Do you think you can tell consumers when to buy?
There is definitely an expectation, that a brand can fall victim to. It’s not ignorance, it’s mere excitement, about a new product they are excited about, that they expect consumers to be too. So some brands still think, look at this, it’s new, buy it!
But, who is the brand to tell someone when to buy something? without proving what they market, unless they give them a different reason to purchase it, discount etc. Many different studies have been carried out on the decision process, sales funnel, there are no simple answers. Unless the reason is highly compelling, consumers will buy when they want to buy.
I as a consumer and an almost prolific, impulsive consumer at that, even surprise myself as I evaluate what makes me buy, what are my triggers, what is my motivation? Brands need to facilitate an action (purchase, sign up, etc.) through all of their touch-points and spend the rest of the time immersing consumers in content that appeals to their target audience.
What do consumers want?
Consumers are always looking to buy, but they just don’t know what it is that they want to buy yet. As a marketeer, you live your life on the proviso that consumers are always looking to buy and if you have a product, positioned correctly, approach -informed by data, then there is no reason why they shouldn’t buy your product. But, can you tell them when to buy it? no. Unless you have some compelling reason to buy, it will always struggle to work successfully. Timing of the messaging could help, but facilitating purchase throughout the consideration phase and choice is still under valued / tested by brands.
Consumers are different, the consideration phase is complex which is why a simple buy message is archaic. But immersion is key for the consumer to understand why they should buy it. The consumer should be so immersed in your product that there is no other choice than to buy, fully informed, educated and ready, in their time, to take the next step.
Brands should not exploit knowledge
Knowledge is key. Not the sort of knowledge where you tag a consumer, who visited a site once and then you bombard them with every inch of internet space, trying to make them buy your product because they have shown an interest once, horrendous, intrusive, bollocks. I don’t want to make you buy my product, I want you to want to buy my product and ideally I want you to be proud to buy my product. So, am I a fantasist? No I am not, I am the sort of chap who wants to find the best in marketing, the guy who thinks the technology that digital gives us is an advantage to the consumer and not to the brand. (Well and the brand as well, but we’ll come on to that)
As a consumer, myself personally, I am always looking to buy. Whether it’s the industry I am in, or the mood I am in that day, I spend some time of each day indulging myself in what I want to buy. If I have no new ideas that day, then I simply haven’t been approached or immersed enough to want to purchase anything. Is there a pattern to what I do? No. Would I ever buy for the price that someone wants me to, or the place that someone wants me to, never.
What’s the challenge to using data?
Every brand out there, which is not a fledgling, has the same thing, data. But many don’t care about learning about their customers and this is the ignorance that gets under my skin. Customer data is what brands should build products and promotion around, this sounds niche, but it is very broad. Understanding your customers is the hardest thing that you will ever undertake, but until you do that, then the amount you as a brand are losing, is vast. Your customers identify themselves as liking something about your brand; by buying from you, they have opened a door to you. A brand shouldn’t exploit this, but see it as an opportunity to understand more about needs and motivation.
Help consumers buy
So the brands reasoning thinks ‘I have a great product, why wouldn’t everyone want to buy it from me’. As a brand, what elements should you put into that consideration phase, the communication with the consumer to sell that product, to adjust it to the taste of your consumer.
Consumers will buy from you and they want to buy from you, data should be used to understand how you can make it appealing to your consumer and cement the ingredients to the cycles of your campaign. There is still a lot of focus on telling people to buy and ultimately it’s education on both sides that drives the understanding removing the barriers to purchase.
Your current customers are your most important means to build your business. Brands that understand the motivation of their current consumers and have a solid inbound marketing strategy are at a significant advantage to those who do not take the time to understand their most important assets.
- Connectedness Means Mastering Audiences, Not Channels (greatfinds.icrossing.com)