I suspect you’ve heard the truism: “The enemy of my enemy if my friend.”
We’ve seen it in politics, religion, and with alliances throughout history – like the US and Russia teaming up during WWII to defeat the evil Axis empire.
And in our marketing, an enemy can create bonding and extremely powerful persuasion when used correctly.
Because nothing incites more anger, resentment, and the desire to get even than being lied to, tricked, or taken advantage of… especially when it’s by some heartless, impersonal, greedy entity.
So who are some of these potential enemies?
Wall Street, Big Pharma, bankers, doctors, lawyers, and the rich are common targets, but it can be just about anybody—democrats, republicans, Amazon, politicians, Microsoft, the government, Christians, atheists, Muslims—the list is endless.
It’s amazing how having a common enemy can amplify the impact of your marketing efforts.
Here’s a great example that’s been running steadily for the last 4 years or so:
When you feel you’re being lied to on such a massive scale, it makes you want to grab the pitchforks, shovels, and torches and storm the battlements of the drug company castle.
So let’s take a close look at the underlying psychology of “your enemy.”
The Global Impact of the Right Enemy
Enemies have a much more powerful impact on our psyches than most of us realize.
In fact, they’re responsible for millions of deaths throughout history, as Eric Hoffer explains in his seminal book on mob thinking and fanaticism, “The True Believer:”
“Mass movements can rise and spread without a God, but never without a belief in a devil. Further, usually, the strength of a movement is proportionate to the vividness and tangibility of its devil.
Once when Hitler was asked whether he thought the Jew must be destroyed, he answered ‘No… we should then have to invent him. It is essential to have a tangible enemy, not an abstract one.’ The leader of a Japanese mission went to Berlin in 1932 to study the Movement and said, ‘It is magnificent. I wish we could have something like it in Japan, but we can’t, because we haven’t got any Jews.’
Horrible? Yes, but that’s why smart entrepreneurs use these insights responsibly and look for real enemies to get more bang for their marketing buck.
Big Pharma is the whipping boy of many supplement and alternative health pieces out there, and they have been for decades.
Whereas, in the investment industry, it’s evil Wall Street, unscrupulous bankers, and greedy brokers who charge exorbitant fees.
Here’s an example written for Weiss Research by the legendary Clayton Makepeace, and presented in the voice of it’s spokesman, Martin D. Weiss, PhD…
In the prehead, it’s brilliant the way Weiss is positioned as your friend and all-around good guy, “The Conscience of Wall Street.”
Then, in the introduction, there’s more bashing of the evil Wall Street empire and its acolytes:
“Big brokers urged YOU to buy Priceline… Yahoo… Palm – and hundreds of other dogs while secretly telling favored clients that these stocks were really – and I quote: ‘a piece of crap,’ or worse!”
Here’s another example that leads off with LIES!
LIES, LIES, and More LIES!
Just the word “LIES,” is often enough to do the job even if you don’t have a specific target – just the implication of some nebulous entity lying to you can stir the emotions of your target audience, but if you’ve got the specifics, even better.
And speaking of LIES, here’s one that’s worked like gangbusters in dozens of chiropractic practices.
I wrote it years ago for a large chiropractic franchise called HealthSource and the headline can be used in just about any niche:
The key, besides the 5 LIES, is this phrase which disqualified just about everybody else:
“… Just What Big Medical Centers and High Priced Clinics are PRAYING You Never Figure Out on Your Own!”
The ENEMY in Our Midst!
Finally, here’s some copy from one of the recent templates that we created for our Science of Client-Getting members.
The way it works is we take a member business and custom-create a fill-in-the-blank template for their specific business, but it can also be easily adapted for all members in all niches.
As of today, there are 277 of these templates… emails, video scripts, landing pages… in dozens of niches and this one focuses on THE ENEMY.
Here’s just the beginning of the video script for a member who’s both an attorney and a CPA, and this video focuses on protecting your retirement:
Uncle Sam is sniffing around your retirement nest egg – and he’s ready to pounce!
It’s easy money if he can get his hands on it – that’s why you need to know about the new government rip-offs that put your hard-earned cash within reach of his greedy little mitts.
And remember, this “Uncle” is hungry, indifferent, and a stone-cold thief. His interest isn’t in you, your spouse, your health, how long you’ve worked, your kids, or your grandkids’ education — he’ll snatch it all if he can.
But why is Congress pushing through this new money grab in the first place?
To pay for the debt and mismanagement of tax dollars – like the story a few years ago about the government paying contractors $7,622 for a coffee maker, $640 for a toilet seat, and $37 for ONE screw.
Sure, we’re willing to contribute our fair share, but we shouldn’t be raked over the coals and have to foot these kinds of bills with our retirement funds… which is why my new online workshop is your most powerful protection against these financial atrocities.
This free workshop is called: The Great Retirement RIP-OFF! How the Dreaded SECURE Act and Pending Tax Explosion Threaten Your IRA and Retirement Plan …
OK, that should give you plenty of examples you can use to track down your own enemies and use them to find new clients and pump up the profits in your marketing.
If you’d like to go deeper into the details of persuasion using enemies… and… how to set up automated online systems that bring you ONLY high-quality clients, click here to find out about our FREE Business Analysis and Strategy Session (by application only).
In the meantime, Happy Selling!