Pic: CocoParesienne/Pixabay

This month’s print edition of Wired UK has a great piece in the Ideas Bank section about how marketer Jose Miguel Sokoloff and his team at Lowe-SSP3 in Colombia helped the struggle against the FARC guerilla movement there by using clever marketing techniques.

Careful research involving demobbed guerillas revealed that while hiding in the jungles many felt as much a prisoner of the revolutionary movement as their hostages.

Most followed football passionately, so TV and radio advertising during games was used to target them with messages from former guerillas about how they too had become disenchanted with the movement and how comrades had suffered badly in their personal lives while fighting for FARC. Most were told personally but had limited success.


Then, as Christmas neared, they found inspiration from the story of a foot soldier who missed his mother so much at Christmas that he deserted to be with her. So they installed Christmas trees near where they knew FARC moved soldiers and supplies and got locals to make gifts and messages for the homesick soldiers, which they floated down the river to where they knew they were.

The result was a bigger wave of desertions.

Listening, understanding and connecting with their covert emotions engaged with them powerfully.

We all need to do that with our target customers.

This blog was originally posted on Blogger on 19/9/2012.