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19 Marketing Psychology & Influences on Consumer Decision-Making - Tim Curtis

Marketing Psychology & Influences on Consumer Decision-Making - Tim Curtis

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Production by: Josh Williamson and KT Maschler 

Editing by: KT Maschler 

The Home Builder Digital marketing podcast enjoyed sitting down with Tim Curtis President of CohereOne to discuss neuromarketing and marketing psychology and so much more. Tim drops a ton of knowledge regarding the cues and triggers that influence the decision-making process and buying. Often, we are unaware of why we choose one brand over the other. Tim talks about unlocking some of this mystery with neuroscience studies that incorporate our five senses. We also talk about the importance of testing and looking outside the industry to continue to advance. Tim has an incredible knack for looking ahead so listen, learn, and enjoy! 

Tim started his journey in marketing with a Bachelor of Science at Southern Nazarene University, followed by a master’s in business administration, international business, and organizational leadership from Rockhurst University. Now he is known as a futuristic-focused marketing strategist, because of his vast experience leading large-scale marketing campaigns, brand re-engagement, and much more. Tim has also been recognized as a DMA Certified Marketing Professional™ (DCMP) by the National Direct Marketing Association. This high distinction welcomes Tim into a small elite category of marketing professionals that have been recognized for their digital and direct marketing expertise. 

As the President of CohereOne, Tim helps leads the full-service marketing agency with a cohesive marketing approach combining forward-thinking and integrated strategies for print and digital media. CohereOne has expertise in evolving CRM thinking, as well as optimization of marketing efforts across both a print and digital world. One of CohereOne's important values is “Customers make purchases, not channels.” or understanding and reaching the right consumers, not simply “optimizing channels.”


 [00:00:00]Greg Bray: Hello everybody. And welcome back to another exciting episode of the Home Builder Digital Marketing Podcast. I'm Greg Bray with Blue Tangerine 

Kevin Weitzel: and I'm Kevin Weitzel with Outhouse 

Greg Bray: and we are thrilled today to have with us, Tim Curtis, the president and CEO of CohereOne. Welcome, Tim. 

Tim Curtis: Thank you its good to be here.

Greg Bray: And, uh, Tim, um, you know, you've got such an impressive bio and experience, and I think it's something that is a little different maybe than, then some of the other guests we've had, um, from, from a home builder [00:01:00] standpoint. Why don't you just give us that quick introduction of, you know, who you are and what kinds of experiences you've had?

Tim Curtis: Yeah, well, uh, thanks for having me on again. My name is Tim Curtis and I'm the present CEO of CohereOne, which is a Bay area marketing and consulting firm. So we really, uh, focus on primarily retail. Although we do have quite a few different clients, but it's more of a high-level data analytics and the strategy and the narrative that comes out of the data, the story that comes out of the data and we help brands essentially change their trajectory.

So my personal background is grew up in uh, very, very modest means, uh, attended university paid my way through, uh, as a marketing undergraduate did some work in Spanish and then also elected to study, uh, an MBA also again, uh, uh, my own pay my own way through school and focused on international marketing and organizational psychology.

[00:02:00] So, uh, had a chance to study overseas, do some capstone courses, and really dove in at an early age on the marketing side and international marketing specifically. And had an opportunity to get in at the ground level of digital marketing. So I spent my early years working in email and the very basic elements that started, what we know today is pay per click advertising and SEO as well as a high degree of a very complex database marketing. And, uh, over the years have worked in a number of roles, both on the agency side and client-side. And, uh, the past, roughly 15 years, I've been at the executive level, both client-side and agency side. So, uh, that's my story.

Greg Bray: Well, what's something Tim, that a lot of people who know you, um, may not know about you. What's something kind of different, I guess we want to secret tell us one of your secrets. 

Tim Curtis: Alright. Well, my secret [00:03:00] is I was known as, um, it was often referred to as a Renaissance man. So, um, one thing that people probably don't know about me is I have, uh, a wide variety of tastes. Um, but I did receive offers for full-ride vocal scholarships for vocal performance.

