Steve Genco, How to Build Lasting Relationships Through Intuitive Marketing – InnovaBuzz 421

Steve Genco

Steve Genco, Intuitive Marketing

In this episode, I’m really excited to have as my guest, Stephen Genco, a marketing innovator, entrepreneur, management consultant, and educator. He co-founded one of the first research firms devoted to applying neuroscience, social psychology, and behavioral economics to the study of marketing and consumer choice. Today, he is an active educator and speaker, conducting seminars and workshops around the world (and virtually).

Dr. Genco holds doctoral, master’s and bachelor’s degree from Stanford University and a master’s degree from the University of British Columbia. He has written two books: Neuromarketing for Dummies (co-author, 2013) and Intuitive Marketing (2019).

In our discussion, Steve talked to me about:

  • Why marketers must ask new questions and conduct marketing in new ways
  • Marketing through the entire customer journey, for long term relationships
  • Why understanding our dream customers and their behaviours is vital to good marketing

Will Leach in episode 399 introduced us to Steve.

Listen to the podcast to find out more.

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Marketing is a long term relationship. Understanding what drives your customers is key. @SJGenco on #InnovaBuzz podcast Share on X

Show Notes from this episode with Steve Genco, author of Intuitive Marketing

Key points and takeaways from this episode include:

  • It is not that traditional marketing no longer works. You just have to be able to predict when it will work and understand when it doesn’t work.
  • Persuading is different from conditioning people at an unconscious level to have certain kinds of affective responses to your product that builds up over time.
  • Does the ad grab people’s attention? Did the people like it? Are people going to remember it? are three simple questions but each has its own level of complexity that you want to think about according to what your objectives are.
  • Most advertising works when there is low or no attention being paid to it at all. It works through conditioning and priming the unconscious level process.
  • Intuitive marketing requires an understanding of people’s memory and their learning processes.
  • Attention is sometimes good but sometimes it isn’t. 
  • There’s a lot of reasons why people can think they like something that is not really about the thing they think they are liking. Liking can be manipulated in some ways but it is also not very predictive. 
  • 80% of products fail because people aren’t really good at predicting how customers are going to behave with regards to that product.
  • Explicit memory is memorisation. It is explicitly and deliberately trying to remember something. Implicit memory is where people learn without memorising the content of an ad. They just pile it away and if they come across it in the future, it is either they would approach it or avoid it.
  • Habitual buyers don’t engage in too much attention but on habitual behaviours.
  • When trying to convert new buyers, make sure that you are also looking at how it will affect your existing buyers.
  • Converting someone who browses through your website into a new customer is short-term and transactional. That is not marketing but sales.
  • Marketing is a long-term relationship. Understanding what drives your customers is key. It is understanding what do they want out of their lives that your product can help them achieve, and what your brand signifies to them so that they would want to be associated with your brand.
  • A product is an experience. 
  • A brand is an extension of our identity. 
  • Things that enhance our sense of self are important to human beings.
  • A want is largely discretionary. It implies something that we can live without. Needs are compulsions. They have to be satisfied. 
  • Most marketing often tries to find a want or create a want by telling people that something is not quite right in their lives. Instead of trying to convince people that they are broken, make them feel that you know what they’re trying to accomplish in their lives and how you can help them or how your brand reflects the values that they want to achieve in life. 
  • People are more inclined to listen to a message that is delivered in a collaborative way rather than something that is too adversarial.
  • Make sure that your marketing message is aligned with the intentions that a customer has at that moment. That is when people are receptive to the marketing message. That is when persuasion works.
  • Marketers need to be more engaged in what consumers want to accomplish in their lives and how they can contribute to that.
  • Psychological and neurological segmentations are also relevant to how you talk to people. 
  • Promotion-oriented and prevention-oriented people respond to things differently. Promotion-oriented people want to know how something will benefit them whilst prevention-oriented people want to know what disaster is there that they should avoid.
  • All marketing is manipulation but there ethical and unethical types of manipulation. Persuasive techniques that are designed to help people live their lives better are ethical marketing. Unethical marketing is trying to manipulate people for your benefit that is against their own interests.
  • Ethical marketing is helping people make decisions that are good for them.
Marketers need to be more engaged in what consumers want to accomplish in their lives and how they can contribute to that. @SJGenco on #InnovaBuzz podcast Share on X

The Buzz – Our Innovation Round

Here are Steve’s answers to the questions of our innovation round. Listen to the conversation to get the full scoop.

  1. #1 thing to be more innovative – Innovation is a team sport. Be humble. Realise that you are not the only genius in the room. Listen to your customer and talk to them regularly. Hire people that are smarter than you.
  2. Best thing for new ideas – Innovation Pipeline Process. 
  3. Favourite tool for innovation –  Evernote
  4. Keep project/client on track – Scope it out, timeline it in detail, put it in a contract, and cross tag every addition.
  5. Differentiate – Use established methods. Sit down and show your clients what you can do. It allows you to be authentic, transparent, fast, and fair in terms of pricing. It is not what you do that will differentiate you. It’s how you do it.

To Be a Leader

Give some of these new techniques a chance. There are some real valuable insights that we have and you have to approach it with a little humility and curiosity. Don’t be afraid to test it and incorporate it.

Reach Out

You can reach out and thank Steve through his website.

Suggested Guest

Steve suggested we have a conversation with with Dr Peter Steidl of Neurothinking. So Peter, keep an eye on your inbox for an invitation from us to the InnovaBuzz Podcast, courtesy of Steve Genco



Cool Things About Steve

  • He started as a Political Scientist.
  • He’s a board member of the Neuromarketing Science & Business Association. 
  • He founded one of the first neuromarketing research firms, and from 2009 to 2012 he was Chief Innovation Officer at one of the largest.
A brand is an extension of our identity.  @SJGenco on #InnovaBuzz podcast Share on X

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Jürgen Strauss

Dr. Jürgen Strauss is The World's Best Human-Centred Podcasting Coach and the only Podcast Innovator with the signature bright yellow headphones, who masterfully crafts human connection for high-impact achievers in a vibrant community. You can find Jürgen on LinkedIn, The InnovaBuzz Podcast, The Flywheel Nation Community as well as on Innovabiz' InstagramTwitter, Facebook pages and his personal Photography website.  

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