October 2, 2013
Every entrepreneur wants to know how to attract more customers. There are two factors necessary for capturing their attention, both center around understanding customer behavior. First, is to make your customer aware of the product or service. In its simplest form, marketing educates people. So, if you want to be effective, it’s important to know how your customer learns. Second, it’s to know how your customers’ triggers so your message and presentation sinks in. Without getting both of these factors right, your message is destined to fall on deaf ears.
How Customers Learn
Customers learn the same way they did in school. Let’s step back and look at the school programs. Psychologists have determined that there are four ways:
The visual learning style means things seen or observed, and includes images, videos, info graphics, diagrams, demonstrations, and displays. These are customers who like to watch videos or infomericals.
The auditory learning style means information absorbed through listening to the spoken word, sounds and noises. These are customers who like to hear podcasts.
The kinesthetic learning style involves the physical experience such as touching, feeling, holding, doing, and practical hands-on experiences.
The learning style of readers are people who like eBooks, blogs, product literature, manuals and instructions.
Now, visualize your customers. A person who is kinesthetic isn’t going to want to read a 300 page book. This is generational issue as well. If your customer is younger, they will prefer video or podcasts. An older person, who grew up before YouTube and podcasting is more likely to be comfortable with reading. While most executives are older, they don’t like to read simply because it takes up too much of their time. They prefer visual or auditory. Today, you’ll see researchers present their findings in lengthy documentary films, a series of short YouTube videos, books, info graphics, blog posts, and so on – all to address the different learning styles in their audiences. Yet, every type of media presents the exact information.
How to Captivate Them
The second factor is how receptive your audience is to your presentation style. This comes to you via Sally Hogshead, an expert on fascination, from her book Fascinate. According to her, the more distracted an environment, the more cluttered a marketplace, the more important being fascinating becomes. Even though a product may be brilliant, it will fail to gain enough traction unless it captivates its audience.
So the obvious question is how do you fascinate your audience? Accordingly it’s based upon using the right set of triggers for your audience. The seven basics triggers are lust, mystique, alarm, prestige, power, vice and trust.
Prestige addresses human fascination on rank and respect; it elevates something about the rest. Prestige ranks people and objects relative to each other. People are willing work hard to show off status symbols. Luxury brand strategy means a high price tag. But instead of price being a barrier, it’s viewed as an incentive to purchase. Think about how typical middle and high school students think about the latest iPhone. It’s not about its functionality, it’s about showing off.
With vice we are fascinated with bending or breaking them. It’s exciting. Just think about jail breaking an Apple iPhone. Vice never fails to get people talking. Vice is about heated controversies, guilty pleasures, and taboos. Teenagers are a magnet for vice. The vice trigger can be used to lure people away from their standard choices.
Lust draws people in because they crave a sensory experience. Lust leads to irrational and unreasonable behavior. Lust turns “I really shouldn’t” into “I really shouldn’t, but I will anyway.” A lustful message compels people to really want it, despite evidence to the contrary. Just think about walking down the main hall of a shopping mall that has an Auntie Ann’s pretzel shop. The smell of fresh baking bread permeates everywhere and you just have to get one – hungry or not!
Trust is about building a long-term relationship. People are loyal to reliable options. Many products succeed not because they are the highest quality but because they are the most familiar. Trust requires consistency. The more people are exposed to something, the more they trust it and the more they like it. Trust is difficult to maintain as the familiar becomes aged, tired, and worn over the years. While trust takes time to build, there are ways to accelerate the process.
Mystique stimulates our curiosity. Mystique compels people to buy products they don’t need, or even want. There are four ways to trigger mystique: spark curiosity, withhold information, build mythology, and limit access. For example, a secret recipe can turn a mundane recipe into something. However, information kills mystiques so don’t use this approach and bombard your customer with facts.
Alarms threaten. A customer sitting on the fence about a decision can be made to act when they know the consequences. Alarm-base marketing is about creating deadlines and making the customer aware of the consequences that result from their failure to act. Alarm messages prompt people to act quickly.
Power is associated with leadership. We find role models and focus on them. It’s why stars are on the cover of magazines or why we want to know what items the stars use or own. Experts and authorities exude power. Using a power trigger with strengthen one’s reputation and earn respect.
If you want to read further about these triggers, Sally Hogshead’s book (Fascinate) is enlightening. It’s a great book (and no, I’m not getting paid in any way to say this). It not only takes the reader through many examples of how these triggers are used in marketing, but also includes her workshop so you can use them in your business too.
Filed under: Marketing & Sales