Active Versus Passive Marketing

There are basically two types of marketing: passive and active. Passive marketing is bottom of the barrel marketing where one is simply keeping up with competitors or implementing ideas based on internal pressures. For example, if your CEO asks to increase email channel sales contribution from 5% to 6% and you respond by increasing email messaging frequency by 20% then you are a passive marketer. An active marketer is someone who would take that CEO directive and improve Average Order Value without increasing send frequency.

I was reading an article about the success of the Starbucks app and that story nicely illustrates this point. Let’s look at two scenarios:

Passive scenario: (Made up example) Starbucks launches their app and sends a press release touting the fact that 14 million customers use their Starbucks app every week. This is the so lame, Starbucks has over 100 million customers and if 14 million use the app once a week that means nothing. Basically, the app is leveraging existing demand. If the app created new demand, now that would be impressive.

Active scenario: Starbucks launches their app and sends a press release that talks about how their app uses personalization. Their personalization algorithm uses weather and time of day data to make offers. It could offer a discount for iced coffee when it’s unexpectedly hot outside. Or, if a customer aways gets just one type of coffee the app could make a special offer so the customer can be marketed a higher margin item. This is a great example of active marketing because Starbucks app has taken a situation where the customer might not be actively thinking about getting a Starbucks and nudged them in that direction.

Looked another way, active marketing is when you are able to take a customer who doesn’t want to take an action and gently convince them otherwise.

What type of marketer are you?

Email Signup Trick

Every site shows an email signup popup, and 98% of users click the close button. Why? Because the signup request doesn’t have the right context. The user has just landed on the site, they don’t even know what makes your business unique.

Tacklewarehouse.com also needs email sign-ups but they use a clever context tool to present their request. On each of their category pages they have this (red arrow in screenshot below):

Tacklewarehouse_com_Ideas.png

And when users click it they show this context-rich pop-up:

Tacklewarehouse_Pop.png

And that’s how it’s done.

Amazon.com Vs. ______.com

5 years ago an online retailer that had their own site but also listed on Amazon would see like 10% of sales come through Amazon. Today that number is more like 60%. Naturally, some retailers have decided it’s not worth competing and taken their focus entirely to Amazon. They either close their site or significantly minimize their attention to it since it’s not driving as much revenue.

I’m not sure if that’s the right call.

Amazon has some disadvantages. The biggest being that Amazon product pages have to be formatted pretty much identically. Product description is basically a list of bullet points. That means you can’t weave a compelling story on your Amazon product page.

Here is what I think is happening. Your potential buyers either discover your site first or are on Amazon, discover your item, check out your branded site, and then buy on Amazon. But the point is that a big percentage of your first-time buyers on Amazon did indeed visit your site. Just because they ultimately purchased the product on Amazon after spending 12 minutes on your brand site doesn’t mean Amazon should get all the credit. Even if they love your site they might prefer to buy from Amazon if they have Amazon Prime (and nearly 50% of American households do).

How can we know for sure that your branded site is influencing Amazon conversions? Glad you asked. One idea is to focus your PPC on a specific city (for example Austin, Texas). Boost your ad spend in this one city for a time period (based on purchase cycle for your product). Then go to Amazon and see if there was a proportional uptick in Austin orders. If there was it proves your site plays an important role in driving Amazon sales.

If You Want Feedback Remove All Friction

Received this great email from Lyft asking why I hadn’t used the service in a while. See screenshot and notes below screenshot:

Lyft_Survey.png

Love this email for 4 critically important reasons:

1: It’s personalized to my actual behavior (“why have you not used Lyft since 6/14.”)

2: Headline makes it clear this is a quick email (“One-Minute Feedback”).

3: I just have to click one link to submit my response.

4: Lyft doesn’t send a ton of emails so I noticed this message.

No One Cares About the Next Order

On your PPC landing pages never show a popup that promises a saving on the second purchase:

PPC_LP.png

Shoppers clicking paid search ads (excluding branded ads) have multiple tabs open and are reviewing multiple offers at the same time. They’re in “speed dating” mode. An offer that applies to their next purchase is a total waste. In fact, I’d argue, it hurts conversions because you’re reminding the customer that there is nothing special for them for this first purchase. And there might very well be a great deal available, or maybe your product is way better than the other tabs but the popup appeared moment I landed and now I’m turned off.

The 4 Forces

If you’re a marketer you need to tattoo this in your mind. The diagram below is used to understand the forces that are at play when a consumer is considering purchasing a new product or service:

Therewiredgroup.com.png

The 4 forces are:

– The Push of the Current Situation
– The Pull of the New Solution
– The Anxiety of the New Solution
– The Allegiance to the Current Situation

It’s a framework used by The Re-Wired Group.