Founder & CEO of TRANCE Marketing Group www.trancemarketinggroup.com Partner & VP of Brand Development for Corvina Capital Consultants www.corvinacapital.com Advisory Board Member of Experiential Marketing Forum www.experientialforum.com Certified partner with Ecordia www.ecordia.com HubSpot Certified Inbound Marketer www.inboundmarketing.com/partners Contributing Author - The Power of Leadership (Being the Leader Producing Results) www.powerofleadershipbooks.com Troy L. Scheer Follow Me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/TroyScheerTMG Ecademy Profile : http://www.ecademy.com/user/troyscheer TRANCE Blog: http://trancemarketinggroup.com/blog
Demographics/Niches The Internet audience
Inbound Marketing Push vs. Pull Conversational Marketing Relationship vs. Transactional
Convert Get Found
Offers / CTAs
#1 - Lead With a Great Site
People Buy Experiences. Many marketers get so caught up in digital advertising, lead generation, etc., that they forget about the ultimate destination for the traffic: their Web site. Companies that focus too much on what is going on outside of their sites risk neglecting the centerpiece of their experience.
Too many sites deliver experiences that fail to attract repeat users.
Brands focused on designing experiences are far outpacing those focused on advertising.
Consider whether search engine marketing efforts are fully integrated with an overall marketing strategy.
Today, with budgets tight, marketers must determine where they are getting the best ROI.
Developing SEO, SEM, and multivariate testing, coupled with site experience improvements, can substantially improve ROI.
SEO can help reduce the bleed from increased CPC's while increasing acquisition through improved ranking and relevancy.
Conducting multivariate testing on landing pages can improve site experience and guide marketers' efforts.
#2 - Re-evaluate display ads & paid search
#3 - Turn advertising into an experience
The digital realm offers possibilities that are difficult to execute in traditional media.
Advertising itself can be positioned as a value-added experience, and the key is to provide content that enriches an audience's interaction with and perception of the brand.
By expanding such advertising experiences over time, marketers achieve long-term ROI.
Social media has exploded. The Conference Board recently found that 43% of Internet users utilize a social networking site, up from 27% last year.
The social media sites (YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.) are consistently among the highest traffic sites online.
Brands must fold sustainable social media into every campaign, not a one-off idea, to build awareness and loyalty as well as take advantage of viral potential.
Make social media the cornerstones of site redesigns.
#4 - Integrate social media
Consider making digital one of your products by creating new ways to experience a product or enhance its value.
Evaluate if there is a market opportunity to make a digital product based upon your brand.
Explore opportunities to integrate a Web experience into your product. Apple, for example, created interactive digital marketplaces (i.e. iTunes, the AppStore) as a value-add for iPhones and iPods.
While product creation is not always in the realm of marketers, it should be. What better way to way to create positive brand impressions than through a dedicated group of online customers.
#5 - Make the product digital
Embracing digital is about driving business and revenue. By analyzing click-throughs, visits, costs, etc., marketers have greater opportunity than ever to demonstrate the value of their campaigns.
Conduct multivariate testing to optimize offers.
This technique increases conversion and creates an impact offline.
By optimizing offers online for little time and money, marketers can apply newfound knowledge for subsequent direct marketing efforts, reducing costs and raising conversion rates.
Set up a marketing dashboard to understand which campaigns and mediums are delivering results and which are not.
Experiment with the marketing mix to see how adding or removing certain elements can affect overall goals.
#6 - Focus on the numbers
Focus on digital could make it easy to abandon other marketing methods.
Digital should integrate with other mediums as part of a holistic approach.
Digital can support other mediums as well as feed off of them to support an overarching strategy.
Testing different media mixes to achieve optimal conversion is an excellent way to bring the measurability of digital to your entire marketing effort.
#7 - Don't overcorrect for digital
Thomas Power – Ecademy www.ecademy.com yourBusinessChannel www.yourbusinesschannel.com
Inbound marketing focused businesses have a 61% lower cost per lead.
