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Education: A Powerful Marketing Weapon
By: Michael Cooney

“...trust is the number one motivator in people’s buying
decisions. More than price. More than quality.”

I have a confession to make: I’ve been addicted to motorcycles since I was 14 and my cousin George took me for my first ride on the back of a Bridgestone 60 through the streets of Johnsonburg Pennsylvania. I got my first motorcycle two years later, and have loved riding ever since. Which brings me to the point of this article.

I’m in the process of updating my riding gear, with a new leather jacket, helmet, gloves and other items. Among my purchases will be a back protector. These are worn under the jacket, and typically cover the back, shoulder blades, kidneys, and spine down through the tailbone. They are usually constructed of dense, impact-absorbing foam rubber, and along the spine may be further covered by tough plates made of plastic or carbon-Kevlar combinations.

I recently visited a retailer’s web site featuring products from a well-known Italian manufacturer of back protectors, Dainese. Mostly, I found practically no information other than a photograph and price. I then went to the Dainese corporate web site and found the same thing—no information to speak of.

I wanted to know what type of foam they used. And its thickness. And from what material the protective plates were made. And the available lengths.

I visited another site as well, featuring products made by a British company, Bohn Armor. I learned about the nitrile rubber used. I learned they have two types -- one is 6/10s of an inch thick, the other is one inch thick. They are available in 20, 22, 24, 28 and 32-inch lengths. Both are covered down the spine by carbon-Kevlar plates, which are incredibly tough and practically impenetrable.

In reality, the two brands of products mentioned above may be equal in their abilities to protect from abrasion and impact. But you couldn’t tell from the information provided on the web sites. One soon became a known quantity, the other a mostly unknown quantity. Which would you feel safer buying?

Education is a powerful selling tool

Think of it. The last time you had to choose between two similar products you weren’t familiar with, you probably went with the one whose maker took the time to educate you more about the product. When you understand the reasons why one product or service is superior due to its construction, features, or problem-solving abilities, you feel more comfortable spending your money on it, don’t you?

And when you’ve had to schedule an important service, such as for a plumbing or air conditioning emergency, or getting your car repaired, didn’t you place more trust in the person who patiently educated you as to what caused the problem, and what steps were necessary to fix it?

Conversely, when you don’t know much about a product or service, don’t you feel some hesitancy in buying it until you learn more?

Education builds greater trust and confidence. And in turn, trust is the number one motivator in people’s buying decisions. More than price. More than quality.

Does that surprise you? Marketing studies have proven that to be the case.

For your company, you can build trust and confidence in the products or services you offer by educating your customers in your ads, brochures, commercials, and through your salespeople. If you make the effort to thoroughly educate your customers or clients, you’ll see your profits soar -- especially if your competitors are weak in this area.

Your customers want to learn more about you and what you can do for them. You can win their trust -- and their business -- through education.

Michael Cooney, co-founder, Global Development, a marketing and advertising consulting group
818-522-1970
www.GlobalBrand.com

 





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