Fish swim, birds fly, humans love
Einstein won his Nobel prize for proving cell phones don’t cause cancer. In order to claim cell phones cause cancer, you must prove Einstein’s Nobel prize winning theory wrong. Until then, good luck.
I just got an out-of-the-blue text from my mobile provider (Fido) letting me know I can add another phone line to my account starting from $27/month. WOW! Except both our plans with them show a clear history of consistently using less than 5 min of voice minutes per month total.
I have been a mobile subscriber over 15 years, and I have never been asked what I want. What’s worse they don’t even need to ask! They seem to spend vast sums of money on their “shotgun” marketing, but don’t seem to do any analysis of my usage history to craft and offer a custom plan that would have a high probability of being attractive to me.
All today’s text does is remind me how stupid my provider is and encourages me to calculate the soonest it makes sense to break my contract with them.
It also makes me think about yesterday’s post and how while the initial buying process is somewhat linear, keeping a customer is a much more dynamic relationship. More on this to come soon…
Studying marketing I learned how it contributed to the “sales funnel”. This was a metaphor for the sales process of filtering out matching customers to your product and making deals with them (sales). But marketing technology solutions today is more like caring for an octopus; a notoriously difficult marine creature to keep happy & healthy.
Buyers aren’t sand grains flowing down (and leaking out of) a funnel. They seem to move towards a solution (always indirectly) with their many-arms simultaneously interacting with many different communication channels, and with evolving biases at every stage. At its most basic all buying (or ‘conversions’ if profit is not the goal) is migration from ignorance to awareness to consideration, and finally to conversion.
Ignorance > Awareness > Consideration > Conversion
Good marketing is ideally identifying & interacting with your buyers & their problems to make & communicate your superior solution. But what’s ideal changes. At each phase of the buying process the seller has to answer a different set of questions correctly for the buyer to continue to consider the seller’s solution.
“It’s easier to make things people want than make people want things” – Des Traynor
Buyers have their tentacles twisting in many domains of information over time. These are all contributing to the buyer’s developing accepted reality. Consider where a buyer might encounter information about your solution:
Your website: info, videos, etc
Other websites: reviews, testimonials, horror stories
Events you’re part of
Your sales people: a call or email with questions.
Buyer’s peers: Ask their friends & co-workers for advice
Instant & text messaging: when a problem is urgent
Some things to consider when planning for each phase of the buying process:
What are all the channels a buyer will use at each step of the buying process?
What are the questions a buyer will ask at each step?
What content & channels best answer buyers questions?
No amount of perfect marketing will ever make up for a less than remarkable product. But once you can offer something people value, marketing technology is very much about making all the tentacles of the today’s buyer as delighted as possible when interacting with you and your solution as they migrate the labyrinth of choice.
“First, decide who you would be. Then, do what you must do” – Epictetus
I’ve recently realized I’ve changed a lot as a photographer since I first got my hands on digital camera tech, an Apple QuickTake. Internal storage so you could take eight 320×240 images. But who cares it looked like Luke Skywalker’s binoculars. Good times.
I was just getting into film photography in my early teens, pillaging my dad’s kit to hack myself into semi-reliably taking decent shots, and even tried out my own dark-room developing.
I avoided digital at first. In those early years everyone was saying there was no way digital was going to ever compete with film. I think they just didn’t understand Moore’s-law. But before anyone knew it was a moot argument, suddenly everyone, even the pros, used digital gear.
It also got really cheap, really fast. For the first few cameras I would take lots and lots of pictures. While the quality of digital cameras were “good-enough”, they more than made up for this with the ability to shoot hundreds and even thousands of photos, and delete photos off the camera to make more space.
In recent years we’ve abandoned our family digital cameras and use solely our two iPhones to capture our lives. But also I find myself taking fewer and fewer pictures and preferring to focus on enjoying what’s happening.
I’ve heard people complain about how everyone has their smartphone constantly distracting them away from the moment. But thanks to there being so many (smartphone) cameras at our family gatherings, everyone can be in the moment more because only a few pics from half a dozen cameras* is sufficient to capture some great memories.
*usually 4 iPhones, a couple iPads, a compact digicam, and at least one DSLR, a full-frame D800e with great glass