Last week I wrote about The Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB), a scientific theory that can be useful in guiding B2B marketing strategies and developing successful campaigns. TPB posits that the personal and social attitudes regarding a behavior can affect whether or not someone performs that behavior, as well as their perceived ability to perform it. Today I’d like to elaborate on the idea of perceived ability by discussing the determinants that may affect it, as well as tips on how to influence that perception.
Two concepts appear to be most salient as determinants of perceived ability:
- The resources available to perform the behavior
- Any obstacles that may be a hindrance to performing the behavior.
So when researching your target audiences perceived ability to purchase your product or service, ask questions related to these two concepts to unearth important information that might help you improve your marketing.
Once you’ve identified any resources or obstacles, use them in your messaging to approach the very issues your target audience is likely considering. Scientific research suggests that the following methods can be useful in altering those perceptions:
- Provide examples of other people successfully purchasing the product or service. Modeling can help influence peoples perceived ability, because they know someone else can do it, they’ll assume they can too.
- The simple act of encouragement can also be useful. Assuring your target audience they can purchase your product or service may influence their perceived ability to do so.
- If you discover obstacles, try and find ways to simply remove them. If you hadn’t considered them before, they may not be as difficult to remove as you may think; perhaps there is just a lack of information regarding the product or service that you can simply address.
If people don’t consider themselves able to purchase your product or service, that’s something you obviously want to address. So take the time to speak with your target audience and find out what they think about what you’re selling. Do they think they can purchase it? If not, why? Using this information in your outreach will help quell any initial doubts and thus further their ability to elaborate on your product and service, better motivating them to buy.