From the perspective of the marketer, a critical early task in the life science buying journey is education. It may even come before your audience of scientists recognizes they have a problem which needs a product or service to solve it. Once you have piqued their interest and seeded an idea in their minds, you need a lot more to get them across the finish line. Sometimes, a longer-form method of communication is merited, and that’s where the white paper comes in.
The Life Science Buying Journey
For those who are relatively new to this website, it should be expressed that I’m largely an adherent to Hamid Ghanadan’s viewpoint of the scientific buying journey, which views scientists as inherently both curious and skeptical. It’s illustrated in detail in his excellent book Persuading Scientists which is well-deserving of the long-overdue shout out. I’ve captured some of the concepts in a previous post: “The Four Key Types of Content.” To give the oversimplified TL;DR version of both:
- The default state of scientists is curious. They readily take in information.
- As they take in new information, they form ideas about it and transition from being curious to being skeptical.
- If they cannot validate the information, they generally reject it.
You can see how a buying journey fits into this mindset:
- The scientist is presented with a new idea.
- As they learn more about this idea, they realize that they may need a product or service.
- The critically evaluate the product(s) / service(s) presented to them.
- A decision is made.
The goal of the marketer is to seed the scientist’s curiosity, continuing to provide them with information which will shape their viewpoint in your favor without engaging skepticism too early. That is how you maximize your chances of a positive purchasing decision.
Understanding What a White Paper Is … and Isn’t
A white paper is intended to provide either educational content (helpful, customer-centric information) or validation content (information which verifies a belief that the customers hold or a claim that the brand is making which may be customer-centric or product-centric). In either situation, the primary purpose is to inform your audience. Novice marketers may consider the format (usually pdf) and conflate a white paper with a brochure but they are two very different things.
All marketing documents exist on a rhetorical sliding scale between being fully informational and fully promotional. A brochure would be far onto the promotional side of that scale; it is extremely product-centric and its purpose is largely to encourage a purchase. A white paper would be most of the way towards the informational side of that scale. Creating a white paper which is overly promotional risks engaging the scientists’ skepticism before they have adopted your viewpoint, creating a situation where their inclination is to disbelieve you. This situation generally results in them rejecting your offering.
Writing Copy for an Effective White Paper
Your white paper should be about:
- a single topic
- which is of interest to your audience
- of which you know substantially more than your audience
This may seem simple, but framing it can be difficult.
Presumably, your company is in the business of solving some type of problems for life scientists. They might not know what their problem is, but you do. Why should they care? Why is what you are doing compelling? You almost certainly have answers to these questions, but you likely have them framed in the context of your product. How can you take those answers and communicate them in a manner which is customer-centric instead of product-centric? Start by talking about your scientist-customers’ problem rather than your solution and you’ll be headed in the right direction.
There are times when a more product-focused white paper can be appropriate, however. For instance, you may have a new technology which is unfamiliar to your audience and you need to educate them about it. In this case, you have to talk about your solution to some extent. When that is the case, be sure to focus on providing information about the technology, not promotion for the product. You need to take care to ensure the information is objective, communicated in a unbiased manner, is well-referenced with independent sources, and uses independent voices (e.g. voice of the customer) wherever an opinion is necessary.
Formatting a White Paper Effectively
There is no particular length restriction on a life science white paper, but if you are calling it a white paper, your audience is likely expecting it to be somewhat in depth. A two-page minimum for a white paper is a good guideline to adhere to. For much longer white papers, you should consider yourselves constrained by your ability to maintain your audience’s attention. Demonstrating your expertise does not mean writing more than you need to. As is almost always the case, less is more. Be as concise as you can while fully communicating your point.
Avoid walls of text. Too many words and not enough visuals will make your audience less likely to get through your content. Use illustrations where possible, and don’t feel bad using relevant stock imagery to break things up. Ensure the document isn’t boring to the eyes by using brand-relevant colors, shapes, iconography, and other visuals. Ideally, you should have a generalized white paper format which you maintain throughout all of your documents to provide consistency. You want people who read your white paper to know it is your brand’s white paper, even if they didn’t see a logo.
