You have a killer product or service.You know you’ve got a competitive edge.You know if people just knew about it, understand how it could help them, they’d buy tons of what you have to offer.So you hire an ad agency, spend a lot of money, and run a wonderfully creative ad campaign.And an amazing thing happens……nothing.
You spend thousands, even millions of dollars creating a brand that’s “women friendly.”You tout your contributions to breast cancer funds.Your advertising shows women enjoying your products.You “break the mold” like the advertising for the “right hand ring” touting women’s strength and independence.Yet the very audience you want to attract ignores you and all your perceived good deeds.
You create a website with stunning graphics, cool gadgets, and do usability testing out the wazooo.You’re convinced visitors will love your new website.You watch the conversion rate numbers anxiously awaiting the increases you’re sure will come.Yet you find after all that time and effort, you’ve barely moved the needle.
What’s going on?What the HECK is going on here?
You’ll find the answers in “Waiting for your Cat to Bark – Persuading Customers When They Ignore Marketing” by Bryan and Jeffrey Eisenberg and Lisa Davis.
I don’t talk in this blog all that often about Future Now and my family there.Bryan and Jeffrey pretty much saved my soul when they rescued me from the radio/ad agency world and introduced me to the wonderful world of the Internet.
Over the last 3 years I’ve shared in the privilege, honor, intellectual discussions, screaming matches and massive headaches of the creation of Persuasion Architecture TM.I’ve watched the transformation of what was a largely intuitive process done mainly inside Bryan and Jeffrey's heads, into a full fledged persuasive system.I’ve watched the development of everything from the software to the thought processes.It’s been an amazing thing to behold, to see the maturation of Persuasion Architecture TM and the results it’s generated for companies all over the world.
If that doesn’t sound exciting enough – let me put it another way.You’ll understand why that advertising campaign you thought was so great didn’t increase your sales.You’ll learn why your efforts to create a certain “brand” didn’t resonate with your customers.You’ll learn why your wonderful new website didn’t generate the results you wanted.
This is NOT just a book for web marketers.These principles can be applied to every area of your marketing efforts.I guarantee you will learn something about your customers, your business and yourself.
Are you like me? When you work with a client and they tell you they're bringing in a "brand manager" does your stomach start to tense - do your eyes roll up into your head - do you want to mumble something about your cat having a contagious skin rash (when you do not even own a cat) pick up your laptop and run out of the room never to return?
Why this extreme reaction? Because, and I can only speak from my own experience, brand mangers come in and spout fancy new terms they want to plaster all over the website and marketing material.
"We want to be known as the human capital management solutions resource"
What are the most important things to keep in mind when marketing to women online? What are the best things you can do? What are the worst things you can do? There's no simple answer. Marketing to women online is about creating a relationship with your visitor/customer. Websites that truly speak to women in their language, addressing their needs are magnetic.
So, when marketing to women online, how do you create a magnetic website? Dancing Elephants (one of my all time favorite names for a company) has some of those answers.
One of the most powerful persuasive forces you have when creating your online customer experience is – copy.Women are communicators; their brains are specifically wired for verbal skills.Women are all about relationships – you build those relationships through communication. One of the most powerful communication vehicles is –words. That's why online copywriting is so important.
More and more successful companies are recognizing the power of online copywriting.When they create their websites, they often come to me asking “What makes a good online copywriter?How will I know when I find one?”
I’ve never really had a good answer.So I put the question to the most powerful and somewhat large heads I could gather together:Jeff Eisenberg, Bryan Eisenberg and Lisa Davis.What resulted are the 12 qualities of a good online copywriter.
What questions are your customers asking? Do you know? Are you answering their questions?
Take a 38 year old mother of 4. She has a big family. She does A LOT of laundry – but she genuinely loves her family and takes pride in a job well done. Her question is, “Is there a towel that can be washed day in and day out, but still remain soft?”
Most towel companies say their towels are soft, but do they remain soft after multiple washings? Lands End answers her question.
Unlike “Treated Towels” Ours Start Out Soft and Become Softer with Every Wash.
Lots of towels are coated with chemicals to make them feel soft on the store shelf. But wash them a couple times and their softness goes down the drain. Not ours! Because we use better cotton and superior construction, our towels get plumper and softer with every wash, Guaranteed.
