All successful businesses know that in today’s competitive market, simply having a good product is only the first step in winning over a buying audience. People make careers out of influencing consumers to use certain products, therefore learning how a customer chooses the products they spend their money on and how to influence those decisions is crucial to marketing success.
Assuming the client is already within your grasp in that they are aware of the goods you trade in, there are five main factors that will influence their decision to purchase from you.
The Need for Recognition
This is the time where your consumer realises that there is something missing in their life, and to feel satisfied again, they need to make a purchase to fill that gap. There are two ways companies can influence and capitalise on this stage.
The first one is to create a need through advertising, where potential customers are for all intents and purposes manipulated, and a need that didn’t exist is thereby created. Companies do this by appealing to consumer’s sense of self, their self-confidence, their dreams and desires.
The second scenario is to follow trends and use marketing research to ensure that your business is correctly positioned when a need arises. The use of social media is a powerful tool in this regard. Keeping track of your target market’s influencers for example can put you in the lead when a need arises.
Search For Information
During this phase, more really is merrier, and the information available about your product, through advertising, well run social media campaigns, visual media and word of mouth can make you the supplier of choice or the last option in a long list of alternatives.
For businesses this means getting the information out there and using all the means at your disposal to make your brand the household name synonymous with a product. This does not have to take the form of expensive advertising campaigns as a well-timed social media competition can do wonders. Just like with blackjack, the more you know, the better your chances are of success.
Evaluation Of Alternatives
Most consumers will evaluate alternatives before making a purchase, and their choice of supplier is highly influenced by the consumer’s mood. A customer in a positive frame of mind is more likely to make a purchase than one that is not.
To companies, this means that from the first point of contact a positive interaction must take place. The use of VR bots is an excellent example in an online environment, or even just a friendly greeting can set the tone.
The Decision to Purchase
The decision to purchase has been made and your company is the lucky recipient of the client’s hard earned money; until the consumer’s friend gives them negative feedback about their choice of either product or supplier. Again, the more the merrier scenario applies; the more widely accepted your brand the less likely someone is to receive negative feedback about their choice. Losing a client at this late stage can usually be attributed to prior inefficient service that was received by someone else, or a lack of brand awareness by peers.
Customers will compare how they feel post-purchase to how they felt pre-purchase. A good company will have correctly fulfilled a need, and therefore the client will again feel satisfied. If not, they will suffer from spender’s remorse.
This stage can create brand loyalty or potential negative word of mouth. Follow up, follow up, follow up and rectify any disappointment experienced by your client! This puts a stop to negative reviews and shows that you care, and that the service didn’t just end at the sale.