Circling back on what a white paper is and isn’t, you’ll recall that we need a primarily informational document. However, you might not want an entirely informational document. Your job is to sell things, and purely informational things are generally not great at selling. You want to sprinkle some promotion in there. But how? Through creative use of formatting! You don’t want people to become skeptical of the information you are providing them in the body of the white paper, so don’t put promotional content in the body of the white paper! Use clearly-delineated sections to cordon off your promotional content. Help prevent skepticism of your promotional messages by using voice-of-customer (testimonials, etc.) whenever possible. You can also leave your promotional messages to when customers will most expect it – the end of the document. Like almost all effective marketing documents, you don’t want to leave out the call-to-action!
Deploy Your White Paper Effectively
Far too often, life science companies will write a really good white paper then tuck them off in some remote corner of their website. You have it, use it! Post about it on social media (more than once!), put it somewhere on your website which is relevant but readily findable by anyone looking for that kind of information, and blast it out in an email to a well-segmented section of your audience. If appropriate, use it as the hook for a well-targeted paid advertising campaign. The worst thing you can do after spending the time and resources to create a white paper is to only have a few dozen people ever read it.
Presumably you’ll be using your white paper to generate leads and will therefore have it gated with a download form (although you certainly don’t have to). If it is gated, create a compelling download page for your white paper which previews just enough of the content to make the audience want more but without giving up its most important lessons.
Recap on Effective Life Science White Papers
To write an effective white paper:
- Understand where your white paper fits within the customer journey.
- Maintain its primarily informational purpose.
- Keep to one topic which will be of interest to your audience.
- Focus on information which most of your audience likely will not know.
- Allow what you have to communicate to dictate the length.
- Don’t skimp on the visuals.
- Clearly separate any promotional messages to avoid creating skepticism about the core topic.
- Shout it from the rooftops to get attention to it!
White papers are centerpieces of many life science demand generation campaigns. By understanding and implementing these guidelines, they can help drive successful lead generation for your life science company as well.
I know this isn’t going to apply to 90% of you, and to anyone who is thinking “of course – why would anyone do that?” – I apologize for taking your time. Those people who see this as obvious can stop reading. What that 90% may not know, however, is that the other 10% still think, for some terrible reason, that hosting their own videos is a good idea. So, allow me to state conclusively:
Hosting your own videos is always a terrible decision. Let’s elaborate.
Reasons Why Hosting Your Own Videos Is A Terrible Decision:
- Your audience is not patient. If you think they’re going to wait through more than one or two (if you’re lucky) periods of buffering, you’re wrong. Videos are expensive to produce. If you’re putting in the resources to make a video, chances are you want as much of your audience as possible to see it. Buffering will ensure they don’t.
- Your servers are not built for this. Your website is most likely hosted on a server which is designed to serve up webpages. Streaming video content is probably not your host’s cup of tea. In fact, they’d probably rather you not do it (or tell you to buy a super-expensive hosting plan to accommodate the bandwidth requirements of streaming video).
- Your video compression is probably terrible. Your video editing software certainly will export your video into a compressed file. “Compressed,” in this sense, means not the giant, unwieldy raw data file that you would otherwise have. It does not mean “small enough to stream effectively.” You know whose video compression is next-level from anything else you’re going to find? YouTube, Vimeo, or probably most other major services that stream video on the internet as a business.
- There are companies that do this professionally. When I was in undergrad and majoring in chemical engineering, the other majors jokingly referred to us as “glorified plumbers,” but I don’t touch pipes. I don’t know the first thing about plumbing. So what do I do when I get a leak? I call a plumber, because they’ll definitely solve the problem far better than I would. Likewise, if you want to host video, why not get a professional video hosting service? There’s plenty of them out there, including some that are both very reputable and inexpensive.
I’m at my office on a reasonably fast internet connection. It’s cable, not fiber optic, but it’s also 11:30 in the morning – not prime “Netflix and chill” time when the intertubes are clogged up with people binge watching a full season of House of Cards. Just to show you that any bandwidth problems aren’t on my end, I did an Ookla Speedtest:
239 Mbps. Not tech school campus internet kind of fast, but more than fast enough to stream multiple YouTube videos at 4k if I wanted to.
And now for the example… I’m not going to tell you whose video this is, but they have an ~1 minute long video to show how easy their product is to use. Luckily for me, they don’t have a lot of branding on it so I can use them as an example without shaming them. The below screenshots are where the video stopped to buffer. Note that the video was not fullscreened and was about 1068 x 600. You can click the images to see them full size and see the progress bar and time at the bottom.
