In a serendipitous journey of musings and discoveries on company time, the 33-year-old marketer Emma Yung stumbled upon the realization that understanding psychology may actually be essential in marketing.
However, this realization wasn’t a ‘Eureka!’ moment. Yung had to go through an enlightening phase of self-discovery before the musing became apparent to her.
Yung immersed herself in the fascinating world of psychology, albeit the pop one. She began by embarking on a journey to find her true, inner self. Like any rational person with the IQ of a cactus, Yung chose the most reliable path of using unverified online tests to figure out whether she’s left or right-brained and, more importantly, what’s her personality type according to the Myers-Briggs personality test.
“After taking these tests, it all made sense to me! I could see why curiosity was my middle name. As an ENTP (Extraverted, Intuitive, Thinking, and Prospecting) person, curiosity kinda becomes innate to you. It also became clear why I’m on the prowl to wrestle with challenging marketing problems at work that move the needle. My ENTP personality traits combined with right-brained thinking make it a cakewalk to come up with out-of-the-box solutions,” expressed Yung enthusiastically while talking to us.
This internal reflection led to external projection. Like any marketing professional with the avidity to go viral, Yung decided to share her thoughts and experiences on LinkedIn. The content format was video because visuals are more powerful than typed words. (“Screw the algorithms, we ball,” were Yung’s precise words.)
The videos don’t have an over-the-top production value. It’s just Yung sitting at her home office desk with a neat bookshelf showcasing countless pop psychology books in the background. The format is simple: Yung looking at the camera, speaking into the mic, spitting unverified and unbridled marketing and psychology-related opinions.
One of the first Yung’s criticisms was directed at the trend of data-driven marketing. Yung said, “Data is the new oil, they say. They aren’t wrong. But we live in the age of EVs now. Marketers spending thousands of dollars on their martech stacks should really reconsider. A/B testing, CRO, or whatever data-driven mumbo-jumbo these people talk about, it’s all so passe!”
Yung didn’t mince words in her video at all. Going on a tirade against this data-driven culture, she said, “Do you really think your buyer cares about the color, font, or button size of your call to action? These things are trivial! You need to understand that buyers are emotional creatures. Colors don’t influence them; it’s their insecurities that do! Emphasize their insecurities, make them feel inadequate, and watch them come running to your store with their platinum credit cards.”
Yung shared a follow-up video to this explosive rant explaining what marketers need to do to achieve this. Yung detailed, “Humans are emotional creatures. If you wanna influence them, you really need to get into their emotional psyche. Develop an intricate understanding of psychology and storytelling for this.
For example, when you know how a habit loop works, you can target their insecurity as a cue, to which they instinctively react with feelings of inadequacy. To tame these feelings, they’ll perform the routine of pulling out their credit cards and making a purchase.
The reward? The temporary suppression of these inadequacies, which may not even be real, but you make them feel real through the stories you tell them.”
Yung further talked about implementing persuasion tactics such as social proof and artificial scarcity to create faux peer pressure and synthetic urgency.
While concluding our interview, Yung said, “The bottom line is, don’t rely on the buyer persona, user-orchestrated journey, and other new-age jargon these contemporary marketers throw at you. Your buyers are humans, at the end of the day, so treat ‘em like one! Amidst this B2B, B2C lingo of marketing, we shouldn’t forget that it’s P2P, in the end. You Pay to Purchase.”
Yung’s controversial approach may not bode well for her career, but it certainly has gotten her some virality on LinkedIn and earned the coveted spot on the LinkedIn Lunatics Twitter account.
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