This is no farce. There are times when top of mind doesn’t transform into ‘top of wallet’. You wince, you shriek, “Isn’t anyone taking note of us despite those noise”. In business, marketing and sales strategy sometimes can be ‘brain in the boardroom but nuts in the field’.
The human mind is yet cave to accurate prediction. However, there are measures that can be deployed to nudge the consumers into making a purchase.
Consumer choices are largely shaped by a rich mix of influences that are quite difficult to predict, despite advancement in data sourcing and analysis. Take the case of MTN Nigeria during the ‘SIM Porting’ stun – a time when subscribers on the four major Telcos networks are allowed to switch operators.
Although MTN went as far as ‘porting’ one of its major rival’s ambassadors, the market and bottom-line read differently: the subscribers didn’t follow the lead. There were so many buzzes and noise, but there was no matching switch.
Understanding the various stimuli that combine to motivate buying behaviours are critical to pulling consumers into the stores, shops -whichever is the case.
Asides product quality, price, place and promotion, environmental forces such as events, economy, politics and culture form major influences on buyers. Tiktok and Netflix are presently gathering patronage.
These 2 companies’ sales took off at the ripening of a subculture and unplanned events. Locked at home due to the pandemics, families binge on streaming via Netflix. ‘Kiddos’ also found their voices on a platform that understood them better.
The summary is a near-perfect understanding of the marketing environment, trends, and a canny ability to project into the future is a valuable business assets. Of course, no economists create accurate prediction of buyers’ choices without first understanding trends. No creative agency will succeed without it either. And no business can thrive while ignoring it.
Ask House of Fraser and Mark & Spencer. These two retailers struggled because their operating styles are out of touch. House of Fraser was said to be 10 years behind current consumer experience; Mark & Spencer too lately woke from a prolonged slumber. It launched a campaign to understand what it needs to do differently to pull buyers back into its stores.
Should ask, didn’t these folks have effective marketing unit that should have discovered the large fields between the consumers and their businesses practices?
Businesses need to ask questions or take constant feedback from the market to stay relevant. Meanwhile if your business doesn’t have the luxury of asking – sometimes via questionnaires – note these points:
- Check if you are culturally fit – Cultures are not static, sometimes too, subcultures can emerge. The way to note cultural shift is to pay attention to fads, fashion, language, and how people invest their time (working, family, leisure, traveling?). Probe into emerging new-speak such as ‘slangs’ (unconventional or conventional). Ask what is in fashion (simple, casual, formal etc)? How do consumers prefer to look (slim, busty, fit, healthy etc)? These ultimately will create a picture of the ‘psychology of the market’. Understanding them will help you note what to adopt, remove or create as part of a new marketing strategy. This may involve areas such as packaging or décor; strategise for speedy delivery, change of marketing communication, new ingredients and more.
- Ask yourself if you fit consumers’ purse – At the times of inflation, consumers think through every buying decision. They won’t be cave into emotions tactics. Most companies at these periods do not inflate price, they just shrink the product, produce in ranges and lower prices to match the pocket of consumers in a way that still benefits the business.
- Engage and provide free taste – If you are not close enough, your noise won’t pull an ant. Get closer to your consumers by participating in events and activities that connect with their minds, apart from your social media engagement. It could be dance, music, education, family, soccer or anything worthwhile. Sponsor any of these activities and ensure you do product sampling. If your product is good enough at this stage, they will make you a choice.