Um, so I traveled really all over the world singing and, uh, had many, many opportunities in music, but really felt that my path lie more directly in the business world and specifically in strategy. The second part of that, that's probably a little unique and people are beginning to figure this out about me is I really like to study the classics.

Um, I do a lot of study with antiquity, specifically looking at, you know, what great minds have solved problems before and how those can apply today to the world we live in the type of problems we have. [00:04:00] So it's, it's a wide range of talents. And I would say the last, last thing that, uh, is probably the most well-known secret is I'm a budding chef and, uh, you know would if I, if I could quit tomorrow, I would probably open a restaurant. 

Greg Bray: That's very cool. Um, I'm going to just go out on a limb right now. May not be the best time to open a restaurant. You may want, you may want to wait. 

Tim Curtis: Might not, yeah. 

Greg Bray: We'll the, but now I've got this image of a singing chef, you know, and, and I don't know, there was someone that Muppets with that right there was, 

Tim Curtis: there was a Swedish chef and I do have  Swedish ancestry. So there you go. 

Greg Bray: Okay. Alright. 

Kevin Weitzel: So with that background, especially on the, you know, studying antiquities and how to, how to, how things have been solved in the past. I'm sure you understand and buy into the trying things 10,000 different ways to find the one way that didn't fail. 

Tim Curtis: Yep. Yeah. Or, or more importantly, find the way that did fail.

Uh, learn from that [00:05:00] failure and kind of sort of rearchitecting, what was it that caused the failure? You know, I think the thing that we need to remember when we're, when we're planning our businesses and in, and in particular, if you're in the home building industry, you know, I, I served have served on a number of civic boards and, uh, one of the things that I'm constantly reminding developers and those in the entertainment and hotelier space is that.

Oftentimes in the home building market or the real estate market, um, they're the first to catch a cold when the economy sneezes. And so I think we have to kind of take a look and really what, what are the elements of failure and how do we buttress ourselves against that? And how do we position ourselves to best kind of architect a future that minimizes?

You know, minimizes the missteps and miscues. Uh, one of my favorite quotes is actually from Seneca. Who's a Roman stoic philosopher and his quote goes something like the man who anticipated the [00:06:00] coming of troubles takes away their power when they arrive. So I really think it speaks to looking for examples, both in antiquity and today at what's failed and what's worked and sort of comparing the two to kind of find your path forward.

Greg Bray: No, that's, I think that's a terrific idea. And, you know, there's, there's always that kind of that saying, you know, that those who don't learn from the past mistakes are destined to repeat them or something a little more eloquent than that. So I think

Tim Curtis: yeah, you've got it 

Greg Bray: kind of the idea you're going for there.

And I, I know that. You know, from a, from a home building standpoint, there's been a lot of discussions lately about the lessons we learned from 2008. Um, and, and some of those things and how right now has been different in a lot of ways and is not the same type of triggers and challenges, but yet there are still a lot of lessons that still apply, um, as, as we look back.

So, so that's, uh, that's a great reminder there. Um, Tim, you mentioned marketing and [00:07:00] psychology. And I think it's interesting that you coupled those together. Talk a little bit more about how those connect a little bit, um, if you don't mind. 

Tim Curtis: Yeah. Well, I think, I think if you look at the evolution of psychology, uh, psychology has always more squarely fit in the realm of a medical context.

And what were you were beginning to really realize and recognize is that there's a lot of proliferation of psychology-based marketing. In other words, understanding what are the cues and triggers that create impulses for us to buy not only impulse purchases but also much more considered purchases such as a new home.

And the elements of that is we're beginning to unlock the mechanics behind how the human brain works. The last 10 years, as an example, have been nothing short of a watershed in terms of the investment into psychology and [00:08:00] neurology and understanding the brain for the simple fact of how do we best market to individuals and understand their five senses and how those senses are involved in the purchase of a product?

