The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing is full of wisdom for those attempting to spread an idea, which makes it perfect for teachers. Here are seven takeaways from this small but helpful book.
- Once a mind is made up, it’s difficult–if impossible–to change it. This means whether you’re teaching an adult or a kid, you need to make the impression right off the bat that what you have to share has value. It’s much better to provide a hook at the beginning of the lesson that intrigues your students rather than starting dry and building a favorable opinion throughout the lesson.
- Find a category in which you can be first. In other words, find your teaching niche–something about which you deeply care–and be the go-to person for that area.
- “There are no facts. There are no best products. All that exists in the world of marketing are perceptions in the minds of the customer or prospect. The perception is the reality. Everything else is an illusion.” As a teacher or administrator, you will drift through your day among people who believe their perceptions are reality. The truth is, perceptions are relative. When you think your lesson plan is great and the person’s in the classroom next door is bad, all you’re saying is that you have the ability to perceive what a good lesson plan is better than the other teacher. On a related note, data is real, but the way you interpret it is contingent on your perceptions. Are we just seeing what we want to see opposed to what we should see? And what should we see?
- Don’t think that explaining good taste will win anyone over. New Coke was number one in taste according to research, but no one bought it. Instead, people bought the soft drink that tasted the worst based on research: Coca-Cola Classic. Lesson: Explaining facts to people is usually pointless. You have to go about persuasion in other ways.
- “The target is not the market.” Whether you’re teaching a sixth grade class or a room full of adults, you need to tell a story that can encompass more than your group. For example, Marlboro ostensibly sold cigarettes to cowboys, but there were very few cowboys who purchased them. Many different people (who smoked) bought Marlboro cigarettes.
- When designing lessons or selling your idea of best practices, use ideas already installed in the brain. Own the concepts people believe about you, your school, your philosophy, etc. Be transparent about what’s obvious and go from there. Many times beginning a message by admitting a problem opens people’s eyes.
- Hype can be seen from a mile away; real revolutions sneak up on us quickly.
The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing is a great read in its entirety, and you can finish it in an afternoon. I highly recommend it.