How we decide to purchase

Amateur ad writers assume everyone makes decisions based upon the same criteria they use. This causes them to unconsciously frame their messages to reach people exactly like themselves.

Professional ad writers frame their messages to speak to the felt needs of a specific consumer.

People are multi-dimensional. We make decisions to purchase based on a variety of criteria, but two of the big ones are Time and Money.

“Time and Money are interchangeable.
You can always save one by spending more of the other.”

– Pennie Williams

  1. A person who feels they have no money and no time is buried in financial and relational obligations.
  2. A person who believes they have more time than money is a bargain hunter.
  3. A person who has more money than time is overworked and highly paid.
  4. A person with lots of money and time is looking for something to do.

Consciously or unconsciously, every ad is framed to speak to one of those four perspectives.

It isn’t really about whether we can afford to spend the money. It’s about whether we FEEL we can afford to spend it. A person may feel they have the time, but not the money, to purchase a product in one category, but later that day feel they have the money, but not the time, to purchase a different product in a different category.

We evaluate messages – news, information, and advertising – based on Relevance and Credibility:

  1. Relevance: “Does it matter to me? Do I care about this?”
  2. Credibility: “Do I believe it?”

A message high in relevance but low in credibility is hype.
“I would be interested if I believed you.”

A message low in relevance but high in credibility is a tedious waste of time.
“I believe you, I’m just not interested.”

Are you speaking to the felt needs of your customer, or are you speaking only to yourself?
Are the things you’re saying believable, or do they sound like unsubstantiated hype?

Identity Reinforcement and Self-Expression:

We buy much of what we buy to remind ourselves – and tell the world around us – who we are. A surprisingly high percentage of purchases are about self-expression.

We bond with organizations that show us a reflection of our best self-image. When we perceive that an organization shares our outlook and our beliefs, we prefer them and their products.

Win the heart and the mind will follow. The mind will always create logic to justify what the heart has already decided.

Indy said to tell you “Aroo,” and that he’s waiting for you in the rabbit hole.

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