If only Italy

My mind races constantly. Never stops. Sometimes, I see pictures fly into focus and other times I sense them moving in slow motion. Regardless, it’s a constant barrage of images and ideas. These “zones” of creativity happen at the oddest times, usually right as I’m waking in the morning or drifting off to sleep at night. First thoughts. Last thoughts. They happen other times as well, usually with a trusty glass of Pinot or a nice Cab in my hand.

The best zones are those that come into crisp focus, where an idea flows from start to finish. All senses are on alert. It’s almost as if I’m there. The brilliant psychologist, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, would no doubt describe these zones as Flow, a term he coined and about which he has written extensively.

Yesterday, one of these zones dominated my thinking for many hours. The spark: Anthony Bourdain‘s “No Reservations” show on Italy. As I watched him discuss and then devour what appeared to be delicious, simple meals in fine restaurants and by the beach, I felt my mouth water. As each course appeared, I was drawn more and more inside. In addition to taste, all of the other senses were on high alert.

It was transformative to experience and it reinforced, yet again, this marketer‘s challenge: being able to communicate in a way that engages a reader & viewer’s senses in some form or fashion. When it has to do with food, it’s easy when you see Bourdain down a plate of carbonara or salmon and asparagus. It’s almost as if the food speaks in code, evoking precisely what it wants out of its subjects.

What can a tech marketer learn from watching Bourdain in Italy? For me, I see it as perspective and context — the goal of finding congruence with your market, of speaking in a way that evokes the response you desire. It involves more than just words or pictures, it’s a total immersive experience that drives a market to “feel” and then “act.” Marketers talk about driving customers from awareness to preference to loyalty, but we really don’t talk about it in emotional terms like “feel” and “sense” and “passion.” Perhaps, if only we were more like Italy, we would be more profoundly clear and impactful. And that would be awesome.

Let me know if you get this “if only Italy” message. I’m off to try to get in touch with my own inner Italy.

And as always, market well.

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