Posts Tagged ‘buying process’

Value Proposition: 3 lessons to learn from the Microsoft Surface campaign

November 12th, 2012

In any aspect of marketing, it all comes down to value proposition. A marketer’s job is to communicate the value of a product or service to a potential customer.

Even companies with big advertising budgets can lose sight of the necessity and responsibility of every marketer to convey value – they may actually be more susceptible to it.

For instance, ever since Apple’s renaissance, pretty much everyone wrote Microsoft off as the poor (and old) man’s Apple. Even they seemed to, with its not cool enough to be a Mac ad campaign a few years ago.

With all of the recent talk about Windows 8, and the debut of the company’s first tablet, Surface (set up to be an iPad competitor), a Cinderella-story comeback seemed possible. Maybe not likely – but possible.

When Microsoft announced it wasn’t going with one of its usual three agencies (Crispin Porter & Bogusky, Deutsch or Razorfish) to produce an ad for the Surface — instead choosing the relatively unknown 22-year-old Caleb Slain, who incredibly made Internet Explorer cool again with this ad — I thought Microsoft might pull it off.

However, instead of spotlighting the sleek and cool but extremely product-focused video that Slain created, the one I see on a constant loop is the incredibly distracting (and after the tenth view, annoying) dancing people and clicking noise ad, as seen below:

Let me make this disclaimer before we go any farther: I liked the ad, but I hated the sacrifice of value proposition it made in favor of the cool factor – because it is possible to have both. Just ask Microsoft’s competition, Apple.

“The click” is the highlighted aspect of the ad, an external keyboard that attaches to the tablet. Other than that, I’m just not sure what is supposed to motivate me to purchase the Surface. The krumping school girls? Maybe the ability to leap through mid-air while clicking into place the keyboard that comes with it?

“I think the only people who have a legitimate chance of going to the store and purchasing are people who are sold on Microsoft already,” says Adam Lapp, Associate Director of Optimization, MECLABS, adding, “The ad doesn’t do anything to distinguish itself from the iPad, and you don’t even know cost. It does nothing to motivate you to learn more.”

As you design your own ads, consider these three steps to create an ad with a strong value proposition.

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Quick Lift Ideas: 8 test ideas to help you increase conversion across your site

January 25th, 2012

Sometimes great products can be hard to sell on a website. The market is so saturated with mediocre goods and services that when a truly great one comes along, the same old marketing tactics simply don’t work anymore. Excellent products need excellent websites to communicate their full potential.

And that’s the main problem with this website submitted for live optimization by the makers of the Npower PEG on a past Web clinic.


Click to enlarge


The product is essentially a battery you can hook to almost any device. But the fun part is that it charges with the kinetic energy you produce while you go about your daily life.

I personally found it fascinating. And I want one.

Unfortunately, (as the owners of the site probably know) the website doesn’t effectively communicate the prodigiousness of the product.

Perhaps you’re in the same boat as the Npower PEG. Maybe you’ve got a great product but you feel like your website doesn’t live up to it. Don’t tune this post out because it’s about someone else’s company.

To help you, I talked to Adam Lapp, Associate Director of Optimization and Strategy, MECLABS, about Npower’s website. From his years of optimization experience, you can hopefully glean some wisdom for your own site.

There are eight main test ideas that Adam highlighted in our conversation about how to improve this website.

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PPC Ads: What is search engine marketing best used for?

January 4th, 2012

After our recent Web clinic, How to Increase Conversion in 2012: The last 20,000 hours of marketing research distilled into 60 minutes, we received this question from Veronica Cisneros, lead Web designer and developer at …



1.            Assertion:

  • If I remember correctly, the ad excluded the product, or description of the product, and only made reference to awards received. The presenter indicated that the ad was only competing for clicks and position? Which I understood to mean that the vendor did not care to make a sell, but simply wanted traffic to website.

2.            Question:

  • Was my interpretation correct?
  • If not, what was meant by “competing for clicks and position”?
  • If yes, what did the vendor achieve by increasing the traffic to this landing page?

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