Previously, we spoke about motivational interviewing as one of the key practices to creating successful communications around addiction and substance use disorders. The central premise of motivational interviewing, and discovering an individual’s motivational journey, is by asking open-ended questions and listening carefully, and holding up a mirror so they can see their own thoughts more clearly. If they express a desire to change, you guide them toward a plan.
We often hear from private sector CMO’s, “I know you guys are great at getting people to stop using drugs, but I need to get people to start using BRAND NAME HERE.” And motivational interviewing does just that.
A brand’s position and strategy will always be about satisfying a human value and the promise of reward. We are seducing strangers. We have to make our messaging clear, compelling, and memorable. Outbound communications need to have a singular image system, which, upon repetition, fixes itself in the brain. But in the world of multiple platforms, and with social media’s dynamic content demands, motivational interviewing provides us with more than one storyline to feed the beast.
Think of the great streaming series – Queens Gambit, Succession, GOT, Sopranos, etc. There is the “A” Story: the plot and the main character’s journey through the plot’s complications. In brand, the plot is parallel to the position, and the main character’s journey is the promise of a reward. But great series writers can’t stop at “A” Story and hope to get one season of eight episodes or five seasons of forty. They need B, C, D, and E Stories that can circle back to the plot and main character. These subplots are the journeys of the ensemble. These character’s actions have an effect on the hero and the outcome.
Motivational interviews allow the advertiser to discover all the nuances of their customer. It allows them to hear about their love of dogs, the desire for escape, the insecurity they have in purchasing a big-ticket item, their lack or abundance of trust for a seller, the importance of family, income insecurity, their hopes, homes, desires, fears, and future, and on and on and each one of these is like a subplot filled with minor characters that can fill months and years of branded content creation that can all circle right back to the position and brand promise.
If the brand is the Wizard’s projected image to Dorothy and her Pals, content is the wizard behind the curtain, and in the long term, the most meaningful communication about the brand.
This form of interviewing is the surest way to continue a clickable, likable, shareable, and compelling dialog with potential, new and existing customers. These are the B, C, D and E stories every advertiser needs, that helps them invent and re-invent content, and helps Fraser answer the age-old question, “I know you guys are great at getting people to stop using drugs, but I need to get people to start using BRAND NAME HERE.” We have a technique that enables us to connect to values and aspirations that cause self-reflection, and provide messaging.
Knowing how to conduct motivational interviews and having the skills to put the findings into play is how we, and you, can do it.