As consumers make informed purchasing decisions in seconds, your messaging needs to be a part of their resources and not just another ad.
Long gone are the days where marketing could essentially direct a consumer through a direct message and convert an easy sale. Today’s consumer is the most informed buyer that we have ever seen, with multiple resources right at their fingertips. Within seconds, a potential customer can pull up reviews, competitor products, pros and cons, and cost-efficient alternatives. As a result, the marketing teams find themselves in a difficult position in not only catching the buyer’s attention, but also making sure that all of their resources are aligned with their message. What is often overlooked, however, is that the consumer wants to be informed and that provides an opportunity for marketing to provide the education.
The pharmaceutical industry has mastered this concept by creating medical education units that work compliantly with their sales forces. By providing education to healthcare providers from liaisons that also hold professional degrees (MD, PhD, PharmD, etc.), the provider is confident in the information that they are receiving. This enables the sales force to come in and leverage the scientific data that they have been presented with and potentially close the deal accordingly. The “close” really lies on the provider to make the informed decision. They have been provided the education on the product; it is up to them to make the right decision for their patients. This concept can be achieved across all industries by simply providing clean and unbiased education. When the consumer feels confident in the information they are receiving, they feel even more confident making the purchase.
Here are some creative ways to leverage education at the core of your marketing:
While traditionally, the flashy and sexy ads can stop a consumer in their tracks, it is important to make that few seconds as productive as possible. Consumer insights show that consumers engage best with video and interactive marketing. This is a tremendous opportunity to provide informational messages that the consumer can actually digest and make an informed decision upon. If there is no captivating information being presented, it is very simple for buyers to keep scrolling. Online advertising is an extremely saturated space; education outside the box is an excellent way to stand out.
An Educational Ecosystem
Blog posts have absolutely sky-rocketed once companies and web designers alike realized that they could build Search Engine Optimization (SEO). While that is true, they must be doing more than just showing up in search results. They should be informative and beneficial for the reader, who is trying to make a sound decision. The same applies to external resources that can be leveraged into educational messaging. Webinars, Podcasts, YouTube channels, and even access to one-on-one consultations have taken off in the educational space. These options not only contribute to the SEO opportunity, but also show a diversity of resources that companies can offer to meet potential consumers in their normal workflow. Some may prefer video, while others need a good listen on the drive home. It is important to be in these channels and fill them with valuable information that is useful to the viewer/listener.
Sweat The Details
Many products tend to leave vague descriptions, leaving the consumer with important questions. What ingredients are in it? What is the success rate? How do we troubleshoot? What support is available? These details should be pro-actively provided before the consumer has the opportunity to move on to a competitor product that may have those details upfront. You will be surprised just how interested consumers are in all of the small details. Our company manufactures two different product lines, CytoCx for the medical community and TIDL Sport for the athlete and fitness community. While the CytoCx medical community appreciates the scientific data and new case studies, the athletes also want similar details regarding TIDL Sport. I find myself answering technical questions for fitness enthusiasts all the time, ranging from absorption rates, active ingredients, and even pharmacokinetic mechanisms of action. The consumer wants the nitty, gritty details, and you have them! So don’t be afraid to share.
Let It Fly
There is an old saying when it comes to love that goes something like, “If you truly love something, let it go. If it doesn’t find it’s way back to you, it was never yours.” Strangely, that absolutely applies to consumer marketing and retention. If you make it a point to invest in educational resources for your consumer and incorporate it into your marketing, you have done your job. You have provided details to the consumer so that they can make an informed decision. In most cases, the consumer will appreciate that and make a favorable decision. However, you cannot control if they decide to move on to another product. As marketers, it is our job to educate with real information and highlight the benefits of that data. We are often left hoping that the consumer digests the information properly and reads between the lines to ultimately make a smart purchase.
Ultimately, traditional marketing messages have been exhausted. Discount codes, strong product selling/promotion, and pretty models are no longer unique. It is time to meet the consumer where they are in today’s marketplace, and that is the information superhighway. Utilize the great data and information upon which your product is built upon and do not be afraid to get “too technical.” The consumer appreciates the information, and when you find yourself as more of a resource as opposed to a quick product buy, you will reap much more long-term benefit from each potential buyer. With real data, information, and education at the core of your message, consumers will remember that about your brand and perhaps make it a habit to come back to you for more!
This article was inspired by our friends at Entrepreneur.