Greg Bray: For those who, who may have been involved. Um, last October 2019, we had our first home builder digital marketing summit. And Tim joined us there as our keynote speaker. And, and Tim, you talked about this idea of neuroscience, of marketing, you know, which I just, and I think everybody there just found it really fascinating, and we were really excited that you were willing to share and that's wanted to kind of touch on that again, which again,

Tim Curtis: yeah

Greg Bray:  you're kind of connecting those things together with this idea of, of studying why people make choices, why people do what they do, how does the brain impact that? And, you know, it sounds, I don't know we're just going a little beyond where most of us may be, think we talk about, Oh, I need to understand my customer and I needed to find my product and [00:09:00] my market and, and messaging and all of that. But, but, you know, why is this idea of, of neuroscience or psychology? How is it changing what's going on in the marketing world in your experience? 

Tim Curtis: Well, I think now what's happened is we have technological breakthroughs or the pervasiveness of technology that may have been, uh, really reserved primarily for, you know, those, uh, conglomerate medical centers, for example, functional MRI scans that really mapped the brain.

Correction. It really mapped the blood flow in the brain, which was a proxy for brain activity. And so now what we have is you have a pervasiveness of those technologies now being used for non-prescriptive purposes. In other words, we're unpacking what's happening with the human brain or the blood flow around those critical areas of the brain to understand how we're reacting with stimuli.

So that technology being [00:10:00] implemented in a marketing and sales sense. Is what's really opening up all the opportunities for us to understand and apply that medical science into the science of marketing and driving a response. 

Greg Bray: Do you have a, an example or two that come to mind of how that's kind of impacting marketing?

Tim Curtis: I do. Um, so one of the ones I shared it's, it's still my, one of my absolute favorites and I, and I, I go back to it every single time when I, what I shared keynoting for you guys back in October, um, you may remember a little story about the Sobes energy drinks and, uh, Barbara Schiff, who is a neurologist, or excuse me, a neuro economist at Stanford, uh, supplied a group of people with the Sobe adrenaline rush and then a puzzle game.

And he found that products on sale make people feel that the product is less potent than full price items. [00:11:00] Although they were all identical. So in other words, everybody had the same puzzles. They had the same drinks. The only psychological marker was if that drink was a clearance item or whether it was full price.

And the irony is they didn't go into the study necessarily understanding that that was going to be the outcome, but they continued to repeat it and repeat it and repeat it. And the results were the same every single time. Now that as an example, they were measuring the output on the productivity of the puzzles.

They weren't doing functional MRI scans of the brain, but the end result of the same, the subjects who were convinced that the discount drinks were less potent, consistently solved around 30%, fewer puzzles than those who paid full price. It's just an example of how powerful the brain is in terms of its ability to be swayed by the stimuli around us.

And it's, it's a great case study that also opens a number of, I would believe ethical [00:12:00] concerns or questions about the use of marketing and how addictive patterns or addictive behaviors could be the result of tapping into some of those impulses. 

Greg Bray: You know, I kind of had that same reaction when you said that it's like, okay, that's we, we've all kind of can anecdotally say, okay. Yeah, maybe I value something more because I paid more for it. You know, I can see that, but the idea that I can't solve a puzzle as fast, because I don't have the same, you know, rush that's, that's a little bit of a different, um, implication there. Uh, but then. Okay. Now, if I can start to manipulate that as a marketer, where's that line, 

Tim Curtis: where's the line, that's rights 

Greg Bray: between sharing a product that they want and manipulating people at a subconscious level that they aren't even aware of, you know, in order to make a buck.

Um, yep. If you will. So is there anybody working on that right now? The defining that is there, are there laws in the works [00:13:00] or other types of things happening? 

Tim Curtis: You know? Um, I would say right now there have been some, there have been some, uh, there's been some litigation and some enactment of laws.

Really. If you take an example around, uh, Video gaming. And there have been some laws put in place to protect, especially underage, uh, players, you know, some very young who are exposed to repeated patterns of, uh, you know, stimuli, which really creates a neuro dependency on a video game and at an adrenaline rush or dopamine.

And so those are the kinds of things that were you know, first addressed or became were, were apparent early on that some of the technological aspects of what works supposing our young people to, um, that there were some real present dangers. And if you don't have to go very far to see psychologists and [00:14:00] pediatricians who are deeply, deeply concerned about the effects of too much stimuli, and the type of dependency it's creating.

