Classic marketing suggests that creating top of mind (TOM) awareness pays dividends as the prospect finds themselves in need of your services.
But in today’s web-enabled, shopping-driven marketplace there’s more to the concept.
Today you need a fresh approach to marketing that focuses on being in your target audience’s “initial consideration set.”
Marketing by advisors and marketing to financial advisors is impacted by this important research.
McKinsey explains: “The initial consideration set is the group of companies that prospective customers evaluate in advance of a purchase. Consumers tend to consider an average of just 1.7 carriers in the ICS for life insurance, compared with 3.8 automobile manufacturers and 3.2 auto insurance carriers. Those carriers have a huge advantage; in 60 percent of life insurance purchases, consumers choose to buy a product from a brand in the ICS—a rate double that in most industries.”
McKinsey offers their insight into the importance of being in the “initial consideration set”:
“Digging deeper, we discovered just how vital it is to be included in the set of brands that first come to a consumer’s mind when he or she is triggered to make a purchase decision. These brands in the initial consideration set were more than two times as likely to be purchased as were brands considered only later in the decision journey. Overall, 69 percent of the brands purchased by consumers who switched brands were part of their initial consideration set when they started shopping.”
What was more interesting was how this impacts loyalty – the clients and advisors working with you or your competitors are shopping today.
“Loyalists were those who remained faithful to the last brand they purchased without considering other choices. Vulnerable repurchasers gave in to the urge to shop around and considered other brands at least briefly, but ended up returning to the fold. Switchers took the next step and purchased another brand.
What surprised us was not only how ephemeral loyalty is, but also how often consumers switched brands once they decided to shop. In the categories where we examined purchase behavior, only 13 percent of consumers were loyalists. A full 87 percent of consumers, in other words, were shopping around.”
Shopping is one thing, but what about buying a different brand?
“But the remainder, comprising 58 percent of our sample, became switchers. Incumbent brands held their own just 42 percent of the time.”
That’s a serious amount of potential turnover. Or viewed another way, it’s an opportunity for new customers!
Does it pay to focus on the initial consideration set in correlation with growth? Yes.
“We found that initial consideration, isolated as a factor, is generally much better than total consideration at explaining near term (within one year) growth. That explanatory power confirms the need for marketers to win attention for their brands at the very beginning of a shopper’s journey.”
Advertising alone isn’t the answer because consideration entails more than just brand awareness. Your unique benefits and value need to be present as well.
Here are three immediate steps for achieving that elusive consideration:
- Re-segment your target audiences – think about prospects that might have stopped doing business with you.
- Extend the breadth of your communication.
- Develop innovative tools for expressing your value.
How do you get and keep your brand in that “initial consideration set” is a great topic for discussion and we’re available for that conversation.