A few years ago our a Brandwatch intern was let loose on the company’s Twitter account.
At the time we were promoting a guide on community management, and he took a rather interesting approach on the wording of the social post. We awoke the day after promoting the guide to a number of angry replies, accusing us of being rude and disparaging. Bad times. What had he tweeted?
“Don’t be a stupid marketer. Download our guide.” Grimace emoji.
Despite the vocal reaction, and our swift deletion of the tweet, it still became on to be one of our most clicked through tweets of all time, and the guide was a big hit. Sure, it definitely should have been worded better. It was questionable in tone. But the sentiment actually rings true. Marketers don’t want to be stupid.
So what point are we making here? Well, marketers do make simple mistakes every day, despite the abundance of insights available.
While that’s bad news for most marketers, it’s good news for you. It means if you learn from their mistakes, you’ll have a competitive advantage.
In this blog we’ll take you through four common mistakes marketers make and give examples on how you can avoid them.
Mistake #1: “Consumer preferences are constantly changing.”
We often think of our consumers as irrational – constantly changing their minds. As soon as a new competitor enters our market we’re terrified they’ll steal loyal customers. So, marketers change campaigns and strategy to keep up to speed with ever-altering consumer preferences.
While there’s some merit to thinking like this, it largely evades a fundamental law consumers align with: The consistency principle. The principle was first noticed in 1968 by two Canadian psychologists, Knox & Inkster. They found that gamblers are more confident their horse will win immediately after they place a bet. Nothing about the horse or its odds has changed. But something in the consumer’s mind has.
Once we make a choice we will encounter pressures to behave consistently with that commitment.
How to avoid the mistake
Some enterprising marketers have learned ways to harness the power of the consistency principle. Google your favorite festival and pull up a promotional poster. There will be an important piece of information missing from the poster – the price. Why? Because promoters have recognized that concert goers are more likely to buy a ticket after they’ve searched for the price. The time spent searching only increases the likeliness they’ll purchase.
Here’s another example. A few years ago, a video game manufacturer used Brandwatch to learn if the consistency principle affected sales. In the run-up to a major gaming event they monitored two strands of conversation about their games:
- General discussion about the game (eg this game looks cool)
- Intent to purchase discussion (eg I want this game)
The results were fascinating. Game 1 generated more conversation. But game 2 generated more intent to purchase mentions.