Irrational Rationalisation and Marketing

I’ve just finished reading Seth Godin’s book All Marketers Are Liars (yes, I know I was reading something different a few days ago; I’ve got a short attention span). His book taught me a lot about marketing and convinced me it doesn’t have to be fake and cynical. But perhaps the most important personal lesson I’ve taken away is to understand worldviews better. One of Seth’s basic principles is that each person has a set of worldviews: marketing that doesn’t match them is rationalised away in our brains, even when that’s illogical. This has been demonstrated by psychologists many times, but irrational rationalisation (pun aware) makes people uncomfortable, so we don’t talk about it much. This is one of things that makes marketing to people hard: framing the message in terms of their worldview. I think this is just as important to understand in personal relationships (persuading) as it is in selling products (marketing). In fact, it seems that Godin would assert that the former is marketing too.