Promotion or Seduction?

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Promotion or Seduction?

Since Jan Carlzon of airliner SAS (owned by the five Scandinavian countries) introduced the notion of Customer Centricity 25 years ago, I haven’t really noticed much news with regards to marketing from Scandinavia.  That is, up to now. Because at a recent HSMAI (Hotel Sales and Marketing International) event in Amsterdam Pelle Guldborg Hansen (Professor in Behavioural Sciences) from Aarhus, Denmark spoke about ‘Nudging’.

With a cool wittiness as only the Danes have, he spoke of the success of ‘Nudging’. Nudging or giving someone a small push, manages behaviour i.e. the decision-making process.

Even notorious litterers in Copenhagen could be guided towards the garbagebin, by means of painted ‘steps’ on the pavement.

‘Nudging’ is also about perception. Think for instance of three types of ice-cream priced from cheap to expensive, whereby the largest ice-cream is proportionally more expensive than the other two. Bet you’ll chose the ice-cream ‘in the middle’? The ‘best deal?’

To employ ‘Nudging’ in sales, you must know something about your potential client/guest or visitor. You have to know what pattern, what script, is being followed. Pelle gave an example of his own visit to Amsterdam. ‘You take a boat trip through the canals, you go and eat something and you walk around in the Red Light District.

So when you recognize such a ‘script’, as a supplier, then that is where you can intervene. Show your attraction early in the process. On Schiphol, or even on the bookingsite, or the IAmsterdam site, so your offer or idea can timely be added to the ‘script’ of the visitor.

The other famous Scandinavian, Ikea, understands this influencing of the buyer’s script. Just think of the hellish zigzag trip through the store, the endless search among the stacks and the long line in front of the checkout stand. And then, suddenly, there is a small store with very cheap food! It makes you leave with a good feeling. Ikea is a good buy! In fact, you as a customer, have been ‘nudged’ successfully!

Presently I work a lot with theatres. And even theatervisitors have a ‘script’ (and a budget) for their ‘night out’ or their event. Nudging could be a good way for theaters to fill up their playhouse even with the less ‘popular’ shows.

Is it really possible to do that? Can theatre visitors be ‘nudged’ into booking the less popular shows? Aren’t there to many differences between visitors? Fascinating! Interested to discuss this further? Give me a ring at +31-20 6400980. I’d love to talk to you!