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What Introverts Love and Hate in Marketing

Results of a Survey Conducted by Marcia Yudkin

August 2013

Almost 250 self-described introverts responded to the survey, and of 10 survey questions, 8 yielded very clear-cut results, as follows.

  • 98% of introverts extremely or somewhat dislike it when no prices are listed and you can learn the price only by filling out a form with all your contact information, so a sales person will call. (87% extremely dislike this, and 11% somewhat dislike it, making this by far the most disliked practice asked about.)

  • 95% of introverts extremely or somewhat dislike all the information on a product being contained in a sales video that lacks any controls to let you skip ahead or rewind.

  • 95% of introverts extremely or somewhat dislike it when you can click to the product information only after filling out your name and address (as in a so-called "squeeze page").

  • 93% of introverts extremely or somewhat dislike pressure to decide today, because the price will go up tomorrow or supplies are limited.

  • 89% of introverts somewhat or extremely like having a choice of whether to read sales information online or watch a video about the product.

  • 71% of introverts somewhat or extremely like having a free demo instead of long, comprehensive product information.

  • 64% of introverts somewhat or extremely appreciate it when a sales page includes personal information about the seller.

  • 52% of introverts extremely or somewhat dislike it when a previously announced deadline for buying something at a certain price gets extended.

Limitations of the data

Now because only self-identified introverts were invited to fill out the survey, we don't have data on how extroverts feel on these questions. In addition, the survey was not constructed with a good knowledge of polling principles, and participants were not scientifically selected.

Interpretation from Marcia Yudkin

Despite those caveats, I found it revealing the extent to which introvert respondents had very strong reactions against feeling they were being controlled by marketers. That's precisely what marketers are trying to do when they provide prices or product details only when you watch their video in one sitting, fill out a form or submit to a sales call. Respondents preferred having a choice.

The introverts in the survey also strongly disliked feeling pressured to decide on the marketer's timeline rather than their own. Interestingly, when the marketer relaxes that control by extended a previously announced deadline, a majority of respondents didn't like that, either, even though they might personally benefit from the extended deadline. I believe that's because the extended deadline exacerbates the sense that the marketer is trying to get the sale by pulling strings on marionette
consumers.

As someone pointed out in their comments within the survey, what people strongly dislike doesn't necessarily mean they refuse to participate in it. In other words, we may submit to marketers' control when we feel we have no other option or when we really, really want what they're selling.

According to some of my marketing colleagues, customers' feelings are irrelevant. What matters is only whether people buy or don't buy. I disagree. People's feelings often influence other aspects of the marketing cycle than simply buying or not buying. People who resent or dislike certain marketing tactics are more likely to disengage and less likely to refer friends and family to marketers who use them.

And the more your business depends on having the trust of clients and customers, the more crucial it is to avoid doing things that your ideal customers viscerally resent.

Introverts are a minority in our culture, but we can be very loyal customers indeed. If marketers want our business, they would do well not to treat us like automatons or sheep. 

Selected comments from introvert respondents

"I strongly dislike hype or pushy tactics. I prefer clear, trustworthy information and making up my own mind."

"Hate: noise, irrelevancy, weak info. Like: informative content, integrity, a story that makes me listen/read."

"I don't like a hard sell, anytime, anywhere."

"I find manipulation, pressure or coercion by others to be disrespectful and very disagreeable. It makes me suspect the offering, no matter how good it may sound, even if others have recommended it or report a good experience."

"I need comprehensive information presented in an easily understandable manner. Don't treat me like an idiot, try to manipulate me, assume anything or waste my time."

"I hate pressure tactics. Just tell me what it does and why that's good and let me decide."

Learn more

Listen to the No-Hype Copywriting Telesummit.

Download the free Marketing for Introverts Manifesto.

View results from another marketing survey of introverts.


 

 
   
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