Happier customers want less information

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We’re living in the information age. We bombard people with product information, spreadsheets, comparison charts. Because that’s what people want: More and more information, right?

Wrong.

Researchers at the Tippie College of Business learned through a study that customers with less information about a product are happier than those with more information:

“We found that once people commit to buying or consuming something, there’s a kind of wishful thinking that happens and they want to like what they’ve bought,” said assistant professor of marketing Dhananjay Nayakankuppam. “The less you know about a product, the easier it is to engage in wishful thinking. But the more information you have, the harder it is to kid yourself. This can be contrasted with what happens before taking any action when people are trying to be accurate and would prefer getting more information to less.”

(…)

“Although the research used inexpensive items like chocolate and hand lotion in its experiments, Nayakankuppam said the Blissful Ignorance Effect could apply to bigger ticket items, too, such as cars or houses. However, since people tend to do more research before buying expensive items and thus would have more information, the effect would be more limited.”

This turns the traditional purchase funnel on its head: Marketers are used to finding and addressing passion points in the awareness stages and overwhelm consumers during the consideration and shopping phase with just the facts, ma’am.  The study clearly shows that businesses need to better engage with aspirations and desires of people throughout the shopping process. People buy into dreams, into wishful thinking. Not into facts. Sure, some product decisions are purely based on facts (Did you ever buy a flash drive because it made you feel sexy?) but most are based on emotion.

Based on this study, brands should revisit their marketing strategy and find ways to speak to passion points throughout the sales process. And beyond. These passion points are best addressed by utilizing social media and conversational marketing – the places where people discuss their desires and needs.  In the end, people want to feel good about their purchase: They want to get recognition from their peers, get an emotional lift, feel better about themselves. Successful advertising has always known that.

Conversational Marketing not only guides people through the shopping process, helps them with information and resolves possible tripping points. More importantly, Conversational Marketing helps people to share their passion and emotions and extend the reach of their ‘post purchase high’.

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