Consumers have varying perceptions, and so they meet their individual needs in different ways. They selectively process the marketing stimuli they come into contact with daily to filter out the stimuli that aren’t important to them. In marketing, selective perception is a divergence from previous marketing strategies. Marketers have come to realize that most of their messages will be filtered out, and so this places more importance on ensuring that messages are tailored to potential customers who already pay attention to the brand. Trigger events cause shifts in selective perception. They vary in size and can be as small as a salty craving or as grand as a traumatic event such as the Coronavirus pandemic causing the nation to stay home. Triggers are a normal part of life, and marketers must understand that they have undergone a trigger event at some point in their life. Market research can help the business understand these trigger events to identify the segment of the marketplace that will be most valuable. For example, during COVID-19, many ads have strived to capture the importance of staying at home and the usefulness of their brand even while staying home.
You find that consumers tend to notice only essential things with selective perception, and the rest is filtered out due to them not finding it fascinating. For example, when a crime has been committed, you will find that eyewitness testimonies will vary though they recount the same incident. What they chose to remember and recall can give insight into their attitudes, values, ideas, roles, thoughts, and statuses. The most relatable or commonly used example is when a woman gets pregnant. Suddenly, it would appear as if everyone around her is pregnant, but that is because pregnancy has become important to her now and is at the forefront of her mind and so she notices other pregnant persons more.
Marketers should embrace and apply selective perception to their advantage. Marketing messages and advertisements can be tailored to connect with what the target customers are already thinking about or paying attention to, even for an existing product. Another strategy would be to select the appropriate product offered based on the most recent trigger event. For example, a newly pregnant mother would start receiving marketing stimuli relating to birthing and newborns. In this way, the marketer acknowledges what the consumer is searching for and provides them with a solution.