INFLUENCING THE EVALUATION PROCESS CAN POWERFULLY IMPACT ON SALES
The proposition in this week’s edition of THE REPORT is that marketing becomes a whole lot more cost effective when:
- Business understands the purchase process.
- Know when to intervene in the purchase process.
- Knows how to intervene in the process.
Certainly this approach is far more cost effective than the shot gun approach most often used.
The third stage in the purchase process might be called – EVALUATION.
Having identified the solutions and the options for delivering the preferred solution the consumer then begins the process of evaluating those options on the basis of:
- The criteria they have established
- The information available
The consumer will have criteria, both internally and externally driven against which options will be evaluated. The evaluation process will almost certainly be more in-depth for first time purchasers.
The information available will influence the capacity of the consumer to make re;liable comparisons between the available options. Also impacting here will be the consumers past purchase behaviour and their propensity to source information.
Intervening in the evaluation process involves embracing:
- The market.
- The objectives.
- The requirements.
Central to success at this stage is understanding the ‘HYGIENE’ AND ‘MOTIVATIONAL’ NEEDS of the target market – ensuring that both are fully addressed.
The primary objectives will include establishing a clear, tangible and relevant POINT OF DIFFERENCE to the other options.
The requirement is to establish RELEVANCE and the value proposition that delivers the point of difference.
Factors that can be influenced by the businesses at this stage include:
- The criteria – the basis upon which evaluations are based.
- The brand – the nature of the option on offer (cognitive and emotive).
- The value proposition – the critical point of difference.
Certainly it is important at this stage to recognise that comparisons will take place and that it may even be helpful to facilitate comparisons. Indeed businesses like I SELECT and COMPARE THE MARKET have built businesses around facilitating comparisons and businesses with a strong value proposition are often well served by such comparisons.
That said, it is important to remember that consumers are unlikely to:
- Have all of the available information.
- Make decisions just on the basis of factual information.
- You can influence the evaluation process by influencing the evaluation criteria.
- Branding is critical in the evaluation process – even impacting on price expectation.
- Having a tangible and relevant point of difference is THE critical issue.