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Harry Potter and the Secret of Conversion

Posted By Brendan Regan On July 31, 2008 @ 6:27 am In Personas,psychology | 5 Comments

harry potter preview [1]If you were to walk through the offices of FutureNow, you would get a sense that while we were in college any one of us could have been cast in the movie Revenge of the Nerds. A few of us got made fun of for being socially-awkward “bookworms.”

While it may not make you popular with cool kids, fancy book reading does have its benefits. So I couldn’t help but laugh when I read about a new study published in the latest issue of New Scientist [2] magazine (subscription required).  It shows that “readers of narrative fiction scored higher on tests of empathy and social acumen than those who read non-fiction texts.”

In other words, reading fiction helps us empathize with others and grok them better. By the way, I just finished Ask the Dust by John Fante [3]…have you read any good fiction lately [4]?

Now let’s head out to the business world – a world dominated by analytics, numbers, feasibility studies, ROI, and other non-fiction information.  All the “non-fiction” stuff is absolutely essential to running a business, especially in a soft economy.  But, when it comes to understanding your customers, and getting them to interact with your business in profitable ways, a little fiction helps.

You can probably guess where I’m heading with this…Wouldn’t it be great if there were fictional representations of your target customers that allowed you deeper empathy and understanding of their behavior online and off [5]? Harry Potter readers would realize Dumbledore and Voldemort wouldn’t be motivated the same way or want the same things and this would influence how you marketed to them.

P.S. Today is Harry Potter’s birthday.


Article printed from Conversion Rate Optimization & Marketing Blog | FutureNow: http://www.grokdotcom.com

URL to article: http://www.grokdotcom.com/2008/07/31/fiction-reading-increases-empathy-and-social-skills/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://www.grokdotcom.com/wp-content/uploads/Brendan_Regan/harry_potter_preview.jpg

[2] New Scientist: http://www.newscientist.com/channel/opinion/mg19826621.700-the-science-of-fiction.html

[3] John Fante: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Fante

[4] read any good fiction lately: #respond

[5] fictional representations of your target customers that allowed you deeper empathy and understanding of their behavior online and off: http://www.futurenowinc.com/personas.htm

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