How long does it take your customer to form an opinion?

According to published research, people form an opinion on whether they can trust someone in one-tenth of a second. Other researchers have found that visitors form an impression of the visual appeal of a website in one-twentieth of a second. So how long does it take for your customer to form an opinion of you? Evidently, less than a second.

How does this affect what you do as a marketer? It puts increasing importance on the impact of first impressions, regardless of the medium. Additional evidence shows that in an era of information overload the “intuitive” brain forms a bias for a decision that the “rational” brain then processes to validate. So initial impressions that connect with your target’s intuition should be planned and managed effectively.

Where are first impressions made? Map them so your organization understands where to focus. What are the first impressions being made? Audit them so you understand what impact you are having. What are the effects of your store fronts? Your online banners? Your website? Your field representatives? Your trade show booths?

What is your first impression strategy? If you don’t have one, take some time to develop one. After all, you have less than a second to put your best foot forward.