Of the many differences that you might note, the most significant one you should note is how much time and attention is spent thinking about what to spend money on Thing 2.0 and the problems it solves. Thinking and deciding on Shampoo vs. Thing 2.0 is profoundly different. In marketing terms, this is called a ‘considered’ purchase, to contrast it with the relatively brief process required for an ‘impulse’ purchase.
In some ways, the distinction is artificial: you didn’t walk into a grocery store, pick an arbitrary aisle, suddenly remember that getaway to Martinique and grab the Orange Hibiscus Tropical Conditioner in the 38 oz for $14. On the other hand, neither did you move from that commercial with the waterfall in the jungle to the whiteboard, and then have a team run a simulation to compute the MTBF of dimethicone prior to assigning a budget line item to the purchase order that you ran by finance for a secondary approval.
(What about e-commerce? Don’t skip ahead. Compared to the grocery store, e-commerce is impulse purchase using Warp drive FTL propulsion. It involves math, I promise).
So what’s considered considered? Here’s a working definition: where there’s a meaningful increase in information required and processed at each step between awareness and action, you have a considered purchase.
That’s not to say that there are no consumer considered purchases: you processed a lot more information in buying your house or car than you might with that 38 oz. bottle of Martinique-in-your-hair. But in buying those (relatively) expensive things, you likely consumed a heckuva lot more information (the amount of paperwork seems to be another correlate), and do so over time.
So let’s posit this: consideration is a function of the relationship between attention, time and information. Get ready for two big aha’s:
- Consideration throughout the buying process is an opportunity for you to segment potential customers for Thing 2.0
- Information consumed during the buying process is an opportunity for you to differentiate from the competitors of Thing 2.0
Who do you have to convince in order to get the business?