Let's talk about cases. Everybody knows Hitler as a cruel ruler of the Second World War's period, but only few have analyzed his strategy of coming to power from the point of view of marketing. Nobody gets power in a simple way. A clear strategy is what you need to advance your ideology.
In this part, I'll analyze the content-marketing technology of Adolf Hitler and Joseph Goebbels, project it on modern times and tell exactly how to use it in your business.
Going into this subject deeply, we can see very similar ways of communicating with the audience.
The essence of the information transmitted remains the same. The only changes are in the forms of communication, that's why a good marketer should learn the way of thinking of the outstanding politicians and apply it to work. First let me say, I don't propagandize or support the ideology of Hitler and Goebbels. I only deal with the technique of building communications, which they used in their time from the point of marketing.
The whole content strategy of the National Socialist Party we can divide into 3 stages.
Let's move on. During the election campaign, Hitler and Goebbels needed to get the attention of their target audience. They didn't have their own media, thus that they needed to get attention with the help of others. Goebbels organized a rally that prompted the working class to go to the streets. With a rally, he walked along the street where the Communists reigned. Naturally, a confrontation was inevitable, and he knew it. The fight began, and the next day the whole of Berlin knew about the National Socialist Party. It doesn't matter if they were spoken badly or well. The main thing is that they were heard about. Today, that technique is called "sensational manipulation."
I don't invite you to arrange a rally, but you can do something scandalous: come to the party in a crazy outfit, make a sensational speech. Lady Gaga is remembered for her extravagant outfits, "Leningrad" - for a cultural obscenity. The media won't write about the boring benefits of your company. They need sensations and viral traffic on the site. Associations don't always have to be dirty. You can do something good, but it spreads worse than negative news. In this field, Pavel Durov has succeeded by permanent scandals and provocations. Elon Musk keeps up too.
After Goebbels attracted attention, he needed to fix the attention of the public. To achieve this, he used a technique that is called "associative manipulation" nowadays. He needed the party to have its own style, slogan, emblem, flag, and all the necessary attributes. This all would help the party's brand become recognizable.
There was a story with the party's magical logo - the swastika. There were leaflets, posters, and uniforms in a single style. There was a ritual greeting. Thanks to the welcome gesture, it was possible to understand who was on your side. After the party had become rich, Hitler began to pay even more attention to style. The design of the Wehrmacht uniform was created by the Hugo Boss factory.
As a result, Hitler's party acquired a specific image and corporate identity.
For you, it can be any element of the appearance of your business. For example, it can be well-designed social media posts, logos, uniforms, etc. It is necessary to achieve such an effect in order to the user has an association with your company in case of any contact with the brand.
Storytelling. The image of a martyr or enemy
The icing on the cake of any company will be its history. The reason why you should do this is important. Goebbels had an excellent technique of storytelling and manipulation techniques through the image of a martyr. If you carefully analyze all the political upheavals, you'll always find a martyr. At the time of the French Revolution, it was Marat. In the case of the Nazis, it was Horst Wessel. He was an ordinary soldier, who died from the hands of his girlfriend's lover, who was allegedly a communist. Goebbels immediately picked up this idea and made the story in which the last words of Horst Wessel were: "We must defeat communism, we must hold on ..." According to this legend, before his death, Horst Wessel wrote poems that instantly became the Nazi anthem. The man had a magnificent funeral, and, without knowing it, he became a symbol of the new National Socialist movement.
It doesn't matter what had actually happened and where the truth was. But it is important that after that Goebbels found a reason to fight the communists. He couldn't just say "I want to come to power, the Communists interfere with me, let's beat them". But he could say that the Communists were evil, Horst Wessel had died not in vain, and we would avenge him. As a result, he created the image of a martyr and demonstrated it everywhere.
In your business, you don't have to make a specific person a martyr. You can come up with an idea you're fighting against. Or you can come up with the story of a fictional character who battled a problem that your brand solves. Or you can create a portrait of a user who is facing a problem. For example, you are engaged in marketing and make pipelines. You can make a portrait of a martyr from people who spend money on contextual advertising and do not get the result.
Make up the story of man, who did business, drove traffic and went bankrupt. His family began to suffer, his wife left, his children starved, but Yandex didn't meet him halfway. Advertising was getting more and more expensive. And then he began to make sales through pipelines and content, and things got better. Order the pipelines!
