Increasing consumer engagement is one of the biggest challenges marketers face; this video examines some strategies to boost involvement.
- Imagine this conversation between two shoppers at a car dealership. The first consumer says, I want the one I read about in the latest issue of Car and Driver magazine. The one with the 6.3 liter V8 engine, a double clutch transmission, rear wheel drive, with a 10:1 compression ratio. The second consumer says, I want a red one. Pretty big difference, right? As this contrast shows, buyers often display varying levels of interest in a particular product.
Think of a person's motivation level as a continuum that ranges from absolute lack of interest at one end, to obsession at the other. Inertia describes consumption at the low end of involvement where we make decisions out of habit, because we lack the motivation to consider alternatives. At the other end, cult products like Apple or Harley Davidson, command fierce consumer loyalty, devotion, and maybe even worship by consumers.
The sad truth is that there are a lot more products at the low end than at the high end. However even in the case of boring categories, there are a lot of strategies available to ramp up consumer's engagement level so they are more motivated to buy what you sell. Here are a few. Gamification is a red hot marketing strategy today. It refers to the application of gaming principles to non-gaming contexts.
This approach offers a way to dramatically increase involvement, especially for subjects that aren't too interesting on their own. When the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, or FDIC, wanted to promote financial literacy, the government agency created its Money Smart program. It's designed to look like a board game similar to Monopoly and it challenges players to learn financial skills, such as setting up a bank account, paying bills on time, and avoiding identify theft.
The game attracted more than 40,000 users in a year. Consumers engage more with personalized products that acknowledge their individuality. For example, Mars Snackfood USA introduced M&M's faces to encourage consumers to bond with its chocolates. At their website, you can upload a photo and order a batch of M&M's with a face and personal message printed on the candy shell.
Novel messages grab our attention and motivate us to learn more about what's going on. Do something unexpected in a commercial to wake up your customers. Or use prominent stimuli such as loud music and fast action to capture attention. In print formats, larger ads increase attention. Also viewers look longer at colored pictures than at black and white ones. Include celebrity endorsers, people process more information when it comes from someone they admire, or at least know about.
Provide value that customers appreciate. Charmin bathroom tissues set up public toilets in Time Square that hordes of grateful visitors used. Thousands more people visited the brand's website to learn more about this service. Invent new media platforms to grab attention. One firm creates hand stamps that night clubs use to identify paying customers. The stamps include logos or ad messages so partiers' hands become an advertising platform.
Boosting buyer engagement is probably the biggest challenge marketer's face today. Never assume that what you sell is too boring. There are many techniques out there to get your customer's hearts pumping.
First, learn the importance of consumer behavior in helping us understand when, why, and how purchasing decisions are made. Michael shares how factors such as color, shape, and sound influence our perception of brands and products. He discusses gender identity and products geared towards different genders, as well as how consumer lifestyles, values, and attitudes affect product preferences. Michael also goes into external influences on consumer behavior, covering how groups make decisions and how ideas spread. Finally, Michael explores the role emotion plays in purchase decisions, and how you can structure messages to maximize persuasion.
- Sensory marketing as a strategic tool
- How gender identity can affect product choice
- Personality and brand image
- Decision-making in groups
- Retailing as theater
- How ideas spread through the market
- Persuasive communications
- Influencing consumer behavior