Even if your customers aren’t the brightest crayons in the box, they’re still yours.

As marketers know, you have to play to your audience. While this doesn’t mean that all of your customers aren’t bright, it means that you have to try to make them understand you and your product – not necessarily educate them on why their perceptions or behaviors are wrong. The mind, in general, only accepts what reaffirms its existing knowledge and beliefs. Spending ad dollars to change minds is throwing money out the window. You wouldn’t stand near your office window and throw cash out, would you? No. So here’s how to step away from that window and spend ad dollars that multiply.

Marketers (generally) have a whole gaggle of market research. Studies on, for example, the places where a basket of groceries is consistently the cheapest (let’s just go with that example). They have information that the general public does not, but this doesn’t stop consumers from formulating opinions about the cheapest place to buy groceries!

So instead of trying to convince potential customers that a discount grocery store is cheaper than a fancier store running occasional discounts (even if they seem really good), marketers have to put on their thinking caps to persuade consumers and potential consumers that the discount store has consistently lower prices! It’s in the job description! No matter how smart you think you are, you can only let it show in the way you convince customers that you are the best. You are only as clever as your campaign!

So, what you do to get through to these people blinded by their erroneous perceptions? First, remember that they don’t have all the information that you do (market studies, statistics, etc.). They, usually incorrectly, are going on their ideas, perceptions, and beliefs about the world and the plethora of products available in it.

That’s what makes this easy and difficult at the same time. Easy because most people seem to believe whatever they read (on the internet, for example), but hard because this means that you have to get the correct message to them, and in the right way. Don’t, by any means, insult the consumer’s intelligence. Make sure your campaign states the facts and what differentiates your product in a simple, clear way.

Wasting money and creativity on “educating” customers is also a dead-end. A better way to go about it would be educating yourself about consumer perceptions in your particular field (here is where we get to use all those market studies that we pride ourselves on), and finding an interesting way to present that idea to customers and potential customers. Remember to play to your audience!