Eddie Lutz

Perception vs Reality in the Eyes of a Decision Maker

October 20th, 2014

Every company struggles with finding ways to convey the value of their product or service in an impactful way. The reasons for subpar value proposition can range anywhere from the value of the product being presented in a convoluted or confusing way to not reaching the customer when they are motivated to buy.

In some cases, the mindset or pre-existing biases can cloud the value proposition in a potential customer’s mind. The ability to overcome that destructive perception is key to guiding a potential customer through any sales funnel.

 

Clarity trumps persuasion — and a wrong perception

Anyone who has seen a webinar or attended a summit featuring MECLABS’ Managing Director, Flint McGlaughlin, has most likely heard him say, “Clarity trumps persuasion.” I want to take that one step further and say that there is a great feat in providing enough clarity to trump a wrong perception.

Earlier in my career at MECLABS, I spent time as the Lead Generation Specialist. In that role, our task was to generate sales-ready leads for our partners.

During that time, I was assigned to one of our more difficult partners — a global provider of outsourced investment management services.

My job was to speak with C-level decision makers of non-profit organizations and schedule meetings with one of our partner’s regional directors.

These meetings had one purpose: Communicate the distinguishable benefits of the firm and its outsourcing model to these decision makers. The problem was these DM’s didn’t want to talk to me.

The decision makers were well aware, as was our partner, that switching an investment management provider was an extremely long and involved process, and more often than not, the organization I was speaking with was happy with the status-quo and did not want to consider an alternative approach.

Their perception was that we were looking to force the organization to switch their investment model after the meeting. This wasn’t the case. Finally, after many rebuttals that weren’t resonating, we started to change our approach and messaging.

 

Address audience concerns upfront

Within the first few moments of the call, we would address the concern we knew the decision maker had before they could even express it.

Instead of trying to immediately describe to the decision maker all of the benefits our partner’s firm may represent, we instead attempted to lessen the anxiety that may have been stemming from the false assumption that we were calling to sell them on a new investment manager.

After this change in approaching the call’s opening, we stated that we were not asking their organization to make a change. We simply wanted the opportunity to lay out some of the core competencies of our firm that potential customers could compare to their current management provider.

Changing our initial messaging caused a significant increase in the amount of sales-ready leads for our partner. Before the change, we were lucky to generate one sales-ready lead per 20 hours of calling.

Now, we were consistently averaging two leads per week through the fourth quarter of 2014.

We were also able to provide our partner with substantial insight into the mindset and concerns of their potential client base.

 

Takeaways

One of the most important factors in presenting product value in an impactful way is overcoming any pre-existing biases or opinions that the potential customer has.

It is the responsibility of the seller to address these pre-existing negative opinions in a strong and impactful way to effectively convey the proper value proposition of their product or service.

Failing to do so, no matter the amount of value the product or service represents, oftentimes will result in a failed opportunity and a waste of time and resources.

 

You might also like 

Lead Generation: Does your teleprospecting deliver value to prospects? [More from the blogs]

B2B Marketing: 6 essentials for testing your teleprospecting [More from the blogs]

Lead Generation: How using science increased teleprospecting sales handoffs 304% [More from the blogs]

B2B Lead Generation: 300% ROI from email and teleprospecting combo to house list [MarketingSherpa case study]

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Categories: Lead Generation Tags: , , ,

John Tackett

What a 173% Increase in Clickthrough Can Teach You About Subscribers

October 16th, 2014

At MarketingExperiments, we define friction in a conversion process as a psychological resistance to a given element in a sales process.

If you’ve ever waited in a long line at a theme park in July, that’s friction personified. It’s the hot and sweaty agony that makes a customer ask themselves, “Why am I doing this?”

I should also add that not all friction is avoidable, but a large concentration of it can be reduced through a little testing and optimization.

In today’s post, I wanted to share with you a recent experiment to identify and reduce friction, which you can enjoy with no lines or waiting.

Before we dive in, let’s review the background notes and give the experiment a little perspective and context.

 

Background: A large news publication.

Goal: To increase clickthrough rate.

Primary Research Question: Which landing page will generate the most clicks?

Approach: A/B multifactorial

 

Side-by-side

Here are the pages in the experiment together.

 

During a preliminary analysis of the control, the MECLABS research team hypothesized the control page’s long-form layout style was impacting performance.

As you can see, the bullet points help organize the copy, but their sheer number creates a wall of text.

For the treatment, the team organized those bullets into a tabbed navigation, allowing the customer to click on what is relevant to them in an effort to help guide the conversation toward a subscription.

They also removed the video and added a second call-to-action.

How did the treatment stack up?

