Simon Naudi, CEO of Answers Training, on what the four basic buyer groups want, and how to give it to them.
Who has sent or received “the perfect mailer”?
Some fully capture our imagination and attention, while others are deleted quicker than you can say junk. It’s not often a better use of words or a better illustration that sets them apart. Chances are the mailing in question resonates more with you as a reader.
There are broadly four main behaviour styles and hence four main ways to segment your data for more effective marketing. According to research we are all broadly predisposed to having characteristics of a Doer, a Thinker, a Friend and an Actor in unequal measures.
A typical Doer is competitive, short to the point and someone typified by action and results. They love to feel in control and live by the mantra ‘time is money’. Short attention spans and a poor attention to detail is typical.
A Thinker, by contrast, loves detail and facts and can be prone to analysis paralysis. They like order, accuracy and factual proof.
Their nemesis is the Actor type, who is fond of exaggeration, sweeping generalisations and a fondness for the dramatic. As their name suggests they crave attention, an audience, adoration and the limelight. A lover of images and big ideas, they still value options of others despite their self-assured outward manner.
Finally we have the Friend who is a people person, tuned in to moods and feelings and a generally good egg. They make decisions based upon the impact on people and value relationships. It is rare to have only one set of characteristics and so invariably we have a type made up of a mix of the four. It is worth bearing this in mind next time you consider marketing to your database.
It is also worth paying attention to the personalities you have in your marketing department, as they will instinctively favour the elements that appeal personally to them when devising a strategy.
Thinkers will tend to promote lengthy accurate comprehensive missives whereas Doers will risk being too abrupt and lean towards meeting deadlines over detailed content. Friends will want to emphasise benefits to staff and clients alike rather than bottom line and Actors will want bells and whistles and images and fancy schmancy visuals! They can’t all be right or indeed wrong. It really depends on who your audience is.
In terms of opening rates (and hopefully response) it is more cost-effective to produce four pieces of collateral than one that tries to do everything. Think of it in terms of making a presentation to an audience; if your slides are too many and too detailed, while you will appeal to the Thinkers, three quarters of the audience will be in a coma before coffee break.
It is better to deliver a presentation as if the audience were all Doers, then add pictures for the Actors and use people benefits for the Friends and announce you have a detailed pack for the Thinkers to study post presentation. In this way all styles are catered for. If you have no option but to do one blanket mailing then remember a punchy short (say) email will please the Doers, attach images or a video for the Actor, include people benefits for the Friend and documents, case studies and all manner of further information that can be accessed or downloaded by the Thinkers. Ideally squeeze the budget so your interactions can be more tailored to their specific needs.
In summary then, the mailing for the Thinkers should be comprehensive, accurate and contain full specifications and detail. It should be factual (not opinion-based) and use references, case studies and irrefutable evidence. Be prepared to include more information than would ordinarily be needed because they will want that and will read it! They will also be better positioned to be sold to – sorry “to buy”, once they are armed with this information.
When considering the Actor go for glitz and glamour; visuals and quality speak volumes to them. Anything you can do to illustrate how they will steal a march on their competitors and have their names up in lights will be welcomed and appealing to them. It’s interesting to note that a quick punchy video clip will be better received than words or illustrations.
For the Friends your mailing should be steeped in benefits to them and their staff and clients alike rather than any attempt to justify and shareholder value or bottom line results. Friend-type exhibitors do not often calculate ROI (Return on Investment) in terms of money but often in terms of “feel good factor” or ease of client interactions. Cooling off periods and discussion forums would also be more prudent for them as they do place great store by consultation and inclusive decision-making.
Finally, for the Doers imagine less is more. They do not want a relationship with you, they are after results and so make it easy for them to see those. In terms of email marketing if they have to scroll down to read your email it is probably too long. They do, however, respond well to bullet points although less so to opening of attachments. They respond well to facts but try to avoid too much detail – remember they get bored easily!
Even in closing I am visualising the Doers thinking that they got the message by the third paragraph, the Actors contemplating why this article wasn’t better illustrated, the Friends will be thinking how useful it would be for their teams to read this and the Thinkers will be wanting to have some references to read up on and still wanting more information about cross cultural implications and whether there are any gender differences in the four main characteristics…