Either you’re supporting the customer’s decision making, or you’re creating clutter and obstructing it.
Prospects make dozens of little decisions as they move through the decision process:
- Decisions about entering the marketplace. “Browsing.”
- Decisions about learning about your products and your competitors’. Technical term: it’s called “Shopping.”
- Decisions about initial experiences with the product. Technical term: it’s called “Trying.”
- Decisions about purchase. Buying.
- Decisions about expanding usage: Using. committing.
- Decisions about the whole decision and usage experience. Raving, Evangelizing
Different customers have many different ways of doing each of these. Each has its own set of rules.
Your marketing materials and activities are rarely in exact sync with your customers. That’s why there are so many browsers and shoppers, but so few raving fans.
People are more in sync with their friends than they ever will be with your advertising and salespeople. That’s why word of mouth is so much more powerful than marketing.
The lessons learned from all this is that you need to:
- Lay out all the dozens of little steps that people need to take in order to go from browsing to evangelism.
- Spend a whole lot more time eliminating these steps or making the steps simpler, easier, faster, and more fun.
- Find every large and small block, barrier, impediment and bottleneck and eliminate them. “Disimpedimentation.”
- Focus on the whole decision experience rather than just the user experience with the product interface.
- Put a lot more time, energy and resources into streamlining and funifying the customer decision process from beginning to end. [By the way, there is no end, at least not with on-going customers.]
Conventional marketing complexifies by shoveling information at already overloaded people.
You can use this decision smoothing approach by employing word of mouth and other techniques to smooth out the bumps in your customers’ very rough decision process.
More to come. Stay tuned. I feel another book coming on.
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Word-of-Mouth Marketing Speaker and Consultant
Author, The Secrets of Word-of-Mouth Marketing
Contrary to popular belief, the better the product is, the harder it usually is to sell. The best products tend to be the innovative, breakthrough products – and the marketplace rarely beats a path to their door.
Why? Because innovative, breakthrough, high-tech products make most people uncomfortable.
That’s why they are called discontinuous or disruptive innovations.
There are invariably problems with:
- communicating the benefits,
- getting people to believe the claims,
- getting people to do things a new way,
- satisfying the vested interests,
- overcoming natural inertia,
- overcoming people’s discomfort with initial trial,
- supporting their initial learning curve,
- helping them “sell” their colleagues, etc.
New products increase people’s uncertainty, make them uncomfortable and increase their feelings of insecurity.
That’s why marketers seriously overestimate market share and underestimate the time that it will take to get there.
One VERY successful Marketing VP once advised, “Give them a number and give them a date. But never, ever in the same document.”
Yet, it is possible to dramatically reduce the time it takes for new products to be adopted. This is especially true for technical, high-tech, innovative, breakthrough products, where the decisions tend to be more deliberative and less impulsive than many consumer packaged goods decisions.
(For verbal convenience, I’ll call these high-tech products, but I’m including here technical, medical, business-to-business, marketing automation, agricultural, chemical, financial and similar products and services.) The following product acceleration methods do not apply as well to consumer packaged goods, particularly those that involve personal taste and depend heavily on product image.
But if you’re selling “high-tech products,” I sincerely believe that the ideas that you are about to read can make the difference between failure and wild, run-away success.
The key to accelerating product adoption
You’re trying to get your product adopted in the marketplace, fast. Obviously, that means that you are trying to get people to evaluate, choose, try, buy, implement and use your product. This means that you are trying to influence their decision process. The decision process is central to product acceptance and product success, yet it is almost totally neglected.
When you reduce the time it takes for customers to decide on your product and make it significantly less than your competition, you will dominate your marketplace.Read More Post a comment (0)