The Psychology of Pricing

Interesting pricing study:

What's the right priceResearchers found that shoppers deal with pricing information differently when prices feature round numbers (“5”), as opposed to non-round ones (“4.99”). When something costs $100, consumers tend to rely on their feelings, whereas when something has an irregular price—such as $98.67—consumers have to use reason to compute whether it’s a good price.

Monica Wadhwa and Kuangjie Zhang, assistant professors of marketing at INSEAD and at Nanyang Business School respectively, conducted five experiments to test this. They found that the prices of different types are evaluated in different ways. For example, products that are recreational or luxurious benefit from rounded prices: Consumers were more inclined to buy a bottle of champagne when it was priced at $40.00 rather than at $39.72 or $40.28. However, for purchases that are utilitarian—a calculator, in this experiment—participants were more likely to buy at the higher non-rounded price. In another experiment, participants were told that a camera was purchased for leisure (a family vacation) or for a class project. They preferred rounded prices when it was for vacation, and non-rounded prices for class projects.

Read more…

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Facebook Sees Decline in Active Users

I suspect this trend will continue. As more businesses use the platform in the hopes of connecting with consumers, they’ll be reaching fewer of them but still paying premium pricing for “targeted” demos. And with Facebook using their platform to conduct ethically and legally questionable massive-scale social and psychological research on its subscribers, look to see more people opting out and looking for other ways to connect.

“Over three quarters (82 per cent) of internet users aged between 16 and 64 years old now have a Facebook account, research from GlobalWebIndex has found, but there is a six per cent decrease in active usage.

The GlobalWebIndex Social Q2 2014 study found that messaging services was the biggest boom, with Snapchat seeing a 67 per cent increase in its user base, while WhatsApp has seen a 30 per cent increase and has now overtaken Facebook’s own Messenger service to become the third most popular social app globally.”

More here.

 

Tweet Much? You May Be A Narcissist or… A Marketer

Can a business be narcissistic? It likely depends on the business. Is the business based on a tangible product, an idea or a personality such as a celebrity or politician?

Too much of anything, including tweeting/posting, can be detrimental and a turn-off for the intended recipient– the opposite desire of the person or entity wanting to attract attention.

A marketer that overshares is likely to lose Twitter and Facebook followers, but oversharing can be a boom for celebrities. As more and more businesses turn to SM to communicate to/with customers either through direct tweets/posts or ads, the more “clutter” on users’ feed, the greater the likelihood that users will opt out. Which doesn’t bode well for SM platforms, even if it is free.

There is an argument to be made for frequent celebrity tweets/posts in order to keep the celebrity top-of-mind with fans. The more provocative the tweet, the greater the likelihood of publicity (Twitter can be a publicity multiplier) — and not necessarily positive publicity as numerous celebs and politicians have discovered.

Recognizing that public forums like Twitter and, to some extent, Facebook, are just that, PUBLIC, should make a sharer more cautious with the types of information they share. Since a celebrity is also a brand, it would be prudent to take a more conservative approach to sharing the details of one’s life in order to preserve brand equity.

However, turning to Twitter to share may reflect a deficient character…

From Daily Mail:

Tweet a lot? Then you’re probably SELF-OBSESSED: Narcissists use Twitter the most because they crave approval:

Study by High Point University, North Carolina, said narcissism appears to be a primary driver for the desire for Twitter followers
Adult narcissists prefer to post their news on Facebook while Millennials’ status updates are less likely to reflect narcissistic tendencies

Read more…

 I’m still a believer and practitioner of the “old” advertising axiom: Less IS More.

Handy Hashtag Help from Twitter

“The hashtag (#) has become one of the most valuable assets in any modern marketing campaign. The brands that create the most effective ones and employ them well reap the benefits on Twitter. Those who haven’t invested the time and thought carefully about their hashtag(s) and how they are going to be used get predictable results.” More here…

Twitter Hashtag Infographic

Social Media: What NOT to do…Part Deux

Or why discretion is the better part of valor…

social media mannersDuring a recent LinkedIn group discussion about the best social media platform for an author’s business, a couple of commenters began attacking one another. Fortunately, they didn’t hijack the conversation, but any helpful feedback they provided was diminished by their tit-for-tat commenting. In my opinion, they each exhibited immaturity and were unprofessional– a big turnoff.

