By Ayodeji Morolani
Information is key to whatever we do. The moment there is an information breakdown, confusion starts.
Businesses thrive on information. No matter how good your product or service is, without the right information, it will keep struggling.
Gone are the days when you can treat a customer anyhow because he has limited options. In the dark days (my own definition of pre-internet and mobile phone age), you could practically do anything and get away with it because your customer is not likely to find out what obtains elsewhere. Not anymore. The information age has made it possible for you to be able to access information whenever and wherever you need it. This has consequently made your customer more aware of the various options before him.
Initially, we used to have the traditional markets and shops offering goods and services, now there are several online malls offering the same services these traditional shops offer, sometimes at lower prices and free delivery. You even get to pay on delivery! Why are things changing? The right information!
One of the major things the right information does is that it helps to change perceptions. The right information helps us to change our thinking and way of life. There is the tendency now to buy cooking oil low in cholesterol and organic chicken, unlike before when we bought whatever we saw at the supermarkets. Companies now invest heavily in sounding out the unique messages why you should prefer them.
So, what makes a customer buy from Mr. A while neglecting Mr. B, but also considering Mr. C?
Research has shown that many consumers buy on impulse, but we also know that quite a lot of customers make decisions based on the information at their disposal. The information that a customer requires in a fast food restaurant is different from that which a customer in an electronics store requires. For example, while many people buy clothes and shoes on impulse based on appearance, most buy mobile phones or household appliances based on the information available to them as regards what purpose they require the item for.
In buying a mobile phone for instance, you might want to find out the memory size, the mega pixel on the camera, the battery size etc. These are not things you ‘see’ just by looking at the mobile phone. Similarly, when buying a car, in addition to the aesthetics, you might want to find out what is the fuel consumption level, the car’s performance in the tropics, are spare parts readily available, are there qualified mechanics around etc.
Understand your Market
The key here is to understand your market, then come up with the proper information that your consumers need. Never assume that everyone knows. You might be surprised that there are a whole lot of people who have made decisions to buy other brands simply because they do not have enough information about what you are offering.
It is often said, put your best foot forward, when passing information across, start with the “best information.” What is the unique selling point of your product or service? What edge do you have over others? What is that irresistible thing about your product that will make people go for it? You also need to consider pricing. Perhaps you offer a uniform product that can be easily obtained elsewhere, then you might push yours based on pricing, for example you might be offering a lower price or make giving a discount. This has to be obvious so that it will distinguish you.
The information should not just be out there, it should capture attention. It should appeal. It should be strong enough to make a buyer change his mind.
One of the ways of doing this is by appealing to the emotion of the shopper. For example, if you sell baby diapers, you can say something like “We offer you a restful night”. This might catch the attention of nursing mothers who perhaps didn’t sleep well the previous night due to changing diapers.
Short and Specific
Have you ever wondered why TV adverts last for an average of 30 or 60 seconds? It is because most people get bored or lose interest when they have to read something for more than a few seconds. So, make it short, quick and specific. Have a particular message you are passing across at that point in time. Do not put up an encyclopaedia. Be brief and straight.
Lastly, information should be time bound. The type of message you send out during Christmas is not the same as Easter. One of the hallmarks of successful brands or organizations is that they keep evolving. Gauge the moods of your audience and key into that. Timing is everything. Get it right the right time. Seize the momentum and let it sink in. Do not leave for February what should have gone out in December.
About Ayodeji Morolani:
He has worked for over 10 years in the banking industry where he managed various portfolios in Corporate and Consumer Banking as well as branch operations. He currently work as a Sales Development Manager in a multinational organization where he is charged with channel development, sales planning, relationship management and sales coaching. Connect with him on Facebook via Bridge Solutions.
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