Consider this: most people don’t give a sh*t about whatever it is you are trying to sell. They just don’t. There is only so much room in any given brain to give a sh*t about stuff, and you’re up against stuff like Game of Thrones, videos of Russian car accidents and, for B2B, dialing into conference calls wearing only a dollar-store tiara. That is some serious competition.
Yet there we are, day in and day out trying to dislodge fantasy hockey leagues and Candy Crush to make the case for our product to be on the list of things our potential customers are supposed to care about. Welcome to Consideration, Step 2 on our Journey of Unreciprocated Love.
For many marketers, consideration is based on an assumption that some infinitesimal percentage of the people we bother during the awareness phase are either giving up and considering our offering, or falling for one of our cleverly disguised links in a crossword game.
Last week we talked about the incredible number of calories marketers waste trying to trick people into forming some awareness about our products. A great alternative is to make a product people want in the first place and then use that happy fact to get them to take a look at your version of the thing they want.
Our current model supposes that if you generate awareness among a large enough number of people, a fraction of a fraction of one percent will recall the beating you’ve laid on them and actually consider your product. But I’m not sure this is true, and I’m particularly suspicious of it in B2B marketing. Where is it written that consideration necessarily follows awareness?
I am aware, for example, that durian-flavoured bubble tea exists. (Durian is a fruit that smells like three-week old roadkill mixed with aftershave and stored in a hockey bag for a few months). My awareness of this nasty thing is in no way a guarantee of my consideration. I am also aware of famine, wooden palettes, machines that turn real carrots into baby carrots and nile monitor lizards. None of them are going to merit my consideration at any point in the near future. I just don’t give a sh*t. I hope you are not marketing any of these things to me.
Consideration needs to be built on more than awareness and fatigue; it needs to be driven out of a legitimate interest in the product and a whole ton of evidence that buying from you is a good idea. Hush Puppies did this extremely well back in the mid-90s. Instead of pitching their ugly retro shoes at the entire world, they found a very small group of people for whom beige negative heels are a thing they care about. Those people went out and told others of their kind about these shoes; they told others and so on. PayPal and Starbucks are great examples of finding a small group of people for whom effortless online payments and highly customizable coffee are, respectively, things of interest. When we satisfy a need for a thing people care about, consideration follows.
Let’s not reach for our Magic Discount Wand just yet; no need to wake the Overlords to approve a ridiculous offer. Before you get to pry the money from your customers’ grubby little fists, you need to deliver a steaming pile of credibility. For B2C that smells just like social media recommendations, Yelp reviews, testimonials and adorable cat videos with your product discretely placed in the bathtub the cat is about to fall into.
For B2B, we haul out the content and sell the heck out of our expertise for the subject, our passion for the product and our respect for the buyer. Sadly, this is when many marketers go straight for the price or fling an offer into the market.
That is not what drives consideration. It drives conversion but consideration is a more subtle thing and before you get to conversion, you have to pass through Step 3 on your Journey of Unreciprocated Love. Next week: the Pylons of Preference.
Interesting Things I Found This Week
Most companies struggle mightily with their definitions of product marketing versus product management and, more specifically, who should do what and when. The always brilliant Charles Dimov offers this detailed prescription for getting it right. This should be required reading for all marketing teams.
Fire drills, rework, email, meetings, you know these as your reality. Workfront knows these as Enterprise Hell and has lined them up in a deliciously Dante-esque ebook. It’s fun and compelling, even if they don’t do the best job of shamelessly flogging their platform. Well worth a look over coffee.
BizMarketer is Elizabeth Williams
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