I love my profession. Marketers come in all stripes and sizes. Some are shysters and others are hard graft honest workers.
We use a lot of techniques to advantage the brands we are working for. Some are sly and dishonest and others are honourable.
And today I am focusing on two different ways to influence the customer’s perception versus the reality.
Pricing perception & reality
You may know that there is a “Left Digit Bias” which is well documented in the psychology literature.
This means when we read a price, the numbers before the decimal point get more attention from us than those to the right. And so if a price is slightly below a threshold number like $29.99 as opposed to $30.00 our perception of good or best value goes with the lower left hand number, 29 in this case.
Marketers advise on pricing. And it’s worth reading this recent research about when to use the left digit bias tactic and when not to use it.
If your product is normally priced $2.00 and your net margin is 9% and the price is lowered to $1.99 the net margin drops to 6%. That’s a lot of profit left on the table just for one cent of discount.
A better tactic is to show the Before and Now price. So the relative prices are known by the consumer.
By playing with the pricing you can advance a marketing perception which is less obvious than the reality and which delivers a better outcome for your client brand’s profitability.
Data visualisation perception & reality
I have a tiny obsession at the moment with water. We have a local hose pipe ban – it’s the middle of winter and has been
raining heavily most days this month. So why the ban?
I investigated and found the local water company publishes daily updates on the water level in local dams, the volume of water consumed per week and the weekly rainfall compared to the long term mean.
We are currently at 64.95% water storage compared to a historical average level of 88.77% at this time of year. And they illustrate this in a handy graphic, updated daily.
Now I know why there’s a hosepipe ban.
Marketers could use images and data visualisations more often. They offer an easy way to explain things quickly to your customers and prospects.
Geeking out on data summaries isn’t everyone’s hobby of choice. Yet I was drawn into a very detailed analysis of what “good” actually looks like in data visualisation and ways to use this to advance your marketing reality compared to customer perception.
Define good data imagery
Avinash is a data geek – he works for Google. And he shares his expertise in a wonderful weekly email.
Here is a comparison of 4 data visualisations about Covid19. Timely, yes – and each trying to convey a lot of information to the public about what is and is not “safe” to do.
Which of these 4 do you prefer? Which can you ‘understand’ fastest? What is each trying to explain?
Is there a perception and reality gap in these four images? Which is best at showing Covid19 risk?
Avinash writes a detailed analysis of his personal scoring system to appraise each image against 8 criteria.
He creates a weighted scoring for each so that a total score is out of 66.
The scoring is on a three point scale “Perfect” scores 3; “Could be optimised” scores 1 and “Reboot” scores minus -2. As you can see the weighting he applies rewards perfect far more than the midlevel score. But hey, that’s his choice. When you do well your score easily out-strips the others.
Which image got which score? [ For answers scroll down.]
How were they so different? Isn’t Avinash’s judgement seriously wrong? They all look great to me.
First understand the qualities he is seeking to appraise.
- Time to the most important insight.
- The effort to understand the whole graphic.
- Trust marks.
- Rank-ordering of key messages.
- Explaining the key logic powering the graphic.
- Exposing nuance.
- Visualizer trying to be too clever.
- Likely to recommend to influential leaders.
And now we can better understand the relative effectiveness of the designs against these criteria.
Read the full article – warning, it’s 6000 words long.
[Scoring – list top left, top right, bottom left, bottom right.]
Copywrite a marketing brief
Briefing is everything.
If you ask the right questions you get the brief right. Then you’re most likely to get the best answer / output to suit your goals.
Knowing your success criteria and metrics are important and also defining what ‘success’ looks like. This is a great methodology of writing the brief from the end back to the beginning. Try writing the ‘conclusion’ statement as your opening paragraph.
We need customers to understand a Covid19 activity risk matrix. We will have succeeded if fewer people undertake risky activities as measured by…..
One of the things I admire about Avinash is his consistent support for people in the same line of work – how to impress your boss is a key theme. Hence item 8 on his list above.
As a marketer, it really MATTERS that you get noticed for doing good work. Learning some of these things I’m writing about could help your career.
- Do good marketing
- Get noticed
- Get the next job / pay rise / promotion you deserve
If you would like to know how I would copywrite a marketing brief for this job – just email me. Happy to share.