Monday, September 7, 2009

When 7 + 3 = 6

Getting your customers to take the action you want can sometimes seem like hitting a moving target. But, when you look at a little theory behind consumer decision making, you see that you can move with the target.

When we do promotions for Idaho Select and any of our events, one of the goals of our marketing campaigns is to create a purchase. There are six steps that have to occur for someone to purchase, or take any action. We strive to achieve that goal in seven attempts via three media.

A purchase happens after 1. a person is exposed to a marketing message, 2. a person notices the message, 3. a person understands the message, 4. a person makes a positive association with the message, 5. the person plans to take action from the message and 6. the person actually takes action in the way you intended (from the "Handbook of Social Psychology").

To get a person through these six steps, we try to connect with them seven times. These efforts are outbound efforts attempting to reach out, as opposed to a website, for example, which is where you may be trying to get people to go as a result of your efforts.

Creating your campaign is where the fun really begins. Knowing your market and being creative are critical to your campaign's success. Marketing is sometimes seen as a fluffy step that can be skimmed over. And while a planned campaign doesn't need an extraordinary amount of time to execute, a well thought out marketing strategy can make the difference in who and how many people you are able to influence.

Depending on your budget, it's unlikely that you can try and market to each individual. At the same time, your mass marketing efforts won't connect with everyone. Some of your market will need to see images, some connect to things they hear while others need to read about the information. Our theory is that if you can get a combination of these three methods in front of someone at least seven times, we are more likely to move them through the six steps toworard a purchase.

There are several ways to do this, all ranging from free to very expensive. We always make use of our free resources first. Community calendars, event booths, Twitter, Facebook and public relations are a few of the free ones we utilize, though our Facebook and PR efforts can be timely to create and execute. Just to be clear on this point, having a Facebook page is not enough. However, because of the ability to push content out to "Friends" and "Fans" you are able to generate attention from your Facebook posts.

Inexpensive items can be things like newsletters, Facebook and web advertising. With new tracking software that Facebook and other websites provide, you can set a weekly budget and know what you are going to get.

Some of the more expensive forms of advertising include radio, television and newspapers. Fortunately, we've been able to establish some great partnerships with some of these channels to keep our expenses down.

The better you get at this process, the more advanced you can get. Often, if you connect with your market in the right way, you can actually move them 2 or 3 steps through the purchase process at once.

No comments:

Post a Comment