And of course, also, you know, we have all, we all know the stories of how media can play into a child's self-image. So it's, you know, yes. Is there a lot of discussion about it? Yes, I think right now, you know, the challenges of finding the oxygen in the room to have those conversations, but, um, it is something that's being raised again and again, alongside the rise of you know, artificial intelligence and how we solve for problems. I think we're going to see the next 20 to 30 years really be the year, the years where we have to decide many of those moral dilemmas. And, uh, it'll be real interesting. I don't, I don't, I don't yet have a sense of where we're coming down on that.

Kevin Weitzel: So the University of, um, side of the University of a University of California Davis and Western Michigan University [00:15:00] did a shared study back in the late seventies, early eighties. And that study was about music and moods and people wanting to buy. And basically, I forget there was a major retail chain that actually funded this study, uh, and what they were looking for is what kind of music to play while people are shopping.

So they could elicit a buying response out of the people. And actually what both studies, both independent of each other discovered was that it wasn't necessarily the kind of music, but rather the volume level of the music, uh, that would determine whether somebody would get angry or get annoyed or want to shop.

How would a home buyer be able to get a hold of some of this data that comes from these studies to be able to implement it into their marketing plan? 

Tim Curtis: Well, there's a number of podcasts that are specific now to neuroscience. Uh, Wharton, for example, has done a number of topics in relation to neuroscience.

I, I happen to like Wharton school of business, and I tend to subscribe to thought [00:16:00] leadership coming out, but literally a quick Google search from some of these institutions on a Google search for neuroscience marketing. Will unveil a plethora of all sorts of types of information you can get. It's still an environment where you'll, you'll be able to get some of those insights, but you have to develop a test and learn process.

You have to make sure that you're understanding that you test and validate the assumptions in your environment. You're not your environment is not a Petri dish. There's going to be other types of stimuli that you're having to deal with. So with that being said, I would encourage home builders to look for opportunities to examine what, what those truths may be for them and to test those out in retail, for example, um, there was a tremendous rush and push years [00:17:00] ago on the hope that digital marketing would cure all Ailes of retail. And now 10 years later, we recognize that's not the case. As a matter of fact, the brain is highly adaptive, highly fluid, and adapts to change and protect itself, almost an invisible layer of protection against overstimulation.

So what may have been true a few years ago as that stimuli become more mainstream? That concept is now, uh, maybe doesn't work as well because our brains are fluid and they do have a tendency to remap themselves through neuroplasticity. So home builders are going to have to do a lot of research and understanding, but they're going to have to figure out how to walk that out in a testing environment, particularly online.

Kevin Weitzel: So now in addition to Wharton, thanks to having you on our podcast, [00:18:00] the home builder digital marketing podcast is another great place to go to learn about neuroscience and other. 

Greg Bray: Yeah. 

Tim Curtis: I love it. 

Greg Bray: I'm speechless. Kevin. I never thought we had never thought we would reach that level of, 

Tim Curtis: well, we've got Wharton. We've got Harvard. Yeah. 

Kevin Weitzel: and the Home Builder Digital Marketing podcast. 

Tim Curtis: I'm telling yeah. 

Kevin Weitzel: So quick follow up then is that so in our industry, in the home building industry, we have a lot of fantastic experts. You know, there's Meredith Oliver at this Kerry Mulcrone, there's the do convert guys, you know, Kevin Oakley and Mike Lyon, you know, the list goes on.

It's just a, you know, a laundry list of fantastic people that builders can learn from that are more from a digital marketing perspective or a sales and marketing perspective that are focused on our channel. But I constantly encourage people to go outside of those channels to learn from other industries, you know, good examples the automobile industry, the automobile industry spent millions and millions of dollars [00:19:00] studying the buying habits of people. Dillard's used to spend tons of money studying the traffic flow patterns of people as they walk into their store. You know, what percentage of people go left to right? Are they buying sale items when they go left or right?

And then the results were insane and stores have copied those studies left and right. So the whole building industry, I really do think could learn from some of these outside sources. So thank you for mentioning Wharton as a, as a great resource. 

