Making it simple for the customer isn’t always simple

Many marketers probably have their own “Most important rule of marketing” – the one thing they feel is more important than anything else. Oddly enough, my most important rule isn’t necessarily a purely marketing area of a business. Quite simply, for me, the most important thing in marketing is to make it as easy as possible for your potential customers to buy from you. Sounds simple, right? It’s amazing how this is ignored though.

Let me give you a prime example. There’s an upmarket shopping centre near my house. Waterfall Corner is what it’s branded. Remember the shopping centre itself is a business looking to maximize revenue. Successful retailers = a successful centre. Simple.

Up to about a year ago you could just drive in and find a parking. Then, in a move annoyingly pointless, they introduced a boom. Not for paid parking tickets or anything – just a boom. It now required each driver to push a button to lift the boom gate to get into the parking lot, and then to push a button to get out.

Not a big deal right? Right, until it reached 5pm in the afternoon, and half the world wanted to come pop into the Woolies or Checkers on the way home, or meet a friend at the café for a drink. I now would observe a line of cars sometimes 13-14 cars long, all waiting to push the button to get in. The marketing person in me wanted to scream WHY? WHY? WHY?

It got to a point where if I saw this long queue of cars, I’d say fuck it, and go 3km up the road to Woodmead, which requires no pushing of buttons.

I’m pedantic right? Yea. I have no patience either. But consider for a second the strange possibility that others might think similarly to me, and also say fuck it, and decide they didn’t feel like that queue of cars, that maybe they could do without those banana muffins and yogurt.

Remember, you can do amazing marketing, have a great product to sell, but it’s easy to trip yourself up on something pretty obvious.

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