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No. 100

A writing piece from Scott P. Scheper.

No. 100

San Diego, CA 92101
Thursday, 2:14 pm

Dear Reader,

Last evening before leaving work, I was reviewing notes in my offline brain.[1]

I came upon one important concept in the field of mass persuasion (aka, marketing).

First you must understand the most important law in marketing. It centers on two concepts in human nature. These two concepts drive most behavior. Its importance is echoed by the words of great marketers and historians.[2] It's the centerpiece of stories we humans love, known as the hero's journey.

What I'm talking about is moving towards pleasure, and, moving away from pain.[3]

This is not the concept I stumbled upon last night. Pain and Pleasure is but a basic b-word concept!

The greatest minds in marketing suggest starting with the second (moving away from pain). The other is best left for later because it's more difficult.[4]

The Problem-Agitation-Solution method is one way to achieve this. Essentially it's making people aware of the pain, and your product as the solution.

Seems like common sense, yet most fail to do this. The reason why is simple: self-interest. Their marketing focuses on themselves (i.e. on how great their product is).

Even if you know this, you're still at risk. We have a tendency to fall back into the trap. This happens to everyone——even to the Knight of Marketing Mayhem, himself——Sir Scott of Scheper!

However, this is not what I stumbled upon last night.

Even those who focus on moving customers away from pain still overlook one thing. They're focused on positioning their product as the ultimate cure. However, the critical piece is this...

The truth is most people don't want a cure from their pain. They want relief.[5]

For more on this, you'll have to wait.

There's two reasons why.

First, I'm behind on other items I wanted to get done this week. Why? Because I've spent so much time writing to you every day! Second, I promised myself I would not spend more than an hour writing today. I started at 2:14 pm. It's now 5:52 p.m.!

Anyway... I plan to go deep on this concept in a future edition off my monthly publication, The Scott Scheper Letter.

Until then, think about how you can apply this principle to your business.

If it results in growth, I hope to hear about it some day!


image Signature of Scott P. Scheper San Diego

Scott P. Scheper

  1. I call mine the "AntiNet" (Analog Thinking Internet). Inspired by [Niklas Luhmann's Zettelkasten](] ↩︎

  2. See: “Direct Marketing To A Starving Crowd.” Accessed April 29, 2021. Also, refer to the great modern day marketer, Ben Settle: "The most important thing in picking a market is a starving crowd" (i.e. one with pain). Last, Yuval Noah Harari positions his organization around the value, Care About Suffering. In other words, care about pain. "Problems are never abstract. All problems are ultimately about particular beings suffering. Therefore when dealing with global problems we should not get entangled in mere abstractions, but should instead keep in touch with real experiences." He writes about the importance of suffering (pain) in Sapiens: Harari, Yuval N. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind. First U.S. edition. New York: Harper, 2015. ↩︎

  3. Brunson, Russell. Expert Secrets the Underground Playbook to Find Your Message, Build a Tribe, and Change the World, 2017. ↩︎

  4. See Formula #1 in: Kennedy, Dan S. The Ultimate Sales Letter, 4th Edition: Attract New Customers. Boost Your Sales. Fourth edition. Avon, Mass: Adams Media, 2011. ↩︎

  5. De Mello, Anthony. Awareness Conversations with the Masters, 1990. ↩︎


Scott P. Scheper