Wednesday, September 11, 2019

MBA in a Nutshell #5 - Marketing : Miscellaneous considerations

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When marketing to a customer, there are a series of extra considerations that has to be made.

a) Other participants in the buying process

Sometimes, it may seem that one party may be the key decision maker but another party exerts a very strong influence in the decision making process. When buying my EC, I let my wife be a primary decision maker, I just make sure that the final decision is within my financial budget. Fortunately, almost all my customers for the training program show up for my previews alone and there is only one key decision maker to take care of. A variant of this arrangement is when one person gets to make a choice subject to the veto power of another. This is common in toy sales.

The downside of simpler decision making is that I seldom meet couples in my training classes, advising them to split up and share notes on two different courses instead.

b) Buying as a rational and emotional process

 If buying is a rational process, all I have to do is to let everyone know my course syllabus and pitch my class at a reasonable price.

If I really did this, I would probably be a divorce lawyer today.

No matter how cold and calculating my students are ( a majority are indeed engineers ), buying an investment course has a emotional component that can only be dealt with with a preview. This preview must have enough pathos to elicit interest.

I have recently transitioned from a very powerful message of "The Death of the Singapore Dream" to my newest performance of "The Four Seasons of Life".

Luckily, I spent my childhood DMing RPGs and manage theatrics fairly well.

c) Cognitive Dissonance

Every buyer faces conflicting emotions when purchasing a product. A person who buys a cigarette is probably aware that smoking is harmful but conquers his internal logic anyway. This is why marketers like to tell a customer that they are "worth it" or they should reward themselves.

In this aspect, my training courses face an uphill task.

For the sake of portfolio that I will build as part of the program, I prefer calmer and rational students who are more likely to understand what I teach. I told my partners that it is better not to hijack the amygdala of workshop participants because a bunch of Warren Buffett worshipper-fanatics may not be able to build working investment portfolio to do justice to my invested trainer fees during class.

If it is one emotion that I do channel is everyone's anger about being powerless in a capitalistic economy and the student's desire to give themselves one shot at financial freedom. Hopefully the anger is replaced with determination once I show them that succeeding even partially will have a huge impact in their lives.

d) Post-purchase Dissonance

When you spend thousands of dollars on something, you get buyer's remorse. This happened to me many times when I buy gadgets like e-readers (something I am still obsessed about).

Coming up with a reasonable money back guarantee program and building a vibrant community of alumni is how I deal with this. I know I can't answer all the questions from my students which is why now I have a community of 270+ members to help each other out.

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