You’re a consumer stood in the supermarket trying to decide what to pick for dinner. You know you want a nice pizza, something better than the usual frozen deep-pan fodder.
You fancy trying something different. But, you eventually opt for a Pizza Express 12-inch La Reine. It’s a safe option. You know what you’re going to get and you know you won’t be disappointed. You even throw in a packet of dough balls into the basket.
But, did you actually make a conscious decision there?
You may not realise it, but this scenario is played out thousands of times in your day. You’re running on autopilot. You unconsciously pick up brands that you regularly buy.
You’re not alone. 94% of the time, when a consumer considers buying a different product they quickly and unconsciously end up “choosing” the same brand.
When you’re scanning the pizza aisle, you will spend 15-20 seconds trying to work out which pizza to pick based on one “theme”. This theme could be that you want organic ingredients, or that you want an extra thin base, for example.
You pick the brand that most closely matches your theme and causes you the least amount of confusion. More often than not, that’s the brand you’ve chosen before because you know that their product matches your expectations.
Changing your mind in 15 seconds?
Let’s delve into the pizza example a little more.
You want to buy a pizza with authentic Italian ingredients. Pizza Express regularly boasts about its authentic Italian ingredients. There’s a clear association here. You see the Pizza Express 12-incher and instantly associate it with what you want. You pick up the pizza and barely look around at other offerings that may give you an authentic Italian flavour.
For the average brand, you only have a 15 to 20 second window where the consumer is open to making another choice. In other words, you have only that 15 seconds to attract new customers and make sure your existing customers don’t move away from your brand.
The role of advertising is to affect what happens in that 15 second window
How can you do that it such a tiny timeframe?
If you want to influence something, first you need to understand it. You need to get an in-depth understanding of each specific scenario – whether that’s the case where your potential customer is staring blankly at shelves stacked with an assortment of different pizzas, or browsing online to buy a new computer.
You need to do this for every buying scenario and every customer to discover and isolate a strategy to stand out and get picked every time.
Why Traditional Advertising Fails
Many adverts are 15-20 seconds long. Marketers focus on entertaining audiences with such ads while we’re sat at home watching another ad break on the television.
But they’re focusing on the wrong place at the wrong time. They’re completely out of context.
The same can be said for other advertising methods. You need to capture your customers at that specific point in time when they are deliberating what brand to choose. And you need to do it in 15-20 seconds.
Irrelevance, and Decision windows
The bad news is that whether a person likes an ad or whether it generates a specific feeling, is irrelevant to the effect it may have in that 15 second decision window.
The danger here is you’re missing a trick. You’re using a heavyweight boxer to fight a flea.
The real 15 second window you need to target isn’t when consumers are sat at home, nonchalantly watching the adverts. You need to target your consumers when they’re stood in the aisles, wondering what to have for dinner.
This 15 second window is your moment to shine. It’s not enough to just have your product available and in front of your customer, it’s not enough to rely on social copying strategies or a snazzy ad campaign that’s now out of context for your customer.
So, what are you going to do with your 15 seconds?
Research from consumer psychology company CrowdCat can open the door into the customer’s world in that 15-20 second window. It’s like you’re standing next to your customer as they decide whether or not to choose your brand.
CrowdCat do this using a proprietary system of psychometric surveys that scale digitally to capture a whole audience. This singles out the important themes that matter to your customer and build your brand based on what’s important to your customers.
This then cuts through the confusion that most consumers face on the rare occasions they consider picking another brand. It frees them from making unconscious decisions and, instead, picking a product based on what matters most to them.
Using Mass Consumer Psychology to understand your audience
So, the next time a customer is pondering which brand to pick, they’ll see your product and instantly associate with something that matters to them.
They could be a new customer or an existing customer considering their options. It doesn’t matter.
What does matter is understanding all the elements that make up their decision process so your customer is always drawn to your brand.
CrowdCat’s research take those elements and work out exactly how they fit together, and how to influence that decision process in that specific 15-20 second time slot.
With the benefit of these insight, you can work to save your loyal customers and recruit new ones – 15 seconds at a time.