Consumer marketing using time and effort

Written by admin on April 11th, 2011

E-newsletter, social media, affiliate, search engine marketing. All can be utilized by an expert marketer. But how do you implement marketing campaigns effectively? Sparxoo’s team spoke with an expert marketer and co-author of Stopwatch Marketing to learn how time and effort factor into consumer buying behaviors and how marketers can maximize sales and brand awareness.

We recently had a chance to speak with AnnaMaria Turano, a senior marketer and partner at MCAworks, more about how time and effort affects consumers purchasing decisions. AnnaMaria is the co-author of Stopwatch Marketing and adjunct professor of marketing at NYU’s Stern School of Business.

What’s the book about?

Stopwatch Marketing focuses on the amount of time and effort that consumers go through to purchase products. Each shopping decision factors in the amount of time consumers want to spend shopping, the people they shop for, and the risk present in the purchase.

Should marketers focus more on the time or effort factor?

The generic view of consumers states that everyone is price sensitive and requires a quick and convenient purchasing process. This is not always the case. The situation and consumer behavior are major factors in determining timing and effort. Consumers change demands based on what items they’re buying, the people they’re buying for, and the times they need to start and stop shopping. The time and energy and the trouble they want to put in is just as important as how much money they want to spend.

One way to visualize this consumption is through the Stopwatch Matrix:

The matrix is plotted on the axes of how much time/energy a consumer will spend, and the net margin of that purchase. The four segments are divided by different types of consumer:

Impatient – These consumers have fast ticking stopwatches – they need a quick decision. While their needs are urgent, they certainly do not enjoy the shopping process.
Painstaking – These consumers have a slower ticking stopwatch – they make few purchases and are concerned about choosing the wrong decision. This is the hardest set of consumers to crack. So how did Tempur-Pedic, a retailer of expensive mattresses, pull it off? They built up to a purchasing decision through education, testimonials, and a 90 day satisfaction guarantee. They also sold sleeping aids, because they sold a good night of sleep, in addition to their mattresses.
Reluctant – These consumers simply don’t shop often, due to low personal needs. Marketers should challenge that viewpoint. TD Bank recognized that the majority of consumers stick to their bank, regardless of quality, since it’s simply too big of a hassle to move their account around. TD ran advertisements on commuting routes displaying themselves as a convenient bank opened 7 days a week and at times when other banks were closed. When consumers experienced a new trigger in their lives (e.g. moving in to a new area, making them vulnerable to change), they followed through on making the switch to TD.
Recreational – These consumers actually enjoy act of shopping. By looking for reviews, communicating with others about the product, and spending a long time shopping, they take their time. This is perhaps the most approachable group of consumers.

How have these ideas been applied to other companies?

When impatient shoppers show up at a tire dealer, they usually have no idea where to start. The prices are the only obvious differences and the shoppers are aware the dealer isn’t likely to recommend the best value. That’s where Goodyear Tires came in. AnnaMaria worked with the new products team to create TripleTred tires. With clearly labeled treads capable of handling dry, wet, and snow-covered roads, Goodyear could outshine the competition. The tires essentially “sold themselves” to customers in need of replacement tires.

What are 3 points from the book that people can take and say “I could do something with it today”?

Discover the buying behavior of your consumers – not just perceptions and behaviors in product usage.
Map out the touchpoints that help consumers shop according to how much time and energy they want to “spend.”
Reallocate your budget to align with those touchpoints which provide maximum value to your customers – and yourself!

Thank you to AnnaMaria for collaborating with Sparxoo.

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