Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Value Proposition’

Landing Page Optimization: How a navigation test increased leads 34%

February 19th, 2015 1 comment

Site navigation can make or break the user experience on your site.

So what can you do about it?

In today’s MarketingExperiments Blog post, I wanted to share with you an interesting experiment from our latest Web clinic that shows how a tourism group increased leads 34% by testing their site navigation.

Before we get any further, let’s take a look at the experiment:

Background: A tourism commission seeking to enhance visitor interaction with their website content in order to boost appeal for choosing their city over other destinations.

Goal: Test the site navigation to increase visitor engagement with key site content.

Primary Research Question: Which navigation type will increase site engagement?

Secondary Research Question: Which navigation type will lead to the highest lead generation rate?

Test Design: A/B/C split test

In the control above, the MECLABS research team hypothesized that the navigation was increasing user friction by including an almost-overwhelming amount of options.

Read more…

4 Essential Marketing Insights from Freakonomics Author Stephen J. Dubner

February 9th, 2015 No comments

As all marketing professionals and watchers of “Mad Men” know, marketing is a tricky field. It’s one of the few industries that rely equally on creative ideas that have never been seen before and cold, analytical testing.

But what do you do when you feel stuck in a marketing rut?

Luckily, Steven J. Dubner was there to the rescue. Co-author of the popular Freakonomics book series, which have sold more than 7 million copies worldwide, Dubner is a seasoned pro at looking at seemingly obviously problems from a new angle.

As a self-identified “freak,” I jumped at the opportunity to interview Stephen J. Dubner about what his advice is when it comes to breathing some new life into your marketing strategy. The following interview offers a glimpse into the Freakonomics way of thinking, while giving a taste of what Dubner will be covering during his session at Email Summit 2015. So without further ado, enjoy.

 

First things first, what does it mean to Think Like a Freak?

Whereas Dubner and Levitt’s first two books, Freakonomics and SuperFreakonomics, melded pop culture and economics to explore topics and arguments that “traditional” economists would typically never touch, their latest book explains the thought process behind Freakonomics.

Think Like a Freak explains how to apply this questioning mentality that Dubner and Levitt have employed so successfully in both of their books to answer questions in everyday life. But I’m making this all sound more complicated than I need to.

Essentially, thinking like a freak involves looking at common, everyday problems from a new lens. It encourages the “freak” to be unafraid to question every step of the processes and conclusions that surround them.

The practical idea behind this mentality is simple — how can we be absolutely sure that we are performing at our best if we never try anything new? Thinking like a freak really boils down to one idea: testing.

Here is just a taste of what this freakish mentality is:

So what was Dubner’s advice on revitalizing your marketing?

 

Lesson #1: Get creative

First start with a white sheet of paper. Don’t hold back. What types of things might your customers relate to?

One of the biggest challenges that can come from running campaign after campaign is finding new and exciting ways to look at problems. After all, constantly being on your creativity A-game is draining. Luckily, this is a feeling that Dubner knows all too well:

MarketingExperiments: What are your top strategies to avoid falling into a creative rut?

Stephen J. Dubner: Surround yourself with people who don’t think like you (or come from different age or income or ethnic or political or vocational brackets, etc.). When you’re traveling, always pick out one site to see that you think sounds ridiculous, and see if you can learn something with it. And here’s my favorite: when you meet someone new, no matter what they do, just say this: “Tell me something I don’t know about [whatever you do].” It’s the best ice-breaker in the world, and you’ll learn a lot.

I feel more creative already.

Read more…

Marketing Classics: Four principles from the book that changed David Ogilvy’s life

January 26th, 2015 2 comments

Have you ever read an advertising or marketing book more than once? How about more than twice?

David Ogilvy once insisted about a book,

“Nobody should be allowed to have anything to do with advertising until he has read this book seven times. It changed the course of my life.”

What book was he referring to?

Marketer, meet Claude Hopkins, one of the original 1920s ad men who could masterfully blend both art and the rigor of science to marketing campaigns. He is known for many iconic ads of the past, including Pepsodent Toothpaste, which some credit with getting Americans in the habit of brushing their teeth.

Hopkins was studied and admired by both David Ogilvy (who most of us know) and Rosser Reeves (who many of us know as Don Draper).

Hopkins summarized his theory of advertising in a short, easy-to-digest, book called Scientific Advertising. This was Ogilvy’s go-to book. I remember the first time I read through it. What really struck me about it was its relevance to what we were discovering (or I guess is should say rediscovering) almost a century later here at MarketingExperiments.com.

Now, I confess, I am only on my third round through this book, so I know I am not quite yet fit to work for Ogilvy, but I thought it would be fitting to share with you a few of Hopkins principles that seem relevant for us to remember nearly 100 years later.

 

PRINCIPLE #1: People are selfish

First, Hopkins warns the reader, “The people you address are selfish, as we all are They care nothing about you interests or profit. They seek service for themselves. Ignoring this fact is a common mistake and a costly mistake in advertising.”

Much of the advertising in Hopkins day had turned inward and focused primarily on what the business wanted the customer to do — mainly buy a product or service. They had forgotten that before you can move someone to action, you have to help them understand what is in it for them.

