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2011 monitor minute_september-27

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decision fatigue, decisions, choice, marketing, simplification, automation, "The Futures Company", Yankelovich

decision fatigue, decisions, choice, marketing, simplification, automation, "The Futures Company", Yankelovich

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  • 1. Paul Hanus Paul.Hanus@thefuturescompany.com September 27, 2011Not another decision!Marketing to the decision fatigued consumerThe Bottom Line The more decisions a consumer makes in a day, the more taxing the process becomes. Focusing on the ways to ease this decision fatigue so that consumers can engage and make the right choice for their needs is a rising opportunity.At the Root A complex, information-saturated Consumers expect products The return of risk and the need to environment tailored to their individual taste regularly assess it The average American consumed 33.8 69% agree, “Businesses care more 77% agree, “I am constantly aware of gigabytes of information in 2008, up about selling me products and services the need to identify and manage the from 9.8 in 1980 1 that already exist, rather than coming risks that surround me in the world up with something that really fits my today” 3 lifestyle.” 2Telling the Story Paper or plastic? Facebook, Twitter or Google +? Cook, takeout, fast food or dine . out? These are just a tiny sliver of the choices the average consumer makes in a day. All are manageable when viewed in isolation. But for consumers balancing their desire for “just right for me” solutions in an environment that offers virtually limitless access to information, the cumulative effect of all these choices can be challenging. In fact, recent research indicates that the very act of deciding can wear down mental “…Simply the act of choosing can cause mental fatigue. Making choices can be difficult and taxing, willpower to the point that making a good choice becomes nearly impossible. and there is a personal price to choosing." The result of this decision fatigue is often one of two outcomes. Consumers opt for Kathleen D. Vohs, PhD, et al "Making Choices Impairs the least mentally taxing choice, resulting in an impulsive, hasty selection (and, Subsequent Self-Control" often, buyers’ remorse). Or, perhaps more likely in a time when money is scarce and
  • 2. decisions are more consequential, they avoid making a choice altogether, clinging to the safer status quo. Both of these outcomes are far from ideal for businesses looking to create demand and long-term loyalty. Considering ways to ease the pressure placed on your customers by decision fatigue is an increasingly necessary requirement for companies looking to thrive in this marketplace.Taking Action Know your customers inside and Focus on your core differentiating Guide the decision out traits It’s never been more important to Emulate the Amazon model of In a decision fatigue world, consumers understand the journey your customers providing recommendations and take shortcuts and often make one- embark upon and the barriers they ‘signposts’ based on the characteristics dimensional decisions (such as on just encounter each step along the way. of your target consumer and those quality or just price) to simplify the Find out what decisions they see as similar to them (“Customers who process. Highlight the areas you stand unnecessarily complex or cumbersome bought this item also bought…”). out compared to your competition. and eliminate or automate them whenever possible. Whats the best way to reach decision fatigued consumers? Share your thoughts on our Facebook page!Marketplace examples1 Source: How Much Information? 2009 Report on American Consumers, Roger E. Bohn and James E. Short, Global Information Industry Center, Universityof California at San Diego2 Source: 2011 Yankelovich MONITOR3 Source: 2011 Yankelovich MONITOR, Wave 3" © 2011 by The Futures Company

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