Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Don't Make Customers Think, Make Them Do!

My good lady wife is a Sunday Telegraph reader. I'm not a big fan really part from the Thinktank in the Business section. Well worth a read.

Anyway, last weekend there was an interesting Marketing article on targeting consumer thinking. Link is at the bottom as I want you read my thoughts first. Selfish I know.

Well the piece revolves around a book published by Professor Daniel Kahneman, a Nobel Prize winner, Thinking Fast and Slow

Kahneman divides human thinking into two systems.

System 1 is the unconscious, intuitive, effort free thinking that happens without us knowing about it
System 2 on the other hand is about slow, very conscious thinking of which we are very aware we are doing

One way of demonstrating this is looking at mental arithmetic

What's 2x2?

What's 23x13?

In the majority of cases our brains prefer System 1 thinking because it's easy and we can do most of it almost from memory. Do we actually recalculate 2x2? Or do we just remember the answer?

The good Professor relates this approach to brands and suggests that advertising should target System 1 thinking and that that can be achieved by being available as a Brand as widely as possible. It kind of flies in the argument put forward over the last few years that perhaps the best approach isn't to just carpet bomb the consumer with brand messages.

But of course the argument I believe is more subtle than that.it's really about being available when the consumer is open to the brand, or indeed the brands offering.

So in the case of Coca-Cola, it's important to have a vending machine nearby as well having TV commercials
With Costa Coffee it's about being able to have a caffeine shot at that moment when you need a pick me up, in the High Street, at a motorway petrol station.

Now of course this kind of thinking can be applied to elements of eCRM.

Let's take email for a second. the other week I flagged this subject line as my favourite .

At the time I posted that simply because I thought it was a good example of cross selling based on my previous purchase of a chainsaw with Amazon. But of course it's a good example of how cross selling either post purchase or even better at point of purchase taps into that System 1 thinking.

As I bought the chainsaw, it's a no brainer for Amazon or similar to suggest I buy some chainsaw oil at the same time

Of course similar to this is the content of Malcolm Gladwells book 'Blink' where he talks about thinking with out thinking. Sounds very similar to System 1 thinking to me.

Gladwell puts forward the idea that lots of decisions are made not in 30minutes, not in 3 minutes but actually in a matter of seconds. That decision could very well be about buying a house, deciding to hire someone or even just whether you are going to like someone.

And I've talked about this in terms getting a communication from a brand. As a brand you probably have a couple of seconds in which to convince someone to go beyond your subject line, click through on a link, go beyond the landing page.

So what does that mean? It means thinking about what the customer needs or wants to do and making it easy as possible for them to do that. If it becomes too much work..forget about it.

Think tank article 'targeting consumers' fast thinking '

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