Forget engagement, relationships, social media, permission marketing and all the other fads, myths and marketing hype.
The key to successful marketing is making yes decisions easier for the customer. I’ve been saying this for decades! Now, it has finally been validated by a formal study. See the Forbes article: Marketers Have It Wrong: Forget Engagement, Consumers Want Simplicity.
Of course, I don’t need a study. I’ve applied this principle to help some companies create hundred million dollar sales increases, and one billion-dollar sales increase (Prilosec®).
As you read the article, beware of the common mistake the authors make. They blur the crucial distinction between “easy” and “simple.”
The Difference Between “Easy” And “Simple” And Why It’s Important
Promise: In this article, I will help you learn how to help your customers make YES decisions more easily, whether your business is large or small, and whether you sell a product or a service. That’s my promise.
First, here’s the difference between simple and easy.
The opposite of simple is complex.
The opposite of easy is difficult.
Simple, not easy: you are on safari, deep in Africa. Your guide says, “We are out of your Western food. What would you like for dinner tonight, worms or beetles?” This is a simple [non-complex] choice, but not easy. Product sellers do this all the time when they ask customers which added features they want, or whether they want Model A or Model B. Most of the time, customers have no idea what the difference really is, and if that difference is worth the price difference.
Easy, not simple: For example: the route from my house in NY to my friend’s house in Boston is extremely complex. It can’t be simplified. But my turn-by-turn navigation system makes the still-complex route easy, but not simple. When I use my GPS system, it just tells me to “turn left ahead.” It’s very easy and I end up where I want to go, with just as much complexity, but a minimum of difficulty. The same method works well in marketing. The trick is to keep each step small, simple, easy and fun, with plenty of guidance, feedback and rewards. Are you acting as your customer’s turn-by-turn decision navigator, his GPS? In every category, the company that does it best wins.
If you blur this distinction, you will concentrate on making things simple, which is only one method of making things easy. And, it’s easy that you want.
Your job when marketing your product, service or idea is to help the customer’s decision-making process easier. Implementing even just the first three simple, easy steps I’m about to recommend here will increase your sales substantially. There are plenty more, so stay tuned. If you are getting this as a forwarded email, go to www.mnav.com and sign up for my newsletter with the upper right form. You’ll also get the 10 Yesses report that you might have heard marketers discussing. [Another example of making things easier!]
The Three Best Steps That Will Explode Your Sales Immediately
Step 1. Look at the materials or other place where your customer first encounters your product, service or idea. Insert into all materials – or put a sign on the wall – that offers your equivalent of this incredibly effective, simple, clear, easy to understand promise: “If you [use/buy/prescribe/recommend] my product, I promise you that you will get …” Make sure it’s a benefit. That means, your product will make their life better in some specific, measurable way, whether it’s 15 minutes to change their oil or fresher bread or, as in my case, more sales faster by making customer decisions easier. The “Promise + Benefit Combo” has been a marketing staple for over 100 years, but it’s astounding how often a simple, clear, easy to understand promise or claim is missing. Make sure you’ve got yours up front and center. Chances are, it’s not. Mine is after the 4th paragraph above in boldface type.
Step 2: Go through the materials (such as web pages) or events (such as sales calls, demos, slide presentations, etc.) with a machete. What is your customer supposed to read or ingest into their brain as they try to navigate the path from interest to evaluating options, to learning about your product, trying it, buying it, learning to use it, etc. Pay attention to where they are dropping out or slowing down and take out at least 5 paragraphs that are not essential. More if you can get yourself to do it. Ruthlessly cut, which is one way of simplifying, which is one way of making things easier. You’ve seen many web sites that are distracting and cause you to lose interest. Make sure yours isn’t one of them! Don’t believe me? Test the simpler version against the earlier, more complicated version and see how your sales convert. If something essential really is missing, you’ll find out quickly because people will ask questions. But, before you do, there is one thing I want you to add:
Step 3. Repeat your simple, solemn, beneficial promise in every place where it can reasonably be inserted without looking ridiculously repetitive. Make sure your materials support why the promise will be fulfilled.
To follow my own advice, I can make this entire article even easier for you to implement:
Make a promise. Cut everything else to the minimum communication required to support the promise. Rinse and repeat. Less is more.
Do it, with one thing, anything, NOW.
Let me know what happens.