Redefining the Customer

Dec 3, 2007 - 12:20 pm 2 by
Filed Under SES Chicago 2007

Moderated by Rebecca Lieb of ClickZ, who warmly welcomes the attendees and introduces the session’s only speaker.

Brian Eisenberg of Future Now Inc. Will present his views on redefining the customer. He talks about the Marketing (r)Evolution by showing a picture of three guys sitting on a couch receiving information through media., Now instead of being passive participants, you have people that are way more involved. He will talk about how the customers’ behaviors have evolved. He shows a slide of research that showed that 47% of people claim that “sleeping” is another thing that they do while watching TV. The economics of mass marketing works for those that accept that not everyone will see/listen to the ads. He shows a slide of a picture of someone asleep in front of a computer and talks about how this is unlikely.

He then shows the GoDaddy commercial from the 2006 super bowl and asks why they deliver people to a different model on the home page than the one they had used for two years straight in commercials. He thinks GoDaddy left money on the table by not including the model on their home page. This year he feels “they caught the pass,” because they included her on the home page.

Will now talk about the customers (FYI it is very hard to cover Brian because he speaks very fast and jumps around slides, so you will have to see him in person next time – no knock, his presentation is great but just fast). World of mouth has grown into the muscular beast, Interconnectivity, and now moves with lighting speed. The new definition is that we are all connected better than before and faster than before and we want to participate in the communication., You can no longer outrun consumers. Marketing redefined: we are moving away from mass marketing model and away from “push” more towards “pull” marketing. Consumers will only become more demanding.

he talks about “Waiting for your cat to bark” and what he was talking about in that book. He talks about the fact that a dog has a master, and a cat has a staff. Talks about Pavlov and how his work affected marketing. “Marketing, behaviorism., and bells.” If we can create triggers, or ring the bell in the customers’ minds, then they will salivate. This worked really well on dogs, but what would have happened if he used this on cats? Marketers have been treating their customer if they were dogs - ring the bell and they will come. Now that no longer works. The cats and search have changed the nature of this relationship. This fits in with the history of evolution of marketing and sales – every step in the evolution has done one thing: reduced the friction on the customer, but conversely this has made it harder for the marketer. The internet essentially provides a frictionless environment.

He talks about Seth Godin’s work and how he understands how things have changed. You cant use the old marketing “the meatballs” with new customers. Slide about “always be closing” from “Glen Gary Glenn Ross” (movie). How many would dare buying a car today without going online first? We can now walk into the dealer knowing more than the sales ;person. All of our BS meters have grown exponentially, and we can hear marketing speak from miles away. Naturally, marketers resist change. What have people done: attack of the blogs – they destroy brands and wreck lives (from Forbes 11/14/05).

As consumers, how often do you trust marketers? The landscape is that now consumers trust other consumers over marketers. 54% resist 56% avoid 69% block advertising. Yet we still want to buy. New customer definition #2: customers will control the conversation. This is about developing real relationships. He thinks it is related to the divorce rate in this country as well…people have forgotten about relationships. He talks about the customer journey that is the buying process. Now the evaluation stage involves so much more like customer reviews, etc.

The problem is that will all the attention to the online world for marketing, only 26% of people reports that they are satisfied with the online shopping experience. They did a large study of customer experience, and the average score was 43 out of 100. Issues: no enlarged images or fonts. No information about in stock, availability. Only 58% of online marketers correctly answered a customer email within 48 hours. remember that all this online experience influences offline experience as well. Brand differentiation – studies show that the best investment that a marketer can do is to invest in improving the customer experience. We are so concerned with the “:how many” that we forget about the “who?” Conversion rates are disappointing 3.2% in 2002 down to 2.4% in 2006.

You can’t create an experience for the who. You create the system your visitor must navigate. Customer only care about how they buy, not how you sell them. They need specific information and often it isn’t there. So what is relevance that the customers are looking for? He talks about Hypocrates and the breakdown of relevance. Competitive, spontaneous, methodical, humanistic. Then goes into how they interact with content (Myers Briggs) Interactive – info gathering – decision making - lifestyle. All these different factors will determine how people want to gather information from you. You cannot simply give them a 250 word statement and expect them to buy.

Google explains relevance…a quote from Krishna Bharat of Google. Then talks about Jakob Nielsen he has been talking about the fact that users ignore the navigation area – either the content is on the page or they click the back button. Then a slide (probably #50 by now at least) about a Lincoln Study. Then a Jarrod Spool quote. Then the typical visitor patterns – I want, it’s not there (then they bounce). 2. “Pogo stick” they look through product pages and category pages and eventually give up and leave. Does your site stink? (in a good way) Does it give people the scent? Talks about a Geico ad and the experience that people can have with being asked for too much information too quick.

He shows a recent viral example at… the Bra Scientist Video. Then he wonders why the home page didn’t capitalize on it. Everything matters online – user experience, SEO, etc, but if you have lipstick on a pig, it will still be a pig. Who si the father of modern usability? He then talks about Eisenberg’s Hierarchy of Optimization: Is it functional, is it accessible, is it usable, is it intuitive, is it persuasive? Each step is important. Persuasion Architecture: 1 Uncover deep motivations, 2. map the customer journey, 3.Predict and excel at key points, 4. execute even if it is wrong, 5. Master story telling to convey intent, 6. Define, measure, and test continually. he talks about a case study of in which using a simple process made huge gains – changing one picture resulted in $25M.

Highlights of Brian’s comments during QA: Persuasion is hard work…it is a lot like sweat equity. Create a better experience of the customers, and people will come. Customers are expecting one-on-one conversation.

***Note this is “live” unedited blog coverage of SES Chicago 2007. Some typos, grammatical errors, or incomplete thoughts may exist.


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