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Marketing Top Tip Battle!

Unable to decide

Customers most often leave shops empty handed because they are unable to decide. 'Price' is a lesser issue.

The deleterious effect on sales of presenting too many options has been covered quite a lot already in previous A Million Tweaks, so here's another possible way forward.

Make sure that people can select by some sort of crowd-based ratings. Whether that's customer reviews or pure sales volume, letting people quickly see what's popular with others allows them to 'just buy', which is their real goal, without having to make any real effort.

(I do it with tech products. I just look up the best buy in the back of PC Pro and buy that. Some people enjoy working through all the specs and working out the best value. I prefer to let others do that and just buy what they've decided. Saves me time, and means I can get on with using the product rather than dreaming about it. It's worked really well so far.)

Put your most popular products first. A 'best buy' takes us back to the old supermarket merchandising days where the manager buys in a truckload of fans ready for hot weather, gets them cheap because they bought the whole consignment, and then they pile them up at the entrance with a keen price. We acknowledge the effort and we will buy if we perceive value, but we don't feel like the manager's done us a favour. A 'best buy' is only what the store manager wants to sell us today so they can make more money.

By contrast, a best-rated or most popular product represents the consumers' judgment. The buyer, seeing that, considers themselves among an army of people looking for great value and by behaving similarly, they benefit from the wisdom of the crowd, which is at least equal in strength and sophistication to the retailers' army of marketing experts.

One final thing. Place the best buy/rated product first. That's because people look at that, and then compare it to each of the following options in turn, eventually running out of time or energy and buying 'the winner'. The first product seen becomes familiar as it is repeatedly compared, and so is most likely to be purchased unless the user has any special requirements.

Other ways to help people decide include feature comparison facilities and popup 'live' chat.

Whatever you choose, aim to reduce confusion and increase clarity and certainty. >


Feelings before brain

We experience our feelings toward something a split second before we can intellectualise about it.

If we can train ourselves to be attentive, we should be able to spot our feelings ever so slightly before our brain engages.

If you ask yourself a question and watch for and trust the first flash of feeling you experience before your intellect whips it from under you and starts construction, you might get an honest answer.

Should I leave my job? There. That feeling was the answer.

(One way to harness this is the coin toss trick. If ever you can't decide between two options, decide heads one way, tails the other, toss the coin and watch to see if you are happy with what it tells you. If not, the other option is what you want to do.)

(From Influence, Cialdini: http://amzn.to/2wWBCnK) >

Come back another time for the ability to vote and make your own marketing planner.

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Who is A Million Tweaks?

John Allsopp

Hi, I'm John Allsopp and I founded A Million Tweaks in 2009 to do just what it says, continually improve marketing systems.

Nowadays I'm still just as hungry to learn the latest and most effective marketing techniques in what is an incredibly fast moving world. Basically I buy all the training courses so you don't have to.

Actually that's not an insignificant thing. Back in the day I got a first in my degree (Internet Computing) because I did the work, obviously, but also because I studied well and that means taking information from different sources and mixing things up to find the truth in the middle, and I still do that today. I remember waking up one Sunday, switching on the wooden, push button TV we had next to the bed and Tony Buzan came on with his mind maps .. it's still how I study now.

There used to be a very popular service that read all the business books and summarised them for busy executives. I'm not sure if that's still going, but this service is like a modern equivalent, except we'll actually do the work for you too if you like.

In marketing, however, there is an absolute truth: the result. It's often more effort to talk about marketing improvements than to enact them. Don't talk: test. If it works it works. So A Million Tweaks is about making small, low risk changes every day and iterating our way to your fame and fortune.

Anyway, I was supposed to be introducing myself in this box. I live in Scarborough with my partner (who has ME/CFS). I'm 6'6" tall which I think makes me an observer. I drum in a ska band (come see us it's a great night) :-)

If you want to get in touch there's 07762 941921 but best for me is email john@johnallsopp.co.uk or hook up with me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Even better, fill out the form on this page and let's get talking about how we can apply some of these marketing improvements to your business, it's no good left stuck in my head now, is it?