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ad:tech Chicago – Waiting for Your Cat to Bark

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The last installment of Online Marketing Blog coverage of the Chicago ad:tech 2006 conference gathered together a good number of Eisenberg fans as well as those interested in learning more about conversions.

This session, “Waiting for Your Cat to Bark – Persuasion Architecture – Persuading Customers When they Ignore Marketing” with Bryan Eisenberg of Future Now is titled after the book of the same name. Basically this session was about marketers getting poor results because they are using old Pavolovian rules of marketing and that consumers buy differently than in the past. Customers are less like compliant dogs and more like finicky cats. Hence the title.

Marketers are concerned customers ignore marketing. Mass market media are under performing. Marketing execs are burning out. Not getting results. They’re using outdated formulas. Current marketing models are simply not working.

As an illustration of how seemingly successful campaigns are still leaving money on the table, Eisenburg shows the GoDaddy Super bowl commercial which increased sales by 35%. However, the commercial drives viewers to a home page that is not branded with the commercial. The disconnect cost GoDaddy money.

Another indication of changing customer behavior is the speed of which consumers connect with each other through word of mouth.

Marketing has been redefined. We’re moving away from push and towards pull.

54% of customers are resistant to marketing. 69% use technology to block advertising. Customer B.S. meters are hypersensitive,

Marketers need to find ways to educate people and give them the answers they are looking for and not use old models of “selling”.

Achieving the ultimate experience.

Eisenberg gives examples of Starbucks, Google and JetBlue. Word of mouth is more powerful than traditional advertising.

How do we trigger word of mouth?

Word of mouth is triggered when your customer experiences something far beyond what was expected. Slightly exceeding their expectations just won’t do it.

Ways to trigger WOM:

1. Architectural.

2. Kinetic

3. and/or generous (one of the cheapest ways to buy WOM)

The web has become a major influencer, yet only 56% of marketing executives say the web was the hub of their organization’s marketing.

Blogs – is there anyway to fight back? Forbes article in 2005. No. AOL cancellation and Comcast tech falling asleep at customer’s house – spread through YouTube very quickly resulting in significant media attention. That would not have happened 5 years ago. Things are changing.

Conversion rates are disappointing. A common misperception is that the web is the best as a direct marketing vehicle.

Traffic costs are increasing and sites fail to deliver. Why?

- Marketer doesn’t understand visitor needs

- Stopped being relevant to their buying needs

Jared Spool – a web page either has the content to what the user is looking for or a link to the content they are looking for. If not, visitors stop clicking.

Irrelevant ads cause a disconnect – bad scent. Relevant ads and content offer “good scent”.

An example search on Google for “web analytics” shows irrelevant search results – bad scent.

Shows Victoria’s Secret example. Ad creative sends you through a process. Brand, image, offer, category, product – good scent.

Fundamental problem with marketing is following old rules and that does not satisfy customer needs.

Unless you are an avid reader of Grok.com and the ClickZ column ROI Marketing, it is pretty obvious there is a need to read the book, “Waiting for Your Cat to Bark”, in order to fully understand the content of this presentation. Bryan went through slides pretty quickly and presented a lot of information on creating personas and creating persuasion architecture.

Basically he described the importance of understanding customers and how they buy through personas. Learn what their motivations are and plan scenarios. An example was provided using a diamond retailer that resulted in an increase in conversions from less than 1% to over 50%.

Personas do not represent actual customers; they are indications of modes of behavior.

Now to audience questions.

Audience: Google editorial guidelines do not allow landing pages that are not exactly related to the keywords, but creatively so. Previous example referenced: Sony bidding on plasma tvs and showing a page that says “We don’t sell plasma TVs but LCDs are a better choice.”

Bryan: It’s arguable as long as you’re presenting information in the right context.

Audience: How is a service sale different than a product sale?

Bryan: We use consumer examples because people can easily understand that. The process changes and becomes more robust.

Lee Odden is President and Founder of
TopRank Online Marketing, specializing in organic SEO, blog
marketing and online public relations. He’s been cited as a search
marketing expert by publications including U.S. News & World Report and
The Economist and has implemented successful search marketing programs
with top BtoB companies of all sizes. Odden shares his marketing
expertise at Online Marketing Blog offering
daily news, interviews and best practices.

ad:tech Chicago – Waiting for Your Cat to Bark
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About Lee Odden
Lee Odden is CEO of TopRank Online Marketing, a digital marketing and public relations firm in Minnesota that specializes in search, social and online PR consulting and training for companies worldwide. Odden has been cited for his internet marketing expertise over the past 10 years by the Economist, Forbes and U.S. News and contributed a chapter to the book, "Online Marketing Heroes" published by Wiley. For the past 5 years he has also been the editor of TopRank's Online Marketing Blog, a Technorati 100 favorite blog and one of the top marketing blogs according to Advertising Age. WebProNews Writer
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