In a digital, data driven world it’s easy to make assumptions about how people behave – especially in relation to choosing products, services and brands. Access to the web gives you a god-like omniscience (the ability to see all and know all). But that doesn’t mean you are going to use your super-power in a rational way.
We often assume that consumers will research products before purchase. Common sense will tell you this is more true when evaluating higher value or more complex products – where the consequence of a poor choice is potentially more significant.
Insurance and banking are serious business, right? Of course they are. But it might surprise you to know that a significant study of Australian consumers (published in the Journal of Financial Services Marketing) showed that the number of websites visited by people intending to choose a banking product or insurance offering was, brace yourself: .9. You read it right, point nine. Less than one. The number of brands included in the choice set was just 1.4 (including the company the customer already does business with).
It’s important to challenge beliefs and assumptions.
Some people will obsessively optimise every decision. Others will simply satisfy themselves.
To grow your brands marketers and advertising advisors must assign the correct amount of resource to meet the real needs of prospective customers. If consumers are unlikely to spend much effort researching complex, important decisions about brands, then it follows that making a half-hour video about the provenance of the nuts in your candy bar may actually be,…nuts.
What that means.
When many people are choosing brands their ‘journey’ might be much shorter than proposed by some shopper marketing experts. If consumers researched every single product they needed or wanted, they would have no time for real life. That’s not to say some people won’t want to know more. But the majority simply satisfy their impulses and rely on mental availability to choose products and brands.
Mental availability is different from product awareness. Your brand’s mental availability, or brand salience, refers to the probability of a consumer noticing, recognising and thinking about your brand in a buying situation. Mental availability goes beyond brand awareness: it depends on the quality and quantity of a consumer’s mental associations with your product or brand - what do people remember about you?
When you are developing advertising (in any media) the salience of your message and its proximity to the decision-making moment can make all the difference in the world. Your message has to be:
After more than 20 years, Family Health Diary® has changed dramatically but retains familiar memory structures.