Saturday, August 27, 2016

Why Face-to-Face Works

As we all know from Star Trek, the strongest force in the universe is gravity.

The second strongest may be mimicry.

Mimicry is the reason face-to-face works—better than broadcast, direct, email, mobile, outdoor, packaging, print, PR, social, sponsorships, telephone, web, wearables, word-of-mouth, or any other marketing channel.

Like gravity, mimicry is an inborn and inescapable "hidden force" compelling us to behave in predictable ways. 

Mimicry makes us automatically imitate the expressions, gestures, postures, actions and language of people around us.

And mimicry generates trust between parties. It's why couples who share the same manner of speech are 50% more likely to date; why servers who repeat their customers' orders get 70% bigger tips; and why negotiators who imitate their opponents' postures are 500% more likely to win.

Because it builds trust, mimicry "shapes professional success," says Wharton marketing professor Jonah Berger in Invisible Influence: The Hidden Forces That Shape Behavior

"Mimicry facilitates social interaction because it generates rapport," Berger says. "Like a social glue, mimicry binds us and bonds us together. Rather than 'us versus them,' when someone behaves the same way we do, we start to see ourselves as more interconnected. closer and more interdependent. All without even realizing it."

So it's just natural this vast hidden persuader works its black magic at conferences and trade shows, deleting distrust and making us all members of one federation.

CAPTAIN'S LOG: Happy 50th, Star Trek. Live long and prosper.
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