I didn’t grow up online. The funny thing is, you probably didn’t either.
Even most of the top social media “gurus” out there had lives before the net! (hint – if you remember ever chanting eighty seven, eighty seven, eighty-eighty- eighty -eighty -eighty seven then I’m talking to you)
I know what it means to know what “rabbit ears” are and have only three tv channels to watch. I know what it means to not “scratch a record” if I wanted to listen to music. And along with a whole bunch of other stuff that is no longer relevant, I also know what it means to have a cell phone bigger than my head (physically at least).
I could go on and on – but I hope you get my point.
Even though I was born in an “analog” world, I have finally learned to thrive in a digital world – right alongside 500 million of my closest friends on Facebook! (Some day this story will be like walking to school barefoot, in the snow, up a hill both ways.)
I’m proud to say (and it serves me well) I grew up on direct response tactics such as direct mail, and watched email be born. And after 20 years of marketing experience with some of the best brands in the world, I can promise you this…
People haven’t changed – how they communicate has changed – this is important to differentiate.
Previously as a consumer you were almost powerless during a time where there was no caller id as a line of defense. Nor was there anything close to a “do-not-call” list to protect you from annoying telemarketers. No Tivo meant you probably were force to, “gasp”, watch the commercials from any brand who could afford it.
When I was growing up, we weren’t just a “captive” audience, we were literally held captive by the brands – by what they wanted us to watch, when they wanted us to see it, and how long they were going to spend money on trying to convince us to buy their product or love their brand.
The tools are now more vast, and complex and can give one to one data points unheard of a few years ago.
But, if you want to keep your pulse on the finger of your customer, you had better get serious and put on your direct response hat to tie your efforts into solid hard core data that helps you get smarter quicker.
You need to know who your customer is, what they like to talk about online, where they go to engage with you, and clearly know when to ask them to pay attention to you or take action.
You better have a pretty compelling “why” they should care about you (hint – why are you worthy of their precious minutes?).
Your key to your ultimate success is being able to make great business decisions on if it is worth the time, money and other resources you will have to put into your campaign.
A typical online conversation has a life span of about one to two days. As a result, it is imperative for companies to respond to conversations in nearly real time. During this short window, they not only need to understand the context and content of the conversation, but also create an effective response mechanism. All of this underscores the need for real-time monitoring and analysis.
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