Well. Generously buttering my crumpet Friday morning (ahem) I heard a chap from a marketing research firm on the radio. He was commenting on global goliath Burger King’s English pilot for delivery of (min. order two) combo meals.
(I believe he was Peter Blackman of Horizons).
All seemed to be going swimmingly. Then the host asked why would people bother to order a burger meal, as opposed to the typical – dare I say traditional – takeaway (Indian & Chinese).
The answer was that it depended upon people’s “as we call them, need states”.
Cue derision from those in the studio.
The chap was clearly guilty of using jargon that sounds naff. Spouting the kind of business-babble that hands those purporting to know what they’re talking about a sticky wicket. Smacking of the language of someone that (to adapt the beleaguered teachers’ hated phrase) ‘can’t do, so comment’. A new addition to buzzword bingo sheets the world over.
He tried to elaborate by stating the difference between an easy burger as a meal alone and having several when mates come on over.
Anyway. Naturally intrigued, I went to find out more.
Suffice to say, there’s not a fat lot out there on it.
Mostly tangential references to good old Maslow.
Not even a mention on said researcher’s site.
And yet. There is something in this.
Different people buy for different reasons.
In our solutions arena, there’s several prime motivation sources for any workflow-changing, operational-altering purchase;
Stem money loss. Expand rapidly. React to competitive manoeuvre. Pre-empt market shock. Head in new direction. Streamline. Speculate. Cement your new appointment as CEO.
I guess these are the types of b2b “need states” referred to in this retail sphere.
Such ‘buying forces’ are kinds of psychographics and IAOs. The like of which I find are sadly overlooked by many a salesforce.
Leaving aside their worrying Marketeer’s tagging here, I feel it is important to recognise the view from the position of your potential customer.
The one decent article I did happen across talked of ‘moment segmentation beyond need states‘.
I particularly like the notion of ‘crafting moments’. Better to fashion a desire for a buyer, rather than simply intruding on one already occurring.
Anyone ever having to create the need from scratch will recognise that when you do so, you control the process. Yet it can be tough to pull off. Especially for innovative or new wares.
I’ve blogged on this area a number of times over the years. Here’s s quick trio for further angles;
Jay Baer’s Youtility evokes a Zero Moment Of Truth.
A potential mirror of boredom states.
And the cause & prompt distinction.
Knowing and aligning with your prospect’s ideal “moment” to trigger buying, or even being able to “craft” one, will make a huge difference to the productivity of your pipeline.
All we need now is a better label…