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  • Diana Schneidman

How consumers really engage with a brand

Marketers should simplify purchasing decisions, a process that is four times more effective than social engagement in driving sales.

I confess: I am predisposed to like experts who see things the same way I do. And that’s especially true for advice on social media, where almost all of what I am reading sounds off-base to me.

Imagine my excitement when internet communications guru Gerry McGovern cited the IBM Institute for Business Value and Forbes in announcing that most consumers are not seeking to join businesses’ “communities.”

IBM’s survey showed that 60 to 65% of business leaders agree that consumers follow brands via social media to be part of communities. However, only a fourth of consumers agree. The real reason they sign up is to get discounts!!

That’s me!

I’m not much for community—or tribes—though I have been an avid participant in master minds and other programs via involve Yahoo groups and similar forums. I take part in LinkedIn groups and check in on Facebook entities from time to time. Plus I sign up for lists, several of which come right in to my inbox and are regularly read.

Everything I actively participate in is led by a single individual (though perhaps with support staff). I read useful communications from larger organizations, but I don’t self-identify as their community member. And the glossy name brands seldom win my devotion.

If I were to “communitize” myself, it would be for discounts and coupons. Except that I rarely do coupons. I buy mostly store brands to avoid the tedium of coupon clipping, and I also save money by cutting back on shopping of all kinds. I only go in stores when I must and I seldom shop online.

Patrick Spenner of the Corporate Executive Board wrote in Forbes that “marketers are generally pushing out too much information, causing people to over-think purchase decisions.” Instead, marketers should simplify purchasing decisions, a process that is four times more effective than social engagement in driving sales.

Yes, let’s cut the clutter and online overload, giving people what we want. We simply want useful information and discounts, with less “shopping experience.”

Originally posted 7-24-12

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