Tim Curtis: Yeah, absolutely. Roger Dooley has a book called brain Brainfluence brain influence if you've ever, um, if you've ever been motivated to pick up a book and learn a little bit more about the process 

Kevin Weitzel: Why are you looking at me when you say that? 

Tim Curtis: That I'm sharing, I'm sharing for the viewership,

Kevin Weitzel:  if you've never picked up a book, Kevin

Tim Curtis:  and I'm looking at you, Kevin. That's right. Yeah. But I mean, That's kind of how you have to do it. You have to begin to surround yourself with those that speak and speak into the concept. You know, you, you made a great [00:20:00] example of the auto industry. The auto industry, for example, has figured out bundled pricing because of bundled pricing.

Confuses and prevents people from being able to associate a dollar value with a particular upgrade. So multiple things are, are put together. So it's, it's much harder to develop criteria for whether or not that price is worth it. So that's just an example of, of the millions and millions of dollars that the auto industry has put into the psychology of pricing as an example. 

Kevin Weitzel: Just over the last two years. It's amazing you mentioned that there are several builders now and we're talking big-ticket builders. We're talking top 50 builders out there that have changed their offering a new streamlined package of now, instead of having just a spec build home, or just a custom customizable home, they're offering these packages A, B, and C, these good, better best packages.

Um, and that's only [00:21:00] recent. That's only been in the last, Greg what would you say? Two or three years, 

Greg Bray: and I think that's an excellent example of an area that builders. Can learn from, especially as we look at a buy online type of scenario where it gets, you know, when, when you can have any, which one of these 300 faucets do you want, you know, it's, it's overwhelming, you know, talk about, uh, a neuroscience explosion, right?

It's like, I don't know, but, but you know, you can have, you know, package A, B or C and package it comes with this faucet and package B comes with that one. And that's your choice. Um, Not everybody. It's not for everybody, but there's a certain buyer that I think would appreciate that type of, um, guidance if you will, and help there.

So I see some opportunities there. 

Kevin Weitzel: Well, they've actually gone even a step past that Tim is in addition to packaging the options. They're now packaging on the, what they call the FNI side, the finance, and insurance side. They're packaging, the aftercare. The extended warranties, the tire, and wheel protection.

And then there's just selling [00:22:00] these packages, the road hazard package, the peace of mind package. I put these names like peace of mind behind it to make you think that I need peace of mind. I don't want my car breaking down on me and that's what they have. And they just have these finance packages rolled into the pricing.

And you pick which from a menu. What do you like A, B, or C which ones better for you. 

Tim Curtis: Yeah, it was, it's always been better to choose a peace of mind package versus a fleecing package.

Kevin Weitzel: Yes!

Tim Curtis:  And so, so again, this psychology is, is, is in full effect and, you know, the way we adopt vernacular the way we talk about benefits and features, you know, what are people solving for?

You know, they're solving for their creature comforts. And when you're looking at, for example, when you're, when you're looking at a home building schematic on a website specific, let's just take a mobile site and you're scrolling through elevation A, B, C, or D, and you're going between Tuscan, ranch or everybody's favorite the modern farmhouse. You know the [00:23:00] expectation is that inside the fit finishes will all somewhat correspond again to that elevation. So that's the kind of packaging now that I think consumers are looking for. And I would be remiss if I didn't say the number one thing that I think is particular for the home builder market.

And this is just in my humble opinion is continue to focus on a mobile-first mobile best experience. I can't tell you I'm have been considering, you know, options again for us as a family and some home building options. And I can't begin to tell you how frustrating it is. When I go to a mobile experience, I can't zoom in.

I can't see what kind of customizations are available. And remember we're 70 to 85% of the buying journey done. By the time we actually walk in the door of an expensive model home. So we need to be prepared. 

Greg Bray: So Tim let's [00:24:00] let's take that from a, from a neuroscience standpoint, the idea of someone judging a company and their product by the quality of their website.

Right. But in reality, whether I have a good website or not has nothing to do with whether I can build you a quality home, you know, that they're totally, but yet we judge a company very quickly. I believe from some of the examples. If I recall correctly on how quickly we judge people based on just, uh, impression of the website, any thoughts on that?

