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3 marketing takeaways from Friction

Friction Book Cover


At Let’s Grow Agency, we are part of a monthly book club with local businesses in Cheshire. This month we read and reviewed Friction, by Roger Dooley – The untapped force that can be your most powerful advantage.


In the authors words:

“Friction is a multi-trillion dollar problem. It frustrates customers, costing you sales, reducing loyalty, and creating negative word of mouth. Inside your organization, it destroys productivity, reduces employee engagement, and increases turnover. In Friction, you’ll learn how to spot it, how to eliminate it, and occasionally even use it to your advantage”.

Through a series of case studies, many from global brands like Amazon, Google and Disneyland, Dooley drives home the need to reduce friction and shares the success stories of businesses that have successfully deployed these measures.


In essence, the book is about the Law of Least Effort (or path of least resistance), whereby people avoid unnecessary effort as a matter of course. So if you want them to do something, like give contact details, make it as simple and straight forward as possible.

3 marketing takeaways from Friction 

1. Forms

One of the key principles in the book is by lowering friction you increase action, so when thinking about forms and conversions you need to make it as simple and seamless as possible to encourage the desired behaviour (i.e. someone providing their data). A few questions to consider:

  • Is your form overly long?
  • Is the CAPTCHA difficult to complete?
  • Do you have auto-fill for returning customers and does it work?

The book encourages us to reduce friction by testing everything throughly, reducing the complexity where possible and looking at the data to see whether people are giving up without completing the process.


2. Text and Fonts

When things are hard for our brains to process – for example a hard to read fonts, complicated language, or small print – they seem more difficult and people are less likely to follow instructions or make decisions. So, keep it easy to read and easy to say. Text should be short and with simple language.


3. “Delight is for Dummies” (well, sort of)

For years as marketers we have been looking at ways to delight customers, going above and beyond to make brands memorable to their customers. However, a study by Gartner Group showed that customers whose expectations were exceeded were no more likely to be loyal than those were merely met, BUT 94% of low-effort customers repurchased and 89% of low-effort customers increased their spend. So, while delighting customers is not to be avoided, the focus should be on reducing effort and this in turn will lead to more sales and more customer loyalty.


In summary, by removing friction for you audience you can increase conversions, grow your sales and improve customer loyalty, amongst many other benefits. When considering your marketing, keep it simple, make it easy and provide a seamless experience.

To learn more or to read the book yourself visit the author’s website or get a copy from Amazon.

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