What do businesses do now that marketing, depended on for decades to promote growth, has been exposed as a weak force? Finding their theoretical credentials under scrutiny, marketing ‘experts’ are racing to publicise their new wares. But these are the dying groans of dinosaurs. For business, there is better news: the warm-blooded creatures fit to survive already exist. In 'The Honest Persuaders', John Bunyard draws on 30 years at the heart of business to relate how he took experimental evidence on to create a new model built not on spin but on demonstrable truth. Already the basis of extraordinary market-place results, it has been now vindicated by experimentally based breakthroughs in neuroscience, specifically concerning the importance of the dopamine reward system. With the benefit of new technologies and business-minded scientists, the means are available to all businesses to create new customer relationships based not on hyperbole and deception but simple veracity. To order, go to http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/the-honest-persuaders-%28paperback%29/14689772
Now that citizens all over the world are asking whether politicians and businesspeople aren't necessarily crooked at heart, there's not just a need to prove otherwise - there's a huge opportunity in it. Telling and being told the truth are, in a mental sense, like swimming with the tide. I'd like to see us reverting to a culture where honesty is standard because it works. That's the theme of this blog, and I'll be delighted if you'll join me on a journey of exploration. After all, there's a big prize awaiting those who get it right.
After a nice liberal education at Oxford, I decided to become one of the 'hidden persuaders' in the advertising industry. Despite persisting for 15 years, I never really got it. Apart from striking me as a generally inefficent way of selling things, it used to consist in selecting slightly misleading product 'truths' in an attempt to persuade, and nowadays aims to create these things called 'brands' that by definition are at one step from reality. This basically mendacious approach seemed to me to be at odds with human nature: even if adept liars, we dislike being lied to. In 1992, I proposed an alternative model based on the principle of telling the absolute truth and, critically, getting people to verify it for themselves. The tool I used to do this on a large scale, called 'Fast marketing', was hugely successful and yielded reams of comparative evidence. This in turn brought me into contact with plenty of neuroscientific literature and expertise that bears out the importance of demonstrable honesty. In 2005 I co-founded the Newcomen Group of scientists and business professionals that aims to explore such ideas and propagate their use in business and public life.