Every brand markets to an audience with the aim of converting a percentage of the audience to customers. Marketers, and those who study marketing, have studied and tested topics such as audience conversion, conversion optimization, audience screening and many of these topics have been based on tactics and tricks of conversion.
The science of conversion has changed over time as the market dynamics refect a change in consumer behavior. With these changes come new models of conversion.
From wikipedia we found a definition of conversion models. It is a market research tool that measures attitudinal loyalty, typically referred to as commitment in advertising material about The Conversion Model. It is generally used to measure commitment to brands but can be used to measure most forms of relationships.
The Conversion Model was initially developed to understand religious conversion. It was developed by Jan Hofmeyr, who was a lecturer in religious studies at the University of Cape Town. The first commercial study conducted using the Conversion Model was in 1989 in South Africa and in the United States in 1990. Much of the model was developed around building loyalty.
Loyalty refers to what people do – it refers to the likelihood of repurchase based on past behaviour. Commitment, on the other hand, is about how people feel – it refers to the likelihood of repurchase based on what’s in the customer’s mind. Just because a person is loyal – buying the brand again and again – does not mean that they are committed, and vice versa.
Are The Models Changing?
Notice two things mentioned about the conversion model.
- initially developed to understand religious conversion
- used to measure commitment to brands but can be used to measure most forms of relationships
Notice the first point reference is to religious conversion. Most religious conversions are driven by an awakening of the mind and soul. People find their religion as a result of life’s experiences and from relationships, whether with people or people’s definition and experience with their God. It is interesting to think that marketing models aimed at conversion of an audience to revenue is reflective of the same attributes of religious conversion. One might ask why? An observation could be that religious conversion is a process of awakening the mind and soul of people with the aim of influencing them to adopt a different philosophy and subsequently motivation for a change in behavior. Can you see the applications to marketing?
Now to the second point. The conversion model is used to measure commitment to brands but can be used to measure most forms of relationships. Conversion influences, not unlike religious influences, have always been influenced by relationships. The problems with past methods is they have been weak at establishing real, rather than institutional, relationships with and between people. Much of the emphasis on relationships have been driven by marketing messages and hyped campaigns created to trick and trap us into a purchase. Tricking and trapping people into a purchase is not a sustainable relationship model. Rather it is a short term results focused model that many, if not most, corporations, governments and institutions have adopted.
The social web thrives because people create attention, attraction, affinity and an audience by relating to other people rather than relating to or with corporations, governments and institutions. People convert other people to a transaction when trust, integrity and relationships are built by an exchange of value in many different forms. It takes time but so does loyalty. Get it?
What say you?