Of course, I exaggerate the situation, but you get the point.
Hitler and Goebbels began to form a public opinion with the help of the media, and in 1927 their own media appeared. It was the newspaper Der Angriff.
In this newspaper, they began to promote their ideas and capture the attention of the public. This is classic content marketing through publishing. In this way, they began to form an opinion. A newspaper was published once a week. Thus, once a week, Hitler made a "marketing touch" with his target audience.
You can do the same in your business. Make a corporate blog: write articles, talk about your cases. Do an email newsletter. It's free! Tell the world about your ideology and how your company can solve the problems of your target audience.
To crown it all, let's list what needs to be done:
● to develop the corporate identity of the company;
● to make a blog;
● to cover several outstanding events in the media;
● to create a brand story and find an external enemy (not necessarily someone concrete).
The second stage of content marketing of the National Socialist Party was in the period from 1933 till 1939. At this time, the party won the election and the main task was to maintain a leading position, consolidate ideology and impose its only true opinion. This problem was solved through the manipulation of the united masses of people. In 1934, Hitler funded a film based on the Triumph of the Will march. This is a film about the congress of Hitler's party. In this film, Hitler spoke about his plans and dictate, "how to live."
The main principle was that a huge number of people united by a common idea were in one place and proclaimed the Fuhrer a deity. This all was filmed on camera and shown in cinemas throughout Germany. Spectators saw political activity in the capital. Several mental triggers worked here at once: the desire to belong and social proof. People wanted to be in a specific group because there were already a lot of people. A potential client feels that he is missing something important because a thousand bees can't be mistaken when they fly in the direction of honey.
Another feature in this event was not just to make a march, but to create a content that will work forever and remotely. Later this film was in all cinemas in Germany.
In the case of your business, you can organize a conference and shoot it on camera. If resources allow, do an online broadcast. In this case, it's important not to broadcast for the sake of appearance, but to show that at least 1000 people are watching you. If people see that there are 20 people on the broadcast, then credibility will quickly drop and you will receive a negative response.
It is important to organize a live conference where there will be real people. Not a webinar! This works especially well if you are from the capital. People from the regions always think that they miss all the most urgent and they unknowingly will want to get to your backstage. What is really going on there? What are people talking about at this conference? This is how curiosity trigger works. It is important to film the scene and the backs of sitting people. If there are few of them, then it is not necessary to show that they are few. People themselves will imagine the desired picture. Just making a conference is a disastrous idea. You need videos that you will distribute on the Internet.
A vivid example of applying this technology in practice is Tony Robbins' training or football matches. This is how the human psyche works. Everyone comes and I come.
The book was presented to all newlyweds in the registry office instead of the Bible. It became the new National Socialist religion. The book was on the list of compulsory literature for every German. It is necessary to understand clearly the train of thought: Hitler created his ideology and brought it to every second German. The Communists used exactly the same technique, publishing dozens of Lenin's volumes. These books got into the hands of our great-grandmothers at a very young age, and consequently, Leninist philosophy was automatically put into the minds of Soviet citizens.
You can also write your own book. It's not difficult, especially if you reach out for help from a professional editor. Suppose you are building a business class cottage. Your customers have objections (they are in any business). By writing the book "How to build your dream house and not go broke for the foreman", you can overcome all of these objections by giving this book at a meeting with the customer.
The first stage is Hitler's election campaign (1926 – 1933). At that time nobody knew who Adolf Hitler was. That's why his primary task was to assert himself and his ideology. The best way to do it is content marketing. At that point of time, the only mean of delivering information was the newspaper. But he also didn't own any mass media. So, in 1925 Hitler published the book "Mein Kampf".
It is worth noting that the book is still one of the best ways to transmit information. In this one, Hitler told about his own ideas for the development of Germany, the reflection of which later became World War II. Of course, if we consider it from the point of view of morality, it is terrible. However, from the point of view of content strategy, it is an ingenious step.
According to Wikipedia, 150 thousand copies had been sold by 1933. In 1933, after Hitler's coming to power, 800 thousand copies were sold. Hitler made millions by selling books.
