Set The Mood In Your Marketing

by Matt Mattson

This blog post from Seth Godin inspired what you’re about to read. If you don’t already read Seth everyday like I do, you should.

Godin states at the beginning of his piece, “Songs about romance don’t tell you how to make out, they merely encourage it. It’s not the data that people seek, it’s the mood.”

This is very true for fraternity/sorority growth and marketing. Most people aren’t seeking data to sway their lifelong decision to join your fraternity or sorority, most are seeking the right mood, feeling, or warm-fuzzy that makes them feel like joining is the right decision for them.

Yet, when I ask most organizations that I work with, “how do you ’sell’ your organization to potential members?” they respond with data…

-We have the best GPA

-We have the biggest house

-We win IM’s all the time

-We have leather couches in our living room

-84% of us end up getting good paying jobs

That data is fine, and it is good filler for for the 4th page of brochures and websites if you are desperate to use it, but it won’t make the ’sale’. No, you need to convince someone to join your organization by helping them the experience — the feelings of pride, honor, friendship, love, loyalty, kindness, grace, or whatever it feels like to you to be a member.

I’ll state this more clearly. The reason most people DON’T join your organization is because when they imagine themselves as a member, they either feel ambivalent or embarrassed. It’s all about that feeling…

Do your members exude an aura of pride around them the second they step foot on campus? Do your members believe they’re the best, that they’ll only accept the best, and that people should act their best anytime they’re around one of your members? When you watch your members’ everyday actions, do you get a feeling of pride or do you get a feeling of mediocrity or even disgust? More importantly, what feelings to the men or women you want to recruit experience?

Apply the same questions to your print materials, your social media posts, your website, your attire, your E-mails phone calls and texts to prospects, your events, etc.

Our organizations create a mood around them. You can choose the mood you put out and that can dramatically impact the mood of your entire organization. Next time you walk into a meeting or event, puff out your chest, stand tall, and act like you’re James Freakin’ Bond or the most confident man or woman you’ve ever seen. Choose to be the smiling life of the party. Choose to be helpful, kind, and the most buoyant, personable person in the room. Set that mood in all your marketing and recruitment work. Setting that mood will do more for you than any data you share with a prospective member.


[Note: This blog was originally posted at in 2009. Shout out to my business partner, Josh Orendi, for digging it up and send it to me to show I’ve been singing the same song about marketing and fraternity/sorority growth for many years now. I made a few edits for today’s post.]