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Marketers should forget about what the product does and focus on how it makes people feel By Roy Osing

We live in a product flogging world.



Products are pushed at us. Technology rains down on us through mass communications. 

What businesses supply (as opposed to what we want) is jammed down our throats with the hope that we will bite-and-buy what they offer.

Today more than ever, however, purchase decisions are motivated by what people want and desire, not need. 

People buy on the basis of what they yearn for and ache for; to achieve happiness in a world with pressure and stress on their lives.

Product flogging is intrusive and completely out of sync with this reality, and is a recipe to fail.

Happiness is driven by what we experience rather than what we consume in material goods. Fond memories of a family vacation are long-lasting. The new car is fun for a while but soon feels no different than just the one we just traded in.

This is a game-changer for product floggers. Rather than push features, technology and price, the challenge is to create broad-based appeals to the full spectrum of feelings that an individual has. 

The marketer's objective in this sense is to elicit a positive emotional response from the customer, rather than satisfy a consumer need.

"When people were asked to recall their most significant material purchase and their most significant experiential purchase over the past five years, they reported the experiential purchase brought them more joy and enduring satisfaction, and it was clearly 'money well spent' compared with the material purchase," wrote Thomas Gilovich, Professor of Psychology, Cornell University in Determinants of Happiness.

Furthermore, experiences create more happiness than material goods because they are a personal expression of what we desire. They belong to us alone and no one else.

Memo to marketers: forsake your flogging ways and start creating personal experiences for your customers. 

Keep Maya Angelou's words in mind: "... people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."

The payback is long-term customer loyalty; the better they feel, the longer they stay.

These 3 steps will get you started. 

1. Establish the EXPERIENCE CREATOR POSITION in marketing to augment in the standard product management role.
These are the experience packagers; the folks that integrate, brand and price the value elements necessary to deliver the complete experience that customers covet.

2. Include FEELINGS as a key element of marketing research. What experience would make someone happy, special and fulfilled? What does the person crave?

3. Measure the EMOTIONAL ELEMENT of your experience packages; "How did it make you feel?" not just "Did it meet your needs?" 


The world is full of floggers.If you want to make a difference and stand-out from the flogging herd, let experiences guide you.

About Author

Roy Osing (@royosing) is a former President and CMO with over 33 years of leadership experience covering all the major business functions including business strategy, marketing, sales, customer service and people development. He is a blogger, content marketer, educator, coach, adviser and the author of the book series Be Different or Be Dead

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