What Makes People Do The Things They Do?

Why do people act a certain way? Why do they say things they don’t mean? Why do they buy the things they buy? Why do they call one business for service instead of someone else?

What makes people do the things they do?

It’s the question that MARKETERS have been asking for centuries.

There are some obvious ones…

Keep up with the “Jones’s. To impress others. It’s what everyone else is doing. To look like you have a big bank account. And then some.

But as far as really knowing… all I can talk about is myself and my habits. And for the sake of keeping this a marketing article, let’s talk about my own BUYING habits for a second.

They’ve changed over the years. I’m soon to be 45 years old.

When I was younger, I mostly cared about how much something cost because I didn’t have much to spend.

But now, I want good products that perform and last. I want good service even if I have to pay a bit more.

Here’s the thing though… how do I know for sure if a local company is going to treat me right? How would anyone know?

They wouldn’t… unless they knew you… and trusted you.

Which is exactly what a good radio campaign can do. Cause people to like and trust you before they even meet you.

For example…

If I need a plumber, but I haven’t ever found one that I’ve fallen in love with… then I’m going to shop around. If there’s no one that comes to my mind, then I’ll do a google search for “plumbers in Sioux Falls” or something. The results I get will either jog my memory and one will look familiar… or it’s going to be a complete eenie meenie miney moe type of decision on who I call.

If one looked familiar, it’s probably because I’ve seen a lot of their service vehicles around or I’ve been exposed to some of their advertising. But I still really don’t know much about them, and I’m still reluctant.

But what’s the best case scenario for a business owner to get my business?

It’s when I’ve been exposed to their radio campaign for a while… and I’ve gotten to know them through those ads. They’ve talked about things in the ads that make me trust them. They’ve entertained me. They’ve given me some helpful information. So, now, when I need a plumber… boom… I automatically think of that business. And do I google “plumbers in sioux falls”? Heck no. I google the business name. And I either go to their website, or I click the Call button from their Google Business listing. Done. No competitors even came into the picture.

And as a side bonus, do you know that google rewards businesses with better ranking when more people type your business name directly into google. It shows them that you’re a good, reputable, popular, trustworthy business. So, being searched for by name on google not only gets you a direct call or click, bypassing your competition, it also helps you rank higher on google.

What makes people do the things they do? Well… a lot of times it’s EMOTIONS. The emotion of wanting to do business with an easy-going, trustworthy, and friendly company is POWERFUL. So, that’s what you need to convey throughout your Radio campaign. That’s the secret.

But the problem is… most marketers, ad reps, and ad agencies don’t know HOW to create Ad campaigns that does what I’m talking about. Sure, some might be creative, but there’s no tie-in to the business. Some might be full of lots of fluffy “we’re the best” type of stuff, but nobody believes them.

WHAT CAUSES SOMEONE TO CHOOSE YOU AND BUY FROM YOU FOR THE FIRST TIME?

They feel like they know you, they already trust you a little bit, and they like what you stand for. And those things can be conveyed to people in a couple different ways – such as their friends told them about you, or your advertising told them about you through a series of ads over time.

Do you see now why your advertising can’t just be about “awareness”? Awareness isn’t enough. There needs to be something else. Some secret sauce. There needs to be some kind of message that causes people to feel like you’re going to treat them well and deliver what they’re paying for. And then some.

Did you know that 90+% of people still listen to local Radio? Yup.

Sure there are lots of other ways people are consuming entertainment. But that doesn’t mean they’ve abandoned radio. We just have more options. It doesn’t mean we’re not listening. Do young people use radio as much as adults over 25? No. But I don’t really recommend you use radio if you’re trying to target kids either.

Your advertising strategy and the words you use in your ads… are SO IMPORTANT. The MOST important. They either make you or break you. They can either make you hate advertising or almost like it. Like “Like-like” it. A few of my clients actually LOVE it. They know it’s the biggest driver of new customers for them.

Even if I wasn’t working for a radio group… or I was running a marketing company… I would still recommend using radio. As long as the strategy and the message is relevant and engaging… there’s not a more versatile way to convey a message to the masses that can stir people’s emotions and get them to like you before they’ve ever done business with you (and the repetition of your radio ads are a huge part of why it’s one of the best ways to get you stuck in people’s heads – in a good way).

