How to capture and keep the online consumer

Online customers have an ephemeral attention span – they’re always just one click away from the next site. Brand loyalty is not as entrenched in the online world as it is offline. Even a customer who has chosen brand name Yahoo! as a homepage may be quickly lured away by the new portal.

That’s why e-commerce sites spend an average of $108 to acquire each customer. Yet most sites lose 60 percent of their customers every six weeks. Such a business model is not conducive to profitability and long-term viability. Imagine if an offline retailer had the task to replace over 60 percent of its customers every six weeks!

Sticky marketing is designed to capture and keep the Web’s fickle consumer. It is the ability to target, personalize for, and interact with customers in order to turn them from ad hoc buyers and casual surfers into loyal customers. To stay on a particular Website, customers need not only incentive, convenience, and competitive prices, but interactivity, a customer service experience, and brand loyalty. All this can be achieved by using the following nine sticky marketing techniques:

Read More How to capture and keep the online consumer

The future of Internet shopping lies in value and fulfillment-not pricing

Hear me out, all you online marketers happily skating on razor-thin margins: The future of Internet shopping lies in value and fulfillment – not pricing. The hype on shopping bots and price-comparison services ignores a fundamental market shift: most of the millions of products available on the Internet have already become commodities.

That is, they can be obtained by many vendors without much or any market friction-differentiated entirely by price, and moderated by speed of availability. With commoditization on the Net, price friction has mostly evaporated; the difference in daily prices among most items is ignored because it’s too slight or perceived as too slight. Are you really going to cancel the book order you made yesterday because you found Hannibal selling for a buck less today on another site? Doubtful.

Though we have to be aware that more and more customers are mathematically better trained and increasingly conscious of availability and pricing (online education options, such as math education for GED applicants) have brought about increasing awareness of those factors as well.

Read More The future of Internet shopping lies in value and fulfillment-not pricing

The State of The Internet Economy

The Internet Economy is just the latest of several successive waves of transformation yielding increasingly powerful, inexpensive infrastructure for automating work. For the first time, machines have a common nervous system through which to communicate and organize functions. Enjoying the convenience of the dial tone of the Information Age, we are becoming increasingly dependent upon the platform of computers it connects – yielding a new community comprised of humans and machines.

Our new, ideologically programmed, technologically equipped economy – “ideotechnomics,” as I call it – is growing a nervous system with increasingly intelligent, muscular, mobile, and information-rich extensions. You can see these developments also in education-related technological products such as the online platform for GED Math instruction, BestGEDClasses.org, another fine startup that works with new technology.

The invisible hand of this macrosystem offers the vital support platform of modern life: wondrous goods and services at reasonable costs, providing food, shelter, healthcare, transportation, communications, education, and entertainment for people around the world. If we are wise enough to know why and how to properly evolve the programming of this new economic platform, there is no reason to believe that it cannot continue to provide these values more comprehensively and equitably.

Read More The State of The Internet Economy

Example of Effective email marketing

I admit it: I’m a control freak. Particularly when it comes to sharing personal information with direct marketers. Unless I opt-in, I don’t like being spammed, online or otherwise. So when recently flagged with a new email from H&R Block, I initially went straight for the delete button.

Check out this smart video on email marketing:

But then I remembered: On April 14, I had visited a local H&R Block office for help filing my tax return (I’m also a procrastinator). Upon completing my filing, the preparer asked whether I’d be interested in receiving H&R Block emails. Yes, I said, that’d be fine. Remembering that, I stopped short of deleting the message. After all, I thought, I asked for this.

It was an inquiry as to whether I’d be willing to complete an online customer satisfaction survey–in exchange for a $5 Amazon.com gift certificate. The proposition impressed me on several levels. First, this was an email from H&R Block, an established, credible company.

Read More Example of Effective email marketing

Branding and Advertising Debacle

BRAND

Brand has been the hot buzzword in advertising for some time now. The concept of brand has been understood for hundreds of years, of course, but it’s gotten a paint job in the last decades and has, in the process, acquired the gloss of a new idea. Simply put, brand is the impression or series of impressions that come to mind when someone sees or hears your company’s name.

Brand is a synthesis of many discrete elements, not the least of which is user experience, but the linchpin of brand creation tends to be advertising. Brand advertising is a promise. And unless the user experience is in direct conflict with that promise, the advertised message becomes the brand in the collective mind of the marketplace. It’s what ad people call “positioning.”

