Monday, August 26, 2019

See Visualization’s Carryover Advantages

When you ask a shopper to visualize acquiring or using the product you’re marketing, the probability of a purchase climbs. Studies at University of Central Florida and Texas Tech University say that this happens not only for the product you’ve asked the consumer to visualize, but also for products the consumer associates with use of the focal product.
     The researchers found this to be true when the focal product was drinking glasses and the complementary product was a water pitcher, with curtains and a curtain rod, and with colored pencils and a pencil sharpener. Another set of researchers saw evidence of an even wider carryover. In these studies at Northwestern University and University of Chicago, people asked to visualize acquiring or using mayonnaise developed more positive attitudes toward ketchup. However, in all these studies, the increase in purchase likelihood is seen most clearly with related products. There’s not a general increase in willingness to buy.
     A carryover effect is stronger when we ask the shopper to visualize acquiring the item, such as ordering it online or putting the item into the shopping cart, than when we ask the shopper to visualize using the item.
     We can, of course, prompt both types of imagining, but sales of the complementary items are more likely if we first suggest visualizing the acquisition, next point out complementary items, and then suggest visualizing use of the items. The effectiveness of advertising and signage is enhanced by illustrations of people acquiring an item, not only of people using an item. Further, the illustrations of people acquiring an item could stimulate larger shopping cart totals if used with sets of complementary items.
     When what is imagined is use of the item, consumer researchers call it a “consumption vision.” Incorporate colorful images and vivid language to stimulate the senses, but give people the minimum amount of technical information necessary to set up the imagining. The power of consumption visions is greater when a person fills in some of their own blanks. In face-to-face selling, provide more details only if the shopper seems to be floundering to visualize.
     Even with technical information plus more details, visualization might not come easily. Researchers at Brigham Young University and Santa Clara University documented how consumers differ widely in the ability and propensity to visualize during persuasive communications. The influential text created by copywriters is unlikely to be completely replaced by images.

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Dream Consumption Visions of the Past
Lay Out Ads to Trigger Positive Associations
Pinpoint Feelings in Imagining of Benefits
Raise Your Right Hand Awareness

Monday, August 19, 2019

Sandbag Senior Swindles

Ethical sellers profit by assertively steering older adults away from alternative suppliers who engage in flimflam. Researchers at University of Florida, Shaanxi Normal University, and China’s Southwest University recognize that, in order to do this, it’s useful to understand what about being elderly reduces resistances to being swindled. By reviewing prior studies, they identified these causes:
  • As we age, it takes us longer to fully understand what we’re told and predict the consequences of actions we’re considering. Related to this, seniors use shortcuts to simplify their decision making so it is more manageable for them. Unless there are severe deficits, seniors can identify scams, but not if they feel rushed. So to sandbag swindles, encourage your shoppers to proceed patiently when they tell you of offers which seem too good to be fruitful. 
  • Advanced age also brings with it an increased trust in people. The elderly may not realize they’re being cheated, instead attributing their losses to miscommunication or the good intentions of the marketer having gone wrong. When you sense that your senior shopper is being victimized, discuss with them the specifics of why you consider that as a possibility. Explain to them the advantages of overcoming any embarrassment and hesitations in reporting fraud to the authorities. Reporting reduces the chances others will be cheated and also stamps into the senior’s mind the warning signs they can use in the future. 
  • There is also a misplaced trust in one’s own abilities. Most adults maintain into old age adequate financial literacy. But the elderly also tend to overestimate their financial knowledge and are overconfident in their financial decisions. Don’t insult seniors by implying they are inept. Do volunteer to assist seniors with their financial reasoning. 
     These factors are in part consequences of actual changes in the brain. The portions responsible for speedy comprehension and analysis deteriorate. Those functions are shunted to portions which are still intact, but need to learn how to handle the responsibility. And as to interpersonal trust, the anterior insula, which plays a part in identifying face-to-face lying, operates less well.
     Studies at Stanford University, Duke University, Humboldt University Berlin, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, and AARP identified more ways in which emotional arousal, such as that famously used by successful con artists to maintain involvement, interferes with our critical thinking skills. This happens in adults of all ages, but the negative effects grow worse as we age.

