In this day and age, the digital age, everything is quicker, slicker, smaller, cheaper, easier. Everything is more flexible, more convenient, more accessible. We have more choices, more control, more power, more influence, more reach. Because of this, we have greater expectations, higher demands, narrower attention spans, zero patience. We expect lightning fast turnaround. If we take action, we want an immediate impact, rapid ROA (Return on Attention), speedy service. Failure for brands to respond quickly and meet or surpass these expectations can cost you like mad. Here’s what I mean:
I was watching the Manchester United Vs Real Madrid match last Tuesday. The game was end-to-end, both teams creating chance after chance. Feeling lucky, I opened the Ladbrokes app and made a few punts in play that, over the course of the first 50 minutes, amounted to precisely nothing. Then, out of nowhere, United had a player sent off. “Right!” I thought. “Real Madrid will score next without fail.” So I put £9 on it. With that, Real Madrid started torturing United. So I opened the app again and put another £10 on Madrid to score next. And they did! Buzzin’!
I’m back in the app immediately, searching for my winnings with the intention of placing a few more bets while the action was hot. I looked at my balance and… £0.00. “Eh?” I thought. “I’ve just won thirty-odd quid there. Fuck’s my coin?” For the rest of the game I’m logging in and out impatiently waiting for my winnings to be paid in so that I can eagerly give Ladbrokes the money straight back through placing more bets. In the meantime, Cristiano Ronaldo scores and the game’s over.
Ladbrokes, through failing to act quickly, not only missed out on an opportunity to increase sales through it’s Bet In Play service (something it’s been promoting like crazy over the past few months. Recognise that guy?), but it also pissed off a regular user, causing him to lose confidence in the service, question the brand’s reliability and doubt it’s competence in meeting his expectations.
Today, you’ve got to be quicker than Usain Bolt’s left leg. 9.9 seconds might be a World Record on the track, but online, it’s a virtual lifetime. And that’s exactly how long it felt like Ladbrokes made me wait, eventually paying me after the game had finished. Amazon though, different story…
Amazon is a prime example of a company taking blatant advantage of, and capitalise on, peoples need for speed with its one click purchase facility. Before you’ve had chance to back out of the purchase – searching for your credit card in your wallet, reeling off the arm-length digits on the front, trawling through pages and pages of details, entering your address and your billing address and your invoice address and your mother’s best friend’s dog walker’s fish feeder’s contact details for reference – Amazon’s already closed the sale. By taking all of that time completely out of the equation with one button, Amazon gives you less time for second thoughts, less time to question your purchase and less opportunity to change your mind. With 65% of people abandoning their shopping basket before completing the purchase, Amazon is clearly doing a good job of combating this.
While this is obviously a great technique to increase sales, it’s actually significantly increasing it’s level of service and giving us exactly what we want – a straight forward, simple, convenient and reliable experience. Just click that one button and before you’ve had chance to ask your Mrs. where your wallet is, you’re order is already being processed.
The technology is there, the opportunities are there, but few are taking advantage. Even big, successful companies like Ladbrokes aren’t capitalising on it and aren’t responding quickly enough.
Don’t be like Ladbrokes Be like Amazon. Be quick, be smart, add value, remove complication and deliver each and every time without exception. If marketing is about meeting needs, then addressing speed is unavoidable. Speed isn’t a need, it’s an uncompromising demand and we, as marketers, have no choice but to oblige because in this game, if you’re not quick, you’re sick.
… By the way, I now use Sky Bet.