I’m reading the book ‘The Examined Life’ by Stephen Grosz right now.
It’s a fascinating book, exploring people and their problems – which, when you think about it, is what marketing is all about. If you have a business, you’ll want to attract people with a particular problem to your offer.
In the book, Grosz – a leading psychoanalyst – details some of his most interesting patient encounters, and explains how they resolved some (but not all) of their issues.
One thing that struck me was how he divided the book into themes:
Beginnings, Lies, Love, Change, and Leaving.
And of these themes, Change is by far the biggest section of the book.
It seems we humans – some of whom are your customers – have big issues around accepting, making and dealing with change. In the book, change is at least – if not more – problematic than love, lies and loss.
If you’re marketing your product to humans – and I’m assuming you are – their complex feelings towards change can’t be ignored.
Well, remember that when you ask for a sale or a sign-up, you’re asking your customer to change not just their behaviour, but to change themselves.
You’re asking them to change from being someone who doesn’t use your product/service, into someone who does.
So you must make sure they understand what aspect of their life – or what part of themselves – will change for the better.
Otherwise they’ll just see themselves as someone with slightly less money than they previously had… or someone with a little more junk mail in their inbox, if you’re asking for a sign-up.
People find change difficult. We often even actively resist it…
We find it easier sometimes to live with a problem rather than change something about ourselves or our behaviour to solve the problem.
Depending on the size of the change required, sometimes we’re happier to even ignore the existence of a solution.
That solution could be your product.
So beware that you don’t simply expect your visitors to become customers just because they read about the availability of your solution.
Because people need persuading to change. And if you’re not sure how to persuade them, perhaps it’s time we talked.
Asking visitors to your site to become customers or subscribers means asking them to change.
Even if you’re not asking them to change from say, an existing service provider, this change may still seem less appealing to them than remaining unchanged.
Don’t treat this decision lightly – make sure you present a persuasive argument for making the change.