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Keep Calm to Carry On Seniors’ Fraud Evasion
Qualify Your Customers by Interacting
Confide in Shoppers for Calibrated Confidence

Monday, August 12, 2019

Rue No More About Handling Rumors

The internet’s ability for you to distribute marketing messages quickly and widely also allows others to promptly and broadly send out damaging rumors about your organization. Researchers at Oklahoma State University, Appalachian State University, and Kent State University studied the best ways for retailers, nonprofits, and other organizations to handle these potentially destructive messages.
     The first step is to recognize an irony: Positive rumors threaten harm as do negative ones. When factually incorrect rumors are passed on about the extraordinary performance of a product, those who hear the rumors will set unrealistic expectations, resulting in disgruntlement. Unfounded rumors about imminent updates to better versions retard sales of current versions.
     The next step is to use another valuable capability of the internet: You can send different types of rumor refutations to different sets of customers. What you say should depend on how strongly a person identifies with your organization. Assess this by considering the frequency and size of purchases, donations, or usage; what the person has said on feedback surveys you’ve administered; and research-based indicators such as the use of shopping bags with your organization’s logo or evidence that the person is helping others who associate with your organization.
     The third step is to assess the importance of the information in the rumor to those who will hear or read the rumor.
     With consumers who strongly identify with your organization, the most treacherous rumors are those giving positive, but unfounded, news of relatively low importance. These rumors are highly likely to be believed and enthusiastically spread to others.
     With consumers who weakly identify with your organization, the most treacherous rumors are those giving negative information, regardless of the importance of the information. However, keep the arguments brief since people with low identification with your organization won’t want to exert the energy to understand long treatises.
     You might take stronger measures to counter rumors. Soon after its introduction, Corona beer was the victim of messages, sent out by a Heineken beer distributor in Reno, that the Mexican workers urinated into the Corona beer during the manufacturing process. Corona initiated legal action against the Heineken distributor.
     Also, there are circumstances in which you’ll choose not to refute rumors. You might even secretly generate rumors. Rumors can strategically arouse helpful curiosity in your target markets And you might use unsourced rumors to assess reactions to a possible action before you commit to it.

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Strengthen Store Identification Using Bags
Help Store Shoppers Positively Interact
Feature Underappreciated National Origin Products
Kick the Sale with Curiosity
Select Celebrity Endorsers Who Fit

Monday, August 5, 2019

Kick the Sale with Curiosity

Curiosity is the gap between what a person knows and what they want to know. Gently kick prospective customers toward purchasing impulsively by prolonging their curiosity, advise researchers at University of Arizona and University of Washington. In one of their studies, they aroused curiosity by showing participants blurred images and assessed impulsive consumption by offering a quantity of chocolate candies and noting how many the person ate. When curiosity was aroused and a rewarding resolution was not provided, more chocolate candies were consumed.
     Another technique used to arouse curiosity was asking study participants to write about questions for which they wanted answers and had not yet obtained the answers. The influence of curiosity without closure was seen not only in the choices made by the study participants, but also in their brain activity. People with unresolved curiosity showed elevations in blood oxygenation of the insula, a brain area associated with the desire for rewards when there is no surety of receiving the rewards. Getting answers about issues we’re wondering about is rewarding, and when we’re frustrated about not getting those answers, our brain can kick us toward impulsively consuming other sorts of rewards.
     What distinguishes this set of studies are the findings that unsatisfied curiosity motivates impulsive buying. A long train of prior research has shown how arousing curiosity in consumers and then satisfying the curiosity increases the potential of a sale. Research findings from Indiana University and University of Colorado-Boulder show the value of a mystery ad format, in which you wait until the end to announce the retailer’s name. Start off with an unusual story or absurd humor which dramatizes the category of retailer and hooks the ad’s viewer or listener into thinking “Who’s this commercial for, anyway?”
     Mystery ads were significantly more effective than traditional ads in strengthening the name-category link. If you use mystery ads, people who afterwards start to yearn for categories the ads say your store carries will think about your store as the place to get those categories.
     Marketers and salespeople can arouse curiosity and prolong the inquisitiveness. The result will be a move toward impulsive purchasing of all sorts of items, not just items subject to the tease. That boosts profits. At the same time, recognize how impulsive purchasing might be bad. If there’s a risk of health damage, debt, or addiction, serve your shoppers and society by resolving the mystery.

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Blank Out to Increase Consumption
Grouch If Store Reviews Are Grouch-Free
Shadow Dark Tourism