The world needs marketers

Dalibor Šumiga Behavioral marketing/Neuromarketing, Marketing

This is the chapel of St. George, situated in a place near Zagreb, called Planina. First records of its existence date from the year 1261. It is surrounded by a wall, has three altars and a wooden choir above the doors, and a tower with two church bells…

The Zagreb area is known for its seismic activity and the strongest earthquake that hit Zagreb in 1880 had its epicenter in Planina, the same place where this chapel is located.

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If I were to ask you to repeat what I wrote here, 24 hours after reading this description of the church written above (which is, by the way, a very short version), most of you wouldn’t be able to do that. Not because you have a bad memory or because you didn’t read it carefully, but because you read the exact same kind of description concerning any historic object or event in the world.

So, let’s start over.

The photo above represents the chapel of St. Joseph, situated in a small place near Zagreb, called Planina. When I was a child, I went to this chapel to study the catechism, and there was a legend about this chapel my grandmother once told me.

According to the legend, a dragon is sleeping under this chapel. Every time this dragon whips his tail, an earthquake occurs. The bell on this chapel never rings during thunderstorms because, as the legend says, it would wake up the dragon…

Which description of this small and not very well known chapel would you remember first? Which description would you rather choose to tell others?

If you were a person working in culture or tourism whose goal is to popularize this destination, what do you think, which description would be more successful in achieving it?

THE HILLS WERE SHAKING…

A little more than a week ago, Zagreb was hit by a very strong earthquake.

Danger from an earthquake shouldn’t be groundbreaking news, knowing that the city is situated in a seismically very active area.

Before the earthquake, hardly anyone was familiar with the address (physical or web) of the Seismological institute or that there is an app where you can report that you felt an earthquake…

After this earthquake, the app and the website were oversaturated with users so much that the servers crashed.

I am writing this blog an hour after we felt an earthquake again of the magnitude of 2.8 according to the Richter scale and this is the last tweet from the European Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) I have just read:

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WHERE WERE YOU UNTIL NOW?

After the big Zagreb earthquake, even the journalists started asking if the seismologists could have predicted this and why there weren’t any warnings.

The seismologists said that they have been warning everyone for a long time now that there is a great chance for an earthquake to occur in the Zagreb area, but nobody paid attention.

It’s clear now, more than ever that during this time of crisis the world needs scientists, physicians, seismologists, epidemiologists, police, firefighters, truck drivers and everyone else who are trained to hold things together and keep the community alive and healthy in these situations.

But the world needs marketers too. If we had dedicated, back when the times were good, more time to popularize science and to provide quality information to the public, we would have definitely decreased panic in this time of crisis.

We can’t expect from all the scientists to be eloquent and comprehensible to an average person in their communication, but there are people who do this job every day and who are very good at it, and those people are marketers…