This is one of those articles that I know is just the beginning of a long road that will surely end as part of my methodology to define a consumer-oriented marketing strategy, and that will most likely become a conference, classes and, Who knows, in a book (it gives me a lot of respect to talk about books when I’m presenting the last one these days !).
The fact is that I am seeing marketing from a new point of view, complementary to the previous one, but which implies an important change in mentality.
Those of us who are dedicated to digital Malta Phone Number List
tend to fall into the “control trap”. The possibilities of segmentation and measurement that the Internet offers us make us focus on what we master (traffic captured and registered by our measurement tool), and this causes us a tunnel vision that leads us to think that everything happens after these clicks. Our “digital world” is reduced to what we have in front of us, disappearing or ignoring the rest.
But the reality is quite different. According to a study by Mckinsey (throughout the article I give you data from three studies):
During the purchase consideration phase we only control one third of the interactions, the remaining two thirds belong to our audience.
McKinsey – we don’t control two-thirds of sales interactions
If we reduce this to simpler numbers we will see that something like this would remain.
We only control a third of the purchase interactions
We only control a third of the purchase interactions
This data alone should make us think: “we only control one in three purchase interactions from our audience .” And the rest?
We are not aware that they occur, because our audience does not take us into account for it and we are also not able to measure them.
They don’t need us because they’re looking for an objective opinion from someone they trust the most.
It’s about conversations , store visits, recommendations from friends and family, past experiences from our audience, etc.
All these interactions can end in sales processes that we have controlled (our audience re-enters the funnel and finally converts), and in others that do not (new visitors who buy and we do not know what has caused the sale (how do you know the percentage of these sales is quite high in digital). And of course, sales in physical store that we have not been able to measure).
We have to change the way we do marketing
So far three conclusions:
We are crazy if we think that we know consumer behavior and with our marketing we control the market or the decision making of our audience. We have a small plot in which to act, but the game is played in another field . It is as if in a soccer match we were the fans and our audience the players. Our applause and chants will influence their performance, but the game is played by them.
Our audience needs to turn to other sources to find more reliable recommendations than those of a brand .
You also need a space away from us to make your purchase decision. It depends on the brand if that space belongs to a third party (social networks, forums, user communities, etc.), or it is the brand itself that generates it so that its audience feels comfortable and has part of the interactions prior to the buy there.
How can we influence what we do not see? How to influence those two-thirds of pre-sale interactions that we do not control?
How to influence our customers’ purchasing decisions
In our part we have the most traditional marketing strategy with paid and owned media, and those earned as witnesses to the echo of our actions (and part of what happens on the other side).
In the part that controls the audience, our capacity for influence is minimal and if we want to have some it must be speaking a language very different from traditional commercial or marketing.
Until now, the traditional way of influencing is through mass media advertising.
This form is very expensive and ineffective. More expensive due to the fragmentation of the media, and less effective due to the abandonment of traditional media by the younger generations.
So for certain population segments it is not even an option.
We have to create actions (in the broadest sense of the word) that favor these so that these conversations are as favorable as possible to our brand. I speak from content, services, social initiatives, … the possibilities are numerous.
We must rely on actions that stimulate conversations and strengthen our brand and enhance the earned media. At the same time, we have to create spaces (our own media), which outside of commercial action favor a closer and more humane relationship with our brand.
The only common factor between them is that they must be outside the scope of sales and return measurement. Anything that smells of sale is not going to favor us in those conversations and they will make them take place elsewhere.
How many companies can you imagine investing in an action that is not aimed at selling and whose return is difficult to measure?
Outside of the largest companies, the answer would be that with rare exceptions, you don’t know of any that do (we have a good example in the community that Fanta has created and that has led them to reduce and practically eliminate their investment in paid media). So if we want to change the way we do marketing and design a consumer-oriented project, we have a lot of work to do.
I am talking about actions that influence the most human part of the purchase decision that push our audience to buy beyond the functionalities or price of the product. That is, actions that take into account consumer behavior as the basis of the marketing strategy.
How should be the actions that influence the “consumer marketing”?
How can we guide these actions? Based on what?
On this I really like the approach made by Mark Schaefer in his new book Marketing Rebellion , which rescues Kotler’s approaches that are still fully valid today.
