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FutureNow Article
Friday, Oct. 12, 2007

Screencast: Does Your Site Appeal to All Buying Modes?

By Bryan Eisenberg
October 12th, 2007

depth of insight personasYou may have heard the news that I joined the faculty at MarketMotive. I had a great time recording my first session, “The Power of Perspectives in Persuasion.” During the session, I explained perspectives (the four basic personality types) and how they impact what people look for on a website.

People View the World Through All Four Perspectives

At Future Now, we always caution people to be careful not to use this information to stereotype. While individuals operate from each of these perspectives, we do have preferences. It’s similar to right vs. left-handedness. For instance, people who would generally be considered Methodical can become Spontaneous at any moment. Just as it’s far easier to sign your name with your preferred hand, you can sign it with the other — even if the result is a bit awkward. Obviously, you wouldn’t want to design your website for only lefties or righties.

All Sales Are Complex

Since individuals each go through their own personal buying process, any sale has the potential of being a complex sale. As you’ll see in this screencast, the shift between a customer’s buying modalities, and the failure of a website to address them, can cause the buying process to break down. Companies must invest in understanding and planning for how these different modailities influence the buying process. This is why many companies have chosen to use customer Personas to help plan not just their websites, but entire multi-channel strategies.

When Personas Fail

Personas fail for a few sad-yet-predictable reasons. We’re often asked by potential customers to review and refine the Personas they’ve received from other firms in order to make them actionable, the way the Personas developed by Future Now are. It’s not always possible, but we try to salvage that investment. Oftentimes, the Personas they received elsewhere are nothing more than traditional market segments, lacking the types of nuanced personal insights it takes to really make them actionable. (Please contact us at Future Now if you want to learn more on about making your customer Personas actionable.)

In this screencast, I’ll show you a real life example of how — believe it or not — even my brother Jeffrey (also Future Now’s CEO) and I can shift from our own buying preferences to different modalities without realizing it at the time, or even consciously switch modes in order to complete a certain task. Everyone does this. It’s how Personas and buying modalities work together to create persuasive momentum.

Understanding Customer Buying Modes

(If video doesn’t load, click here.)

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[Editor's Note: Want to know what motivates your customers to buy? We can help.]

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Comments (16)

  1. That was one question I never have thought of asking myself!

    Thanks for this very good article. :)

  2. Hey Bryan, this was really helpful. I have a comment unrelated to ‘Buying Modes’, but still important to you and your brother’s digital camera purchase. I bought a camera about a year ago and selected a Casio Exilim model. I have a young daughter and my primary requirement was time to first shot, which is critical for catching impromptu shots. I can relate to your article since I had a hard time finding this spec mentioned. Oh they’ll tell you fast start-up time, but just how fast is “fast”? Casio did a wonderful job of breaking this down on their website and this camera has sub-second time to first shot (at the time the fastest on the market).

    However, the primary reason for my response is not about the camera, but the memory card. Most camera manufacturers (and the stores that sell them) fail miserably to point out the huge difference in memory cards. Using a cheap 1Gb SD card, the camera takes around 3 seconds between shots. When I stepped up to a Kingston 120x SD card (~20mb/s read/write, compared to

  3. (oops, exceeded comment length, sorry)
    …compared to

  4. (It doesn’t like the ‘less than’ sign, thinks I’m inserting HTML, sorry again)
    …compared to less than 5mb/s for cheap cards), the time between shots was around 1 second or less! Nowhere was this mentioned on any website or manual and no one in the stores mentioned this either. I had to learn this fact on my own – that there are major differences in performance depending on the memory card you choose.

    As a side note, reviews gave my camera poor marks for videos, which I experienced with the cheap card. When I used the 120x card, my video quality improved substantially. I now use the fastest memory cards I can buy with my camera. Hope this helps!

  5. [...] of — or our level of attachment to — the must-have thing du jour, we all buy in different buying modes to match our feelings about it. I typically purchase commodities in a more Spontaneous mode, but I [...]

  6. People search like they think. At the store a sales associate can easily unearth the true intent of a question, a software tool can only dream. So one thing retailers could do is bring a search library from their store online. I think your post address that very issue!


  7. [...] To be truly PPC- and Landing Page-savvy, here's how to appeal to all buying modes. [...]

  8. [...] • Tone — Rather than leading off with a "raise your pints!" attitude (not that there's anything wrong with that) and party pictures, they may have benefited from speaking to personality temperaments other than Spontaneous (i.e., Humanistic, Methodical, and Competitive). Other parts of the site do speak to Humanistic visitors by explaining why it's important to make St. Patrick's Day an official holiday, but that sentiment isn't clear on the landing page. Perhaps they could borrow a line or two from the other pages to make the why-you-should-sign argument stronger. (Is your site speaking to each temperament?) [...]

  9. Hey – the brightcove video no longer loads. Any alternative available?

  10. It’s new knowledge for me.

    Thank you very much.

  11. Good post I Like your site very well and continue to do so. I have bookmarked your site.

  12. If I were visitors, I do not want to see everywhere are the things I buy button. I will turn off the window in the next second.
    Up the site, in addition to a good user experience is the content and the need to align the corresponding sales of items the user. Directly influence the accuracy of sales effectiveness.
    Not to say that everywhere can purchase is a good website.
    We have to stand in the user’s point of view.

  13. So one thing retailers could do is bring a search library from their store online. I think your post address that very issue!

  14. People search like they think. At the store a sales associate can easily unearth the true intent of a question, a software tool can only dream. So one thing retailers could do is bring a search library from their store online. I think your post address that very issue!

  15. The video is no longer available. Is there a place to see it?

  16. Yes, the video would be nice. Unless it is no longer applicable.

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Bryan Eisenberg, founder of FutureNow, is a professional marketing speaker and the co-author of New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling books Call to Action and Waiting For Your Cat to Bark and Always Be Testing. You can friend him on Facebook or Twitter.

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