It’s humorous sometimes how we can fall into the same trap today as advertisers. You can see it in something as simple as our call-to-action copy. We use phrases like, “Buy now,” “Add to Cart,” “Register” or, even worse, “Submit.”

All these display the symptom that Hopkins was getting at — we are too focused on what we want from the customer, rather than what the customer wants from us.

We run simple A/B experiments (like this series) all the time in which changing emphasis from something like “Buy Product X” to “Get Product X” has a significant impact on customer response.

And it does not simply come down to using a word like “get.” It’s about the mindset behind the word “get.” As Hopkins pointed out, people are interested in what they “get,” not what the business “gets.”

This is as true today as it was then, and the most effective marketers today know how to empathize with the customer.

Read more…

Co-creation: The next realization of value-based marketing

November 17th, 2014 No comments

“If I am your ideal customer, why should I purchase your product rather than any other product?” – Flint McGlaughlin, Managing Director, MECLABS (parent company of MarketingExperiments)

At MarketingExperiments, researchers have used this question to develop value propositions over the past 20 years.

Many things have changed over the past couple decades, which has now, more than ever, left room for the customer to answer the value prop question.

Recently, Professor Wouter Van Rossum, a leading expert on value proposition and product development, held an Academic Lecture Series at MECLABS headquarters in Jacksonville, Fla., where he discussed the evolution of a value proposition in a post-Twitter world.

“Companies don’t want to hear [feedback],” Van Rossum explained, “They don’t like to hear it.”

But, in an era where customers can ask questions and interact with not only the company, but fellow dissatisfied customers online and demand a more and more personalized experience, it “more or less forces companies into co-creation.”

 

Defining co-creation

Co-creation implies a situation where both parties profit in terms of exchange value.

threadless-shirt-contest

 

A “perfect example of co-creation,” according to Van Rossum is Threadless, a company that allows designers to submit art for T-shirts, among other commodities. Customers then vote on designs they want to purchase.

If the design is picked up by Threadless, the designers earn a portion of the profits from T-shirts sold and this creates an exchange of value.

Co-creation of exchange value, according to Van Rossum, implies that the company should determine a value proposition that will account for the customer’s contribution and result in a win-win situation for both the customer and the business.

In the case of Threadless: The company queues up designs that they know will be popular and purchased. The designer earns not only monetary rewards but also has work to add to their portfolio. Both parties benefit from the relationship and business model.

Read more…

Customer Anxiety: One element of the MECLABS Conversion Heuristic explained

November 13th, 2014 No comments

If you have participated in a MECLABS, MarketingExperiments or MarketingSherpa event or education program, you may have been exposed to the patented Conversion Heuristic.

It looks like this:

C = 4m + 3v + 2(i – f) – 2a

If you haven’t seen this before, it can be explained in minutes. However, it can take decades to master.

My hope is this MarketingExperiments Blog post will help you gain a basic understanding of the Conversion Heuristic, and specifically, understand the anxiety element in the heuristic.

Each letter in the Conversion Heuristic represents a psychological, emotional or physical element affecting a prospect’s choice to say “yes” or “no” to your offer.

Each number represents the weight or importance each element carries in guiding the prospect to your offer, or away from your offer.

The element “C” represents the probability of conversion. A conversion in this instance describes the event when a prospect becomes a customer.

This event is the foundation of business; without conversion, a business ceases to exist. To increase the probability of conversion, it is important to understand the elements within the Conversion Heuristic. In this post, I will highlight the “anxiety” element present in every conversion process.

Here is the Conversion Heuristic again: C = 4m + 3v + 2(i – f) – 2a

C = Probability of conversion

m = Motivation of the customer

v = Force of your value proposition

i = Incentive

f = Friction

a = Anxiety

 

Customer anxiety

It is very important to remember that your prospects are people. They have thoughts, feelings, needs and desires. When there is product or service being offered to a prospect, that prospect may have questions or concerns.

This psychological concern occurs within the prospect’s mind.

Anxiety is a real concern that the prospect may have regarding your offer. The prospect may not even be aware that it is happening, but when corrected or addressed, there can be some significant lifts in your conversion rate.

Here are some examples of anxieties that people may have when making purchases online.

 

Is my credit card information safe?

billing-information

  Read more…

Value Proposition: Between perception and reality

November 3rd, 2014 No comments

I recently posted this observation on FlintsNotes, Flint McGlaughlin’s blog designed to showcase his day-to-day work, and I felt that this idea could be elaborated on more:

The challenge for many companies is misunderstood. It is not finding prospects that need what it has to offer, but rather finding prospects who know that they need what it has to offer.

Managers flounder in the gap between perception and reality. They are trained to think about data, facts and rules. This strength obscures a corresponding weakness: They fail to account for the difference between ‘what is’ and ‘what the prospect believes is.’ The latter initiates the experience of the former and thus takes initial precedence.

-Flint McGlaughlin, Managing Director, MECLABS

 

The difference between reality and perception

Fint talks about how managers (marketers) tend to get lost in the blurred line of perception and reality, failing to recognize the difference between “what is” (reality) and “what the prospect believes is” (perception).

He points out that the latter (perception) initiates the experience of the former (reality), thus taking initial precedence.

Read more…