Wow! What happened yesterday? Suddenly, it seems like every site I read is talking about behavioral targeting. In case you missed them:
While one-to-one marketing has been oversold for years, behavioral targeting certainly makes a strong case for one-to-some. The "some" in this case is every segment you choose to develop creative for. The thing to bear in mind about behavioral targeting is this:
- You’ll see better results offering something generic to your visitors when you know nothing about their behavior than you will by offering something specific
Figure out the number of segments you plan to target, develop solid creative for each segment, and ensure a generic "price/value" type message for everyone else. You’ll be glad you did.
Sure, the customer is always right is a good one. But it assumes you’ve got customers. Seth Godin discusses what marine iguanas represent to marketers, while Clickz blog takes a look at FedEx Kinko’s Adobe partnership – and vice versa – and its impact on smaller printers. The key lesson from both:
- Deliver on what you promise, even if you’ve got to underpromise to be sure you can.
If that doesn’t work, you can check out these ideas, too.
After last week’s challenge, the most common request was how to improve sales for wine and liquor stores, given legal issues restricting delivery. Barring changes in legislation, this seems like a huge challenge – but only on its surface. Plenty of research supports consumers using multiple channels for shopping, so wine and spirits merchants can use this to their advantage. And, if you’re not in the wine and spirits business, read on anyway. Most of these tips apply to cross-channel shoppers regardless of industry.
- Educate – Many consumers don’t know as much about wine as they’d like, and yet few wine or spirits sites offer much in the way of education. Wine.com offers a "Learn About Wine" section; unfortunately, it then jumps immediately into more complex descriptions. WineLibrary.com offers its Wine Library TV section, which is an excellent approach, but still a little intimidating. A guide to types of wines that pair with recipes or suit events – in consumer terms, not wine aficionado’s – would help dramatically.
Spirit shops could do the same. Many consumers need help understanding small-batch single malts, distinctive vodkas and choice micro-brews simply due to the colorful and historic terms associated with the product. However, jargon – no matter how colorful – confuses consumers.
- Price – Here’s an area where many online stores do a decent job, offering consumers the ability to select products within a given price range. But, one of the signature features of many wine stores is missing – or at least poorly referenced: case pricing. Wine stores generally offer a "case price" to consumers purchasing 12 bottles or more. Why not offer a case builder online, that allows the customer to select a dozen wines with a guaranteed 5% to 10% discount, then prepare the case for easy in-store pickup? I’m not aware that anyone offers this today. And if you do, why aren’t your customers aware?
- Channel connection – Wine and spirits are distinctive products that often engender brand loyalty: your typical Grey Goose or Montepulciano D’Abruzzo customer may experiment, but they usually come back to their favorites. Why not link that customer’s account to their preferred brands to offer details of available discounts and make that account information available online, over the phone and in the store, so the customer always receives that custom experience?
So, whether you’re a wine merchant, auto repair shop, electronics store, furniture showroom, or what-have-you, offline-to-online merchants should continually think about how effectively they educate their consumers, price across channels, and connect with their customers. Addressing these effectively can have a dramatic impact on your offline-to-online conversion.
By far, the most popular post I’ve written in the past year is “What Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft will buy in 2007 and why…”. So far, I stand by the convictions in that post; the specifics, less so. Now, Aidan Henry at Read/Write Web puts a whole ‘nother spin on it, providing a list of the hottest takeover targets in the current market. Instead of a deadpool, how’s about a grab bag?
Sean Ammirati at Read/Write Web wrote up Google exec Sheryl Sandberg’s keynote at the Supernova conference in June about the “future of advertising” (around the same time that Marissa Meyer spoke about Google’s overall future). This relates pretty closely with a dialogue a colleague and I had recently regarding possible approaches to advertising and the merchandising of products going forward. Clearly, other folks must agree with this approach, given that AOL just announced it’s buying Tacoda. Advertising is increasingly less about interrupting folks while doing things that interest them and more about meeting a need at the appropriate time. My only issue is its presentation as "the future of advertising." William Gibson once said "the future is already here; it’s just not evenly distributed." Is the future Sandberg describes already in place for your competition? Is the future already here for you?
Anyone watch the “CNN/YouTube Debate” tonight? Josh Cantone over at Read/Write Web has an interesting point of view on the debate and what it represents for American politics. Marketers are still trying to figure out how to make their brands more participatory and still deliver their message effectively. I certainly recognize that these debates reflect a change in the way candidates run campaigns. The sad thing about these debates, though, is I thought politics were supposed to be participatory long before the Internet.