The Fallacy of Linear Sales Progression Online

I read an article recently about creating forward sales momentum with web site visitors. I love the concept.

The idea is to create site copy that leads users down a prescribed path toward a purchase. I was nodding my head in affirmation until the author stated that the path to a purchase is linear.

This is where the marketer who lives in the trenches of real life tells the marketing academic that he’s just wrong.

Momentum is great, and we should all strive to create forward momentum through our site navigation and copy.  The idea that users will follow a linear path to a purchase is just wishful thinking – nothing more.

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Remember the Basic Economics of Marketing (ROI)

I got a call recently from a friend whose company has developed a new consumer software application. He had been presented with an opportunity to buy banner ad exposures on a newspaper web site.  “The price,” he said, “seems pretty amazing.” (In a good way.)

The newspaper had offered him banner ads on their site at a price of $0.02 per exposure. So, he would pay 2 cents every time the banner was presented to a site user.  This seemed so cheap, he was suspicious. My reaction was the opposite.

This seems to be a common challenge faced by marketers – forecasting return on investment (ROI) BEFORE deploying marketing dollars. Yet I would argue that there are few if any cases in which ROI should not be the primary driver of marketing decisions.

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How We Judge Books… and What You Should Do About It

We’ve all heard the age-old admonishment. Don’t judge a book by its cover.

What a joke.

In a time when we are all subject to constant information overload, there literally is no time to judge a book – or anything else for that matter by anything more than its cover.

Thankfully, it appears that we human beings are intuitively equipped to make snap judgments with shocking accuracy. If you doubt this point, pick up a copy of Malcolm Gladwell’s book, Blink (The Power of Thinking Without Thinking). In it, he shares countless examples of people reaching amazingly insightful conclusions with seemingly almost no data on which to base their positions.

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What Happens When You Put the CUSTOMER In Charge of Your Marketing?

A while ago I wrote a post asking the question, “who is really in charge of your marketing?” My intent was to highlight the marketing impact (for better or worse) of the rank and file staffers who come face-to-face with customers.

Recently however, I have noticed something truly fascinating that I believe may very well change marketing forever.  And it forces me to revisit this same issue of who’s in charge of marketing.

This time I would ask you to consider the role of your customer in the marketing equation.  No… I’m not talking about generating referrals.  I’m actually talking about the customer as a deciding and active force in an organization’s marketing.

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If You Believe In Your Product, Give It Away

My brother in law’s family came up from Atlanta to visit last weekend.  We are both attempting to learn golf.

He pulled from his bag a coupon/voucher that I could redeem to receive one free golf club from a company called Upswing. Simply call the number on the card – cite the unique sequence number on my coupon, and a putter, driver, or sand wedge is mine for the mere cost of shipping.  How could I refuse?

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