Relationship Relevant Marketing Episode 8: Familiarity

January 5, 2017

Familiarity an Essential and Influential Variable in Engagement and Buying Decisions

Familiarity is one of the nine (9) influential variables that drive engagement and buying decisions.  It is the first of the variables you implement in your content and experiences.

Familiarity is one of the core elements of attraction.  People are attracted to that with which they are familiar.  In general, people will develop a "liking" for those things and people with whom they are familiar.  In psychology, this is known as the "mere exposure" effect.  Just the "mere" exposure to something or somebody new that has "familiar" features, characteristics, or traits, is enough to create engagement and preference.

Ever heard of Attraction Marketing?  Well, guess what - Familiarity is a key part of that!

But that kind of "familiarity" isn't really the focus here.  In order to be effective at reaching the mind of your prospects, customers or clients, you need to resonate with that which is famliar in their mind.

This may sound a bit heady and psycho-babble-like, but it is a critically important idea to grasp.

Familiarity has two regimes:

  • The degree of familiarity your prospect, customer or client has in their mind with the content, and the perceived meaning, value, relevance, and importance of that content to them
  • The level of familiarity you have achieved with them and the degree of relevance they attach to that level

The most important of the two regimes is the first one.  The reason is because within the subconscious mind of your prospect there are multiple processes running in parallel.  Some of those processes are looking for "familiar" information.  It is just such information that correlates with the objectives of the subconscious mind and results in the "upload" of a thought that then becomes a relevant thought of conscious intent.

Familiarity Defined

"Familiarity," in the context of the digital psychology of decision making, is the degree to which the mind correlates/associates external information with internal processes and assigns a degree of relevance to that information.

Once relevance has been established, the mind uploads a thought to drive engagement with the given information.

In other words, the message of your content resonates with a need in the mind of the customer, and that results in an action to engage with your content.

Two Types of Familiarity

There are essentially two types of familiarity you will be dealing with:

  1. The common type of familiarity where  the prospect, customer, or client becomes "familiar" with you
  2. The familiarity the prospect, customer, or client has with the content or experiences you are delivering to them

Both of these are important, but what is essential to understand as an online entrepreneur is that the second type leads to the first type.

The reality is that a new prospect doesn't know you.  So the "attraction" factor of familiarity you are working with is focused on how familiar are they with the content you are delivering.  This is not to say that they have to know what you are talking about, no, not at all.  They have to be familiar with how your content resonates with their needs, wants, desires, fears, passions, etc.

When you can establish a presence in their lives with type "2" above, then type "1" follows naturally.

Enter the 6 Basic Human Needs

Here's the deal: we are dealing with people, humans.  We all have basic needs, and the "6 Basic Human Needs" are real in our lives.  Not everyone has the same magnitude of needs, but all of these needs are present in our lives.  As an entrepreneur, your mission is to fulfill one or more of those needs in your own special way.

When creating content, and in particular creating familiarity, understanding which of the 6 Basic Human Needs are fulfilled by your product is critical.

To be clear about the definition of "product:" A product is your goods, services, or leadership.  Your content falls into one or all of those three categories.  While you may have a tangible product or a coaching service to sell, everything you do when producing content is in fact a "product."  Your prospect is "buying" your product when they open your e-mail or click on your link.  So just keep this in mind.

The Two Gateways to the Mind of Your Customer

In the simplest sense, there are two gateways to the mind of your customer.

  1. Conscious Intent Gateway
  2. Subconscious Gateway

The familiarity variable exists in both gateways, but it is most prevalent and effective in the subconscious gateway.