Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Marketing’s role in the transition to a positive future for Earth

by Rob Elmore (Twitter: @RobElmore)

Many thoughtful writers and organizations are speaking out – even in the face of realistic awareness about global warming and major economic challenges – about how to make the transition to a positive future for Earth.

To mention just a few, these include Peter Diamandis (, Jeremy Rifkin (, Herman Daly (, and Ervin Laszlo (

While their analyses, approaches, and proposals vary widely, these thinkers and many others (see my Twitter postings) share a focus on “possibilities” – how we begin right now to work our way out from multiple problems into a future in which we and future generations of humans and all living systems can survive and prosper in a balanced fashion.

One problem that all of us who are “possibility thinkers” face is how to get the word out in ways that help others – especially newcomers to this positive point of view – to overcome entrenched ways of seeing Earth’s future.

One response to that challenge is to apply core principles of sophisticated, effective “marketing” – meaning something far different from TV advertising’s drive to get you to consume more.

Understood in a more positive and constructive sense, marketing to help people engage in creating a positive future for Earth includes two key elements:

1. Winning attention.

2. Achieving focus.

“Winning attention” means finding ways to “stand out” from the overwhelming barrage of invitations to pay attention that hit a thoughtful individual every day: emails from work associates and non-work organizations, news websites and breaking-news feeds, and social media postings.

“Achieving focus” means – once you win their attention – getting the individual to “think along with you” for long enough to decide if they want to dig deeper with you. Sometimes what you offer simply will not “fit” for them, at least right now, but you at least want to get enough of your message to them for a thoughtful decision about whether to engage further or not.

“Five fingers, two fingers”

You can visualize one key to doing this by looking at the five fingers on your hand. Think of them as five key parts of your overall message: Earth-future problem definitions, proposed solutions, action-plan steps, etc. All five are important, but the bad news is that an individual cannot really focus on five new things at one time.

Now fold down three fingers. The other two fingers represent how you can win attention for and achieve focus on your overall message: Start by highlighting just two key parts of your message that are most likely to engage a thoughtful individual. Think of your hand outstretched and those two fingers curling, curling, curling back toward you – beckoning the individual to “come closer.”

When you engage the individual’s attention and focus using just the “two fingers,” you then have earned their interest in learning about all “five fingers” – all five key parts of your overall message. Now they will be inclined to dig deeper, to invite you to stay in contact with them, and to re-engage with you again and again over time.

And that’s what we all need, since the transition to a positive future for Earth is going to take extended engagements over years. Effective marketing for attention and focus can help.

Thanks for reading – your responses are welcome.

--Rob Elmore
  Working toward a positive future for Earth – Expert marketing writer – Contractor

  networking globally on Twitter: @RobElmore
  phone (U.S.): 831-818-2316

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