The State of Inbound Marketing Study conducted by:
#1 Inbound marketing channels deliver a dramatically lower cost-per-sales lead than outbound channels. #2 Blogs lead other social media categories in terms of importance to business. #3 Small businesses are most aggressively allocating lead generation budgets to blogging, social media and search engine optimization. HubSpot’s State of Inbound Marketing study offers three key findings:
Lead Generation Budget Spend PPC (paid search / AdWords), 15% Other, 23% Email Marketing, 10% Direct Mail, 8% Trade Shows, 11% Telemarketing, 11% Blogs/ Social Media, 10% SEO (organic / natural search), 12%
32% 42% 25% PPC Estimated Relative Cost/Lead/Channel SEO Blogs/Social Media Telemarketing Email Marketing Trade Shows Direct Mail Below Your Average Near Your Average Above Your Average 48% 38% 14% 55% 34% 11% 11% 29% 48% 22% 49% 40% 18% 26% 55% 24% 34% 41%
Percent of Leads from Each Source PPC (paid search / AdWords), 13% Other, 25% Email Marketing, 14% Direct Mail, 7% Telemarketing, 9% Blogs/Social Media, 8% SEO (organic / natural search), 16% Trade Shows,8%
Contextual vs Banner vs Video
Contextual advertising is a form of targeted advertising for advertisements appearing on websites or other media, such as content displayed in mobile browsers . The advertisements themselves are selected and served by automated systems based on the content displayed to the user. How contextual advertising works A contextual advertising system scans the text of a website for keywords and returns advertisements to the webpage based on what the user is viewing.  The advertisements may be displayed on the webpage or as pop-up ads . For example, if the user is viewing a website pertaining to sports and that website uses contextual advertising, the user may see advertisements for sports-related companies, such as memorabilia dealers or ticket sellers. Contextual advertising is also used by search engines to display advertisements on their search results pages based on the keywords in the user's query. Impact Contextual advertising has made a major impact on earnings of many websites. Because the advertisements are more targeted, they are more likely to be clicked, thus generating revenue for the owner of the website (and the server of the advertisement). A large part of Google's earnings is from its share of the contextual advertisements served on the millions of webpages running the AdSense program. . http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contextual_advertising
Be professional in Email . No one will know how ‘Small’ of your business will be via Email, whether you’re a start up or a worldwide brand, build your brand image to be the best.
2. Hire a contractor to create a Email template. Hire a professional designer to help you to create a trim, clean, organized, professional Email template. The investment you make here will definitely show a return.
3. Keep your Email subject consistent. If you want people to develop an awareness of your Brand name. Keep it in-front of each eNewsletter. such as, XDXY eMarketing Tips: best email marketing tool
4. Leverage big company’s brand. Since you may still be small, sometimes you need to leverage big company’s brand as Partner of Google, Reseller of IBM to get people’s trust.
5. Don’t SPAM! Even though you may have a lack of e-mail addresses at the beginning of Email Marketing, please keep in mind that you NEVER SPAM. It will ruin your reputation.
6. Offer Valuable information to your subscriber. Don’t just spread your product information. Provide something your subscriber might like. Otherwise they will start to unsubscribe from your list soon.
7. Use efficient Email Marketing Tools. It’s very important to get a good one at the beginning. If not, you will waste much time in the future to move one Email Marketing Tool to another. That will be a TOUGH job!
Some E-Mail Marketing Basics
Email Marketing Is…
Delivering professional email communications…
… to an interested audience…
… containing information they find valuable.
Email Marketing Is Not… Junk email Unsolicited and unwanted email Email from an unknown sender Dubious opt-out (if any)
Because almost everyone your business needs to reach reads it:
91 % of Internet users between the ages of 18 and 64 send or read email
An even higher number of users ages 65 or older do the same
147 million people across the country use email, most use it every day.
It’s Cost-effective: Direct Mail vs. Email
For the same response, direct mail costs 20 TIMES as much as email 1
Email ROI is the highest when compared to other internet marketing mediums 2
1 Forrester Research, Inc. 2 Direct Marketing Association
Using an Email Service Provider
Standard Email Programs
Limited # of emails sent at one time
No formatting control
List break up more susceptible to filters
No cohesive branding
No tracking and reporting of email results
Email Service Providers automate best practices
Provide easy-to-use templates
Reinforce brand identity
Email addressed to recipient only
Manage lists – adding new subscribers, handling bounce-backs, removing unsubscribes
Improves email delivery, tracks results and obeys the law
Informing Your Audience
Growing Your Business
Make Connections Creating Valuable Email Content
Making the Connection
Build Your List Where You Connect!
Email Signature Customer & Prospect Database Website Signup Service or Sales Calls Events and Meetings In-store Guest Book
Collecting Information and Permission
Include your logo and brand identity.
