by Charlotte L. Hanna CMO/Director of PMR/CMBS Global
According to a recent article by Patrick Spenner , contributor to Forbes.Com, marketers have it all wrong. The best way to impact purchase decision and brand loyalty is simplicity. Keeping it simple is stronger than engagement, because it’s what consumers really want. Social media is not the best strategy.
The Corporate Executive Board seems to back up Mr. Spenner’s claims by stating that brands that simplify customer decision making are:
- 86% more likely to be purchased
- 115% more likely to be recommended
- Decision Simplicity is the #1 reason why consumers are likely to buy, repeatedly buy, and recommend it to others
Maybe…but I am hard put to agree with CEB’s argument that customers do not want a relationship with you, they just want help to make good choices. I believe there is demand for both.
Perhaps, as the IBM Institute for Business Value reports, in a digital world data exists that suggests marketing should target consumers based on their “digital personalities” – but digital or digital-free (or whatever the opposite of digital would be here) using the word ‘personalities’ still speaks to an involvement of the human element that requires interaction and connection. In fact, IBM’s own study describes it this way:
Since age-based segmentation schemes no longer suffice in the connected consumer era, Media and Entertainment providers are finding that behavior-based segmentation is now essential. Our 2011 survey revealed four prominent types of “digital personalities” that are not age-based, but instead are based on the combination of degree of access to content and intensity of content interaction.
• “Efficiency Experts.” This largest group (41 percent of our global sample) sees the adoption of digital devices and services as a way to make life easier.
• “Content Kings.” This digital personality (just 9 percent of global sample) includes dedicated gamers, newshounds, movie buffs, music lovers and TV fans.
• “Social Butterflies.” These consumers (15 percent of global sample) cannot imagine not being able to instantly access any of their friends.
•“Connected Maestros.” This personality (35 percent of global sample) combines the behaviors common to Content Kings and Social Butterflies with even more sophisticated behaviors.
Yes, consumers are empowered by the ease of connecting digitally. In today’s tech-savvy society, consumers are not only more informed and better educated, but with instant access, most all of us will admit to being a bit more demanding and fickle, as well. We have come to expect so much more and tolerate so much less. The technology that is supposed to save us time ends up consuming much of our time, resulting in our inclination to view unfavorably anything that appears to further waste our time.
It is becoming increasingly important to consumers engaged in purchasing online, that they be able to trust those with whom they are doing business. Trust can only be built over time and is nearly impossible to establish without forming some type of relationship. People still buy from those they trust. Especially in a slower economy, trust is a requisite for spending hard-earned cash. Consumers may desire that you keep it simple – but they also demand that you be trustworthy. They are looking for reliable, intelligent, informative interaction that gives them what they need and want via a secure, smart, simple approach.
Sydni Craig-Hart has spent years building relationships with her clients while keeping it simple. In fact, she created The Smart Simple Marketing System ™ (a series of 10 proven profit-generating steps) for that very reason…to keep it simple for her customers, helping them to get what they want at lightning speed and efficiency, while providing them exactly what they need. According to Sydni, “I know exactly how it feels to be overwhelmed by too many options in marketing…these are the same steps I’ve implemented in my own business to create two thriving companies and create a six-figure plus income.”
Marketing doesn’t have to be complicated in order to engage your customers in a manner that breeds trust in this rapidly growing, digital world marketplace. Keep it simple for consumers to make decisions by engaging with them honestly and sincerely, avoiding any strategy that smacks of more concern for making money than of service to them.