The video stopped playing 7 times in the span of 64 seconds.
What To Do Instead
Perhaps the most well-known paid video hosting service, Vimeo has a pro subscription that will allow you to embed ad-free videos without their branding on it for $20 / month. There’s a bunch of other, similar services out there as well. Or, if you don’t want to spend anything and don’t mind the possibility of an ad being shown prior to your video, you can just embed YouTube videos. The recommended videos which show after playback can be easily turned off in the embed options. You can even turn off the video title and player controls if you don’t want your audience to be able to click through to YouTube or see the bar at the bottom (although the latter also makes them unable to navigate through your video).
Basically, if you want your videos to actually get watched, do anything other than hosting them yourself.
P.S. – If you’ve read all this and still think hosting your own videos is the correct solution, which it’s not, here’s a tip: upload them to YouTube, then download them using a tool like ClipConverter. This way you’ll at least get the benefit of YouTube’s video compression, which is probably the best in the world.
Creating content in support of your products and services is hard. Finding something to say which is both unique and valuable to the audience is a non-trivial endeavor, however it remains critical for persuading your audience that your product or service is right for them … and persuading search engines that your website is important.
That said, it’s incredible how many brands overlook this one simple, effective, easy-to-create content tool: the FAQ.
You don’t even have to do the thinking for an FAQ. Your customers do it for you. In your day-to-day sales and support operations, customers are asking questions all the time. All you need to do is document them and their answers, put it on your website, and bingo! – You now have an FAQ.
FAQ Best Practices
It’s absolutely possible to make a terrible FAQ, but really easy not to. If you follow these guidelines when creating your FAQ, you’ll be set:
- Talk to your sales and / or support teams about the questions that they are getting from customers. If you’re creating an FAQ, you want to be sure it’s answering questions that your customers actually have.
- The best FAQ questions are broadly relevant and / or address an important question. If you have a question from a person with a niche application which would only be relevant to a small subset of the audience who is also using your product for that application, it’s probably not worthy of adding to the FAQ. If you have too much clutter, people won’t use it.
- It’s really easy to end up with oceans of FAQ content. Your don’t want your FAQ content to fluster your audience because there is too much of it. In addition to being selective with what content makes the grade for your FAQ section, use design tools such as accordions to help minimize the content overload and help ensure that customers are only presented with the FAQ content which is most relevant to them.
- Keep FAQ content on the page of the product / service it pertains to whenever possible. Forcing people to navigate away to FAQ content is usually neither a good navigational experience nor the best for SEO.
- If you have a long FAQ section, try to keep the most important and / or broadly relevant information towards the top, where it will be more likely to be seen.
To give you a better idea of how you may be able to leverage FAQ content, let’s take a look at a few examples.
Agilent’s website makes ample use of FAQ content, which is great. To give an example, I’ll look at the page for their 280FS AA Atomic Absorption Spectrometer. They have a lot of stuff on this page, but they use a left-hand navigation menu with anchor links to help users find the information they need. In the “Support” section there is an FAQ, along with other categories of content, each of which has an accordion feature.
Agilent’s FAQ has a good amount of content in it, and they make it more manageable by only showing the questions. You have to click the question to see the answer. Unfortunately, when you click the question, you are directed to a page that has only that one question and answer on it, meaning the page is of relatively low value and has taken the user away from the bulk of the information they are seeking, leading to a sub-optimal user experience (you need to wait for the page to load, then click back to get back to where you were). Additionally, having many pages with “thin” content is far less beneficial from an SEO standpoint than having one page with lots of content. If, for instance, they instead had a nested accordion in which the answer dropped down when it was clicked, this would circumvent the need for individual pages for each answer while still showing a relatively manageable amount of information to each user.
Laboratory Supply Network also makes frequent use of FAQs. FAQs are perhaps of even greater value for distributors and resellers since these companies are often starved of unique content. FAQs, product reviews, and other mechanisms for generating unique content can both improve their SEO and differentiate them from competition who may be selling similar (or the same) products. As an example, we’ll use their Q500 FAQ on Homogenizers.net. Laboratory Supply Network puts their FAQs in a separate tab from other information on the product page, helping to prevent clutter. They also have all the FAQ information directly on the product page, which maximizes the SEO benefit. However, within the FAQ tab, there are no aids to help users find the information which may be of value to them. The only way to see which questions are answered is to scroll through them all – and through their answers. This is non-ideal, especially if there are a lot of questions and / or the questions have long answers. While users will scroll, too much scrolling decreases the likelihood that content near the bottom will be seen.
