In this edition of Furniture World, our Point/Counterpoint duo, Bill Napier and Ed Tashjian, debate the efficacy of print vs. digital.
It’s my view that whether you agree with Bill or Ed, it's prudent to focus on the importance of making the right advertising impression, rather than merely counting impressions.
In her book “Origins: How the Nine Months Before Birth Shape the Rest of Our Lives”, Annie Murphy Paul writes about the importance of early messaging. Citing research on human gestation, she finds that conditions such as a mother's physical condition, diet, and auditory cues prompt fetuses to adapt their physiology, preparing them physically and mentally for likely conditions they will encounter after birth.
The difficulty with this, Paul suggests, “comes when pregnant women are, in a sense, unreliable narrators.” If a newborn encounters an environment that doesn't meet his or her adaptive expectations, the chances for a long and healthy life decrease. Parents, therefore, who don't consider how circumstances over the nine formative months may shape an entire life, do so at some risk.
Similarly, furniture marketers risk losing business when they underestimate the importance of reaching out earlier to potential customers. Forming expectations for future shopping experiences in this way can jump-start many long and healthy customer-store relationships.
- Consider early intervention: Remember that the universe of potential customers who are not yet actively looking for your products and services is large. Don't underestimate the effect that early brand-focused messaging can have to establish positive expectations for your business, paving the way for increased traffic and sales.
- Don't be an unreliable narrator. New shoppers expect that their experiences with your brand at every retail touch point will align perfectly with the expectations created by your brand messaging. Don't disappoint.
Note: There's a lot of practical information in this issue of Furniture World about how to align customer expectations with retail reality, so please read on! Also check out Annie Murphy Paul's TED talk at http://bit.ly/2tMtFmW.
Russell Bienenstock is Editor-in-Chief of Furniture World Magazine, founded 1870. Comments can be directed to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.