Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Demarket, Demarket, to Sell a Fat Pig

Business researchers at University of Rochester and Massachusetts Institute of Technology are advising you to pull back on your marketing.
     At first blush, it would seem that the only sense this advice makes is if interpreted in accord with the quote attributed to Philadelphia department store tycoon John Wanamaker: “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted. The trouble is I don't know which half.”
     Could it be that the Rochester/MIT researchers are simply advising us to pull back on ineffective marketing? Good guess, but they’re really saying something else: Their analyses indicate that if you tone down your marketing, sales may drop, but the image of your store improves among those who do buy there. The rationale is that your customers won’t accuse you of overpromising.
     A common motto for retailing is "Exceed the customer's expectations." Although fine-sounding, this motto doesn't work in practice. Each time you exceed expectations, it nudges the expectations up for the next time the customer visits. At some point, it's no longer profitable to keep raising the bar for yourself.
     Actually, the customers might not even notice if you do manage to exceed their expectations, unless the excess is dramatic. Researchers at University of Georgia and University of Southern California looked at situations where shoppers ended up feeling either somewhat better or somewhat worse about their experience than they'd expected. When shoppers' expectations were exceeded, the shoppers often took it for granted and didn't give lots of credit. It was when expectations were not met that there was more likely to be an impact on the customer’s evaluation.
     Researchers at University of South Carolina and University of Colorado-Boulder report that when purchasers find it difficult to learn to use a product, their evaluation of the product’s quality is lower. This would mean your customers feel disappointed in what you sold them. That feeling gets in way of repeat business and could result in the items being returned to you.
     Give customers realistic expectations about learning to use products you sell. The University of South Carolina/University of Colorado researchers reported that when the customer expected the product to be challenging to learn and still bought it, the lower evaluation of product quality was much less likely.
     In the sense of not overpromising, demarketing can help you sell that fat pig in a way which keeps it from being returned due to customer disenchantment.

Click below for more: 
Strategize in Advertising Expenditures 
Dazzle Your Customers 
Start Customers Using Their Purchases Promptly

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