Rock, Paper, Scissors

There are a lot of choices for consumers with how they interact with favorite restaurants, coffee shops, pubs, and other local retail stores. A lot of press has been on daily deal sites and the widespread appeal they have for using online communities for word-of-mouth advertising. The truth of the matter is that there hasn't been a slowdown of print ads either in the weekly circulars. My physical mailbox is just as stuffed with BOGO offers as it was before all the hype, thanks to the 3rd party marketing offers the US postal system delivers to every household in a region.

What we have now is a paradox of choice, as Barry Schwarts puts it, where all the choices we are given as consumers causes decision paralysis and unhappiness rather than liberation. Simply put, people choose inaction because there's less friction by doing so. In the event that a choice is made, consumers end up less satisfied with the result of the choice if there had been fewer choices to choose from. He suggests that the key to happiness is to have low expectations. Well, that's the suggestion for consumers.

For marketers, we have always been focused on profit-maximizing behaviors instead and opting for marketing methodology and strategy that meet business expectations for ROI. What makes a consumer or end-user happy with the product or rendered services has little to do with the choice that was made, but rather how that choice was fulfilled.
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