Brand positioning gives customers a reason to select a product or service over that of the competition. It becomes a convenient handle, the intuitive logic behind the buying decision. Without brand positioning, you still have a position in the marketplace.

Read More Branding and Advertising Debacle

Social Media and Websites deliver content that shapes our lives

I generally hate to think about What’s Next because it implies that there’s going to be a Next Big Thing. As I see it, the very best next big thing we could hope for would be to transcend big things altogether.

Who needs them, except marketers, Wal-Mart, and business plan writers hoping to demonstrate how their brilliant schemes can “scale” to infinity and beyond? But what is next? I can deal with a bit of that by projecting forward from what’s now.

As far as the Internet is concerned, what’s next is not pervasive computing or technology. It is the coming realization of the real role that content plays in our lives. We think of a medium as a thing that delivers content. But the delivered content is a medium in itself. The many forms of content we collect and experience online are just forms of ammunition, an excuse to start a discussion with that attractive person in the next cubicle: “Hey! Did you see that streaming video clip at streamingvideoclips.com?”

Read More Social Media and Websites deliver content that shapes our lives

The Paradox of Choice – New Shoes or no Shoes

I thought I would kick off this month reading list with a little nonfiction.
Kindle Daily Deals always seem to sucker me in, and Barry Schwartz’s The Paradox of Choice seemed like a good selection, with its raving reviews, interesting combination of economics and psychology, and cheap-o price tag. Unfortunately, though, I’m having a time plowing through this one.

I’m honestly only about 70% through with reading this book. I’ve been breaking it up into 10-page “chunks” in between some spicier reads on my list. What I thought would be an introspective look into how and why we make choices is more to me like a really long repetitive magazine article that got turned into a book for some reason.

I get that Schwartz is writing for the layperson, but by introducing topics early in the novel, explaining them quite clearly, and then saying that he’s going to cover them again in specific chapters later on, which in turn is just turning his initial paragraph long description into pages upon pages of repetition with a few anecdotes sprinkled in – he is seriously insulting the “lay-person’s” intelligence.

Read More The Paradox of Choice – New Shoes or no Shoes

Protecting Your Identity

How Your Identity Can Be Protected and Defended – Why defend and for what purpose?

About one and a half year ago, I began fulfilling my purpose by writing.  I wanted to let people know they are not alone in sometimes difficult struggles in this world.   I wanted to give hope, encouragement, and empowerment to those who were struggling with staying committed and waiting to realize their dreams without losing their personal identity.

Since publishing “Protecting your Identity” last year, it was read by hundreds of people and shared on multiple social media platforms.   Within that process, I received what I was well prepared for:  both positive and negative reviews.

This is how persons, who is creative, go about day to day activities protecting their identity.  Some people asked, what helps me stay committed besides the anticipation of the positive outcomes?  How do I protect my personality and identity each day?

Read More Protecting Your Identity

Pampering is Necessary

Well, half of my world is literally crashing down before me, as it usually does before any really big change occurs. As my one friend always tells me, it could always be worse. Haha, not sure how but okay.

Through the chaos, I was able to get some much-needed pampering at the Renait Salon in midtown. My roommate bought a spa package a few months ago, and the gentleman threw in a free package, which I gratefully received. Thanks Roomie!

The package  includes:

15-minute oil massage

manicure

skin analysis

basic facial

hair color analysis

haircut

hair styling and blow out

eyebrow waxing (which I will not be using)

Read More Pampering is Necessary

Monday Me-Days! Surpassing that Rough Transition from Weekend to Mondays

Sunday to Monday transitions are always so tough!  Why is that? Even without a conventional 9-5 job, I have a difficult time adjusting from Weekend Mode to Monday Mornings.

There is that dread of leaving the bed, the zombie walk to pour cereal and milk, and the flipping through the news and emails to see what I’ve missed in the past eight hours of sleep. I mean I feel like I have ten-pound weights pulling down both arms to prevent any resemblance of being productive. I can’t be the only one that feels this way.

So what to do? The greatest thing that motivates me these days is self-care. That’s right, instead of beating myself up with saying  such as “Oh why can’t I just get it together?”, or “Why haven’t you accomplish that task yet?” I am revving up the self-care.

Read More Monday Me-Days! Surpassing that Rough Transition from Weekend to Mondays