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It’s all relative: Lessons in Marketing from Albert Einstein

images-1To say that I have been deeply involved in science throughout my life would be a boldfaced lie — unless you count the Big Bang Theory. But, truth be told, I have had a lifelong fascination with Albert Einstein. And I really don’t know why.
Maybe it is because he always seemed more like an artist than a scientist to me. He was a man who was always led by his intuition and supported by his deductions.
Or maybe it is because of his supreme originality — always generating new ideas, new theories. His wisdom and insights transformed the world’s view of the world. And they apply to every aspect of it. Even — in some practical and trans-creational way — to Marketing.
Consider how elements of his ingenuity and reasoning can be a divining rod of sorts for marketers. Some of Einstein’s thoughts and principles have relevance as foundational principles for creating a high-value customer experience.

5 Lessons Marketers Can Learn From Einstein

“A person starts to live when he can live outside himself.”

It’s what we should do every day as marketers. Step outside of ourselves and into the lives of our customers to deeply understand who they are, how they live, what they think and what they feel — from person to person and culture to culture. And then provide them with campaigns, messages and initiatives that are aspirational — giving them a chance to “live outside” of themselves for that moment in time and maybe beyond.

“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”

And neither will your target. And if they don’t understand it they aren’t going to buy it, even if it’s a stellar product or idea.

“To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle, requires creative imagination and marks real advance in science.”

It is all about the free exchange of ideas. Fostering an environment where all ideas are valued, considered and weighted. And it is the weightiest ideas that should intersect the consumer at every meaningful point — doing it in such a way that the customer truly feels the weight of the idea.

“Not everything that can be counted counts and not everything that counts can be counted.”

We live and die by data these days. Its value cannot be overstated, but at the same time, it can also be blinding. Focusing intently on metrics can cause us to miss the insights that come straight from the hearts of the consumers themselves. And it is these “emotion points” — not data points — that are the most powerful motivators of behavior.

“When you are courting a nice girl, an hour seems like a second. When you sit on a red-hot cinder, a second seems like an hour. That’s relativity.”

And that’s a perfect example of why the old adage of the right message to the right person at the right time and in the right way, can never be underplayed.

And Einstein’s most valuable advice of all?

“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.”