If she were on a website and saw a link that said “Choose a towel that remains soft through lots of laundering.” Do you think she’d click on it?
Lands End goes on to describe the towel further, which is great. You always want to back up your claim. But most website product copy would start with this copy – it’s typical features/benefit copy you see everywhere.
We use only the top 3% of cotton grown in the United States.. Farmed for its extra-long, strong fibers, Supima cotton feels softer, lasts longer and pills far less. Start with better cotton and you end up with a better towel.
Most companies are so focused on their selling points, they fail to answer her questions. You can give her your selling points once you’ve answered her question – but always answer her questions first. If you’re answering her questions, and your competition’s website isn’t…who is she going to feel better about and ultimately give her money to?
Women sometimes have unique ways of describing things.When my girly girl friend was feeling macho and wanted to hang a window flower box outside she promptly marched up to her boyfriend and asked to borrow his “whirry whirry screw thing…you know…..vroom” - not the technically correct name but he knew exactly what she was talking about.
When you’re trying to find your best keywords – keep two things in mind.One – what is the visitor intent?Two - how does the visitor describe your product – it may be different from the terms you use internally.
Find your best keywords tip #1- Visitor intent
What is the intent of the person typing in the keyword? Women owned businesses are growing at an exponential rate.Many of these women business owners are opening up offices or stores and need phones.A woman business owner typing in “phone systems” – a broad term – may be early in the buying process.What does she see?A landing page with tons of techno speak or a page displaying lots of products with no text to help her choose which one might be right for her.
Now - a woman business owner typing in “IP-PBX phone system” has probably done a lot more homework.She knows a specific type of phone system – she’s later in the buying process.Now is a good time to take her to a specific phone system.To find your best keywords, understand what your visitor’s intent is.
Find your best keywords tip #2 - Words your visitors useto describe what they need
How a customer describes your product may be very different from terms you use internally.Example “Human capital talent acquisition” is how some staffing firms refer to their services.But the business owner looking to hire people may just be typing in “mortgage staffing” or “automotive staffing company”.
We have a client who sells a self help releasing technique.A huge issue for women is what they term “emotional trauma.”Upon further exploration – we found emotional trauma could be broken down into lots of other terms:grief, caretaker’s syndrome, co-dependency, martyr syndrome, low self-esteem.The other problem with trying to find your best keywords is – some visitors do not recognize their true condition.A martyr thinks she is a self sacrificing saint, and that’s a good thing.“Martyr” strikes her as a negative label she would never give herself.So we had to delve deeper – what do women with this syndrome suffer from – sleep deprivation and lack of energy – so we targeted those keywords.
Go out there and find your best keywords.The time you spend researching will be well rewarded by attracting qualified traffic to your site.
Sometimes you just have to ask...."What were they thinking?" Have you ever read the msnbc news section? These days, the news is so graphically disturbing and cruel, you never know what horrible story may end up there. Like the recent cases of young girls ripped from their homes, sexually assaulted, and murdered. And yet in every msnbc news story - there's some bright cheery ad right there next to these horrific headlines. Ads similar to the one I've displayed selling everything from better bodies, to online dating, to home equity loans.
Now - I'm sure if you look at the numbers - msnbc news pages must get a gazillion views. But I have to ask - when people are reading about rape, murder, war and unsepeakable acts of cruelty - does that content affect their frame of mind? Are they going to be open to your warm fuzzy upbeat advertising message? (they will be if your message is fear or anxiety based - if I were a home security company - this is exactly where I'd be)
What if the above ad ran next to the story of the little girl killed in Florida? (it didn't - but it could have) The 30-45 year old mother who this ad is probably targeted at is reading about her worst nightmare. Is she really going to be receptive to your message?
It's not just online ads. Look at network TV's prime time line up. Crime drama after crime drama. And they're adding even more. Just look at CBS's new line up. Media buyers are openly concerned about "the number of police procedural dramas one schedule could carry." I've watched a lot of these shows and it's common to go from some gruesome scene of a dead body to a bright cheery ad for some prescription drug .
How much does the content surrounding an ad affect the audience's receptiveness to the message? I don't have the answer, but if I were an advertiser, I'd want to know.