FAQs add value for your customer and improve the SEO of your website. As with just about any content generation effort, your primary question should be: “can we do this in a manner which is valuable for our audience?” If you have a complex product or service or there is any common uncertainties that customers have about your business, it’s likely that you can both deliver and receive value through an FAQ. Ensure that you’re following best practices, and you’ll maximize its value.
I was reading the MarketingCharts newsletter today and saw a headline: “What Brings Website Visitors Back for More?” The data was based on a survey of 1000 people, and they found the top 4 reasons were, in order:
1) They find it valuable
2) It’s easy to use
3) There is no better alternative for the function it serves
4) They like it’s mission / vision
I thought about it for a second and had a realization – this is why people are loyal to ANYTHING! And achieving these 4 things should be precisely our goal as marketers:
1) Clearly demonstrate value
2) Make your offerings – and your marketing – accessible
3) Show why your particular thing is the best. (Hint: If it’s not the best you probably need to refine your positioning to find the market segment that it is the best for.)
4) Tell your audiences WHY. Get them to buy into it. Don’t just drone on about the what, but sell them on an idea. Captivate them with a belief!
Do those 4 things well, you win.
BTW, the MarketingCharts newsletter is a really good, easy to digest newsletter – mostly B2C focused but there’s some great stuff in there even for a B2B audience and you can get most of the key points in each day’s newsletter under a minute.
Principal Consultant Carlton Hoyt recently sat down with Chris Conner for the Life Science Marketing Radio podcast to talk about decision engines, how they are transforming purchasing decisions, and what the implications are for life science marketers. The recording and transcript are below.
CHRIS: Hello and welcome back. Thank you so much for joining us again today. Today we’re going to talk about decision engines. These are a way to help ease your customer’s buying process when there are multiple options to consider. So we’re going to talk about why that’s important and the considerations around deploying them. So if you offer lots and lots of products and customers have choices to make about the right ones, you don’t want to miss this episode.
There’s been a ton of buzz in SEO circles about Google’s new RankBrain algorithm. This is very understandable for two reasons. First, it’s a nerd’s dream. It’s an artificial intelligence-based algorithm, and anything with AI in it is buzzy and awesome. Secondly, and more importantly, Google has stated that RankBrain is already the third most important ranking factor behind content and links.
To really understand what RankBrain means for life science SEOers, let’s zoom out a bit and understand what RankBrain is and what it does.
What Is RankBrain?
Put simply, Google RankBrain is a machine learning artificial intelligence system designed to help process search results in order to provide more relevant results to searchers. Specifically, RankBrain is intended to help Google return more relevant results for terms and phrases it’s never heard before. This was particularly important as the internet ever increasingly quickly spews forth new vocabulary and people speak in a stream-of-consciousness type manner into their phones.
Put somewhat more technically, RankBrain converts all language into vectors, with any given vector’s position and direction representing its conceptual meaning. Semantically related terms have vectors which are positioned close to each other and, similarly, groups of related terms (vectors) are positioned closely to other groups of vectors which have close semantic meaning. Through some crazy mathematics and / or magic which I’m sure would be beyond me even if I did have access to the details of it, this ever-changing map of vectors enables Google to make a best guess with regards to terms or phrases it does not know. However, it also [presumably] allows it to better map known concepts to each other as well.
How to Optimize for RankBrain
If this isn’t the first article you’ve read on how – specifically – you should optimize for RankBrain, then let me apologize on behalf of whatever other advice you may have received. The correct answer is: you do nothing. Continue to be a person, and do the rest of your job like a person. The “like a person” part is important.
Since the beginning of search engines, people have been trying to game the system. It’s been a decades-long battle between website owners, who want to convince search engines that their websites are important, and the search engines themselves who want to return the most relevant results to searchers. Initially, search engines were fairly rudimentary and it was easy to convince them your website was more important than it actually was. As time went on, search engines took away more and more tricks. By and large, search engines have won – it’s now extremely difficult to game the system. However, that doesn’t mean that the ranking systems were perfect. RankBrain is simply a response to allow it to better adapt to the actual people doing the searching. In other words, it’s attempting to make Google’s search algorithm a little bit more human. It’s becoming less important to obsess about every word you use since Google is starting to place less importance on the term itself and more importance on the meaning. After all, that’s what people are really looking for. They don’t want results that just have the words they used. They want results that will provide the meaning they seek.
