Call me crazy, but I’ve never liked visiting Las Vegas. Between the bright lights, the constant dinging of slot machines, the intense summer heat, and the need to move among a constant sea of humanity, after three days I feel as lifeless as a limp rag. My husband, on the other hand, loves—and I mean LOVES—going to Las Vegas. A few years ago when we were listing out the pros and cons of moving from Chicago to Los Angeles, he cited a positive as “being a relatively short drive away from Vegas.” A few weeks ago, I was sitting on the couch reading my latest issue of Travel & Leisure magazine and he proposed an October getaway. Here’s how it went down:
Hubby: Laura, I have a great idea for our next trip.
Me: Oh, cool. I had some ideas too…. I saw a really cheap fare to Iceland the other day…or how about Shanghai? I hear it’s like the Paris of Asia.
Hubby: Ummm…that’s nice. But I was thinking we could spend some time at a spa, go to some Michelin-rated restaurants, hang out in a cabana at a pool, do some shopping and, being the nice guy I am, I might even sit through a Celine Dion concert with you.
Me: Wow, you’re speaking my language. That sounds like just the kind of amazing, relaxing vacation I need. Where is this? Wait…Celine, she has a show in Vegas. Wait, what? I’m so confused…spa, shopping, good restaurants? That all sounds so nice….
Hubby: I know you don’t like Las Vegas, so I figured I could change that by doing all of the things you really like to do on a vacation. If I book it by tomorrow, I can get an amazing deal at the Aria. What do you say?
Me: That’s so sweet. Let’s go!
Pump. The. Brakes. What just happened? Just like that, without any convincing on his part, he sold me on a trip to Las Vegas. How in the world did he do that? More importantly, how did I, a marketing strategist, fall for that? I started to replay our conversation in my head and swiftly realized that he simply took the steps that I take, every single day, to help drive consumers to take action. Well, that’s not fair. Mr. Accountant just used my marketing strategy tactics on moi!
Being the “numbers” guy that he is, my husband probably would hate to hear this, but he followed the exact process that I do to help my clients overcome their target’s “enemies” in order to incite the desired action or outcome. It’s about reaching them at the right point in time, with the right message, using just the right delivery mechanism. Not to mention, it’s about knowing your customer so well that you can speak their language and compel them to take action after exposing them to your message.
Perhaps accountants and marketing strategists aren’t so different after all.