Emotion Trumps Reason – always has, always will…

As the world digests the US election results, the TV screens are full of experts asking questions about how it was possible Trump got elected. Using the rational side of their brains, people are trying to explain why it shouldn’t be.

Well any marketer worth their salt will tell you, one of the most fundamental principles of marketing is this – people buy emotionally and justify their purchases rationally.

If people bought rationally, Jimmy Choo probably wouldn’t exist as a brand. No rational human wants to walk around in 6-10 inch high stilettos! If we bought rationally, the most dominant recent US contribution to the planet – the Kardashians – wouldn’t have any followers.

But we always buy emotionally. Take middle age men for example. They buy a red sports car, then justify their action by claiming a great trade-in deal, free cup holders, acceleration from 0-100 in 3 seconds and lots of other vehicular facts. The real reason they buy the car, is that when they take off at the lights they feel like God and believe it will help their chances with the feminine sex. Fools.


Politics aside – Trump is first and foremost a promoter. He knows that to win the hearts and minds of the people, you must tap into them emotionally.

“Make America Great Again” is a powerfully emotional proposition. Particularly when Trump shouts it as “Let’s Make America Great Again”.


Compare it to Hillary Clinton’s – “Stronger Together”. This is nowhere near as emotionally appealing – despite all the focus groups used to develop it. The rational discussions in those research panels can easily justify anything – though rarely do they correctly understand human nature.


So if you want to succeed with your marketing, your proposition has to be an emotional one. Which is why the Content Con Artists are leading marketers into failure.

They claim you have to stop publishing salesy copy – you just have to publish lots of vanilla content and non-sales copy, or tell your boring story in an “awesome” way and the world will flock to your door. “You no longer need to sell” is their false mantra.

Let me explain something very simple – selling is emotional. People love being sold to – and the experience is called “excellent customer service”. So ignore the Content Con Artists and go forth and sell something if you want your business to succeed.

Like many of you I am a tad nervous about the future after today’s result, but I was also nervous about the quality of both candidates.


Now I’ll just wait for the sales pitch from the President elect once he’s in office and won’t waste time trying to justify why he won.

All that rational thought is too emotionally draining…



Connect with me: https://au.linkedin.com/in/malcolmauld


  1. Great post Malcolm with valuable points, as always, for those who care to listen! Seems like “we” direct response types have had this discussion many times before…that the fundamentals of marketing and advertising (and selling!) have been forgotten/ignored/discarded.

    Seems to me that the bulk of “content marketers” don’t understand that the content publication is just the start of the sales process. I tend to think of it as form of traffic generation. The current Content Marketing “trend” is in part the latest attempt to avoid the “horror” of actually having to sell!

Comments are closed.

© Malcolm Auld Direct Pty Ltd 2022 | Commercial In Confidence

Privacy Policy

    Your Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop