Understanding how your customers think and how buy

“Your consumers are bombarded everyday with thousands of brand images and sales pitches. “In order to survive the onslaught of choices, consumers make snap judgments.”

I read that excerpt in a book that was recommended to me entitled All Marketers Are Liars. What’s fascinating about most of us is that we consistently make judgments on very little information. In effect, consumers absorb little bits of information (like seeing your online marketing video, logo, or business card) and then make judgments and predictions about your business based on the little input they’ve been exposed to.

Don’t believe me?

Well, have you ever made up your mind about a political candidate without ever meeting her/him? How about picking a movie based on the ads in the paper? If you shop online, do you make a decision on how reputable the company is based on their marketing video or website? Yep, we all make snap decisions. This is the reason that speed dating has been so popular and effective for people—we all make snap judgments based on a first impression.

The truth is, that often, based on a first impression, we consumers make up our minds instantly—and according to All Marketers Are Liars, consumers stick to those decisions like a barnacle on a sailboat. Once the snap decision has been made, consumers seek out information that supports their snap judgments and ignore information that doesn’t. For consumers, this approach saves an immense amount of time and keeps them from going nuts; for savvy business owners, this screams, “My first impression better be a good one.”

So what does all this mean to your small business?

This is why having a professional, marketing-focused and consistent business identity is so important. The truth is, your customers make snap judgments, and once those decisions are made, they are tough to change. So you want to make certain that the first impression your customers receive from you (online YouTube video, business card, logo, website, brochure, signage, etc) is the impression that you want.

Other articles you should check out:

Emotional intelligence and what they have to do with your marketing efforts

Top 12 questions you should ask videographers, designers, marketing agencies, and other creative pros

What do platitudes and a platypus have to do with your marketing efforts (one is one; the other isn’t)