Brand Responsibly Manifesto: 12
Your audiences are bombarded daily by ideas, messages, advertising, visual clutter and a profusion of information. Your audiences are overwhelmed and frequently have a tough time making a decision.
That’s why the concept of “point of choice” is essential to building a marketing program that drives response.
Today many decisions are made on the spot, on impulse. Have you ever gone into a grocery store with a list of just a few items and come out with a full cart? You made purchase decisions at the point of choice.
The point of choice is where your audiences choose to take action. Action to make a purchase, action to click through to learn more, action to pick up the phone to call, action to give, refer, join, apply or enroll. Think of what action you need your audiences to take, to engage with your brand, and then determine where and how that action occurs. You’ll be on the road to identifying that critical point of choice.
No matter who you’re trying to reach, what industry you’re in or what you’re offering, there will be multiple points of choice in the process of introducing your goods and services, engaging with target audiences, completing a transaction, and staying connected to that person or company.
To identify the points of choice for your organization and your brand, become your primary target audience.
From their point of view … what are they looking for? What do you offer that matches what they’re looking for? What’s the relationship as they make a decision to connect with you? What information do they need to move forward to the next step? Where and how are they connecting with you?
Studies have shown that both consumers and business to business buyers are taking control of the buying process by doing their homework first. Because there is so much information available now, they are using more sources of information before making contact. The stats are incredible:
- In 2010 consumers used on average 5.3 sources of information before making contact
- In 2011 consumers used on average 10.4 sources of information
- And B2B buyers are, on average, 60% towards a purchase decision before making contact
What are those sources? Think online. Think reviews, blogs, chat rooms, references, articles, Google searches, services like Yelp or Urban Spoon. There are more ways to find more information than ever before.
Thus there are MANY ways someone may interact with you and your brand. It’s up to you to focus your message and brand on those critical points of choice … where they will choose to take action.
For most organizations, a critical point of choice is their website
Because most people looking for goods and services begin their search online (hello, who uses the yellow pages any more?) … it’s essential your website be tuned to what the right target audiences are looking for. It’s also critical the content flows directly to a clear and specific call to action … to help them see how they can choose to move forward, take the next step, or make contact.
Your marketing will pay off when you focus on what your target audience needs, how you can reinforce your value, at that point when they’re deciding to look further. And with the vast number of communication channels now, it’s useful to focus your energies where it will make the most difference, where audiences choose to engage or to go another direction.
Leverage your points of choice to work harder
Building your visual and verbal brand consistently at each point of choice will increase visibility and drive more action. Often there are areas that have been overlooked that can be leveraged for big impact to the bottom line:
- If your organization has a fleet of vehicles, they can be turned into roving billboards with bold design and calls to action … we’ve seen huge success by going beyond just labeling a truck or van to creating a strong message and visual impact
- Advertising no longer has to tell the whole story, it can include a QR code or a link to a website for more information, that allows the reader to interact in different ways
- Offering valuable downloads on your website encourages return visitors who are still making a decision, and can use the help you offer
- Packaging design will influence behavior when people are shopping (remember the first example … that full shopping card from a short list?) … and we’ve found that adding stories to food packaging engages the consumer at a higher level
The point of choice is a guide as you develop an integrated marketing program … it’s a way for you to focus time and dollars where they will have the most impact. It’s easy to become frustrated with the proliferation of communication options … and hard to stretch the budget to be a presence everywhere.
The point of choice gives you focus. It’s where you’ll find the highest ROI … return on investment … from your integrated marketing program.
Here are a few more resources for you:
- Download our Point of Choice worksheet to identify where you can increase your ROI
- Download our Website Effectiveness Scorecard to rate the effectiveness of your website
- Visit our website for more information about the point of choice, the center of our brand optimization methodology
Interested in talking to a real person? Give me a call to discuss your marketing objectives and the point of choice. No obligation, really. Toll-free 866.363.4433 (Pacific time). Or drop me an Email!