer, but the reindeer are going to be pink flamingos. So I’m super excited about that.

So anyway, let me talk a little bit about what we’re gonna be doing this month. So this month, and one of the cool things about December is it’s the end of the year, the end of the calendar year. And certainly not many people are gonna be sad about the end of 2020. For reasons I don’t need to describe. But I think it’s always fun to do predictions at the end of the year for the next year. So what I’ll do is I’m going to do a little prediction for the next few weeks in each show. And then we’ll collect those into a set of predictions in a predictions show that we’ll have aired just before New Years.

And this comes from my favorite political show of all time, which is the McLaughlin Group. And I started watching John McLaughlin in the McLaughlin Group in 1985 when they began the show. Watched Jack Germond and all the great guests they had over the years. Watched it for many, many, many, many, many years. Right… literally right until the day that John McLaughlin died. I mean, he did his last show from his hospital bed. It’s an unbelievable run in terms of staying with something for a really long time. You could tell he was sick for the last year. But he hung in there and did it right to the very end. They discontinued the show. And then Tom Rogan brought it back a couple years ago briefly on the Sinclair network. And then that kind of disappeared. Then it came back again this year on PBS and seems to be running and going great. And they’ve been doing it through the pandemic. And it’s great to see the McLaughlin Group back.

So every year they do predictions, and they do predictions at the end of each show. And they do a roundup of predictions at the end of the year. And I think predictions are a super fun thing to talk about. So let me do my 2021 prediction for today. So today my prediction is going to be about Bitcoin. I predict that Bitcoin will become gold 2.0 in 2021. So my prediction is that Bitcoin will become the reserve currency for the world in 2021 as inflation takes root, and starts to run rampant through economies. We’ve been printing money like drunken sailors for the last year, maybe even last couple of years, and it’s going to bite us as we get into the new year. Bitcoin will be that reserve currency because it’s restricted to 21 million units globally. So Bitcoin will be a safe refuge. So if you have not got Bitcoin in your portfolio now, buy it now. It’s probably going to be a 40 to 50 X return over the next decade. So that’s prediction number one.

Alright, so what do you want to talk about today? And so today, I want to talk a little bit about a presentation I’ve been building out and working with a number of clients here at Sprinklr on. So I’m the customer experience… chief experience officer at Sprinklr. CXO at Sprinklr. And in that role I work with customer experience teams around the globe. And what I like to do is like to talk a little bit about the evolution of where we are, as a society.

You know, we’ve really come a long way. If you think about the world in the late 19th and the early… most of the 20th century is a broadcast world. In the late 20th century, we entered this broadcast web world, but still very much a broadcast model. In the 21st century, we entered this conversation web world. I think this transition between broadcast, broadcast web, and conversation web are pretty profound changes in the way that we think about the world and the way that we operate in the world. And so I want to talk about that a tiny bit, particularly around the conversation web, because I don’t think companies have fully groked the differences in communication between broadcast and conversation.

And so one of the stories I like to tell, and if you’ve seen any of my YouTube speeches, or seen me talk or on stage, or whatever, you probably heard me tell this story. But if you haven’t, this should be fun. I think that conversation is radically different from broadcast. Because in broadcast, you’re essentially composing a message, and then you’re yelling at people. You’re just telling people what to think. And I think that many marketers in particular have become very comfortable in the broadcast model, because there’s a high level of control in that model. And generally, people love control.

And so the funny story I like to tell is that, you know, if a marketer who grows up in this broadcast model, were to suddenly find themselves to be a professional comedian, the way that they would deliver their comedian message would be very different from the way comedians actually do it. So let’s step back one step, which is, what is the communication objective for all comedians? This is actually quite interesting, because it’s a unique category in a way, in that the communication objective for all comedians is identical. So if you were to write a creative brief for a comedian, your communication objective would be the same no matter who the comedian was. The way that they deliver it, the tactics they do to get to the objective, their brand personality, very different, very different, very distinct. But their objectives are identical. So just think about that for a second. What is the communication objective? For all comedians? Okay, do you have it? If you said to convince the audience… because objectives always start this way… to convince the audience that I am funny, then you are right. And that’s the objective of every comedian, to convince the audience that I am funny.

So if a marketer were to take that brief, and walk onto the stage at the comedy club, what would a marketer do? The marketer would broadcast. The marketer would stand on the stage and they would say, well, here’s my objective, so I better tell them. I am funny. I am funny. I am funny. I am funny, because I know that frequency works, right? So I’ve got to get to maybe six, seven frequency. I am funny. I’m funny. I’m reaching the whole audience. Just great. So my GRPs are awesome. I’m funny. I am funny. Maybe I get a testimonial. Maybe I’ll ask my friend in the front row. Hey, Susan, what do you think? Grad, you’re really funny. Great. Okay, thank you very much. Maybe I’ll hand out some handbills, you know, multimedia, because they know that multimedia works. Maybe there’s a broadcast message over the PA system. “By the way, Grad’s really funny.”

Okay, so we’re kind of like getting it all out there. When people leave that performance. What happens? Right, their friend comes up to them, and they say, hey, well, how was it? Yeah, was it? What happened? Like, what was it? What was the performance like? And the audience member would sort of say, Well, you know, um, well he said he was funny. Like, they got the message, right? They’ll get the message. But how do they feel? Do they believe that message? Do they care about that message? Do they recommend that performance? Probably not.

So what does a comedian do? A comedian does not actually go up there and say, I want you to know that I’m funny. At all. A comedian goes up on the stage and they provide a stimulus. Right? The stimulus is a joke. They’ll tell a joke… might be in the form of a story, might be in the form of a one liner. There’s many, many ways of telling a joke. And the key thing to a joke is that it surprises you. And this surprise is what causes you to laugh. They tell a joke. You hear that joke, and then you respond. you respond by laughing. While you’re laughing, you think to yourself, Wow, she’s, she’s really funny. But you’ve made that conclusion on your own. She never asked you to believe that she’s funny. You decided that she’s funny. And in that moment, in that moment, when you decide and you make the decision based on the stimulus that the person is funny, that’s when the comedian has achieved her objective. That’s when the comedian has achieved the objective in her communication brief. But she hasn’t done it by berating you. She’s done it by getting you to come to that conclusion on your own.

And this is the radical difference between the broadcast web and the conversation web. Too many marketers are comfortable with the idea of going on stage and telling people that they’re funny, and that you should believe it. What you have to do is you have to show people that you’re funny or whatever it is that you want them to believe. That you’re caring, that you know, whatever the issue is that you want them to believe you have to demonstrate it. And the only way to demonstrate that is with conversation.

And so the great thing, the amazing thing, the wonderful thing about the world we live in, is that for the first time as marketers, we can listen to literally billions of conversations. We can parse those and group them into conversational groupings and themes that we can respond to. And we can actually love our customers and act on the things that we see by talking to them directly. And by directly talking to our customers do it in a way that makes them believe the things we want them to believe about us.

And we all know people who say they’re super humble, or we all know people who say they’re super funny, or they’re super clever. They’re super smart. They’re super caring. But you don’t ever believe them until you see that they’re humble, you see that they’re caring, or you see that they’re smart, or you see their behavior. It’s the behavior itself, that drives our belief. And so the world we live in now, this mass one-on-one world, it’s gonna be challenging, because the way that you get people to understand your message is to live it, and to live it authentically. And if you don’t do that, you don’t do it in a conversational, authentic way. People will immediately know that you’re not funny, that you’re not caring that you’re not humble.

So you got to be real. You got to connect to people in a real way. And that is what real experience is all about. So, for today’s CXM Experience, I’m Grad Conn and I will see you next time.