Friday, 11 December 2015

Friday Research: Look Out For Number 1.3 - Not Number 1!

You thought:   

It's effective to focus on the advantages of using precise numbers (50, 100, 530, etc) in the marketing messages.

New facts:  

Various products like energy drinks and aspirin pills are often marketed based on the numerical amount of a key characteristic that they contain. For instance, an energy drink may be advertised as having a certain amount of caffeine, whose number might be communicated as 100mg or 102mg. Although these numbers are similar in magnitude, 100 is a round number, whereas 102 is a precise number. Current research found that using a round (vs. precise) number in a product description increases consumers’ perception of a product’s lasting performance and ultimately enhances purchase likelihood. For instance, an energy drink with 100 (vs. 102) mg of caffeine is perceived as providing energy for a longer time, and as a consequence consumers are more likely to buy it. In addition, this effect occurs because when round (vs. precise) numbers are used in product descriptions, they bring to mind an associated concept of stability.

What Marketing Doctor ordered:

In order to design more persuasive marketing messages, use round numbers in product descriptions. Furthermore, these findings could also apply to consumers’ perceptions of product durability. Consumers might expect a 20-watt (vs. 23-watt) CFL light bulb to have a longer product life.

Source: Pena-Marin, Jorge & Rajesh Bhargave. Lasting Performance: Round Numbers Activate Associations of Stability and Increase Perceived Length of Product Benefits. Journal of Consumer Psychology, forthcoming.

P.S. When you’re done reading, I’d love for you to share your experience with round and precise numbers? Leave a comment or Tweet me, let's chat!

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