A touch more convenience please

‘Convenience’ has always been an important factor in various marketing mixes, but it’s more important today than ever before. The same chain of coffee shops will open branches over the road from each other because it knows many of us won’t cross the street. Petrol is 5p/litre more at the motorway service area but… the supermarket filling station in the distance looks like it may be a chore to reach. Who cares if that streaming music service sounds a bit flat compared to a vinyl record, when all the music in the world is available at a click! Amazon may not have the best price, but search and find, click, “buy with 1 click”, done. Of course I’ll use it.

How convenient is responding to your advertising? Or buying from your website? Or finding out a crucial technical specification about one of your products? More importantly, how apparently convenient is it? I was inspired to write this after visiting a website yesterday and seeing a link saying: “Tell us where you’d like the catalogue emailed”. Brilliant. Clearly, by clicking the link I was going to be able to get the catalogue just by giving them my email address. You can have the most convenient response mechanism in the world, but it’s often hard to let people know how convenient it is before they get there. I had an email about a webinar some time ago which said: “Click here and we’ll email you a reminder just before it starts”. Excellent! I rarely watch these things live because I always forget they’re on.

Marketers should always note buying experiences and other commercial transactions which were satisfying, and analyse why they were so. A lot of ideas are transferable across very different businesses and types of action.