Just that connection. 

Tim Curtis: Absolutely. Uh, remember, you know, Carlton university researchers in, in one of their most recent studies. And again, this was in Brainfluence by Roger Dooley. Uh, they were stunned to find that users were shown images of websites and could tell within 50 milliseconds that's a 20th of a second, whether or not that website was sufficiently appealing to them.

[00:25:00] They just think about that for a moment. The entire arc of the brand experience is shaped within that first 50 milliseconds. If we want to borrow some analogies from retail, what does retail learn? Retail is, by and large, the most tactile, if you will, of the various types of experiences. Then, when you go in a store.

Um, you're surrounded by an environment you're surrounded by music. Um, and then you're interacting with fabric if you're talking apparel well, what happens when the user can no longer attach that haptics, that science of feeling and touching, how do they surrogate that important element that they're looking for?

Other elements of the experience become that much more heightened. And so when we miss on a digital experience or that digital experience is not reflective of where the brand wants to be from an [00:26:00] architecture standpoint, it is it's tremendously impactful. And the reality is you have set yourself up for failure.

It really is a binary choice. You either invest and you get that opportunity up to top-level, and then you are constantly working. It you're constantly testing it. You're constantly refining it. This is not something that you, you know, you do, and then go away from you, invest in it and you keep it going because it is your future.

Look at some of the most successful companies in the world. Look at Apple, look at Yeti. Are they selling technologies that are exclusive to them? Not necessarily, but they have created an aura about them. People want to be a part of that experience, talk to the Apple store when people walk into an Apple store, or even before they get to the store, there's, dopamines that fire they're looking forward to a brand experience.

Those are the kinds of things that I think we need to cues we need to take a look at and really [00:27:00] think through that process. You know, how, how do we lead someone to a site? And then go to that next step, which is the model home it's interacting with virtual reality or augmented reality if you're in the home.

Uh, those are the kinds of questions that I think home builders really need to set back and be introspective and look outside of their own industry for some ideas in that, in that realm. 

Kevin Weitzel: I think there's a, you're definitely on to something there because I, as a, as a shopper myself, I'm a Samsung guy. I'm a, I'm an Android user, but out of the fear of missing out that psychology of fear of missing out when I walked by an Apple store and I see how organized and how neat and awesome it is and how everybody's in there, there's always a crowd.

I want to get an Apple just because of that stupid store, you know, and, and, and backing into that when they, they do a big study on, you know, what aesthetically is pleasing, what do people like, what is, what is the eye drawn to? And in the whole building industry, we tend to put these little vignettes, [00:28:00] these little series of here's this home, and here's the three color schemes you can get.

That's not just for planning it's because the average person can't figure it out. If you give me a visualizer. And I'm not your stereotypical guy and we're talking the high 80% of men that can not function with those visualizers to create a proper quality looking product that other people wouldn't just give you a big thumbs down too.

So it's funny that the, our tech side of the industry is pushing us toward these visualizers, but the psychology would let you know that if you present. Three or four packages and you present it in a well thought out packages of color schemes. They're more drawn to pick one of the color schemes versus trying to go through a visualizer and come up with a Ronald McDonald coloring book house, which is what mine turned into

Greg Bray: Tim. I think the idea of buying the experience versus just the product.  is what you're [00:29:00] getting out a little bit with Apple and, and I step back and think a home from, from the importance of the purchase in, in my life compared to anything else that I buy, you know, the the the risks I feel of getting it wrong.

You know of, of buying the wrong house or, or that something goes wrong with it. Cause it's a, it's a rather complex, um, you know, organism, if you will, where things go wrong and they have to deal with it and, and such there that it seems like there's a lot of opportunities to differentiate on that experience.

Um, and any, any thoughts on that direction? 

Tim Curtis: Well, Yeah, I think, I think when you're talking about a home, it conjures up a lot of the very same visceral reactions that we're talking about. Um, it's a place of security. It's a place of retreat. It's a place of comfort. It's a place of refueling and it's a place of real peace.

