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FutureNow Article
Friday, Oct. 24, 2008

Attaching a Dollar Value to Marketing Efficiencies

October 24th, 2008

In the column, “Online Marketers Can Weather the Financial Crisis,” I offered action items for dealing with the economic downturn.

My goal is never to be a doomsayer, but rather to be prepared for the reality of the market — good or bad. And that includes recommending common sense actions to shore you up and provide a bullet proof vest for more difficult times.

Reality is, when down times arrive, most companies first look to the marketing department to trim costs. This…

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FutureNow Article
Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2008

14 Tools to Legally Spy On Your Competition

October 7th, 2008

spy legally on your competitorsHave you ever wished you were Bond? James Bond?  Here are 007+007 = fourteen ways to spy on your competitors’ web sites, without breaking any FISA laws.

1. Statbrain – Using several sources, Statbrain’s algorithm computes the number of visitors to a website based on offsite factors like backlinks, Alexa Rank etc. Statbrain does not have access to log files or any hit-counter information. Use this as a rough relative benchmark of your traffic to theirs. First run your website and compare…

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FutureNow Article
Monday, Sep. 15, 2008

Google Website Optimizer: Free Resources To Jump Start Your Testing

September 15th, 2008
How to Get Started and On Your Way to Becoming an Expert with Google Website Optimizer – Free Resources

Google Website Optimizer Authorized ConsultantLanding page optimization and conversion rate improvements are no longer simply buzzwords. The rising cost of driving online traffic means marketers are paying more for less return on their ad dollars. To keep up, online marketers must roll up their sleeves and dive into conversion optimization. Optimizing your landing pages and your website is a proven means of increasing your conversion rates…

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FutureNow Article
Friday, Sep. 12, 2008

The Case for Persona-Based Lead Generation

September 12th, 2008

A lost wallet lies on a Manhattan street, stuffed with cash. A white middle-income male, New Yorker, between age 30 and 44, picks it up. Will he look for the rightful owner, or pocket the cash?

With that level of “targeting,” it’s anyone’s guess. There just isn’t enough information available.

But if George Costanza, the white middle-income male New Yorker between age 30 and 44 from “Seinfeld” picks up the wallet, everyone knows exactly what he’ll do.

He’ll keep the money.

By allowing you…

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FutureNow Article
Friday, Aug. 29, 2008

Obama: The Online Persuasion Architect in Action

August 29th, 2008

You know that big windup jack-in-the-box of loud political debates? Let’s you and I put it aside for a while.

And please, I beg thee, take your own political goggles off for a few minutes and join me as I take you on a tour of online marketing done well. The fact that we’re talking about a marketing effort headed by a politician running for the highest office is incidental.

Regardless of where you stand politically, even the most jaded pundit admits…

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FutureNow Article
Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2008

Is the New Mint.com Marketing to Women Through Design?

August 27th, 2008

mint before afterThe best marketing to women experts will tell you that marketing to “women” as a generalized category is usually less than ideal. It’s not about marketing to women, it’s about the female customer, and about seeing her real. And that means NOT marketing to a stereotype, which is something that I couldn’t agree with more.

But then where does that leave broad-based gender differences and reality-based demographic information?  For instance, women make or influence 85% of all consumer purchasing decisions and control the…

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FutureNow Article
Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2008

When Information Architecture Can Fall Short

August 13th, 2008

linear paths are dead“Information Architecture involves the design of organization and navigation systems to help people find and manage information more successfully.”

Basically, Information Architecture (IA) views websites as libraries in need of the right kind of card catalogue set-up to facilitate information access by visitors.

But most websites aren’t libraries, or merely stores of information. In fact, most commercial websites are more interested in persuading visitors to take certain actions (i.e. converting) than they are in providing access to information.

In this sense, the interactivity enabled…

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FutureNow Article
Friday, Aug. 1, 2008

A Guide to Common Testing Challenges

August 1st, 2008

To survive, companies must commit to optimization and testing.

It won’t be easy. Being good at something never is.

A few weeks ago I gave a keynote at the Shop.org online merchandising workshop and had an opportunity to chat with several online retailers of all sizes. Each shared the challenges it faces as it tries to adopt a culture of optimization.

Last week, I shared with you what I learned from Raul Vazquez, CEO of Walmart.com from his keynote at the conference. Unlike many retailers,…

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FutureNow Article
Friday, Jul. 18, 2008

How to Use Any Tool to Optimize Better

July 18th, 2008

interactive toolboxAs a self-professed tool junkie, I’m a sucker for shiny new tools. I love tools of any kind — Web tools, software tools, and on a Sunday morning you might even find me in the Brooklyn Home Depot wiping the drool from my mug as admire this fine kosher beef grilling tool.

No doubt, these are exciting times if you love Web tools. For the many folks who are dizzy trying to sort out conversion optimization tool choices, it might be…

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FutureNow Article
Tuesday, Jun. 24, 2008

Information Overload: Why Less is the New More

June 24th, 2008

information overload image from broox at flickrA new report entitled Information Overload: We Have Met the Enemy and He Is Us was written up recently in the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. Commissioned by Basex, it details how information overload, particularly task interruptions, costs the Enterprise $650 billion a year in lost productivity.

That’s a very large price to pay for having everything at our fingertips, all the time, in any format.

Our decision-making processes can’t always keep up with our choices. The same challenge…

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