Hitler's election campaign
The first marketing automation
Let's pass to digital technologies. Joseph Goebbels was a master of modern technology. His main weapon was the radio. At that time, the radio was like an iPhone. Not everyone could afford it. Then a law was passed under which any German could buy a radio on credit. In this way Goebbels' main goal was achieved: now the Fuhrer was present in person in every house and spoke personally with every German. This technique is called "one to many" when you perform an action once and scale it through a modern communication channel.
Hitler recorded a podcast once, and it was in the air several times a day. At the same time, the radio was providing useful content about the great achievements of athletes, artists, and scientists of Germany. 10% of the content was Hitler's direct sales, 90% were German achievements during Hitler's reign.
If you compare this technology with your business, then you can begin to make your own programs, podcasts that people will listen to in the car. Become an expert in your field. Tell people what mistakes they may face and explain how your company can solve them.
During these actions, Hitler's main task was to remove dissent. At that time in Germany, there was a communist opposition, which possessed a strong ideology and a lot of content such as books of Karl Marx. Hitler decided to prohibit literature that contradicted his philosophy. He organized a public burning of the books of Marx, Engels, Remarque, and others. So he literally burned out the content of his competitors. Today, this principle works in exactly the same way. Your competitors pay for contextual advertising and prevent your content from reaching the consumer subconscious.
In the modern world, you can make your own rules in your community. You need to state clearly what is good and what is bad. You should sow the idea that if people use the product of your competitor, they will be inadequate. If you come to some kind of training, you will see that there will be their own rituals and rules. There will be a clear description of what is adequate and what is not. First, the content machine turns an unknowing person into an inadequate one. He begins to believe in it and feel his "sinfulness". Obviously, he is immediately offered to buy a product that will transform him from inadequate into adequate one. That is, from the sinner to the righteous.
All religions, business communities, and sects are based on this principle.
Let's look at Apple's classic advert in which they ridiculed Windows. The role of Apple is a young advanced hipster, and the role of Windows is an old office worker in a disgusting suit. This ad clearly shows who is in trend and who is a loser. And viewers feel it on the subconscious level.
What you can do? Organize a conference, shoot it on camera and place it wherever it's possible. Make a podcast, YouTube channel and promote your ideas in your personal blog.
WWII spam mailings
We move on to the last stage of the Third Reich content marketing. It began in 1939 and ended when World War II was over. Goebbels perfectly realized that the German army needed the support of the local population in the countries where they would fight. It means that they need to be involved in their ideology. How is it possible to do it on foreign territory if you don't have your own media there? You will be surprised; he did this with the help of cold mail. Before the troops entered the USSR, the Germans had sent hundreds of letters in which they promised what people wanted to see. It was like "we save you from the communists, we are good, we will help you live happily". The Germans used this technique constantly. Even in the last days of the war, a lot of letters inspiring the last battle were printed.
Obviously, today you can do it through email marketing
, sending your offers on a cold client base. You can send cold mailings, work with your subscription base and build full-fledged marketing automation
. It's good when you give useful content to your newsletter, but nobody has canceled cold sales.
Hitler's mass autowebinars
It was the final stage of content marketing. Throughout the war, dozens of documentaries were created. They showed the great German people, their indestructible strength and the correctness of their actions. The film "Victory in the West" told about the conquest of France, "Fiery font" - about the conquest of Poland. However, the best film was shot in 1943; it was called "The Great King."
After the Battle of Stalingrad, there was a turning point and the Red Army launched an offensive. The positions of the Soviet army were consolidated after the victory in the battle of Kursk. The Germans lost their superiority and began to retreat. Morale was weakened. Goebbels needed to inspire people to new exploits. Through the film "The Great King" he brought to people the idea that after defeats there will be great victories.
The script of the film told about the war of the Russian Empire against Prussia in 1759. The 40,000th army of Frederick the Great lost the Battle of Kunersdorf. Everybody was in despair and going to retreat. But the king did otherwise: having lost the entire army, he retreated to Berlin and collected a new army with which he got new victories.
Nobody actually knows how it was in real history, but the film showed the defeat and the dawn of the great Prussia. The film was claimed to be documentary, but in fact, it was a classic content marketing. This film sold the Germans the idea that the war is not over and Germany can win. It showed that there are failures, but after the defeat, there will be great victories because this had already happened in the history of Germany. People always need living examples, in other words, cases. In this situation, the case was the initial defeat after which there was a victory of Frederick the Great.
