Anne Kennedy introduced Bryan Eisenberg, Future Now, a person who, in her words "knows as much about customers as anyone else in the world."
He opened with an example of missed connections - the GoDaddy superbowl commercial that spent $5 million to publicize the "GoDaddy Girl" - which drove traffic to a homepage that did not show the GoDaddy Girl (the draw) anywhere. Bottom line - people have come to expect multi-channel connections - and these connections and active involvement are what the customer is about today. The word for the day is interconnectivity. Marketing has been redefined. It has become harder and harder to sell today.
Bryan then opened up an experience study done by Future Now, which shows the friction encountered by buyers on websites. Buyer experience is critical . . . in fact, no businesses have been built on advertising since the 90's . . . they are now built on customer experience (e.g. Starbucks, Virgin, etc.). Customers who select by experience control the conversation, and certainly the buying process.
This lack of focus on the customer experience accounts for some of the dismal conversion rates we see today.
What can one do to improve? The secret is to appeal to the way that customers want to buy - which can be approached by appealing to the temperaments, an idea as old as Hippocrates. And by recognizing "scent" - what Jared Spool calls the "move forward until found" rule. An indicator that few people are really attending to scent is the 65% dropoff rate by the second page . . . which has not really changed since the late 90's. Examples of "dropped scent" include the Geico commercial (online) which begins with the appealing green Gekko, and then drops you to a page where you are overwhelmed by gray inquiry boxes.
Next he turned to usability. His hierarchy for sites (apologies to Maslow) - Functional at the base, then accessible, then useable, then intuitive and at the top of the pyramid . . . persuasive.
Finally, he summarized with an explanation of the elements of Persuasion Architecture.
- Would you say that the 4 types of people would differ if your site only targeted women or men? - No, but it may differ by industry.
- My clients say "I'll put what I want on my site." - Yep, they are right . . . but they may choose to make no money.
- Did you have an experience of something that did work in the US but not internationally? - The core never changes, but the demographics may change across cultures.
- It's tough to get offline and online on the same page. How do you work with this? If they value their brand, they'll see beyond channels.
- Do we still need sales? - While we do meet smart marketers (as opposed to sales people), we still need to do sales online.
Disclaimer - Future Now is a client of City Square Consulting, the author's firm.