Web Marketing Psychology Report
WEB MARKETING PSYCHOLOGY REPORT
JENNIFER AND PETER have a
cleaning service. Their employees do a good job, but they've been
"What are we doing wrong, Jen?" asked Peter.
"Customers say we aren't doing anything wrong, but they're switching."
"I don't think it is price," said Jennifer.
"We're not the lowest, but we aren't the highest either."
"I'll ask over at Western International University, see
if their marketing profs have any ideas," said Peter.
A week later Peter said to Jennifer, "Maybe this is the
problem. One of the profs said buyer research shows that customers
switch most services based on a couple of factors. The first is how
good the service is, and the other is how good the 'quality of care' is."
"What's 'quality of care?' asked Jennifer.
"It means the way the service is provided. You know, like
smiling and going that extra mile," said Peter.
"So we may be falling down on our 'quality of care'?"
"Right," said Peter. "The research found if
either rating drops, customers are ripe to switch. But switching is
more likely when the 'quality of care' drops than when the quality of
"That makes sense when you think about it. Remember that
boutique I used to love? After that woman was rude to me, I'd never
go in there again."
"So what do we do?" asked Peter.
"Let's beef up our service with quality care extras. We
could offer some special cleaning services free to good customers,
send regular Thank You notes with little gifts . . ."
"And we could do a quarterly written evaluation of the
places we clean, pointing out developing problems we see with the
carpet, bathrooms, and disposal areas."
"How about birthday cards? And holiday cards?"
"Wow. When you start throwing out ideas, there are a lot
of cheap things we can do to make our customers feel special!"
LESSON: No matter what you sell, you sell to people.
They're just like you. They want to feel special and appreciated for
giving you the business. Little things go a long way to creating
those emotions, and they pay off in greater brand loyalty. Start
brainstorming. You'll be amazed at the good ideas you'll think of.
BRAND LOYALTY is influenced by
more than Quality of Care. Research shows that customers make buying
decisions on brands they've bought before based on &ldots;
(1) Performance Evaluation - how well does that kitchen
cleaner or burger place do what you expect it to do? These are the
Needs, Wants and Reduction of Fears motivations we've often
discussed. If you aren't getting what you expect, you won't be loyal.
(2) Social and Emotional satisfaction -- Does buying
the product or service make you feel good about yourself, and make
you feel that others would feel good about you, too? A t-shirt may be
well made, but if it says "K-Mart" in big letters on the
front, chances are you won't buy it. On the other hand, a cheap
t-shirt that says "Saks Fifth Avenue" will fly off the
shelf at twice the price. Remember, we don't buy products or
services. We buy satisfactions, including emotional nourishment and self-image.
(3) Habit -- the longer you've been buying a product,
the greater the odds you'll buy it again, all things being equal.
That's why it is important to do everything you can to make the
buying experience for newer customers special (smiles, Thank You
letters, little extras -- 'Here's a nice bone for your dog, Mrs.
Jones'), and encourage them to buy again (coupons, good customer
discounts, customer-only specials, etc.)
OLGA AND BEN have an
alterations shop. They do fine work, but they aren't building
referral customers as fast as they want.
"We ask our customers to tell their friends," said
Ben. "What else can we do?"
Olga did some reading and found that creating customer satisfaction
isn't as straight-forward as they thought.
"Aren't customers just satisfied when we do a good
job?" asked Ben.
"No," said Olga. "Satisfaction is really a
matter of comparison between expectations and reality."
"Say that we promise a suit alteration on Thursday. The
customer comes in on Thursday, and there it is," said Olga.
"Right. We did what we promised. What's wrong with
that?" asked Ben.
"Nothing. We set a level of customer expectation by
promising the suit on Thursday, and met that expectation by having it
ready. The customer is satisfied," said Olga. "But
customers are MORE satisfied when their expectations are exceeded."
"What should we do?" asked Ben.
"We could promise the suit would be ready on Saturday,
then call on Thursday and tell them it is ready."
"That's makes them think we're fast."
"Right. And we say that we did it early because they are
a good customer, or a first-time customer, whatever."
"That makes them feel special." said Ben.
"Right. And it isn't just time. If our store looks high
class and our prices are moderate, then people are more satisfied
because they were expecting higher prices based on how our store
looked to them. There are several ways we can influence a customer's
psychological satisfaction without spending a lot of money or
changing our scheduling."
"And the better they're satisfied, the more they'll tell
their friends about us."
LESSON: Your marketing messages are promises of
performance. Promise enough to get the business, then exceed those
promises to get the repeat business. Try to create that 'pleasant
surprise' in every customer.
Back to Top
WEB MARKETING PSYCHOLOGY REPORT
SELMA AND BOB have a small automobile insurance agency that
writes policies for multiple insurance companies. They aren't doing
so well, and need a boost in both inquiries and sales.
"We advertise and send postcards to people in our
Bob. "What else should be do?"
Selma talked to a marketing psychologist who told her, "Here's
one idea to increase both inquiries and sales. The bond of trust
between parents and children in their 20s is stronger than most
retailers suspect. In auto insurance, for example, 35-40% of young
men have the same insurance company as their fathers. For some
products, especially those young adults readily identify with, such
as music and films, the parental influence is minimal. But for many
others, from insurance to brand name toilet tissue, it really does
seem like 'father--or mother--knows best.'"