Of course, Radio isn’t right for every business. I’ve turned down business before because I knew it wasn’t the right fit. Maybe their profit margins weren’t good enough to make it pay… or they were still fairly new and didn’t have the budget yet to run enough ads to give it a chance to start sticking into people’s heads. There are variables.

Yes, you have a lot of advertising choices. It can get confusing. I can help you navigate all of it. If you have questions about some other forms of advertising and marketing, I’ll give my advice. And if I don’t know the answer, I’ll find it for you… or we’ll talk through it with each other.

Sorry for being so long-winded today! Making advertising work can get complicated… unless you know the right person. 😉

I hope you have a great rest of the month, quarter, and year!

You Put Ketchup on Your Fish Sticks?

I was 7 years old. My sister and I were staying overnight at Aunt Jackie’s and Uncle Dave’s. But I need to give you a brief glimpse of who Dave is…before I get into the fish sticks.

Image courtesy of "Salvatore Vuono" / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of “Salvatore Vuono” / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Dave had a sprint car photography biz back then. He had a darkroom in the basement. A dark darkroom. So, every once in a while I would tag alongside him while he developed his photos. Eventually, he taught me how to develop photos in complete darkness. The steps to take, the chemicals to use, the timing, the care, the precision…everything. I thought it was pretty cool. I respected Dave. He was fun. He let me try stuff, ya know?

Dave’s a Vietnam veteran. I think he saw too much. I’d love to ask him about it sometime…but I’m not sure if he’d be up for that.

Dave built cars, raced cars, fixed cars, and adored cars. He always teased my Mom saying he wanted me to drag race. Oh…I could only imagine. I never got into racing though. Mom always said something like, “Over my dead body.” Ha.

Dave was an Air Force recruiter for a while, too. He’d send me photos of awesome jets and bombers from Abilene, Texas, and cover every inch of the back of the photo with all the specs of those planes. I was in heaven. I’d memorize every detail and hang’em on my bedroom wall.

You probably understand by now that Dave did a lot of things. He wasn’t afraid to give something a whirl. To just “go with it”. It’s a quality that works for some, and for others it scares them to death. Some of him probably rubbed off on me…except I’ve really only been dreaming about things…not DOING them. Some day, right?

So, back to the overnight stay. Aunt Jackie made fish sticks. We each had some on our plates. Then, Dave grabs the fat, glass ketchup bottle, globs a pile on his plate and proceeds to dip his fish sticks in ketchup. Immediately, I said, “You put KETCHUP on your fish sticks?!?!?!?!” …with a scrunched up face. Dave said,

“Are these YOUR fish sticks?”

I said, “No.”

He said, “Am I telling you to put ketchup on your fish sticks?”

I said, “No.”

He said, “Then, maybe you shouldn’t worry about it.”

Wow.

I’m 38 years old. And I still remember that exact moment. But why? Was it a shocking event? Was it disastrous or monumental? No. I think there’s some deep, meaningful thing there that might have changed my life just a little bit. Even if it was just steering me a degree or two back towards “the road”…it meant something. Why else would that memory be burned in my brain?

I’m thinking that I was getting to the age where I might need a few extra attitude adjustments. Or “checks” on my mouth. Is THAT moment why I’m more open-minded today? Is it part of the reason I respected my elders growing up and still do today? Or why I don’t judge as harshly as others seem to?

I don’t put all of that “education” on Uncle Dave…my parents did a heck of a job raising a kid that knows the value of hard work, love, and discipline. I’m sure it’s a series of little events from the time we’re toddlers until the day we die…that makes us who we are. I’m glad Uncle Dave participated in a few of my “little moments”.

Whether it’s in your business, your advertising, or in your life…there are things worth worrying about…and there are things that you shouldn’t be throwing such a fuss about. You may be ready to take some leaps of faith, but your friends or family are holding you back. They say it’s too risky. They say you’re a fool. They say that your advertising is too “in your face”. Are you asking THEM to do the things you want to do? Nope.

I say…let’s go ahead and put ketchup on our fish sticks!

That memory floated to the surface a few days ago and I couldn’t get it out of my head. I suppose I was meant to share it then, eh?

Have a great day!

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media

Sioux Falls

Wouldn’t you rather be remembered… instead of a random option among your competition? I help businesses “say it better” in their advertising. Your advertising MESSAGE holds more power than any other element in the advertising “formula”.