WIIFM! - Part 1

Nancy Anderson
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Let's get this informational piece off on the right foot! “WIIFM!” is not found in Webster's! I feel that if comprehended and applied, my theory on consumerism may revolutionize the way you market your goods or services you happen to purvey, or the way you simply make your purchasing decisions as a consumer! As a consumer, you will ask different questions before making your buying decisions. As a marketing executive, you will tailor your messages to the consumer differently. As a retailer, you will design your marketing campaigns, your sales training with a new twist!

Consumers make their purchases based on their instinctive needs or compulsiveness. The media and the messages conveyed via print (magazines, billboards and newspapers,) voice (radio) or pictures and voice (TV) influence most of those buying decisions. The consummate shopper may also be motivated to make their choices when “browsing” and receiving stimulation to buy due to messages imparted on marketplace signs.

After doing extensive market research, it is of the opinion of the writer, that the major attraction and factor that motivates the elusive buyer to make a buying decision is overlooked! Consequently the majority of the monies invested in “marketing to the consumer” is wasted! Human nature has not changed over the years! We the consumers, expect our purchases to address our needs, which may or not be whimsical! When economic stress increases (as it has in recent times) we tend to make fewer purchases and need a higher degree of motivation! The question, therefore, we hold foremost in our minds is “WHAT'S IN IT FOR ME?”We have mentioned all the various forms of marketing to consumers. Another form of “marketing” is the dialog with the personnel in the stores. Our research revealed the same trend as the “impersonal” forms of marketing, when interacting with store personnel in full service retail operations. The information received as a result of conversation may be void of specific product information and “WIIFM” or both! Sales training in retail operations, both in the specialty retail arena or the department store genre' is normally focused on making sales as opposed to stimulating or building sales by offering “WIIFM” oriented information!

This article as indicated in the title, is going to be in two parts. The second portion will highlight some prime examples of the various types of marketing and how it could have been transformed into the “WIIFM” mentality. Between now and next week, recall a couple of your recent purchases and what was your major reason for making the purchase. Applying this mental exercise will prepare you for the second part of the article to be published next week as we embark on the interesting world of “WIIFM!”

By Randy Snyder
Randy Snyder is a regular contributor to Salesheads. He has a wealth of retail and sales experience garnered from three national chains and ten years of consulting experience including franchise offerings, sales, buying, training, merchandising and store design.


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