It's been fun seeing how focusing in on customer conversion rate
optimization has become the 2006/2007 Rallying Cry for Marketers,
to independent research firm Forrester Research Inc. In a report
titled, "Marketing Technology Adoption 2006," June 2006, Forrester
interviewed 371 marketing technology decision makers and influencers,
and more than 40 percent say their organizations "have plans to
implement Web interaction optimization software by the end of 2007."
are glad to see the market catching up with what we have been preaching since 1998 and are looking forward to releasing more features of our Persuasion
Architecture MAPTM suite of software and releasing little micro apps to make the
software available to many more interested customers in 2007.
Every once in a while you read something that makes you stop, scratch your head, scrunch up your forehead and wonder violently about the state of the internet, the country, the delicate balance of the ecosystm, and even the universe. You wonder if precicious gifts like life, profit, hope and common sense can stand up to the crap storm of human mental defeciencies.
No no no, I wasn't watching Al Gore's new movie or reading about the war or Mid East politics, I was actually reading an Article at Ad Age.
The article started out innocent enough...
Historically, the most popular web-marketing metric has been traffic. How many visitors come to your website each month? How many unique, how many repeat? The web grew up with "hits" as a common denominator: The more you have, the better you are.
He continues on and brings up conversion rate as the 'new' measure. Sure he is a wee bit behind the times(about 7 years by my count) but I am thinking to myself 'at least he gets it." Then I read this...
"Pitch mode," in contrast, funnels those who respond to an ad down an intentionally narrow path. The marketer is in the driver's seat, crafting a presentation the user sees one screen at a time, usually in a linear sequence.
Now I have no gripe with Scott Brinker being wrong, wrong can happen to the best of us. What troubles me is when 'experts' play on the fears and insecurities of vulnerable marketers who are desperately trying to improve their conversion rates and might actually start to believe that 'pitch mode' is an efficient means of optimization. (Yes, despite our best efforts, some marketers still believe they are in control.)
But, Maybe I'm wrong, maybe marketers do have control. Maybe this bridge is for sale. Maybe I really am tall, blonde and have a full head of hair.
No sooner than Jeffrey Eisenberg posts his rant about the state of consumer surveys do we get another authorative glimpse into the future of research from our brilliant strategic partner Michele Miller. Check out what she writes over at Inc.
Companies like Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO), Pepsi (NYSE:PBG), and Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) now realize the methods they used to mine for information in the past were often unproductive and inefficient. The pressure-cooker atmosphere of a group of strangers in an unfamiliar setting, combined with questions skewed to obtain answers favorable toward a product, is often a dangerous (if not deadly) concoction. Over the years, countless products that should never have been introduced made it to market, and vice-versa.
Today, major advancements in science, technology, and human-behavior studies offer new tools for studying consumers that are more natural and provide greater insight into what a customer wants. What techniques should you consider? Read the entire article.
Last week, I had the unfortunate experience of having my car broken into and let me just skip to the most horrific part of this story… my video ipod was stolen!
With the time I spend wandering around airports and getting restless in airplanes, you can imagine my panic attack when I realized that my Podcasts, audiobooks, movies, tv shows and music would no longer be accompanying me on my travels.
I’m scheduled to leave on my next trip on October 18th. That gives me three weeks minus a few days to purchase my video ipod, have it shipped to me and transfer all of my entertainment files onto my new best friend!
My quick solution was to hop onto Google, search for ‘video ipod’ and make my purchase. I am specifically interested in finding out one critical piece of information before making my purchase this time. My old video ipod was lacking substantially in battery life when watching any video. It would die after only 1 ½ hours of playing video and I wanted to find out if this feature had been improved and how much battery life I could expect with a new video ipod.
I clicked on the paid advertisement at the top which is the Canadian store. The keyword ‘video ipod’ is not found anywhere in the description or title but I assumed that I would find what I’m looking for simply because I was going right to the source.
There was a long description of the 80GB video ipod. I know that I previously purchased the 30GB and I truly didn’t need anymore storage. My only concern was whether the 30GB battery life had been improved.
The copy on this page clearly describes the features of the 80GB and we can see that this model is expected to have 6 ½ hours of battery life for video. I clicked on ‘Compare Specs’ to try and find out the answer to my question for the 30GB.
Once I scrolled down the page to see the comparison, I was offered a price comparison, the storage space available for songs and the expected battery life in hours when playing music. There is no spec comparison on battery life in hours for video play time. I still needed to find this out so I clicked on the ‘select’ button under the 30GB to see if I could find the answer to my question.
There are no features listed here at all! I didn’t care about engraving my ipod! I simply needed to find out if the new battery life of the 30GB video ipod would meet my needs.
I was in the late stages of my buying process and I simply needed one small piece of information to click the buy button! Why couldn’t they answer my question?!
I attempted one last thing and I clicked on add to cart just to see if the features would be listed once in my cart.
Nope, they failed to answer my question! They are just trying to sell me accessories on this page.
Although it was very difficult to find contact info, I finally found the phone number and was able to find out the answer to my question through speaking with a customer service rep. I made the purchase over the phone and was told that I should expect to see my ipod in 8 days. The confirmation email I was sent upon purchasing said that delivery could take up to 12 days. It’s unfortunate that the info that the rep told me was not consistent with the confirmation email information regarding delivery time but at least the purchase has been made and I will get my video ipod in time for my travels!
Wouldn’t it have been more efficient to just have me purchase online? Perhaps you have customers who weren’t ready to call in an order but who were ready to purchase online. I had my credit card in hand and wouldn’t have had to speak with a customer service rep. All I needed was a point of resolution link somewhere in my buying process that would bring me to the information that would answer my question!
You likely have visitors who are in the late stages of their buying process and they probably have some specific buying decision questions. You must provide these potential customers points of resolution to bring the visitor to the information they are searching for in order for them to complete the sale.
What questions are people asking your customer service reps? Are you tracking this information? Are you updating your content online with the points of resolution to the answers to these questions?
We're not usually big fans of marketing data collected from surveys. We've written about it several times. We often find the methodologies flawed, the questions suspect and the respondents even more suspect.
"VNU's Nielsen Media Research has actually seen respondent rates rise
from 36% to 45% the past five years, said Paul Donato, chief research
officer. That's largely because it pays respondents handsomely for
their two-year commitments -- so handsomely that Mr. Donato
acknowledged that some on the Media Research Council think it may bias
results -- allowing panelists to buy cable subscriptions and DVRs.
Ironically, no one in a roomful of market researchers
suggested researching what might best persuade nonrespondents to
participate, though Dennis Murphy, VP of the technology practice at
Directions Research, said it's time to find out how different
nonresponders really are from responders -- something largely neglected
since the 1970s."
While this secret ingredient is not a requirement for a good website, it certainly doesn't hurt. We are always on the lookout for it when we consider taking on a new client. This ingredient brings focus, energy and authenticity to marketing efforts and customer communications. It is infectious. Sometimes it is subtle, other times it is in your face. Most visitors can sense its presence, but few can articulate what they are sensing.
This ingredient cannot be bought. It cannot be manufactured or manipulated. Either you have it, or you don't.
The only thing worse than not having it at all is having it and hiding it from view of your customers.
Can you tell me what the secret ingredient is? Here is a hint. One of these two sites has the secret ingredient, and one doesn't.