Understanding Consumers, And How To Get Their Attention
Disruptive Marketing

Understanding Consumers, And How To Get Their Attention

Understanding consumers is key to any marketing strategy, but how can you grab and hold their attention? Read on to find out…

Why Disruptive Marketing?

Did you know that we are exposed to as many as 10,000 brand messages a day?!

As you can imagine, this is a little overwhelming for our primitive brains, so we use a tactic to subconsciously screen out pretty much all of it. Therefore, in order to capture attention within the wonderful world of marketing, it is essential to stand out. Doing so encourages consumers to think positively about your product or service, and is likely to persuade them to find out more. That’s the first two steps in the classic AIDA marketing model taken care of (awareness and interest). Then it’s down to desire and action – in other words, find a way to trigger an emotional connection, and then to trigger a choice-activating decision relevant to your commercial proposition.

Disruptive marketing – if done well – permits companies like yours to take calculated risks in order to stand out from the crowd – with a strong strategic approach, such as the one you will get through our SMPP framework, risk is mitigated as much as possible by ensuring that your decisions are as informed as possible. All decisions we make in life (be they of a commercial or personal nature) come with risks attached, but the more they are calculated upon good intelligence, heavyweight insights and robust conclusions, then the risk is minimised as much as is strategically possible.

Here are some great examples of disruptive marketing strategies in the form of big brand advertising campaigns from the US in 2019, courtesy of Campaign, one of our industry’s heavyweight magazines. The same approach can apply for smaller companies, just like yours. If you want to stand out from the crowd, you need to develop ideas that are unique to your business.

How To Be Different 

As with all marketing activities, if you want to create a successful outcome, you need to start with a clear brief that sets out the goals you want to achieve. Although these are normally based on commercial goals (such as increasing sales by £x or profits by £y), it is not at all uncommon (or wrong!) to think in terms of more generally raising brand awareness, especially if you are repositioning your business in the market place. Following this, you will need to go through a process including information-gathering and team workshops to build meaningful insights. For the best outcomes, these insights need to relate to your business, your brand, your customer and the echo chamber in which you operate (that’s an external cultural influence that impacts upon your marketplace) which ladder up to a core proposition underlying your disruptive approach. With this information at hand, you can then confidently move on to the next stage in the process – the production of a strong creative strategy.

Conducting market research with a credible intelligence partner like Mintel is particularly valuable during this process, and we recommend that you take a good look at their seven key trend drivers that identify core conscious and subconscious influences on consumer trends, and think carefully about how these might apply to your marketplace, bearing in mind the prevailing conditions caused by Brexit, Covid-19, war in Ukraine, fuel prices, rising inflation and interest rates, and so on.

  1. Experience

This identifies consumer needs to seek and discover stimulation through adventure, playfulness, pleasure and nostalgia.

  1. Identity

It is important to be aware of how consumers understand and express themselves, as they seek individuality, heritage, community and morals.

  1. Rights

Consumers also want to feel respected, protected and supported, and brands can fulfil these needs by providing empowerment, respect by aligning with consumer values, protecting their sensitive information, and encouraging self-expression.

  1. Surroundings

There is an increasing desire to feel connect to our external environment, as consumers look to purchase from brands that are ethical, promote equality, act sustainably and support local economies.

  1. Technology

The prominence of technology in our daily lives means that it also has an impact on consumer trends, as we find solutions through tech, use digital entertainment, enjoy being the first to try new developments and say informed about what is happening in the world – but also appreciate opportunities to disconnect.

  1. Value

A significant factor in consumer purchasing habits is a desire for tangible benefits, expecting quality but affordability, products that will make life easier as well as having an affinity for premium.

  1. Wellbeing

Physical and mental wellness encourages consumers to invest in lifestyle choices that support healthy living, active lifestyles, nutritional health, and psychological wellbeing.

Having an understanding of factors influencing industry trends means that you can more accurately get a feel for what your consumers need and want. To further support the creation of a marketing strategy that disrupts behaviour and delivers commercial goals, a basic awareness of consumer psychology is immensely valuable. Having developed the traditional homo economicus model of behaviour, psychologists and economists have identified various complexities of human behaviour that are far more influential than pure rationality.

Understanding these influences means that we can draw on significant motivators of behaviour when attempting to persuade and influence a ‘win-win’ consumer decision making process. That is not to say that rationality is not important, as it is often used to back up our primary emotional response, which is why successful marketing plans merge both commercial goals and brand philosophy to speak to both the emotional and the rational sides of our brain. Why win-win? Well, good marketing is always delivered with the honest intention of benefiting your consumer, a fundamental component for ethical brands.

Understanding consumers

Principles of consumer psychology

Cialdini’s six principles of consumer psychology provide insights into aspects of human nature that influence our purchasing decisions. These too are a great way to think about the type of approach that might work with potential customers.

  1. Reciprocity

Humans feel a social obligation to repay debts: so if your brand offers consumers a favour they will want to return the sentiment to maintain goodwill. This is particularly valuable if the gift is unexpected.

  1. Commitment

We want to be consistent with our internal beliefs and values, and this can be drawn on by encouraging commitment to a small thing which often leads to larger investments.

  1. Social Proof

Purchasing decisions can be influenced by what others are doing around us, so if we know that many consumers have made the same choices before us we will be more likely to do the same.

  1. Authority

It is important to be seen as an expert in the industry, so consumers perceive your brand as an authoritative figure and will have more trust in you.

  1. Liking

It is easier to influence and persuade consumers if they like you, signifying the importance of marketing that appeals to the audience. Liking can come from three main sources: similarity, compliments, and co-operation.

  1. Scarcity

We want what we can’t have – and to tap into this, brands can create a sense of scarcity about availability of products and services, drawing on why your offering is unique and why consumers don’t want to miss out.

When these psychological insights are combined with credible market trends, you can then build a detailed picture of what is happening in your industry – and why.

It is important to stress that the best creativity is always a product of an in-depth understanding of psychology and philosophy, which helps us to understand why and how we make decisions, aligned with the meaning and purpose of your brand.

Bottom Line

The Abacus Marketing approach to all marketing activities involves the use of our SMPP framework (SMPP = strategic marketing planning process). Interested? It can be delivered in many formats, from complete programmes to group workshops to one-to-one sessions, and it works for all businesses – regardless of size, industry and geography. We are passionate about delivering marketing solutions that work. We can help you to create disruptive marketing campaigns for your business derived from a deep understanding of your commercial proposition and brand philosophy.

If you would like to find out more, please get in touch. Whatever your budget, we can tailor the right package for you. For micro businesses, this can simply be a series of one-hour calls. Contact us at disruptivemarketing@abacusmarketing.co.uk to find out more.