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Friday, Mar. 2, 2007 at 3:36 am

Below the Tip of the Iceberg

By Bryan Eisenberg
March 2nd, 2007

It’s not easy being married to a consultant and an author who travels as frequently as I do, so this Valentine’s Day I wanted to knock one out of the park. I decided to romance my lovely wife with a no-brainer: a pair of diamond earrings.

I started as any modern, connected man would; I searched on Google for “diamond earrings.” I then visited the big-brand diamond sites. After a handful of clicks, I didn’t find what I was looking for. But I did find something else: a diamond mine of e-tailing opportunities.

It should come as no surprise that I’m squarely in the uniformed category when it comes to diamond earrings. So I continued my search, clumsily clicking through category page after category page, site after site. Sooner or later I was bound to find the earrings I’d envisioned dangling from my wife’s ears. I felt trapped in my own ignorance.

I decided to expand my search with more descriptive terms. I began to lose patience. Just as I was losing hope, I found a site with the handle I needed. The style of earrings I was looking for are called drop earrings.

This cycle of ignorant buying repeats itself hundreds of thousands of times a day, in thousands of different product and service categories. Sometimes the e-tailer wins, sometimes the offline seller wins. Sometimes, nobody wins and credit cards remain sheathed in wallets. Just because prospects don’t know how to search the way you hope and expect them to doesn’t mean they aren’t qualified and ready to buy.

Continue reading my column on ClickZ…

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Bryan Eisenberg, founder of FutureNow, is a professional marketing speaker and the co-author of New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling books Call to Action and Waiting For Your Cat to Bark and Always Be Testing. You can friend him on Facebook or Twitter.

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