When it came to consumer behavior, Kotler understood marketing as a combination of psychology, anthropology, and sociology. To try to make it actionable, Mark Schaefer adds the variables that make it actionable:
Psychology : feeling of belonging and love.
Anthropology : personal interests.
Sociology : respect.
And in the combination of the three: purpose or meaning of life.
human variables marketing kotler schaefer
These are intangible elements such as: feeling loved / respected, that the company supports a purpose (the closest thing to the vision of the company that we already know) that matches their way of thinking and that makes them feel respected.
As you can see, they are actions that belong to the brand strategy, much more than to the sales one.
What is truly revolutionary about the approach is the change in mentality that the figures from the initial study should provoke, not the actions designed to mobilize the audience.
To what extent should the way we do marketing change?
1. Companies must change their mentality and show their more human side
As I usually say, to sell you don’t just have to sell. The figures from the study give us clues that reinforce this argument. If we do things to show the human side of the company and connect with our audience beyond our product, we will achieve greater influence than what more traditional marketing gives us.
2. Change the focus of marketing
We focus our marketing on the third of the interactions we control, but we ignore the rest.
I am not saying that we should make a complete turnaround, but that in the media mix we must shift an important part of the effort of campaigns aimed at direct sales towards actions that enhance the connection with our audience.
3. Loyalty to the brand has practically disappeared
Another interesting conclusion from the Mckinsey study (2019) is that brand loyalty has practically disappeared.
There is very low brand loyalty. 13% remain with the same brand, 29% are in doubt, but finally they stay (total 42%) and the remaining 58% change brands at the time of buying (they decide while they go shopping).
Mckinsey – Our customers are less and less loyal to brands
4. Branding is more important than ever
The lack of loyalty tells us about the low relevance of the brands, caused in part by the obsession with short-term sales, and of course, by the total access to information and the greater offer of products, we must take special care build our brand.
As we see in the Meaningful Brands study carried out by Havas Group in 2017: “Spanish consumers consider that 91% of brands are dispensable, compared to 74% of the world average” . In other words: in Spain more than in the rest of the world, brands are irrelevant. We are building companies without a soul, based on a product or service, in which the rest of the attributes do not add value.
According to this same study, the most valued companies perform 206% better on the stock market than the rest of the market (in addition to everything related to marketing, we are talking about the value of intangibles. But we will see this later).
If we strengthen our brand, we will stand out in the market for going against the tide, but above all, it is the best way to influence those two thirds that we do not control and to improve our results.
I’m talking about pure branding actions, (sponsorships, brand attribute campaigns, etc.), but I include all those that I mentioned above ( content , social actions, user communities, public relations, support for causes, etc.), which They allow us to humanize our brand and get closer to our audience.
It’s not about putting on autopilot and doing things just because.
It is about reflecting on who we really are, what our purpose is beyond sales, how to identify with our audience in a more authentic way … in short, to make our company more human.
I think companies need to go back to what they were before, to a neighborhood store type relationship. The one where people counted, and companies really cared about their customers.
The challenge is to make this scalable and get this culture to permeate the organization .
5. How does this new DE Phone Number affect each phase of the buying process?
According to the McKinsey study already mentioned, brands that start the purchase process ( knowledge stage ), in the mind of the consumer, have up to 3 times more chances of reaching the purchase. The problem is that the number of initial brands is less and less. The excess of information and options, make our clients reduce the number of initial options.
What supports my argument that our mission is to accompany our audience throughout the process and define differentiatedstrategies for each stage.
The hope for the rest of the brands is that this number of brands increases in the purchase consideration stage .
Mckinsey brands added in consideration of purchase by industryAs we have done our work in the previous stages, the risk that our audience changes their mind at the time of purchase will decrease.
As we see in the data, the base percentage varies depending on the sector. Where we find the highest loyalty in the telephone operators and the lowest, in the purchase of shoes.
So if our brand is weak, our loyalty stage , in some industries it practically does not make sense.
What do you think? How did you guys stay? I know the article has been long, but I think it reflects well the changes I am referring to. Changes that have been knocking on our doors for a long time, but that we have devoted ourselves to systematically ignore. I think now is the time to face them and get to work on a new way of doing marketing.