Most people have an intuitive sense for marketing which functions wonderfully until it’s time to market something. By paying more attention to that sense during those non-marketing situations, when it’s active, perhaps we can improve its availability when we need it for marketing. At least that’s the thought that occurred to me during my drive home today.
I was in the middle lane of three as I slowly caught from behind cars in the outside lanes. The cars to my left and right were nearly even with each other and as I crept into their blind spot. As I did, I slid my thumb over the horn button just in case one of them decided to change lanes. At that same moment I assessed the situation. The road was clear in front of the car on my left. But the car on my right had another car just a couple of car lengths in front of it. Was either car likely to turn into my lane? Was one more likely than the other? Why?
I decided to pay closer attention to the car on my right because it was more likely to change lanes. The reason has everything to do with incentives. The car on my left had no incentive to changes lanes. With clear sailing ahead, there was no advantage to be had by making the move because there was no traffic in its own lane. The car on my right, however, would have a powerful incentive to change lanes if the car in front of it slowed.
Sure enough, it was the car on my right that dove into my lane when the brake lights on the car in front of it flashed. I avoided the collision because I had anticipated this move and was ready. I had followed the incentives and knew the car on my right was more likely to alter its behavior than the car on my left.
Considering consumer incentives was second nature to me as I drove and spared me from an accident. Can we consider consumer incentives when we write our marketing plans? Instead of asking which consumer has an incentive to change lanes, ask “which consumer has an incentive to buy my product?” You may anticipate who will buy your stuff and spare your company the pain of a marketing accident.
Spread the fire. GS