We were pretty excited to head over to Las Vegas for the 2016 MarketingSherpa Summit. We were even more thrilled when MarketingSherpa and Flint McGlaughlin debuted a new way of thinking about marketing: the Conversion Heuristic.
The formula alters the flat one dimensional look at marketing that sees this critical business aspect as vectors on a plane that either go up, down, forward, or backward. It blows up the model by turning it into a three dimensional scope that looks to the full user experience when engaging your brand. The formula reads:
C = 4m + 3v + 2(i-f) – 2a
It’s already heralded as marketing legend, setting a new benchmark for the way we view our audience. The term “heuristic” is defined as enabling a person to discover or learn something for themselves, and guiding them through a process to achieve that end. In that vein of thought, each symbol in the equation guides marketers to consider all elements of decision making before conversion is secured.
That decision making process takes into account six factors before a customer converts by investing in your brand. While some of these elements are already known, others are relatively new considerations and the collective set reshape how we think about the full beginning to end experience of our customers.
Working backwards to get to the sum, the first question is of anxiety. It asks us to consider what would could trigger anxiety in the consumer’s experience. Anxiety is perhaps the most complicated because it could represent any number of emotional variables that require the consumer to be secure in their decision, find the information they need, trust the brand, trust their need for the brand or service, and more.
Beyond anxiety, there’s friction: what obstacles does the customer face in their decision making process. The answer to that question can also fall on both sides of the fence; it could be a friction based on the values of the consumer or it could be in the way your product or service is presented. Essentially, the ability to dissolve friction is in the power of your business – if you’ve thought about all emotional and practical variables involved in the customer’s conversion process.
Once the two biggest road blocks are overcome, the next question is whether the customer is offered an incentive. And in most cases, incentives also qualm any friction. An incentive doesn’t always have to be in the form of a sale; most typically it looks to whether you’ve offered a value or considering. It can also include psychological elements such as creating the illusion of limited supply or privileged association that’s extended to only a select few. Part of this approach factors in “v” which is force of value proposition. In other words, how effective are you in communicating a value proposition. Does that value inspire motivation? If it does, you’re then at “c.” The sum of all those parts equals “C” – conversion.
For even the math weary, the Conversion Heuristics formula is a welcomed change of pace in how we evaluate the viability of marketing efforts.