Describe your email content and how often you’ll be sending
Ask about your customers’ interests to stay relevant
Ask for additional contact information when necessary
List Building and Permission Checklist
Are you collecting contact information at every customer touch point?
Are you asking for permission as well as contact information?
Are you clearly describing your email frequency and content?
The Basics of Valuable Email Content
Content Has to Meet Your Objectives
“ I want to…”
Increase event attendance
Inform potential customers
Differentiate my business
Encourage more referrals
Determine Appropriate Format
Frequency: Regular i.e. monthly / weekly
Lots of educational content (typically non-promotional)
Use bullets, summarize information, be concise
Promotions / Invitations / Surveys
Frequency: Depends on your business and sales cycle
Focus on promotion / limited content
Use content to invite click-through or other action
Press releases, holiday greetings, thank you cards…
Use content to build deeper relationships
Coming Up With Valuable Email Content
Share your expertise
Use facts & testimonials
Give guidance & directions
Offer discounts & coupons
Exclusivity & VIP status
Hold contests & giveaways*
Acknowledge your audience
* Check applicable regulations before deciding to hold a contest or giveaway
Keeping Email Content Concise
Host large bodies of content…
On your website
In a PDF document
In a longer archived version
Email only essential information
Use bullets or summaries
Link directly to the information
Give instructions if necessary
Calling Your Audience to Action
Calls to Action Include…
Links to click on
Information to print out
Phone numbers to call
Instructions for reading the email
Instructions for saving the email
Describe the Immediate Benefits…
What’s in it for your audience?
Why should they do it now?
Frequency & Delivery Time
How often to send
Create a master schedule
Include frequency in online sign-up “Monthly Newsletter”
Keep content concise and relevant to planned frequency
When to send
When is your audience most likely to read it?
Day of week (Tuesday & Wednesday)
Time of day (10am to 3pm)
Test for timing
Divide your list into equal parts
Send at different times and compare results
MAXIMUM IMPACT with minimum intrusion
Email Content Checklist
Are you trying to promote, inform, or relate?
What is your audience interested in?
Is your email format branded and supportive of your message?
Is your email concise and does it include a strong call to action?
Does your content match your frequency and timing?
Inform Getting Email Delivered and Read
Getting Email Opened
The “From” line
Use a name your audience recognizes
Include your organization name or brand
Refer to your business in the same way your audience does
60% of consumers say the "from" line most often determines whether they open an email or delete it. Source: DoubleClick
Getting Email Opened
The “Subject” Line
Keep it short and simple
30-40 characters including spaces (5-8 words)
Incorporate the immediate benefit of opening the email
Capitalize and punctuate carefully
Avoid copying the techniques inherent in spam emails.
Emails with shorter subject lines significantly outperformed emails with longer subject lines. - MailerMailer (2008)
Scanning Your Emails Before Sending
Email Delivery Checklist
Are your images working together with text to identify your email?
Are you avoiding spam-like content in your emails?
Is your From line familiar and are you using a familiar email address?
Does your Subject line include the immediate benefits of your email?
Grow Increasing Email Click-Through and Response Rates
Understanding Bounced and Blocked Email
“ Hard Bounce”
Email address non-existent
Misspelled / no longer in use
“ Soft Bounce”
Could be temporary
Server was down
Mailbox is full
Email was blocked
Dealing with Bounced & Blocked Email
Check for obvious misspellings
Try to obtain a new address
Undeliverable / mailbox full / email blocked
Try re-sending later
Correct temporary issues
Obtain a new address if a recurring issue is present
Understanding “Open” Rates
Open tracking indicates level of interaction, not delivery…
An image imbedded in the email was enabled by the recipient
A link with imbedded tracking code was clicked
Analyzing “Open” Rates
Use open tracking to spot trends
Open rates trending down
Fewer subscribers are enabling images
Fewer subscribers are clicking links
Steady open rates
Assume email is being received
Check your ESP’s average delivery rate
Understanding Click-Through Rates
A click-through happens when your subscriber clicks a link to…
Visit your website
Download a file
Take an online survey
Send you an email
Clicks are tracked by inserting special HTML tracking code in the link
Capitalizing on Click-Through
Use click tracking to determine…
Clicks tell you what topics were interesting
Save clickers in an interest list for targeted follow up
Use links to drive traffic toward conversion
Compare clicks to conversions and improve
E-Mail Marketing Open and Click-Through Rates JULY 6, 2009 Please open. According to the “Email Marketing Metrics Report” by MailerMailer , 12.5% of unique marketing e-mails were opened in the second half of 2008. Spectacular Return on Investment (ROI) $1 spent = $45.06 ROI According to the Direct Marketing Association, every $1 you spend on email marketing generates a $45.06 return on investment – the highest response rate for all direct response methods.
