Marketers used to be able to get away with intrusive advertising, placing online ads as pop-ups, highly distractive Flash animations, and a variety of other methods designed specifically to grab shoppers’ attention.  However, consumers have changed and are no longer enticed by ads (or other marketing tactics) that interrupt them… it’s as though they now have a built-in attention spam filter that automatically blocks the ads from their awareness.

As shoppers are bombarded with information, they have become resistant to intrusive advertising.  Advertising that is poorly-timed, irrelevant, and/or interrupts a current task quickly becomes an annoyance rather than an incentive to pay attention.

So how can we get shoppers’ attention? We need to understand shopper mindset — the “need states” and “shopping modes” that determine what, where, and why they buy – then speak to those needs!

This process requires time and energy, but it serves a dual purpose.  It…

  1. Provides key information about shoppers’ underlying unmet needs
  2. Builds a relationship with shoppers

Shopper behavior is complex, changing sometimes from hour to hour based on current underlying needs, and to get to an understanding of this behavior, we need to speak directly with shoppers.  We have no valid excuse for not connecting directly with shoppers now that Social Media tools give us a multitude of ways to reach individual and groups!

Ask specific questions, and then ask follow up questions for clarification and additional information.  In other words, engage with the shopper(s)!  This type of real interaction speaks more loudly for your brand than a standard (impersonal) survey or a flashy (intrusive) online ad.

When you take the time to invest in ongoing conversation, to discover what is really needed and really wanted, you are investing in a relationship… the foundation of shopper loyalty.  Relationships pave the path to purchase, so when you invest in them, you are rewarded with a high Return on Relationship (ROR)!

So do you want your brand to truly stand out?  Don’t ignite shoppers spam filters by trying to short-cut the process with intrusive advertising.  Instead, take the time and effort to learn what they need and want, then make sure your marketing efforts are relevant, timely, and meaningful.  They will notice.

Originally posted at Collective Bias

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