Three Myths about What Customers Want
9:10 AM Wednesday May 23, 2012
by Karen Freeman, Patrick Spenner and Anna Bird
Very interesting! Although this article focuses on business to consumer dynamics, I think it can be a critical learning for business-to-business interactions.
Most marketers think that the best way to hold onto customers is through "engagement" — interacting as much as possible with them and building relationships. It turns out that that's rarely true. In a study involving more than 7000 consumers, we found that companies often have dangerously wrong ideas about how best to engage with customers.
Myth #1: Most consumers want to have relationships with your brand.
Actually, they don't. Only 23% of the consumers in our study said they have a relationship with a brand. In the typical consumer's view of the world, relationships are reserved for friends, family and colleagues.
Myth #2: Interactions build relationships.
No, they don't. Shared values build relationships. A shared value is a belief that both the brand and consumer have about a brand's higher purpose or broad philosophy
Myth #3: The more interaction the better.
Wrong. There's no correlation between interactions with a customer and the likelihood that he or she will be "sticky" (go through with an intended purchase, purchase again, and recommend)
How should you market differently?
Instead of relentlessly demanding more consumer attention, treat the attention you do win as precious. Then ask yourself a simple question of any new marketing efforts: is this campaign/email/microsite/print ad/etc. going to reduce the cognitive overload consumers feel as they shop my category? If the answer is "no" or "not sure," go back to the drawing board. When it comes to interacting with your customers, more isn't better.