This doesn’t mean that SEO is dead. It’s not. All this means is that you shouldn’t be trying to fool anyone. The best way to increase your website’s value to search engines is, by and large, to increase your website’s value to your target audience. Have great content that makes people want to share it? That’ll be good for SEO. Have a well laid out and easily navigable site? That’ll be good for SEO. Is your website highly relevant to the people you’re looking to target? That’ll be good for SEO as well. Of course there’s always some technical factors that people still manage to overlook – for instance, ensuring your title attribute is relevant and meaningful and that your page load times are decent – but at the end of the day if you’re making a site that’s great for your target audience, it’ll probably end up having fairly good SEO as well.
Don’t Forget to Use Words
I personally find this to be the most amusing piece of advice that I find myself giving over and over again: don’t forget to use words. Seriously, you can have the flashiest website, all the video content in the world, giant shiny infographics, and a totally cool podcast, and all those things are great. You know what none of them have? Words – the text kind. Think of it this way:
- What do people type / speak into search engines? Words.
- What do search engines’ web crawlers read? Words.
- What form the bulk of the results that search engines return? Words.
While the above is admittedly an oversimplification, it’s still 90% true. Words are still very important. It still comes down to the content.
First it was open access, then pure and simple pirating (Sci-Hub), and now preprints, as this recent New York Times article outlines. The business model of the major scientific publishers is under attack.
This probably doesn’t come as a surprise to many of us. For one, it’s been a slow and steady process occurring over the course of many years. Secondly, it’s something that scientists have openly complained about for a long while. The system of publishing in the biomedical sciences is slow, arduous, and by and large hasn’t been improved upon in centuries. The cost to institutions of obtaining subscriptions is huge.
That said, many of the large scientific publishers are some of the most entrenched, disruption-shielded companies in all of the sciences. Not only have they had a near-monopoly on the mass dissemination of scientific information for centuries, they have also been the de facto method by which scientists are evaluated. For any academic and many industry scientists, how many articles you publish and in what journals has the power to define the course – and the fruitfulness – of your career. Almost all generally accepted methods for measuring the impact of a scientist’s contributions are based around citations from publications in scientific journals. Deviating from the system would be a massive professional risk for all but the most respected and recognized scientists.
With such massive forces reinforcing the system of scientific publishing, escaping it would seem intractable. Now, perhaps for the first time, it seems vulnerable.
Understanding the Points of Weakness
The scientific publishing industry is something of a dinosaur, built for a world in which information had to be transmitted through the dissemination of physical objects. While it adapted rapidly to digital distribution in the internet age, it failed to accommodate for a number of other changing realities which altered its value to scientists.
Primarily, scientists no longer had an inherent need for publishers in order to effectively disseminate information. While publishers still helped organize and prioritize information, the dissemination of information has become easy, near-immediate, and free. This both decreased the value of publishers and also decreased barriers to pirating, since the unit-cost of disseminating any given article (or a great many articles) is effectively zero. Sci-Hub may be an unsolvable problem for publishers, and it’s not the only one of its kind. Scientists who don’t want to partake in such blatant piracy can use the #icanhazpdf hashtag on Twitter and have an article sent to them by a peer with access. This leads to a downwards spiral effect on the value that publishers add from an information dissemination standpoint – easier access to information leads to more pirating, which in turn provides easier access to information, all the while making publishers roles less as couriers and more as gatekeepers, trying to ensure that information can only be seen by those who pay for the privilege.
Additionally, while digital technologies were being used to make many aspects of life easier and faster, and scientific technologies continued to evolve at a rapid pace, innovations in publishing were extremely limited. Aside from eliminating the need to physically mail manuscripts, the arduous peer review process remains largely unchanged. While there is no immediately obvious replacement for peer review, the overall experience of submitting articles for publication remained very slow in a world that was becoming very fast, making the perception of the process feel slower even though it was no slower than before. This increasingly negative perception also erodes value, as it makes the traditional publishing process seem more flawed.
