Posts Tagged ‘marketing’

Can you see more of what is out there?

September 22nd, 2009 No comments

Few days ago someone I talked to reminded me about a business analogy I haven’t heard in a while and I thought about putting it in writing for two reasons, because I think it’s a good analogy and because I want to see if anyone out there knows the original author to give him or her a deserved credit for it.

The story goes like this:

A shoe manufacturer wanted to increase sales and decided to go abroad. He hired two market researchers (business developer, sales rep, or any title you prefer), because as a wise man he never trusted on just one opinion. Both of them spent a month on a far far away country without talking to each other and upon their arrival, they reported their results. One of them said “There is no market whatsoever, don’t go there. No need for shoes” and the second one said “What are you waiting for! There is plenty of market there, we should start tomorrow.”

The shoe manufacturer was bewildered by the results and inquired both. The first one said: “Since I stepped down from the plain all I saw was barefoot people, no one in this country use shoes; hence no market.” The second one said, since I stepped down from the plain I saw the opportunity, we could sell at least a pair of shoes per capita, that’s a huge market, we just need some marketing”

The morale of the story, from my personal point of view is that we need to break our paradigms to see and go beyond our usual appreciation of the world around us, we might be losing a big opportunity. Think for while in your business or job or even your life, are you seeing more or the same? Are you using all you can on your different channels, markets, processes or resources.

By the way, I think the second guy was a Babson alumni 😉

If you can draw any other morale, please share it in the comments section. Thanks for reading and thank you Margarita for reminding me this analogy.

PS. Also let me know if you know who the author is.


The importance of colors in usability

September 14th, 2009 No comments

Have you tried the following visual exercise:

Say out loud the color of the words below (not the actual words) as fast as you can:
It is difficult because the left and right parts of your brain are telling you different things, one is trying to read the color and the other is actually reading the word.

You may think this is just an optical illusion and that it has no real application whatsoever. Well, think again.
Our brains are wired to perceive several colors with an inherit significance such as red for danger or stop, green for “ok” or go, and yellow for caution. It’s everywhere.

This must be taken in consideration when you are designing for usability and here is an example of how not to do it:

In the Roku website, they make your brain hesitate over which option is better for you. Obviously for them the best option is if you buy the device with cables, more business for them right? But if you see a red button and a red button together, what does your brain think or read? It is the same as the exercise above: conflict. Which button do you think is your brain most likely to click on?

The bottom line is, when you are designing for usability and conversion is all you care about, be sure you don’t confuse your customer,don’t make them think.

Have you seen this somewhere else? Post it in the comments area.


Measure… measure… measure… but measure the right thing!

I flying back to San Francisco from Austin after the SEM for SMB conference and I’m thinking about how many times the word measure came up during the conference. I agree 100% with the “measuring statements” such as “you don’t get what you don’t measure” or “if you can’t measure it, better don’t do it” but what these statements assume is that you are measuring the right thing.

For example, I was really surprised when small business owners from Austin where asked the main objective of their Search Engine Campaigns. One out of eight people said “increase sales” or “increase revenue” whereas the other seven were more focused on being the number one result in Google, increase visits to the site and be found by the keywords they wanted. Yes, yes I know that some of those are good indicators, but those should not be the final variables to measure. For example:

  • What if you have 100,000 visitors per day but none of them purchased your product? Wouldn’t you rather have 100 visitors and five of them making and actual purchase? If you are selling several kinds of products then also watch for margin, you may direct demand of your product with the best margins.
  • What if you are happy because you are listed in Google with the keywords you wanted, but those keywords are seldom used by your real buyers. That would mean that despite being the number one, you are not what people are looking for; hence, you just put money and time on the garbage.

So, if you are about to start any kind of marketing campaign and you are planning how to measure it, be sure to measure what matters for you, margins, EBITDA, profit. Not only measure eyeballs on your advertisements, unless you have tons of money to throw out the window. Even if you are tracking lead-genration in your website, follow those conversions to see how many ended up in a real sale.

Have a great weekend