PROBLEM: "I don't Know How to Improve Sales"
If your marketing plan was created through conversations beginning with "Let's try this," or "Why don't we...," this could be the most important information you will read all year. Marketing -- your advertising, public relations, promotions, customer and community relations -- is your lifeline to profits. Could the end of that lifeline held by your customers be slipping away?
If your formal marketing plan [you do have a written plan, don't you?] is not anchored firmly in the psychology of your customers' buying behavior, you are vulnerable. 	Why are you vulnerable? Because your competitors who understand Psychological Marketing will use it to take market share away from you! Every day they are enticing your customers to "let go" of your lifeline.
To understand Psychological Marketing, you must first understand this axiom:
So WHY do they pay you? That answer is inside the buyer's mind. The
more precisely you know their REAL reasons for buying, the more
precisely you can focus your marketing plan, and the more sales you
will make. That is the fundamental value of Psychological Marketing.
What is a focused Psychological Marketing Plan? Do you remember as a kid using a glass lens to focus sunlight on a paper? While the unfocused rays of the sun merely made the paper warm, the focused rays made the paper burst into flames. That's the power which a focused Psychological Marketing Plan can give you -- when every marketing element is focused on your buyers' true motivations.
How does a Psychological Marketing Plan work? A psychological profile of the targeted potential customer base and the product or service [Yes, what you sell has a "psychological" profile, too!] forms the foundation of an effective marketing plan.
Every marketing decision flows naturally from the customer psychological profile -- your advertising, promotions, public relations, packaging, and all the rest.
Your Psychological Marketing Plan focuses on your buyer's mind. You look out through his/her eyes at your product or service. Your Plan details the best product image to create, effective advertising and promotion strategy, even ad copy. It lays out the strongest focus for your public relations and the design of your promotional materials. It describes the most effective product packaging and display, the most useful community relations events, even the most powerful pricing strategies. Everything is integrated into a long-range, well-planned timetable to create the maximum impact for your product and the maximum "buzz" about your company.
"Why Do I Need This Psycho-Mumbo Jumbo? Isn't it simple to just ask my customers why they buy?" History is littered with the wrecks of companies that tried that "pseudo-smart" tactic.
Here's an obvious example of why it doesn't work. Many men want to own a red Corvette convertible. Ask them why and they'll say "it is a great machine that's fun to drive." Many women buy bottles of expensive perfume. Ask them why and they'll say, "I want to smell good and feel feminine." But advertising campaigns based on those answers, like the sun shining on a piece of paper, will only be warm, not blazing hot!
The real answer to both questions -- the hidden buyer motivation -- is the same: "I want to become more attractive to the opposite sex, to win their attention, their approval, their admiration." That's the key to a blazing hot! campaign.
For proof just look at the print or video ads for most any established perfume. You'll see an attractive woman with a handsome man in a secluded romantic setting. These ads work because their message is tightly focused on a hidden, but very powerful, desire motivating women to buy perfume -- their psychological hot button.
There are four types of "Psychological Hot Buttons" that motivate your customers to buy: Needs, Wants, Fears and Desires.	People buy the Promise of Satisfaction. The foundation of your Psychological Marketing Plan is anchored in these four types of Satisfactions:
(1) NEEDS are things that you think you must have. If you're hungry, you need food. If you're sick, you need medicine. They are often very basic motivations.
(2) WANTS are things which you would like, but which aren't really necessary, you can get along without them. You may want an ice cream cone or a new blouse, but you don't need it. It is important to recognize the difference between your buyer's "needs" and "wants." Each requires a different advertising and marketing approach.
(3) DESIRES are like daydreams. They are things you hope for, like romance, wealth, or happiness. Winning the lottery is a desire, as is making every traffic light on the drive to work. Desires are seldom met, but they are powerful motivators.
(4) FEARS are things which we do not want to happen. Fears help us make wise decisions by considering negative possibilities, such as "Can I afford it?" or "Will it do the job?" Fears hold us back. A buyer balances needs, wants and desires against fears in making the final buying decision. That is why a psychological marketing plan always takes a buyer's "Fears" into account. There are two categories of "fears" to take into account in your plans: The customer's fear of the status quo ("If I don't get this rip in my shirt fixed, it will just get worse.") is one of the reasons he/she is interested in your product or service. Obviously, you should try to stimulate that fear when you are designing your marketing message. The second kind of fear is that of making a mistake in choosing a solution to the problem. ("I could take my shirt to Sam's Cleaners, but how do I know they will do a good job? They might ruin my favorite shirt.") These type of fears must be taken into account by offering reassurances to the customer that your company can satisfy his expectations.
What are you really selling?
You may think you're selling bonds or homes or hamburgers. But if your answer involves mentioning your product's features, you don't know what you're really selling!
Gillette knows that it doesn't sell blades. It sells clean shaves. Revlon knows it doesn't sell nail polish. It sells romance. Betty Crocker knows it doesn't sell cake mix. It sells, "Gee, mom, this cake is great!" To discover what you are really selling, remember that ultimately "You sell satisfaction."
Every product or service has at least one powerful motivator which can be used to seduce buyers into parting with their money in return for the Promise of Satisfaction.	 From lawnmowers to banks, if you know what you're really selling, and know how to promise the right satisfactions, you can dominate your field.
BUT -- your Psychological Marketing Plan can only succeed if you identify your customers' exact, inner motivations and the exact way your product can satisfy them. Remember -- people don't buy your product because they want it, but because they think it will satisfy some of their needs, wants, fears, or desires.
A lesson to remember. Even smart manufacturers and business people can overlook the most desirable features of their product for the buyer. Here's an amazing, but true, story. Eighty years ago an inventor tried to sell an "electric flowerpot" which could be lit up at night using a battery-powered lamp. Only when faced with the challenge of getting rid of all his unsold flowerpots did Conrad Hubert think to remove the light tube and sell it as a "portable light." He sold so many, he founded the Eveready Flashlight Company!
Like the "electric flowerpot," your product or service may have unrecognized opportunities for success, overlooked because you haven't thoroughly psychoanalyzed your customers or discovered what they really hope to buy from you.
Increased market share and profits are the natural riches of a focused Psychological Marketing Plan. Working with the marketing professionals at the Psychological Marketing Group is the way to seize those riches for your company.
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(c) Gary Witt, 1999
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