There are three ways to affect customer behavior:
- Gain – They will experience an advantage by doing things differently.
- Pain – They will avoid or lessen negative consequences.
- Rules Change – It is the way things are done within their operational universe.
It’s that simple. If one of those doesn’t happen for your customers, don’t expect their behavior to be different.
To see a substantial or immediate difference, you must raise the degree of Gain, Pain, or Rules Change. Here are three examples:
- Substantial Gain – eCommerce – Customers can buy what they want, when they want it, quickly and at a good price.
- Immediate Pain – Gasoline over $4.00/gal. – Just ask the car manufacturers how much and how quickly customer behavior changed.
- Immediate Rules Change – Government incentive for first-time home buyers – When it went away, existing home sales dropped 27%.
These were three macro-examples, but the idea translates to each market, each company. Do you use pricing or give-aways to promote gain? Is scarcity a “pain” tool you can utilize? Is there a way to revise distributor rules to incent sales?
Check your marketing plan. Are Gain, Pain, or Rules Change in it? If not, don’t expect to impact your customers’ behavior.