Marketing is selling, manipulating people to buy into our message, our product or service. And even though we are all selling different offerings, from politics to pottery, off or online, effective marketing—advertising that motivates people to purchase our product or buy into our messaging— is always sell the same thing:

Effective marketing sells FEATURES and BENEFITS fulfilling want.

Whether marketing your product, or a sale on your offering, effective marketing sells features and benefits of your product, service or message that satisfies a need, offers a solution, or quenches a desire for a specific group of people.

Throughout this course we’ll drill down on identifying and communicating with your target audiences, but first we must examine what motivates response.

What motivates people to act? It’s a very important question, because marketing is motivating people to do what we want them to do, or to act.

At the foundation of MARKETING is Psychology. To be effective at MARKETING—motivating people to ACT— we must seek to understand, monitor, and categorize human behavior.

Psychology is more ART, than science. Humans are complex beings, dynamic, our needs and desires constantly changing with age, and circumstance. We lie to ourselves— tell ourselves we need things we don’t, or make promises we never keep, like dieting, exercise, control spending, less time on devices, YouTube…etc. We lie to each other, because we believe it ourselves, or we want to appear smarter, kinder, wiser. We ALL fib, exaggerate, fabricate, remember wrong because memory has been proven to be faulty. Humans are fickle, which is what makes figuring out what motivates us particularly difficult when we often don’t know ourselves.

We are just beginning to identify a few basic behavior patterns common to most of us through big data collection and analytics. However, assessing and categorizing behavior does not automatically give us the reason WHY someone chose to take an action.

Remember, Humans are dynamic, complicated, and motivating us to take any action is hard. But regardless of age, or even life circumstance, there is one motivator that is undeniably effective at getting people to do what we want them to.

What consistently motivates most people to ACT? Self-interest.

This is not an indictment of humanity. This is who we are, an unalterable part of our nature. And marketing must deal with this fact. What this means, in applicable terms, is we must offer people something they want, or they think they need in order to get them to buy our offering or into our messaging.
Whatever we sell must provide some value, or the perception that obtaining it will gratify us. To achieve the greatest possible response rates, from every advertising, or branding campaign, make sure to address how your offering will BENEFIT your potential customers with every marketing effort.


Getting people to do what we want is a process. It takes time, and requires multiple marketing touch-points, from NETWORKING, to print, to online advertising and branding campaigns. It’s likely you’ll get discouraged when you begin the launch process and don’t get much initial traction with your roll-out advertising, but this IS typical.

MARKETING is an ITERATIVE PROCESS. We collect data with every marketing effort, and apply what we learn through analytics, and common sense, to improve the response rates (ROI) on the next campaign. We do this again and again to build brand awareness, and eventually sales. In Workshop 2, we’ll detail BRANDING, take you step-by-step in creating advertising and marketing campaigns that get the greatest response. Effective BRANDING is built on the MARKETING process, upon the foundation of Psychology, which identifies realities of human behavior that motivate us to ACT.

We are ALL self-interested, and likely won’t consider buying a product or service, or even into a message, if we don’t get something we WANT, or perceive that we NEED. Making a purchase, filling out a form for a newsletter, business report, or free ‘gift,’ is done with the belief that we will receive an offering of value for our action. If this belief is concertized, and the offering we receive does possess value, has a real benefit that serves us, even if it’s only entertainment, than it’s likely the business just won themselves a customer.

Remember, the second place startups fail is they launch without infrastructure to support brand or fulfillment. When you’re starting up, out of the gate, your offering must perform as your advertising and marketing campaigns promise. Living up to your word builds trust. Do NOT make promises you can not fulfill. Make sure your offering is as ready to launch as your marketing efforts. Practicing the RAF Marketing Method will keep you on track, performing the proper tasks, in the proper ORDER, to get the greatest ROI on your new venture.

To manipulate people to buy into our product, service or message, or desire what we’re selling, we first, we must understand the difference between WANT and NEED.

WANT is a Desire, and desire is dynamic, changing all the time. At the base levels of our psyche, it’s virtually ALL WANT. You don’t even NEED to eat, if you don’t care about living. Absurd as this sounds, clearly many of us aren’t paying attention to longevity and health with our poor food choices and eating habits. MARKETING should seek to understand what people REALLY DO, and why, if we hope to manipulate them to do what we want. Knowing desire is fickle, the ultimate goal of MARKETING is to turn WANT into NEED. And this is achieved by continually delivering benefit, or the perception of benefit. To build a loyal customer base, what Silicon Valley calls BRAND ADVOCATES, marketing efforts must work to convince USERS that they NEED our offering, or anything related to our BRAND.

Steve Job’s, of Apple Computer, effectively turned WANT to NEED by continually delivering user interfaces that were easy to learn and easy to use. Some people now believe they need Apple products. They have faith that Apple will continue to deliver great products, whether or not this continues to be true. Apple buyers are now Apple believers. Apple has effectively converted desire— WANT— into NEED.

Need is compulsive, reactive, addictive. And once we convert someone from wanting something to needing something, we’ve created believers— a repeat customers. A BRAND ADVOCATE. Like any believers, these converts have faith our offerings will continue to fulfill their desires, whether or not this turns out to be true. Apple’s competitors now produces similar, and higher quality products for far less money, but Apple has lost few of their devotes by maintaining their unique brand image.

Startups fold when they fail to live up to their advertising— their promise of delivering quality offerings of value before becoming an established brand. Once your business or company has attracted a global audience, your BRAND recognizable across continents, it is easier to maintain market share, regardless of the quality or even utility of your future offerings. But no matter how big you are, continually delivering overpriced crap, whether product or bad service, will eventually destroy your business.

