Sunday, May 5, 2013

Why Don't Customers Remember My Demos?

We typically encounter about 3000 interruption-based marketing messages every day – in the form of web/email/magazine/newspaper/radio/TV ads and commercials, billboards, other signage, and even the drink cans, bottles and snacks that we consume in conference rooms during meetings! Our brains are presented with this onslaught constantly. Accordingly we make very rapid yes/no, keep/discard decisions about what is important (things that are threatening, attractive, unusual, or humorous) and what can be ignored and discarded right away. To add to this, our brains also operate in “stack” fashion, with the most recent inputs tending to push the slightly older inputs out of the stack, to be forgotten. In demos, we are constantly battling these forces as we seek to have the information that we deliver stick firmly in our customers’ brains – and hopefully more firmly than information coming from our competition. What can we do to help customers retain the key ideas we want them to remember? Consider the following… Percent of Information Retained vs. Mode of Delivery: - Lecture: 5% - Reading: 10% - Audio/Visual: 20% (each additional sense that is brought into the experience increases retention by about 10%) - Traditional Demos: 30% - Discussion Group: 50% - Practice by Doing: 75% - Peer Teaching/Immediate Use: 90% Clearly, our objective is to find ways in demo meetings to push the mode of delivery down that list. For example, the use of props can help increase the number of senses that are involved. Enabling customers to ask questions (rather than pre-answering them) pushes retention to the level of a Discussion Group. Inviting one or more members of the customer to “drive” a portion of the demo moves the mode to Practice By Doing. Using engaging stories is another good method, particularly in conjunction with these additional ideas. Look for as many ways as possible to get your audience directly involved in your demos. Combinations of the above ideas can help make your message particularly memorable and “sticky”. There are a few articles on my website at that develop these ideas more fully, as well: - Storytelling and Demos - We Are Programmed To Forget – And Its Impact on Demos - What Makes a Demo Truly Remarkable

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