How often e-mails were opened and clicked varied with the industry of the sender—and the size of the list. Messages delivered to small and medium lists had higher open and click-through rates than messages delivered to lists of 1,000 or more subscribers. Religious and spiritual organizations had the highest open rates among large lists, followed by telecommunications and travel companies. http://www.emarketer.com/Article.aspx?R=1007158
Your Comfort Is Always #1 Sherry Green 972-242-4800 214-502-9964 cell [email_address] www.anumber1air.com Incorporate Social Media Opportunities in your E-mail Signature
Five Steps to Effective Keyword Research The keyword research process can be broken down into the following phases: Phase 0 - Demolish Misconceptions Phase 1 – Create List of Short and Long Tail keywords Phase 2 - Value the keyword research tool Phase 3 - Finalize your list Phase 4 – Implement what you have Phase 5 – Analyze, analyze, test, and test some more
Phase 1 - Create List of Short and Long Tail keywords
Create a list of potential keywords.
Brainstorm all the words you think a customer would type into their search box when trying to find you.
This includes thinking of phrases that are broad and targeted, buying and research-oriented, and single and multi-word. What is your site hoping to do or promote? Come up with enough words to cover all the services your site offers. Ask friends, colleagues or past customers for help. Sometimes they are able to see your site differently than the way you yourself see it.
Avoid overly generic terms like 'shoes' or 'clothes'.
These words are incredibly difficult to rank for and won't drive qualified traffic to your site.
Focus on words that are relevant, but not overly used.
Also, don't be afraid to take a peek at your competitor's Meta Keyword tag.
What words are they targeting?
How can you expand on their keyword list to make yours better?
Phase 2 - Value the keyword research tool
You can quickly learn how many users are conducting searches for that term every day
How many of those searches actually converted, and other important analytical information.
May tune you in to words you had previously forgotten or synonyms you weren't aware of.
You're not only checking to see if enough people are searching for a particular word,
Trying to determine how competitive that phrase is in terms of rankings.
Understanding the competition tells you how much effort you will need to invest in order to rank well for that term.
Two things to pay attention to when making this decision:
how many other sites are competing for the same word
how strong are those sites' rankings (i.e. how many other sites link to them, how many pages do they have indexed)? Is that word or phrase even worth your time? If it's not, move on.
Test the activity for keywords your site is already targeting.
Keep the ones that are converting and drop the losers.
Phase 3 - Finalize your list
Narrow down the field and decide which terms will make it into your coveted final keyword list.
Create a spreadsheet or some other visual that will allow you to easily see each word's conversion rate, search volume and competition rate (as given to you by the tools mentioned above).
These three figures will allow you to calculate how viable that term is for your site and will be a great aid as you try and narrow down your focus.
Highlight the terms that most closely target the subject and theme of your web site.
These are the terms you want to hold on to.
Kill all words that are not relevant to your site or that you don't have sufficient content to support (unless you're willing to write some).
Don‘t optimize for words that you don't have content for.
Create a mix of both broad and targeted keywords.
Broad terms are important because they describe what your web site does.
By only targeting broad terms, customers won't know what you offer until they land on your site.
Targeted terms are often easier to rank for and help bring qualified traffic and make you a subject matter expert to the search engines.
Broad search terms may bring you the higher levels of traffic, but it's targeted, buying-oriented terms like these that will maximize conversions.
Phase 4 – Implement what you have
Your list of about 10-20 highly focused keywords,
Some of the words on your list should already appear in your site content, but there will also be pages you'll need to create to support these new words.
How and where your keyword phrases will be used.
Three or four related keywords per page (five if you can balance them properly).
Any more than that and you run the risk of diluting your page to the point where you rank for nothing.
Naturally work the keywords into your content and avoid over-repetition that may be interpreted as spamming.
Content should never sound forced.
On-page content isn't the only place where you can insert keywords.
