Aligning Your Marketing with Customer Desire

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The team at Marketing Experiments took on the concept of conversion in this month’s webinar. Their goal for the webinar was to present empirical evidence of the positive benefit derived from aligning our marketing message, and the display for that messaging, with the consumer’s wants and underlying motivations.

Four questions were posed that when answered with confidence will allow us to bring our marketing efforts into alignment with the consumer.

Who is the customer?

  • Most marketers, and all sales professionals I believe, have baseline gut feelings about who our customers are. Of course it is plausible that we may actually be serving numerous customer segments each with a slightly different slate of needs and pain points which need resolving.
  • These gut feelings can be assembled into a “Customer Theory”. The purpose of the theory is to allow us to more accurately predict response to a given offer.
  • The gap between gut feeling and full knowledge can be filled through ongoing investment in qualitative and quantitative market research.
  • Customer knowledge covers several key areas including: objective; motivation; experience; authority; personality.

Where did they come from?

  • If you knew that a customer arrived from either a URL or bookmark then you can make extrapolations about their motivation.
  • The test case in the webinar was a bank. If you understand where the consumer came from you could possibly extrapolate that they have an existing knowledge of the bank and possibly a relationship. Perhaps, even, they may know what they are looking for and need a minimal amount of sales pressure.

What have they done?

  • By reviewing the links that a customer or prospect has selected we can infer there interest in specific products or services.
  • If the link is a shortcut such as “open a checking account in minutes” you can imply they desire a quick process and have an interest in purchasing.

How do we expect them to proceed?

  • Their path might be navigate to homepage; select a specific link; and then make a decision.
  • As marketers we need to be able to clear the path in order to prevent customers from completing their thought sequence.

image1The case study results showed a 65% lift in applications from the treatment that focused on the ability for the customer to open an account in minutes. This treatment was developed based on information regarding the customer’s motivation.

A second case study focusing on a Canadian supplier of residential windows showed that when they shifted the headline and sub-head away from one that described what they do “Specializing in Residential Replacement of Windows and Doors” to one with a strong call to action “Book your installation before summer and receive three free upgrades” they saw a 104% increase in traffic to their website from a direct mail ad.

Key takeaways – motivation is the single most important factor driving the sales process. However, it belongs clearly to the customer and as an external factor it is outside the control of the marketer. Second, in order to map out customer motivation we have to listen to the customer’s voice and examine the clues they have left us by observing who they are; where they are coming from; what they have done; and how they will most likely next proceed.

Greg Timpany directs the research efforts for Global Knowledge in Cary, North Carolina, and runs Anova Market Research. You can follow him on Twitter @DataDudeGreg.


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