Marketing Strategy: The Indifference Factor

August 8, 2020By WordSouth

The big day has finally come. After much research, planning, and investment, your company announces you’re getting into fiber to provide high-speed internet to customers. You launch a direct mail campaign, eager to share the good news with your community, and — radio silence. How could that be? Don’t customers know how much better fiber broadband will be than their current internet connection? Unfortunately, no. They probably don’t. And your direct mail campaign just got taken down by what we call the indifference factor.

 

Understanding The Indifference Factor

All day, every day, your audience is being bombarded by ads. They’re hearing from advertisers in their social media news feeds, in their email inboxes, on their TV and — yes — in their mailboxes. No one has the time or capacity to process all of those messages, so we subconsciously filter out anything that doesn’t seem relevant to us. If a brand doesn’t make it immediately clear how their product or service will solve a big pain point for us, the indifference factor kicks in, and we tune it out.

Most effective marketing messages and direct mail campaigns overcome that indifference by speaking clearly to customers’ pain points. The indifference factor is a formidable contender for any marketing strategist, and broadband marketers are no exception. If you want your direct mail campaign to be effective, it needs to speak to the problem areas their current internet service is not solving.

Are your prospects currently on a slow, unreliable network that makes it hard to work and learn from home? Are they frustrated by big-brand customer service (or lack thereof)? Do they experience speeds much lower than the ideal speeds advertised with their package? When you can identify and speak to these issues in your marketing, you can sidestep the indifference factor to better capture and convert your prospects.

 

The Challenge of Selling Internet

Now, wait a minute, you might be thinking. We’re the only service provider offering fiber in our area. Shouldn’t prospects see right away that they need to make the switch to us? Not necessarily. As long as a prospect thinks their current internet connection is “good enough,” they’ll subconsciously filter out your messaging as irrelevant to them.

Think of it this way. Let’s say you have a zero-turn mower that you bought a year or two ago to mow your lawn. It works fine. You don’t rave about it to all the neighbors, but it gets the job done. Because there’s no obvious pain point there for you, your indifference factor immediately filters out generic advertisements from Toro, Skag or Kubota — even if their mowers are better than your “good enough” mower.

If one of those companies wants to get your attention, they’re going to have to get extremely clear about why your current mower really isn’t good enough and is in fact making your life harder. For example, they may run an ad that shows the average time to mow a lawn with their mower compared to other leading mowers. By speaking to your pain point of spending way too much time mowing grass in the heat every Saturday, the ad may successfully overcome your indifference factor and catch your attention.

The same is true for your brand when selling high-speed fiber internet. If you want to catch your audience’s attention, you’ll need to help them see why their current internet isn’t up to speed. Maybe they’re struggling to upload and download files, videos, or photos. Maybe they need more upload and less latency to play their favorite game. Maybe their speed is fine most of the time but lags at peak times, making important video meetings difficult to conduct.

Whatever the case may be, you’ll need to help your audience see why their current internet connection is making it harder for them to work remotely, learn online, conduct video calls with their doctor, or stream their favorite show. By presenting your new service as a solution for their specific pain points, you can sidestep the indifference factor and catch your prospects’ attention — even in a crowded mailbox.

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