I'm really enjoying Daniel Pink's 'To Sell is Human'.
I'm a little unsure of the entire premise - that we're all in sales now. Not that I question his overall thesis, all life is about persuading others to do stuff they otherwise wouldn't afterall, it's just that the book perhaps leaves out nuance to fit the single minded argument.
What I find really valuable though, is the various insights about how to be persuasive and move people towards where you want them.
For example, if you want to motivate people, including yourself, it's better to ask IF you can achieve the outcome, rather than state boldly that YOU CAN.
For example, if you ask yourself, "Can I persuade the tough audience in my presentation?" you're mind automatically moves to strategies to help you do this. Rather than the usual visualation techniques where you just picture success.
This has implications for advertising I think, with 'purpose' led brands stating they'll get us all to some utopian future, rather than asking us how we'll all make it happen. B&Q in the UK (DIY retailer) tells us "You can do it", rather than "Can you do it?".
It's also why Bob The Builder is a motivational genius with his 'Can we fix it' mantra!
Also, empathy isn't as valuable as 'attunement' in personal persuasion. Rather than focus on how people feel, you'll change behaviour more if you can focus on 'what are they thinking'.
On a brand level though, you might think it might run against the fashion for arguing that emotional advertising is more effective.
It doesn't, it's just what people are thinking isn't anything to do with your brand AT ALL!
But it is worth thinking about context when you're planning when and where you want to show up.
One of the basic mistakes made in 'shopper marketing' is not understanding that you can get people thinking about self image and identity (brand stuff) well outside a supermarket, but as soon as they get near the store, they're just thinking about what they will eat this week, what they can afford and who will like what. It's VERY task based. Persisting with brand stuff is a waste of money.