Like email interactions, the intent of social media posts don’t always translate well and people on the receiving end become immediate psychics– knowing the mind and meaning of the emailer or poster. It can, and often does, get ugly. In this instance, they may lose business, opportunities and/or respect.

LinkedIn is a professional forum and as such, it requires a higher degree of decorum than other SM platforms.

The positive side is that this exchange (and others like them) can expose an attitude or disposition that can be taken as a red flag to stay clear. It is safe to assume, someone who is quick to anger or defensive in a benign post about social marketing tactics is someone who will likely exhibit the same with you or on behalf of your business.

You are your brand and if you want to have an impact and have people pay attention to what you have to say or offer, restrain from engaging in attacks — even if you are being attacked. Withdraw, disengage and don’t indulge your lesser angels.

5 Must-Haves for Non-Profit Marketing Materials

5 Must-Haves for Non-Profit Marketing Materials

Recently, I was asked to review marketing materials (brochure, website, DVD) for a small, relatively new, non-profit foundation that is looking to raise funds to build and operate a medical center in Afghanistan with women and girls as the primary beneficiaries. To date, the organization has been funded by the physician founder and the founder’s family and friends. However, the monies raised aren’t enough to fund their mission so they are having to move toward a more active fundraising model, hence the creation of marketing materials. They could have benefited from the following essential tips.

Before the creation of ANY materials, nail these 5 must-haves FIRST:

1. The WHAT

WHAT are you doing or want to accomplish? Build a school? Provide medicine? Hone in on the core of your mission– in 1 or 2 sentences.

2. The WHY

Once the WHAT is nailed down, then WHY does the WHAT matter? Again, keep it pithy. E.g. “Because there are no medical centers for women and girls to receive medical care.”

In the creation of most products or programs, the WHY comes before the WHAT. We identify a problem and the “WHAT” is the solution. But when creating marketing materials, we often have a PRODUCT (the WHAT) and need to communicate the WHY.

3. The STORY

Now, put together the STORY. This combines the WHAT & the WHY which is the communication message to potential supporters. This is a great example of the STORY, from TheWaterProject.org. Note the combination of WHAT¹ & WHY²

“Every day in rural communities and poor urban centers throughout sub-Saharan Africa, hundreds of millions of people suffer from a lack of access to clean, safe water¹. Women and girls especially bear the burden of walking miles at a time to gather water from streams and ponds – full of water-borne disease that is making them and their families sick². These illnesses and the time lost to fetching water robs entire communities of their futures.  Hope is put on hold in over half of the developing world’s primary schools without access to water and sanitation. But it doesn’t have to be this way.”

Every single marketing material should now communicate the WHAT, WHY and STORY so that the message is consistent and cohesive. And every piece should include an ASK.

4. The ASK

What do you want people to do? If you want a donation. Ask for it. Volunteers? Engagement? Whatever it is, have the mechanisms in place to immediately capitalize on their interest. And make sure it is as easy as the click of a button. Your response rate will be greater which will increase your success rate.

If it’s money you seek– provide donation amounts ($15, $20, $50, $100, etc) and translate the value. For example, “Your $20 gift will provide life-saving medicine to more than 200 women & children for 2 months.” If you have a 501c3, make sure you include this information on all your marketing materials and also on the THANK YOU receipt to the donor.

Looking for volunteers? Get clear about what you want and realistic about what they can do.

Want engagement? Non-profits can benefit greatly by using (but not over-using) social media tools to share information and to fundraise, so make sure your Facebook, YouTube.com, Tumblr, Instagram, Twitter, etc share icons are prominent on your website. Update your pages and/or tweet frequently, but don’t over-share. Only post when you have something to say.

Note: Your website, Facebook, Twitter, etc should have already addressed the first 3 tips before engaging social media.

5. Get EYES-ON

Enlist the help of others before you spend a cent. It’s important to have people not affiliated with your program whose POV you respect to review and critique your materials. You’ll likely get more questions, criticisms and opinions than you want or expected, but that’s a good problem to have because it will help you refine and get clear about your message.

Unfortunately, the materials I reviewed fell short of the above must-haves. The WHAT was identified, but the WHY, STORY and ASK were missing. And, they didn’t have fresh EYES-ON the materials before they were created. The good news: they actually went through the exercise of producing something, so it will be easier the next time; and they didn’t spend a lot of $ on the brochure and DVD. The website is often the easiest, quickest and least expensive asset to update (at least it should be…for more on this see…).