Three hidden forces that motivate customer behaviour

(2) Attention or tolerance span?

Marketers and advertisers have wrestled with the same beast for years: “How do we captivate and maintain customer interest for any serious length of time?”

Our modern age brims with bedlam. Social platforms like Instagram, Snapchat (rooted in the ephemeral) and Facebook run riot, smartphones have become our best friends, and an endless maze of news alerts, updates and notifications mean our days are busier than ever before. This makes standing out as a brand quite challenging, doesn’t it? Maybe. Or maybe not.

What if I told you the problem isn’t due to a poor attention span, but rather an abbreviated tolerance span?

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Think about it. Millions of busy people found time to binge watch Netflix’s viral hit “Making a Murderer,” while global sport fans have no problem watching their favourite teams play for hours on end. In this very real sense, our attention spans have not deteriorated; what we choose to tolerate has.

In order to stand out as a brand, you need to understand this principle and apply it to the world of social influence. Whether you’re promoting a service or selling a product, you need to lead with customer benefits and not the features.

What does your product or service do for the end-user? Focus less on yourself and more on your audience.

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(3) Optimal distinctiveness

“We want to be similar and different at the same time,” says Berger in our recent podcast. This, he posits, can be referred to as an “optimal distinctiveness”, or our own ideal blend of uniqueness and conformity.

It’s quite true though, isn’t it? The ultimate aim of marketing isn’t to purely influence, but to propel people into action. This Holy Grail can be made easier when you master the “curiosity gap”, a simple trick that can win you new customers in a heartbeat.

The curiosity gap is the space between what we know and what we want or even need to know. As a marketer, your job is to delay the filling of the gap, which keeps the consumer hanging onto the edge of their seat for as long as possible.

Raise your standards, focus on the customer and imbue marketing with authenticity to see this little trick have a very big uplift in engagement.

In an era of boundless distraction and competitive content, understanding the power of social influence and its sway on our decision-making will take you one step closer to becoming an influencer in your own right. The next move is yours, so make it with a purpose.

Bryan Adams is CEO and founder at Ph.Creative

The UK MD of Tiger has said: “You cannot expect customers to be loyal, it doesn’t exist”

Image: Shutterstock

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