Wanna Sell More Stuff? Don’t Just Advertise, Educate!
There’s an old saying that goes; “fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me”. Well, this fall I need to buy a new grill so I’ve been comparing features and reading online reviews in an attempt to avoid making the mistake I made last time.
Fours years ago I stupidly bought the cheap grill thinking I’d save a few shekels. What’s worse is that I bought a big one because we entertain quite frequently and I wanted to be able to cook lots of food at the same time. So first of all, don’t ever buy a cheap big grill. The stupid thing was so flimsy and underpowered that you couldn’t really cook anything on cold nights. Turns out BTUs (whatever the hell those are) are a big deal.
While disappointed with my purchase I’m sufficiently thrifty (my wife calls it “cheap”) that I resolved to use the damn thing until such time as I needed a new one.
Fast forward to a balmy evening last summer on which I was enjoying a delicious beer while cooking some steaks for a dinner party. As I took an ice cold sip of my Dos Equis (if you must know, I do think it made me more interesting!) I heard a loud noise from my grill. Ay Caramba! Turned out the bottom had fallen out of my crappy BBQ!
Being someone who tries to learn from his mistakes (at least by the third time!), I resolved that unless I was buying paper clips I’d do a little research before throwing down the Chargex next time. Figured I’d make fewer misteaks. (sorry, that was lame!)
So what does this mean for marketers?
EDUCATE, EDUCATE, EDUCATE
Again, if you’re selling something banal like baking soda, educating consumers isn’t likely to impact your bottom line. For most other product categories though, education is crucial. If you’re selling food you should extoll its health benefits (unless it’s Pop Tarts in which case just man up and say “they’re terrible for ya, but man they’re good!). Or, if it’s vacations, it’s probably better if people understand where they’re going, where they’re staying and what activities can save them from having to chat with their spouse for 7 days straight (ooops, did I say that?). The bottom line is, the more people know about your product or service the more likely you are to be part of their consideration set, and even its frontrunner.
Don't believe me? Check this out: The more consumers know, the more likely they are to purchase!
BUT THEY WON’T LISTEN!
Okay, so we know we need to educate them. The trouble is consumers aren’t waiting with bated breath for your next video or tweet. In fact, for the most part they couldn’t care less. So the question is; “what’s in it for them?”. If the answer is “nothing”, you bet consumers won’t be all that interested in your messaging.
So how do we add value so that consumers are willing to engage with our brands? At Launchfire we use giveaways and gamification to prompt engagement but there are other tricks including tools, entertainment, exclusive content, etc. The bottom line is you need to walk a mile in your target customers’ shoes so that you can identify things that would be valuable to them. By creating valuable content into which you nest your key messaging you’ll attract, engage and educate consumers about why they should buy your stuff!