It’s harder than ever to get consumers to take action, and advertising is to blame.
We all know that marketing has moved from traditional advertising to more two-way communication. The old sparkle words (CLEANER! FRESHER! FASTER!, etc.) have now been replaced by hashtags, and TV, radio, magazine and billboard ads are second to customer reviews.
But how did this happen?
The answer is that we took traditional advertising a little (or a lot) overboard. CBS reports “We’ve gone from being exposed to about 500 ads a day back in the 1970’s to as many as 5,000 a day today.”
Such advertising overload has generated clutter and skepticism. People no longer accept ads at face value. Today, they want to read customer reviews, participate in free trials, and research similar brands before they act. In response, companies have shifted their marketing emphasis from traditional advertising to word-of-mouth.
And word-of-mouth comes from people talking about their experiences. Therefore, there’s been a lot of stress on creating great ones. Food is fresh, clothes are stylish, and gadgets work the first time. People now expect great performance from products and services.
In this way, all brands seem pretty much the same.
Yet, there are some brands that just AREN’T the same as all the others. There are those brands that make people act time and time again without a second thought, even though competitors might offer a similar product. We all know someone who will only buy Apple products, refuses to drink coffee if it’s not from Starbucks, or won’t drive a vehicle unless it’s a Toyota. They don’t care about customer reviews or price. There’s simply no reasoning with them. They act without logic.
Why? Because they’re in love with that brand. According to global advertising company Saatchi & Saatchi, these brands are called Lovemarks, or companies that actually transcend brands by creating an intimate, emotional relationship with their consumers. Lovemarks have loyal customer bases that really love their product and simply can’t live without it.
Lovemarks are more than products – they’re habits.
Obviously, the ultimate marketing goal is to become a Lovemark. Customers that habitually interact with your brand are a marketing dream. And don’t think only big name brands like Apple can do it – people fall in love with their favorite local restaurants, barbershop, tax service, etc. all the time. You’re a Lovemark simply if your customers say, “I won’t go anywhere else.”
But first things first: you have to get people to try out your product. After all, no one can fall in love with something they’ve never tried.
Getting People to Act
But how do you get people to try you out? You need to inspire them to take action, whether it’s buying your product, subscribing to your service, or downloading a free trial.
It may seem a little daunting, but never fear: I have for you the five preconditions that you must meet for a person to interact.
Here’s what needs to happen for people to interact with you right now.
1. Cue – “I am thinking about the product”
Something needs to cue a person to think about your product. People can’t interact with you if you’re not on their mind, or worse – if they don’t know you exist.
This cue could happen in three ways:
- They are researching similar products and discover yours.
- They are referred to your product by a friend (through word of mouth or on social media).
- They see one of your ads.
Therefore, you need to make sure you optimize those three touch points (your website/SEO, your word of mouth/social media and your ads) so that people have as many chances to stumble upon your product as possible.
2. Reaction – “I feel good about the product”
Once they start considering your product, people will automatically react to the idea on an emotional level.