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To Keep Your Customers, Keep It Simple.

Marketers see today’s consumers as web-savvy, mobile-enabled data sifters who pounce on whichever brand or store offers the best deal. Brand loyalty, the thinking goes, is vanishing. In response, companies have ramped up their messaging, expecting that the more interaction and information they provide, the better the chances of holding on to these increasingly distracted and disloyal customers. But for many consumers, the rising volume of marketing messages isn’t empowering—it’s overwhelming. Rather than pulling customers into the fold, marketers are pushing them away with relentless and ill-conceived efforts to engage.
The single biggest driver of stickiness, by far, was “decision simplicity”—the ease with which consumers can gather trustworthy information about a product and confidently and efficiently weigh their purchase options. What consumers want from marketers is, simply, simplicity.
For a marketing organization, what does it take to acquire sticky consumers?
The best tool for measuring consumer-engagement efforts is the “decision simplicity index,” a gauge of how easy it is for consumers to gather and understand (or navigate) information about a brand, how much they can trust the information they find, and how readily they can weigh their options. The easier a brand makes the purchase-decision journey, the higher its decision-simplicity score.
Shifting the orientation toward decision simplicity and helping consumers confidently complete the purchase journey is a profound change, one that typically requires marketers to flex new muscles and rethink how they craft their communications. Some practical lessons can be drawn from brands that are leading the way. The processes of;
1. Aiding navigation
2. Building trust
3. Making it easier to weigh option often happen simultaneously, or at least aren’t strictly linear.
Given the rapid expansion of social and mobile technologies, marketers will have ever-increasing opportunities to bombard consumers. And if history is any guide, that’s exactly what they’ll do. But in their aggressive efforts to engage with their customers, they’ll only make the decision journey more complex and confusing. Marketers who focus on simplifying consumers’ decision making will rise above the din, and their customers will stick by them as a result.

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