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Perception vs Reality in the Eyes of a Decision Maker

October 20th, 2014 No comments

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

October 13th, 2014 No comments

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

October 9th, 2014 1 comment

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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Why Subtle Changes in Button Copy Can Significantly Influence Clicks

September 29th, 2014 1 comment

Earlier this year, a team of analysts approached me about a closed case that was reopened for additional interpretation. It was about button copy, and the results were initially baffling.

Here are three of the prominent treatments and their respective clickthrough rates, each with a statistically significant difference in comparison:

 

Does this look familiar? While Daniel Burstein did a great job covering the “what” of this test earlier this year in this MarketingExperiments Blog post, he did not have opportunity to go into the why:

  • Why didn’t “Start Free Trial” win?
  • Isn’t there more value by highlighting the word “Free?”
  • Why is it that the word “Now” in “Get Started” was the difference between underperforming or outperforming “Start Free Trial?”

Everyone in digital marketing is convinced that a call-to-action is a button or a link — something that people can click, or touch, and it will take them off the current view and into another. Because of this preconception, they often create and improve their calls-to-action with the same kind of tunneled focus.

Unfortunately, that’s not how the customer looks at it.

 

To the customer, the clickable thing has no meaning outside of its surrounding context

Take this classic example of context from Leonard Mlodinow’s book Subliminal.

 

Read this sentence:

“The cooking teacher said the children made good snacks.”

 

Now read this one:

“The cannibal said the children made good snacks.”

 

The meaning of the word “made” has significantly changed hasn’t it? In fact, the meaning of that one word is dependant on the context in which it is placed.1

Read more…

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Website Optimization: 6 tips for effective 404 pages

September 25th, 2014 No comments

I’ve come across some beautifully designed 404 pages over the years. However, once the one second of artistic appreciation ends, I’ve been left confused and lost. The designers of those pages, whether Web designers or marketers, missed a great opportunity.

Your 404 page should have two objectives:

  1. Notify visitors they’ve encountered a problem of some sort while landing on the page they wanted
  2. Guide the visitor to what they wanted or to something else of value

A 404 page doesn’t have to be a dead end, or even a “Go to [Homepage]. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200” card. It can be a user-friendly and functional page. It can have a greater purpose.

Read on to learn six tips to creating more effective 404 pages. You’ll also see “Not this, But this” examples demonstrating the tips.

Consider this blog post a creative swipe file of 404 pages, if you will.

 

Reduce Friction and Anxiety

 

Tip #1. Establish where visitors have landed

Not every visitor on your website who lands on a 404 page will have come from somewhere else on your site. When another site links back to your website incorrectly, or with an expired link, you potentially have visitors who are brand new to your site.

If your 404 page provides no way for new visitors to know where they are, chances are they’re going to press the back button never to be seen again. You just lost an opportunity for a new customer or reader. On the same note, if you provide no useful link for them, the back button is where they’re probably going to go.



The “Not this” page gives me nothing. Am I on a farm page? A livestock for sale website? A personal site for someone who really loves pigs? I have no clue based on the webpage.The “But this” example keeps its logo in place so visitors immediately know where they are. The copy of the page also gives clues as to where they are and what they can do on the site, even on the 404 page. 

 

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Email Optimization: Testing best time of day and day of week for email interaction

September 22nd, 2014 6 comments

When do you check your personal email? Do you let it build up throughout the work week and go through it during the weekends? Do you check it on Monday when you’re also sorting through your work email? Or do you check it while you’re at lunch or on a quick, but much-needed, break from work?

In today’s MarketingExperiments Blog post, we’re going to explore which times of the day and days of the week people are most likely to interact with their emails — two questions of optimal interest for any emailing campaign.

 

Testing  the time of day when people interact with email

In email testing, we focus so much on the content and landing page of the email, but that hard work won’t pay off if email recipients don’t open or clickthrough the email. We wanted to get a better understanding of when people interact with emails to determine the best time of the day and day of the week to send promotional emails.

First, we began testing what time of day people are most likely to open and interact with emails.

Emails were currently being sent out on Mondays and Wednesdays at 7 a.m. EST. We hypothesized that by sending emails at various times throughout the day, we would learn the optimal times recipients are most likely to open and clickthrough their emails.

In an A/B split test, we sent a promotional email at 7 a.m., 3 a.m., 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. EST on a Monday. We wanted to isolate the general times of day people may be interacting with their email.

3 a.m. was tested to determine if people were more likely to interact with their emails as soon as they wake up in the morning and before they start their day, while 3 p.m. would tell us if people were checking their emails in the afternoons.

Lastly, 7 p.m. results would show that recipients were more likely to check and interact with their email in the evenings or later at night.

By sending emails at 7 p.m. EST instead of 7 a.m. EST, we saw a 12% lift in open rate:

  

Read more…

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