It's where it's, it's, it's your [00:30:00] nest. It's where, you know, your spouse or your family, where they're going to invest that time. And I think. At the end of the day, we start to recognize that yes, design aesthetics, all those elements are going to be critical when creating the right experience for that right family.

Um, But now we're talking about a very, very high degree of customization getting even more so than it used to be. So now it's more important to have those options but to present those options in a way that doesn't overwhelm one of the things we've learned, um, at CohereOne and testing over the years is that overwhelming consumer with too many purchases, too many opportunities.

Can sometimes shut down the buying process because they've been overstimulated. And so I think that I think we have to find balance here between providing them the opportunities that are going to fire off on all those signature feelings [00:31:00] that we just identified and allow them to customize and feel right about that home and feel right about the maintenance and upkeep that's going to be in that home and give them what we're all seeking, which is at the end of the day, peace of mind.

Greg Bray: Uh, it's terrific. Absolutely. Terrific. Um, just be mindful of your time, Tim, cause we're really grateful kind of, um, you know, wrap up a little bit, but one more thought, any, any thoughts on the impact of fear of germs and the neuroscience around that, that that's going on a little bit right now and how that might influence some of these, these thoughts and directions that we, that we take our marketing.

Tim Curtis: Yeah. You know, um, one thing that's certain is there's, there's, uh, there's a definite opinion. Everybody has a definite opinion about where they fit on the spectrum. And I think, uh, You know, understanding that I don't know, you know, to course, depending on where the listener listeners are, what state [00:32:00] they're in, where that state is and in their reopening process, I think it's important that we articulate here are all the elements that we're taking to ensure that the walk through the model home or the environment where you're going to be meeting will be clean.

We'll be safe. Um, you know, we're, we're living at a time where I don't know that I've ever seen any of this kind of polarization and it's a polarization about absolutely everything. Masks are just the latest thing. So we do have to find balance and understanding that we do want to keep people safe. We do want to create an environment where people feel comfortable bringing their families for arguably the most important decision-making process of, you know, in their life at the moment, but at the same time, we also need to create an environment that doesn't feel overly constrained [00:33:00] and, um, overly punitive in when you walk in the door. And I think that's what retail right now is struggling, keeping people safe, but keeping that smile and that customer service in place while adopting procedures to keep the most vulnerable among us, uh, safe from infection.

Greg Bray: No, that's I think that's terrific. Um, Tim, any, any last pieces of advice that you might want to share today with our listeners? 

Tim Curtis: Yeah, I would say, um, probably a strange one, but embrace disequilibrium. This is a time where everything is being thrown into the air and we're having to rethink all the process.

Um, there have been debates about, are we going to do X or Y? And I think the coronavirus pandemic has given us an opportunity to take a step back, catch our collective breath, and really look at the business from the perspective of we're starting over [00:34:00] and in doing so. Allow yourself the space and the freedom to imagine a rearchitect of the desire to achieve whatever your stated goal is.

Embrace that, live into that, and takes it as an opportunity to really examine what we need to do next. But remember, we're never smarter than the customer and we have to test. It's always going to take a test and control environment. We can't let our personal biases. Come out in this process or will be destined to lose.

Kevin Weitzel: That's a golden nugget. So basically what you're saying to dumb it down for the knuckle dragon mouth breathers like myself, is that you shouldn't necessarily go with the mindset of, Hey, this is how we've done things for the last 20 years. We should continue doing it. 

Tim Curtis: Right? Yeah. 

Kevin Weitzel: I love it, 

Greg Bray: Tim. Thank you so much. If people want to connect with you, what's the best way for them to get in touch. 

Tim Curtis: Easiest way to do that is LinkedIn. Um, Tim Curtis, DCMP [00:35:00] on LinkedIn and, uh, happy to connect with those. Just send me a little note. Tell me you, uh, heard me on the podcast and we can connect and see if there's anything that you need help with.

Greg Bray: Well, we are so appreciative of your time. Thank you so much. And we, uh, want to invite everyone to leave us a review if you're liking what you're hearing, uh, on your favorite podcast platform, uh, and join us again next time. I'm Greg Bray from Blue Tangerine 

Kevin Weitzel: and I'm Kevin Weitzel with Outhouse.


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