Are You Ignoring the Best Marketing Strategy?
The Best Marketing Strategy: Make customer decisions easier. It’s that simple.
- Customers tend to choose the product that’s easiest to decide on, not necessarily the best, because they are overwhelmed by too much information.
- When you make it easier to decide on your product than the alternatives, you win big.
How? By overcoming a few critical obstacles on your customers’ decision path, you will multiply your sales and lower your marketing costs.
Make every step easier: easier to find → learn about → evaluate → try → use → teach → fix → recommend your product/service/idea.
Here’s how. We call it Decision Easification. It’s Easy:
1. Map the decisions as customers go from tire kickers to evangelists. What do they have to decide is true? What do they have to do? What do they have to say “Yes” to in order to move along to the next step?
2. Find the major barriers: Where do most people slow down or drop out? — Anything that costs time, extra money, effort, energy, attention, thought, fear, uncertainty, doubt, other resources. There are usually between 20 and a hundred!
3. Focus on the 2–3 decision barriers that hold back sales the most. These are the ones that are killing you.
4. Figure out how to make them easier: Talk to customers who have overcome these barriers, evangelists who have helped others overcome the barriers, flounderers who are stuck and dropouts who are casualties of the barriers. Also, get the successful evangelists to talk to flounderers and listen to how they actually turn skeptics around. They will help you find shortcuts, smooth the path and lower the resistance.
The decision obstacles are often surprisingly easy to fix. The only reason you haven’t is that you never gave simplifying and eliminating decision steps a high priority.
For some examples, click here.
You will get faster decisions yielding more customers, sooner.
Why your old approach isn’t working
1. Because you’re overlooking a major opportunity:
There are two marketing approaches, and you’re only concentrating on one:
1. Promote the benefits.
2. Remove the obstacles.
You and your competitors have understandably concentrated on the first strategy — persuading people about your benefits. You’ve used rational arguments and emotional appeals to persuade people to favor your product. That’s what advertising, salesmanship, promotions are all about. They pile on more and more information and contribute to the overload.
The second strategy is woefully neglected up and down the decision process. We are urging you make a small shift in emphasis.
You’ve already put a lot of work into presenting your product’s benefits persuasively (#1, above). Maybe you could do it a little better, but you have probably reached the point of diminishing returns. Your Ad agency is unlikely to come up with a magical slogan or image that dramatically increases sales and becomes a marketing legend. It rarely happens. It’s very expensive. You can dream on or get practical:
It’s comparatively easy — at this point — to remove the barriers: to find the places that customers are, for instance, confused, worried, and overwhelmed with too much information. Or, where they have to take unnecessary steps, waste time or spend energy.
2. Your marketing materials increase the decision burden, when you should be doing the opposite
For instance, most Web sites don’t work because they forget that the site is ultimately there to help people through the decision process to choose your product. Most Web designers are graphic designers, not persuasion designers. They create complicated, distracting, “Flash“y, artistic designs, with too much unfocused information (but not enough useful information), that actually causes people to drop out of the decision process, or go to third-party sites. Is your web site designed to help the customer make a better decision more easily? Or is it making them work in ways you can’t see because you know too much. One popular comment on Amazon can bring in more sales than a whole company website.
You can bypass all of this work and cost by making finding, buying and using your product just a bit easier, every step of the way. If you get a tiny percentage more people to take the next decision step, the steps compound and your sales multiply. Tuning is easy. Breakthroughs are hard.
3. There once were a handful of basic marketing techniques. Now there are hundreds.
You have too many marketing choices — in much the same way that your customers are overwhelmed by too many product choices! Decision Easification simplifies everything for both you and the customer.
We can always find 2 or 3 major decision barriers to eliminate or reduce. You just have to know where and how to look. On this site, we’ll show you how it’s done.
What will that do?
Presenting benefits better (the old approach) typically results in 10–30% increase in sales the rare times that it’s successful. Decision Easification — starting with first removing 2 or 3 decision barriers — usually multiplies sales 3-10x. You read that right, threefold to tenfold. We will not take on a client that we don’t think has the potential of a tenfold increase. That way a “failure” is when we only triple sales. Your choice is between a high-priced, low payoff, unlikely approach and one that is much more leveraged with a high likelihood of success.
What’s the catch?
You can’t do it by yourself. We don’t mean that as an insult. You’re the expert about your product. You know everything about your product and the competition, except what it’s like to be a new customer and know almost nothing. I call it expert blindness.
To spot what’s unnecessarily difficult for the customer, you would have to be both a beginner AND an expert. Can’t be done.
It isn’t easy to make things simple — and it isn’t simple to make things easy. You need a world-class guide to simplifying the product decision process who isn’t the world’s leading expert on your product. That’s me. I’ve done it with hundreds of products, services and ideas.
Your agencies focus on finding customers and wowing them with advocacy. I focus on getting customers to find you, then make their choices simple, easy, fun and fast.
Your customers will eagerly follow a guide or a friend but resist a salesperson. Customers want less info, not more. They want the minimal amount of relevant information, the moment they need it, at the right level, from the right source. They want meaningful benefits that feel trivial to you, but are major to them. That’s why we help you launch a word-of-mouth campaign, simplify your materials and help you develop meaningful descriptions and differences.
It’s not a lot of work for you
As a client once said, “I don’t want a whole course on cooking theory. I just want Betty Crocker to come over and bake my favorite cake.” We combine our expertise in Decision Easification — the psychology of making choices simple and easy — with your product and industry expertise. We can’t do it alone and neither can you. But we do most of the work, and your best customers do most of the rest.
We’ll make your process simple, easy, fun and fast. We invite you to jump around and learn more. Even though you can’t do all if it from your perspective, there is a lot you can do, with immediate results.
Then, you might want to have a consultation with me over the phone. After a short interview with you, I will point out major decision barriers you haven’t addressed. I’ll outline ways to break down those barriers. Find out more.
On this Site, you’ll learn about several areas:
How to find the hidden barriers by using focus groups in a new way: ● How to use focus groups as laboratories to get customers to reveal the hidden decision barriers they often don’t even know they have. ● How to figure out how to remove the barriers and shorten the decision process.
How to Easify every step of the decision process. ● Learn how people actually make product decisions in your category and where they get stuck. ● Why they became prospects, customers, flounderers or rejecters.
How to use Word-of-Mouth Marketing to shorten huge chunks of the decision process.
Also, you can follow along as I write my next book, Non-Friction Marketing: How Easifying Customer Decisions Will Multiply Your Sales.