Wednesday, October 08, 2008

"Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower." Albert Camus

"The most certain sign of wisdom is cheerfulness." Michel de Montaigne

"The best work is not what is most difficult for you; it is what you do best." Jean-Paul Sartre

Today's image: Canopy of Color Revisited by Darren White Photography. Great shot. Thank you for sharing.

You remember last time, we were talking about that vogue advertising and marketing term of the moment - engagement. Today, we continue on that topic with some help from marketing maven Tom Asacker. In our last post we suggested the first goal of advertising was getting noticed. For the purposes of today's post we'll ask you to agree that getting noticed is an early stage or condition of awareness. How does awareness work? To get into the mind of the customer we turn to Tom's new book - A Little Less Conversation, Connecting with Customers in a Noisy World...

"It's all psychology and sociology. What I'm saying is that you'll improve your odds of connecting with your audience if you influence at both the subconscious and conscious levels. Again, think of awareness as a way to attract customers and deliver value, and delivering value as a means to creating belief. And belief - creating an expectation with customers - is key, since belief leads to experience and experience leads to adoption.

If customers believe you can help them achieve their goals, look good, improve their relationships, feel good about themselves, and so forth, they'll take your call, stop by your place of business, click on your link, join your organization, or grab your product off the shelf. If they don't, they won't....people are simply too busy today to act on faith and take chances.

But most organizations are so focused on spreading awareness - of their mere existence or of some kind of static 'information' - they've deluded themselves into believing that customers are easily manipulated, or that they follow some kind of linear, cognitive decision-making path. You know, awareness, information, desire and action.


Well, it really doesn't work that way...People rapidly screen stimuli and connect with what intrigues and appeals to them. Their attention may flitter from one shiny object to the next, but they'll only spend time investigating something if their guts, and especially their desire for value, have been aroused. Reverse the positions of the letters. It really works like this: Awareness, Desire, Information, Action.


That's what great marketers and salespeople do best. They make you aware of, and stimulate your desire for their offerings and subsequent information about those offerings...they immediately connect their offerings with your gut, with your emotions, desires, and beliefs. Now, most purchases of low-involvement products move from awareness to desire, then straight to action. Consumers never even pause to consider their decisions. Their subconscious desires are stimulated by a feeling of liking, probably created by some form of advertising.

Look, most people believe in A.I.D.A., because it feels right. We feel that it works like this: We sense something in the environment - be it some form of marketing communication, retail outlet, product, or salesperson - which then causes us to think about that something. Then, after thinking about it for a bit, we develop a feeling about it. And that subsequent feeling is what drives some type of action...That's how the brain works. You sense something and automatically have a feeling about it. Thus gut feeling is fast, effortless, and associative. It's also typically below your own level of conscious awareness. You then decide, based on said feeling and in many cases subconsciously, whether or not to invest more of your time in it and attention to it. Whether to raise it to a conscious, deductive reasoning process...Your customers and potential customers judge you based upon the very little bit of you that they perceive, whether it's the facts or not. So everything that they perceive matters - and I mean every little thing - because they speed read you (pattern recognition) and prejudge you with their resultant feelings (categorization)"

This excerpt [from Five: Different and Desirable] while certainly interesting is not the full text of Tom's well-reasoned thesis regarding A.I.D.A/A.D.I.A which must be read in its entirety to be appreciated. You'll benefit from reading Tom's book which I highly recommend. Get more information via Amazon here.

Ways to get the most out of Tom's book:

  1. General managers. Have each team leader (department manager) read the book. Meet once each week for a group discussion. Six chapters = six weeks of discussion.
  2. Sales managers. Have each seller read the book. During your weekly sales meeting set aside time for discussion. Six chapters = subject matter for six sales meetings.
  3. Customers & prospects. Once your sellers are conversant with the subject matter have them provide a copy to the customers they believe would most appreciate getting the book. My sense is Tom's book would also make a nice thank you or welcoming gift for a new customer. [Hint: use the book as a door opener for getting that first appointment with a high potential prospect]
Let me also encourage you to visit and start reading Tom's blog by clicking here. My thanks to Tom for allowing me to share some of his thinking with you.

Thanks for stopping by. Taking tomorrow off, back here on Friday with more on the cognitive process and advertising.

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