Keywords should also be used in several other elements on your site:
Meta Description Tags
Meta Keywords Tag
Anchor Text/ Navigational Links
You've spent a lot of time molding your keywords; make sure you use them in all the appropriate fields to get the maximum benefit.
Phase 5 - Analyze, analyze, test, and test some more
Always Be Analyzing and Testing
As your customer's and your site's needs change over time, so will your keywords.
It's important to keep monitoring your keywords and make tweaks as necessary. Doing so will allow you to stay ahead of your competition and keep moving forward.
SEO and PPC have some fundamentally different characteristics:
PPC is faster – You can set up a campaign and launch quickly. No waiting for content creation, relationship building, or domain authority.
SEO can scale more cheaply – While SEO isn’t really “free”, you can generally find a means of ranking for a broader set of keywords without paying for each individual click.
PPC & SEO can benefit from the complete data set – You can finally get an idea of how a keyword performs in one or both channels, and apply that knowledge to both PPC and SEO in order to refine your keyword targeting for both.
So for new sites or in the event that you’re targeting new keyword verticals, the process looks something like this:
Understand that this three step process is never as simple as it looks in bulleted form or handy graphics.
The PPC to SEO to PPC Keyword Targeting Cycle
Your own keyword analytics data is the most valuable marketing asset of your company. The data contained in the keyword report from your Web-analytics application—which tells you how people are finding your site through paid and organic search—is much more valuable than traditional marketing data, such as customer surveys and demographics. Surveys and customer personas still have a place in online marketing, but keywords are a far more effective targeting vehicle, for several reasons: They're more accurate: Keywords are the precise way that customers use to look for the products and services in your industry; as such, they reveal specific desires and pain points. They provide more insight: With accurate data, you can calculate the return on investment for different keyword niches, which, in turn, provides insight into many other areas, such as determining which customer segmentations to pursue and in what order. They're usable: Your keyword taxonomy is a gold mine of data that you can directly rely on to build and optimize your pay-per-click (PPC) and search-engine-optimization (SEO) efforts. The truth is that you've probably heard a lot of this before. You already know that search marketing is important. What's frustrating is that most businesses, even those that embrace search as a marketing channel, fail to place the proper value on their keywords. The Value of YOUR Keywords
Traditional Keyword Tools Find Fool's Gold The Google Keyword Tool and other basic third-party keyword tools can help you build a starter keyword list, but overreliance on them puts you at a marked disadvantage in the competitive worlds of paid and organic search. Those tools provide the same generic, public data to everyone who uses them, including your competitors. They tell you nothing about which keywords are or could be profitable for your specific business, and their volume estimates are usually off by an order of magnitude. Strategy-wise, they're close to worthless. Turning Keyword Reports Into Profits You can use traditional tools to seed your keyword list, but the biggest mistake search marketers make is in failing to migrate away from this initial list by refactoring new keyword opportunities, as well as actual click and performance data derived from your keyword report. Tools such as HubSpot, Ecordia, Google Analytics or WordStream reveal exactly which keywords are driving traffic and conversions—decidedly more-valuable data. Continually leverage your newfound understanding of keywords by acting on it: Publish content optimized for the keywords that are currently converting and variations of those keywords. Bid more aggressively on keywords that convert, and hunt for long-tail variations of those terms to expand your paid-search efforts. * * * The more you grow your proprietary keyword list, and apply what you learn from the data, the more benefits you'll reap from search marketing. It's like investing all that cash you earned and collecting compound interest! When you recognize the importance of keywords and can react to the way potential customers respond to your site, your keyword data is that much more powerful, giving you a competitive edge and the opportunity to continually improve on your search-marketing results.
The Advantages of Multivariable Testing
It can end arguments. You'll get your page live faster, and end the argument sooner.
Multivariate testing reduces uncertainty. Done right, it can help you zoom in on the most effective page layout.
Multivariate testing saves money. It reduces design cycles. It improves conversion rates. It avoids some of the catastrophic failures you might otherwise see, especially in landing page design.
It improves conversion rates. Think about it: Say you get 1,000 conversions a month now, and those earn you $20 each (a total of $20,000). You do a multivariate testing run and improve your conversion rate 10%. Big deal? Well that's 100 more customers, worth another $2,000. That's worth something, I'm sure. If you're a bigger organization, multiply that by 100x or so. You get the idea.