Remember, we are self-interested beings. We must consistently get what we WANT, or believe we NEED from your company to support your BRAND. In ALL of your marketing efforts, first consider what your current, and potential customers WANT, or perceived they NEED.


Understanding marketing is motivating people to do what we want, to get people to do what we want, we must tell them what we want them to DO.

Never forget that marketing IS selling. They are one and the same. And the only way to sell someone something is to tell them what we want them to ACT on, what we want them to DO—whether we want them to buy our product, or sign up for our newsletter, or learn more about our program, or receive our free gift, or download a trial of our software.

Effective marketing directs people to do what we want. We motivate people to take a specific action with a marketing tool called a CTA— a CALL TO ACTION. Each CTA requests the viewer to DO what we TELL them to do. A CTA is mandatory in ALL marketing efforts. Websites, to landing pages, to ads, you must have a CTA in every piece of marketing you produce to get anyone to buy your product or service, or into your message.





There are two basic types of CTAs: Direct and Implied.

A DIRECT CTA tells the viewer what to do directly, as in BUY NOW. CLICK HERE.

This is a clip of the CTA on, on the page of an e-book I considered purchasing.
Other than the first line, which is an IMPLIED CTA, suggesting I’d receive a 62% savings buying the Kindle version, most everything else on here is a DIRECT CTA. Buy now. One click. Send. Deliver. Give. Add. Enter. Share. These words are all verbs, ACTION words, directing me to do something specific.

This homepage for Stratus also has direct commands with Explore and Buy now.
This landing page has several direct CTAs: Sign-up. Start free. View demo.

While a DIRECT CTA tells people exactly what to do, we often don’t want to be told, or cease to hear advertisers yelling at us to ACT NOW.

Remember the conversion funnel? Conversion happens at different rates. Clicking for a discount on an ice cream is likely. Clicking on a purchase button for a Ferrari is not so likely.


IMPLIED CTAs are often the more effective marketing approach. An implied call to action is a suggestion to act, usually by touting the best benefits the offering provides. IMPLIED CTAs are generally used for BRANDING.

Though it’s hard to tell that this Facebook post, or this Tweet have any CTAs at all, both are marketing their offerings with IMPLIED CTAs. The CTAs on this post include good reviews, to show viewers that others think my novel is a great read. And while I’ve included a link to the book’s Amazon purchase page, nowhere does it say, “Buy Now.”

I’ve used several HASHTAGS in this post, as well as in most of my social marketing efforts. Hashtags are IMPLIED CTAs because they’re not directing you to DOWNLOAD NOW, or FILL IN THIS FORM. HASHTAGS simply categorize subject matter to help people find similar interests. We use HASHTAGS in our online marketing so it will show up in search results when someone queries a specific topic, effectively extending our reach, to get more views of our campaigns.

This tweet also has implied CTAs. There are no links to their website, and no direct command telling us to CLICK HERE. This @ symbol, however, is an IMPLIED CTA—a suggestion to follow StormHour on Twitter. They are tempting viewers to do this with the promise that they’ll deliver Tweets of spectacular photos like this one. #PTOW is an acronym for PicOfTheWeek. Anyone consistently looking for great photography would likely know this HASHTAG already. And other photography fans may start using it once they’ve seen it many times on Tweets associated with great pics.

Share, Retweet and Like icons are considered implied CTAs because they’re not commanding the viewer to do anything directly. While this picture has an external link, the image is still an implied CTA. It’s not asking you to CLICK, it’s suggesting you do when you hover over it and get the little hand that tells you the image has an active link.

IMPLIED CTAs are most commonly used for building brand awareness. This Cherrios commercial doesn’t show anyone eating their product. No announcer says BUY NOW. They are branding their cereal as nutritional, fun, even heartwarming, a suggestion for healthy living. Cherrios is effectively building their brand as a lifestyle choice most of us strive for, making it more likely we’ll buy it next time we’re at the store.

Whether an Implied or Direct CTA, a CTA is mandatory on every piece of marketing material you produce. Because in order to get people to do what you want, you must tell them what you want them to do. CTAs tell or suggest your target audience to take an ACTION, i.e. RESPOND to your marketing efforts.

Let’s review the MARKETING fundamentals introduced in this video.
• MARKETING is manipulating people to do what we direct them to do.
• MARKETING TOOLS, like ad campaigns, build awareness, spark interest in our offering, and hopefully motivate a response.
• Effective MARKETING always sells FEATURES & BENEFITS fulfilling WANT.
• TIGHTLY TARGETING our MARKETING efforts to a specific audience likely to BENEFIT from our offering will garner greater response.
• Converting WANT to NEED requires consistently delivering BENEFITS to win, and grow customer loyalty.
• We direct people to do what we want them to with a CTA, a call to action.
• We can choose a DIRECT or IMPLIED CTA, but a CTA must be integrated into every marketing effort.

MBA or marketing novice, apply these MARKETING FUNDAMENTALS to every campaign you produce for the greatest response on your marketing investments.


SLIDE 8 (preview slide)
PRODUCTIZATION is the process of taking an idea and turning it into an offering of value—something that serves a purpose, or has a function that will benefit a specific group of people. The PRODUCTIZATION process in not complicated, but there are many components that need to be implemented, IN ORDER, to effectively PRODUCTIZE a product, service or message.

Next, we take a birds-eye view of the PRODUCTIZATION process, and review the steps that must be actualized to turn an idea into a product, service or startup of lasting value, for profit. Video4_PRODUCTIZATION is next…