Drawing a parallel between the content marketing of that time and the modern one, we see a lot in common. People don't change, and the sales philosophy remains. Only the communication technologies and the target audience are changing. I will never get tired of saying it in this book! At that it was radio, and now it's a podcast, newspapers became blogs, movies became vlogs, leaflets turned into email marketing
The Soviet propaganda didn't fall behind too. The Communist Party created a multivolume from Lenin's publications describing communist ideology. Those who were born after the dissolution of the Soviet Union cannot understand it. Our grandmothers' cabinets contained all volumes of Lenin which were required to be read. And it's worth noting, there were 55 volumes.
After the publication of the volumes, the country's leadership introduced a subject called "History of the CPSU and Marxist-Leninist Philosophy" into schools and universities. The government created information (volumes) and transmission technology. And they made it in such a way that it reached every inhabitant of the country. However, the key point was a methodology for assessing the consumption of information. The universities had an exam on the subject "History of the CPSU." Thus, the government had a system for checking the consumption of information.
In other words, the Red Machine had ideology (information), a method of transmitting ideology (books), a technology for bringing this information to every resident of the USSR (teaching in schools and universities) and a technology for assessing the consumption of this information (exams in schools and universities). And you say that in the Soviet Union there was no marketing. There was, and it was carefully considered!
To summarize this chapter, I want to emphasize once again that it is not enough to create only ideology or only technology. It is important to combine these two parameters together.
Sales automation of the late 20th century
After World War II, the Cold War began the United States and the USSR began to compete in propaganda. A new war means new weapons technology.
A television became this weapon. He completely repeated the history of the radio. The TV was expensive, and not everyone could afford it. Therefore, people organized collective viewing. Previously, people had gathered around a speaker, but at that time they started to gather around a robot with the help of which a speaker can transmit information massively.
What were the benefits of a TV? He involved two elements of sensitivity: visual and auditory. It was an innovation. Books were only visual, radio was only auditory. Watching a live speaker's performance (theater) is sound perception and visual, but it isn't scalable or automated. The television is a scalable, visual, and sound information medium. TV can quickly bring your information to millions of viewers. It scales information.
In addition to the TV, there was a telephone. People could transmit personal information, but without scaling. To call more people, you need more managers. It is impossible to scale the method of delivering information. So the entire telemarketing industry appeared in the United States. Entire sales departments selling stocks began to appear. It is well illustrated in the movie The Wolf from Wall Street. TV is an automatic weapon of mass destruction. The telephone is a hand-held weapon of personal defeat.
Let's summarize. The phone can "kill" accurately and cheaply. A TV can "kill" in a scalable, expensive and massive way.
Further evolution combined these two business processes, and so appeared telemarkets. At first, viewers massively consumed content via TV and then called the store, making personal purchases. These were sales from general to private. At first, everyone was shown what is it and how to use it, and then the managers worked targeted with objections and sold a specific product.
With the spreading of phones around the world, the personal transmission of information from a distance appeared. But for business, it meant that for communication by telephone there is a need for people. For example, 1 manager is needed for 50 clients per day. Thus, with the growth of the number of leads, the company's staff will inevitably expand.
It turns out that delivering information through a TV was suitable only for a mass product, and phone calls only for targeted, expensive offers. But as in one, so in another case, there was a problem. There was no personalization on the TV; there was no scaling and automation in telephone sales. In telephone sales, if the manager calls, there is money. Doesn't call – there's no money. All results depend on the work of company employees. In such a situation, a small business couldn't use new technologies at 100%. They had no need for advertising all over the country, and TV didn't have a product for a small business. So, large corporations could afford to use modern weapons, but small businesses could not.
This problem has been solved by the Internet: Google, Yandex, FB, and VK allowed small businesses to bring targeted information to their consumers and scale this process. The Internet has transformed the model of advertising primarily for small and medium-sized businesses. Thanks to YouTube, everyone has their own personal TV. Moreover, each business can open its own channel. It seems ridiculous, but 20 years ago only oligarchs could have their own channel. We live in an amazing time when a business can easily talk about its product, but only a few companies do it. Nowadays technology allows more and more accurately to bring information directly to the user's subconscious.