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Marketing automation for high involvement sales

Deploying Marketing Automation in High Involvement Purchase Categories is a Must

Purchases can be impulse, low involvement or high involvement. In this blog we discuss why marketing automation should be deployed by all brands operating in high involvement purchases.

Impulse purchase, as the name suggests, is one where the consumer buys a product or service purely on an “impulse” without spending time on evaluation. Low involvement purchases are typically seen in commoditized categories such as utilities. In these categories you typically do not spend a long time evaluating since these are needs. High involvement purchases on the other hand are ones where consumers spend a lot of time and consideration before deciding on whether to buy or not and which product or service to buy. Examples of each purchase type is mentioned in the chart below.

Examples of high involvement, low involvement and impulse purchases
Figure 1: Examples of impulse, low and high involvement purchase categories

High involvement ones are those which are typically expensive and/or have a very long term, lasting impact. Here are four characteristics which define high involvement purchases. Such purchases typically come with a high price tag, have a long-term impact and decision making is driven by both emotion and functional benefits. Influencers play a key role in such categories.

characteristics which define high involvement sales
Figure 2: Characteristics which define a high involvement purchase

Healthcare procedures or surgeries are a good example, where the decisions can be a matter of life and death, quite literally. Or in the case of education – where the University you chose remains your alma-mater for life. Or an ERP implementation which impacts the entire company for decades and undergoes changes only in decades (if at all).

Our experience of driving digital sales and marketing for high involvement categories such as healthcare, education, premium consumer products and B2B have led us to believe that using marketing automation is essential in such categories. Such deployments can help sell in high involvement categories very effectively. It is important to recognize two important changes in the selling methodology:

  1. Change in the linear process of selling comprising Awareness > Consideration > Evaluation > Purchase to something which has a feedback loop – meaning the brand keeps learning about the consumer
  2. Who reacts to whom changes: Instead of the brand responding to the needs of the consumer in the buying process, the brand understands the needs and puts forth relevant material which the brand reacts to.
automation driven high involvement sales
Figure 3: How the sales paradigm changes when we move from the traditional to the modern automation driven sales

What can make this happen? 

In essence, brands need to shape the purchase journey proactively vs. reacting to the needs and requests of the consumer. The use of automation technologies to personalize communication with the consumer as per the context of the consumer is essential.

What makes high involvement selling effective
Figure 4: The essential requirements to sell effectively in a high involvement category

All brands who are in a high involvement purchase category need to invest in automation system and deploy personalization methods to be able to actively shape the journey of the consumer. This can be an important source of competitive advantage versus your peers.

December 2, 2018
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