Bob smiled when Selma related this information. "Targeted
mail," he said. "We can get a list of all young men
. . .
"And women," said Selma.
"And women living in our area, crossmatch them with
insurance companies we write, and send each of them an
join the same insurance company as their parents."
"We can also send a letter to their parents giving them 10
Reasons Good Insurance Is Important For Young People, and suggest
they talk to their kids about it," said Selma.
"Yeah, like when Johnny brings home his laundry for mom
Their ideas worked. They received more inquiries from young
adults in the area, and even a couple of thank you notes from parents.
LESSON: Everyone is influenced by the opinions of
careful in assuming that just because kids have left the nest that
they are only influenced by peers. Eighteen years at home
lot of trust and brand equity for many products and services.
TWO-WAY INFLUENCE IN FAMILY PURCHASING DECISIONS:
Parent - Children influence is a two-way street. Behavioral
research shows that children influence the purchasing
parents, too. We're all familiar with the crying child in the
supermarket who demands a cereal with a favorite cartoon
Smart marketers who sell children's products always do a dual
analysis of their target market -- one to identify the underlying
buying motivations (needs, wants, fears, desires) of the child who
consumes, and a separate one for the mother who pays. Dual
motivation analysis allows marketers to
focus on the most persuasive
logical and emotional advertising messages
for both the buyer and the user.
When both will see the same message, such as on packaging, dual
motivation analysis allows the marketer to combine messages, often
using visuals for children (such as Go-Gurt's cool kids on
skateboards) and text for moms (the text on Go-Gurt's box emphasizes
its nutritional value and portability.)
But children have greater buying influences on parents. For
example, if parents believe their teens have more knowledge
product, such as a computer or MP3 player, the teen's
the buying decision increases.
If parents believe the productcategory has more relative
importance to their children, such as the
choice of a college or prom dress, their influence is greater.
Children also play a larger role in the initiation stage ("Let's
consider buying this") of new purchases than in the
When children see an ad for a new toy or food on a Saturday morning
show, for example, they can initiate an awareness and consideration
process that would otherwise not have happened.
LESSON: If you sell something used by children or teens,
consider a two-pronged marketing strategy which targets the specific,
separate, buying motivations of users and purchasers. This is
especially true for new products or services where the
children on initial consideration is especially strong.
JOSE AND ROBERTO have an office equipment business.
strong when they focused on selling low cost copiers and fax machines
to small business owners. Now they've expanded into higher-priced
equipment, and that forces them to target larger companies. So far
results have been poor.
"We offer name-brand equipment at really low prices,"
"What are we doing wrong?"
Roberto talked to a business friend who gave him some articles
on psychological marketing.
"It says here," Roberto reported, "that we have
to overcome a
lot more stress in bigger companies to make the sale."
"Stress?" said Jose. "From what?"
"Bigger companies buying more expensive equipment bring more
people into the decision-making process. They're from different
departments, and maybe some are more senior than others," said
Roberto. "We're used to a store owner and a secretary
decision. More people mean more stress in the whole process."
"What does that mean?" asked Jose.
"It means that everyone is sweating making a bad decision
because these machines cost a lot of money. They're worried
bad decision will make them look bad to their boss and to the people
in other departments who maybe didn't agree with them."
"Sure. And everyone probably has a little different take
purchase depending on their department, like finance versus
marketing," said Jose.
"Decisions also get made a higher levels, so one set of people
make recommendations, but others decide what to buy,"
"That means more conflict among the recommenders, who all want
to look good, and more fear among the deciders, who have to figure
out which recommendation to trust," said Jose.
"Right. And the higher the decider's position, the more
at stake in his or her career," added Roberto, "just
questions on that 'Who Wants To Be a Millionaire' show."
"So price is not the key issue here. It's confidence. And that
means an emphasis on brand names, track record, testimonials,
after-sales service, and a strong guarantee," said Jose."
"These marketing psychology articles say we've
got to have a
good idea of all the hidden buying
motivations at work, especially
the emotional ones like fears and desires,"
"Research," said Jose. "We know some of the
people in the
companies we want to sell. Others we can ask about, or just
educated estimate of their key motivations, based on their department
and job responsibility."
"Right, like increasing sales, boosting efficiency
finding ways to trim costs. And always 'job protection.'"
Roberto and Jose revised their marketing materials and sales
pitch to address the various buying motivations (needs, wants,
fear and desires) at play in each company, and tried to provide
information that would reduce stress, such as testimonials and a
strong guarantee for performance and service.
It is still an uphill struggle for them, but they've been
receiving some positive feedback, so Roberto and Jose know
the right track with their psychological marketing approach.
LESSON: You don't sell to companies. You sell to people.
Every person in the decision chain wears two hats -- corporate and
Their final decision is a balancing act between "What's
the company" and "What's good for my career?"
For the best results,
identify and use both sets of motivations in your marketing messages
and sales pitch. Never forget the
importance of 'fear' in any
Newsletter * Contact
Us * Index * Rewards *
NOTICE: All material on this
site is Copyrighted, and may not be reproduced without the written
consent of the Marketing Psychology Group, Inc., Scottsdale, Arizona.
If quoting text, please provide attribution. Thank you. job