Read more…

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Categories: Practical Application Tags:

Josh Wilson

Landing Page Optimization: Leveraging perception to tip the value scale (Part 2)

October 13th, 2014

Last week, I wrote about the importance of considering the value exchange scale in your marketing campaigns. I explained how increasing the perceived value of a product to your consumer can transform something as simple as a rock found in your backyard into the must-have toy sensation of the season — the Pet Rock.

This week, I’m going to share some more tactics to use this scale to impact your marketing efforts, but I must warn you, things are going to get a little deeper. I recommend reading last week’s article before you proceed.

Just to recap, Value Force is what your consumer thinks your product is worth, while Cost Force is the price that you, the marketer, salesperson or company, are charging for the same product.

When, in the mind of your consumer, Cost weighs more than Value, the prospect will say “no” to your offer. However, when the Value of your product weighs more than its Cost, you may receive the coveted “yes.”

Sounds simple, right? Let’s take another look at the value exchange scale: 

 

We’re going to assume that for this hypothetical marketing case, both Value and Cost are weighted equally. Given this scenario, how can we affect the scale without directly adding to or subtracting from the Value Force or the Cost Force? It may help to think a little bit out of the box for this one. Let’s ask some “what if” questions:

What if the triangle moves to the left, like in the picture below?

 

Read more…

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Josh Wilson

Landing Page Optimization: Leveraging perception to tip the value scale (Part 1)

October 9th, 2014

In an experiment with a B2B company, we split tested two landing pages against each other. Let me give you a brief background on the test, and then, I invite you to guess which landing page produced the most leads.

 

Background

This B2B company wanted to promote one of its thermal imaging cameras by creating a downloadable guide where people can enter personal information on a landing page registration form and then get access to a product guide download that will help them choose which thermal imaging camera to purchase.

Which landing page do you think generated the most leads in this experiment?

Once you do choose one, try and think why one performed better than the other. I will share the results with you after the creative samples below:

 

The control

 

The treatment

 

Which landing page do you think won?

Read more…

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Paul Cheney

Turn Your CTAs Into Helpful Tools: 5 CTAs that dramatically increased page performance

October 6th, 2014

Marketing talking heads love to spout out call-to-action best practices:

  • Keep it easy to find
  • Put it above the fold
  • Make it a big button

But all of these “rules” miss a fundamental shift in the way we need to be thinking about CTAs. There’s something wrong with the word “call-to-action” that focuses us (as marketers) on ourselves and not on the needs of our customers.

This manner of thinking treats the audience as if they’re a mass of mindless peons, just waiting for us to command them what to do next.

Simply put, I think a call-to-action should be an act of customer service.

Why?

It’s not because of some abstract ethical construct I made up. It’s because it works. It increases marketing performance.

Here are five examples:

 

Example #1

125% Increase: Don’t state a command; help foster a conclusion in the customer’s mind 

 

Example #2

120% Increase: Don’t make customers request more iInformation; help them understand next steps*

*Note also the change in the visual nature of the CTA. It was moved into a tab in the main content. Again this emphasizes that the essence of “the ask” is to provide information, not “call to action.”

Read more…

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Andrea Johnson

4 Threats that Make Email Testing Dangerous and How a Major Retailer Overcame Them

October 2nd, 2014

To test emails, you just send out two versions of the same email. The one with the most opens is the best one, right?

Wrong.

“There are way too many validity threats that can affect outcomes,” explained Matthew Hertzman, Senior Research Manager, MECLABS.

A validity threat is anything that can cause researchers to draw a wrong conclusion. Conducting marketing tests without taking them into account can easily result in costly marketing mistakes.

In fact, it’s far more dangerous than not testing at all.

“Those who neglect to test know the risk they’re taking and market their changes cautiously and with healthy trepidation,” explains Flint McGlaughlin, Managing Director and CEO, MECLABS, in his Online Testing Course. “Those who conduct invalid tests are blind to the risk they take and make their changes boldly and with an unhealthy sense of confidence.”

These are the validity threats that are most likely to impact marketing tests:

  • Instrumentation effects — The effect on a test variable caused by an external variable, which is associated with a change in the measurement instrument. In essence, how your software platform can skew results.
    • An example: 10,000 emails don’t get delivered because of a server malfunction.
  • History effects — The effect on a test variable made by an extraneous variable associated with the passing of time. In essence, how an event can affect tests outcomes.
    • An example: There’s unexpected publicity around the product at the exact time you’re running the test.
  • Selection effects — An effect on a test variable by extraneous variables associated with the different types of subjects not being evenly distributed between treatments. In essence, there’s a fresh source of traffic that skews results.
    • An example: Another division runs a pay-per-click ad that directs traffic to your email’s landing page at the same time you’re running your test.
  • Sampling distortion effects — Failure to collect a sufficient sample size. Not enough people have participated in the test to provide a valid result. In essence, the more data you collect, the better.
    • An example: Determining that a test is valid based on 100 responses when you have a list with 100,000 contacts.
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