Costs, however, have not been reduced. Each publisher has, in essence, a monopoly on the information which they own. They do not compete to provide access to any given journal or article, so there is relatively little competitive pressure to decrease prices, aside from the constraints of institutional libraries’ limited budgets. Therefore the present situation is really not at all surprising. The perception of value has decreased – perhaps significantly so – yet prices have not decreased to match. The market believes it is overpaying, and it is revolting against the industry in a search for both a better value, a better experience, and a structure which is more in line with scientists’ own values.
Important Lessons for All Industries
Nothing exists in a vacuum. It was easy for scientific publishers to get comfortable with their seemingly irreplaceable status as the couriers of knowledge, but as the would changed around them they shifted from facilitating the spread of knowledge to inhibiting it. However, big publishers still have yet to substantially alter their business models to adjust to a very different reality. We must learn from this.
- Get what you give. Just because the products or services which you are providing remain unchanged, that doesn’t mean that your value remains unchanged as well. Benefits are relative, and your pricing should adapt to the benefits provided – even if you’re massively entrenched.
- Fighting your customers’ values is a losing battle. Scientists largely believe in sharing information. Once technology evolved to allow instant sharing of information at any scale, publishers became inhibitors to the flow of information. Not only were they inhibitors, but they were profiting from limiting access to knowledge. This made them a big target for scientists’ discontent.
- Customer experience always matters. Even if there are no alternatives, consistently poor customer experience will drive customers to seek alternatives. It creates an environment which is ripe for disruption.
- Anyone can be unseated, no matter how entrenched. The traditional scientific publishers haven’t been dug out yet, and they still have some time to adapt, but they are in desperate need of business model innovation. If they cannot adapt their business model, they will eventually fail.
No company, no matter how large it is, how much market share it has, how long and storied its history, or how entrenched it has become, is invulnerable. Eventually, everyone must adapt. It has become increasingly clear that one of the pillars of maintaining a successful company in today’s dynamic environments is agility. Time will tell whether publishers have the necessary agility to survive.
Marketers are used to seeing a lot of data showing that improving personalization leads to improved demand generation. The more you tailor your message to the customer, the more relevant that message will be and the more likely the customer will choose your solution. Sounds reasonable, right?
In most cases personalization is great, but what those aforementioned studies and all the “10,000-foot view” data misses is that there are a subset of customers for whom personalization doesn’t help. There are times when personalization can actually hurt you.
When Personalization Backfires
Stressing the points which are most important to an individual works great … when that individual has sole responsibility for the purchasing decision. For large or complex purchases, however, that is often not the case. When different individuals involved in a purchasing decision have different priorities and are receiving different messages tailored to their individual needs, personalization can act as a catalyst for divergence within the group, leading different members to reinforce their own needs and prevent consensus-building.
Marketers are poor at addressing the problems in group purchasing. A CEB study of 5000 B2B purchasers found that the likelihood of any purchase being made decreases dramatically as the size of the group making the decision increases; from an 81% likelihood of purchase for an individual, to just 31% for a group of six.
For group purchases, marketers need to focus less on personalization and more on creating consensus.
Building Consensus for Group Purchases
Personalization reinforces each individual’s perspective. In order to more effectively sell to groups, marketers need to reinforce shared perspectives of the problem and the solution. Highlight areas of common agreement. Use common language. Develop learning experiences which are relevant to the entire group and can be shared among them.
Personalization focuses on convincing individuals that your solution is the best. In order to better build consensus, equip individuals with the tools and information they need to provide perspective about the problem to their group. While most marketers spend their time pushing their solution, the CEB found that the sticking point in most groups is agreeing upon the nature of the solution that should be sought. By providing individuals within the groups who may favor your solution with the ability to frame the nature of the problem to others in their group, you’ll help those who have a nascent desire to advocate for you advocates get past this sticking point and guide the group to be receptive of your type of solution. Having helped them clear that critical barrier, you’ll be better positioned for the fight against solely your direct competitors.
Winning a sale requires more than just understanding the individual. We’ve been trained to believe that personalization is universally good, but that doesn’t align with reality. For group decisions, ensure your marketing isn’t reinforcing the individual, but rather building consensus within the group. Only then can you be reliably successful at not only overcoming competing companies, but overcoming the greatest alternative of all: a decision not to purchase anything.