There was a time when all shampoo ads, as well as the directions on the bottle, would tell us to shampoo, rinse, repeat. And probably most people followed directions and did so.
But as it turns out, that’s really unnecessary. The ingredients in a good bottle of shampoo are made so that they can adequately clean your hair with just a single application. Why the direction to repeat? Well, that means you use twice as much shampoo and need to repurchase the product in half the time.
How often in our daily lives do we follow directions or believe what we’re told, whether on a package, a website, or in social media–simply because we’re told to do so by someone who we take to be an expert?
The rise of fake news has consumers wondering whether or not they can believe news sources, but we need to look beyond Russian trolls and political extremists. In our every day lives, we follow directions we may have heard decades ago (“Don’t go in the water until 30 minutes after you eat”) that may have no scientific basis, or are no longer valid.
Rather than following directions blindly, consumers now push back, ask questions, look for confirmation from friends and colleagues. As marketers, we need to be aware of this and work carefully to build and keep customer trust. That happens by building a relationship and an ongoing dialogue.
Those organizations that focus solely on improving their profits without helping their customers are likely to find their business is all washed up.
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