Multivariate testing adds a little science to the art of internet marketing. It also brings incremental improvements to your campaigns that add up fast.
In internet marketing, multivariate testing is a process by which more than one component of a website may be tested in a live environment. It can be thought of in simple terms as numerous A/B tests performed on one page at the same time. A/B tests are usually performed to determine the better of two content variations, multivariate testing can theoretically test the effectiveness of limitless combinations. The only limits on the number of combinations and the number of variables in a multivariate test are the amount of time it will take to get a statistically valid sample of visitors and computational power.
Multivariate testing is usually employed in order to ascertain which content or creative variation produces the best improvement in the defined goals of a website, whether that be user registrations or successful completion of a checkout process (that is, conversion rate ). Dramatic increases can be seen through testing different copy text, form layouts and even landing page images and background colours. However, not all elements produce the same increase in conversions, and by looking at the results from different tests, it is possible to identify those elements that consistently tend to produce the greatest increase in conversions.  1 WilsonWeb.com , Conversion/Testing: 10 Factors to Test that Could Increase the Conversion Rate of your Landing Pages , by Sumantra Roy, 06/05/2007
Multivariate testing is currently an area of high growth in internet marketing as it helps website owners to ensure that they are getting the most from the visitors arriving at their site. Areas such as search engine optimization and pay per click advertising bring visitors to a site and have been extensively used by many organizations but multivariate testing allows internet marketers to ensure that visitors are being effectively exploited (i.e. Serviced) once they arrive at the website.
eCommerce Web Site Performance Today An Updated Look At Consumer Reaction To A Poor Online Shopping Experience
Consumers become impatient when pages take longer than 2 seconds to load. Forty-seven percent of consumers expect to wait no more than 2 seconds for a Web page to render. Online shopper loyalty is contingent upon quick page loading, especially for high-spending shoppers. Fifty-two percent of online shoppers said that quick page loading is important to their site loyalty. Sixty-one percent of online shoppers who spend more than $1,500 online per year insist on pages loading quickly.
Poor site performance leads to shopper dissatisfaction and site abandonment more than ever before. Twenty-three percent of dissatisfied online shoppers attributed their dissatisfaction to the Web site being too slow or taking too long to render. Another 17% reported dissatisfaction due to site crashes or error messages they received. One-third of shoppers who abandoned a recent shopping session were dissatisfied with a retail site‟s performance.
The consequences for online retailers with underperforming sites are lost sales, and the impact reaches beyond the Web. Seventy-nine percent of online shoppers who experience a dissatisfying visit are likely to no longer buy from that site. Also, 46% of dissatisfied online shoppers are more likely to develop a negative perception of the company, and 44% will tell their friends and family about the experience. With 87% of consumers shopping in both online and retail channels, the impact of a bad online experience reaches beyond the Web.
Mobile is a nascent but emerging shopping channel, and performance is key to consumer adoption. Sixteen percent of consumers have shopped via mobile phones or smartphones, but 27% of them report that it is dissatisfying due to the mobile shopping experience being too slow. One-third of consumers report wanting to shop via their smartphones in the future, with 5% indicating that this will be an important aspect of their loyalty to online retailers.
Usability & Navigation = Conversion
In the context of eCommerce websites, the meaning of web-usability is narrowed down to efficiency: triggering sales and/or performing other transactions valuable to the business.
Present the information to the user in a clear and concise way.
To give the correct choices to the users, in a very obvious way.
To remove any ambiguity regarding the consequences of an action e.g. clicking on delete/remove/purchase.
Put the most important thing in the right place on a web page or a web application.
A Web site is NOT simply a machine and NOT simply a Place. A Web site is a Form of Communication.
Usability = Communication Quality
Avoid Common Fallacies About Webs Sites & Usability
The main purposes of any business are divided into four basic categories, from which all its activities flow:
Marketing: finding promising audiences, showing that you understand their needs, and entice them with a solution.
Sales: matching individual customer’s need with the right solution and exchanging it for money.
Service: actually providing the solution: meeting unmet customer needs.
Support: following up or troubleshooting problems with 1, 2, or 3.
Web Sites/Applications that don’t satisfy the business and the user jointly in all four areas will be unlikely to create value for the business as a whole.
Usability For Its Own Sake Is USELESS
Does the Web site correctly identify who the customers are and what they want?
Does it effectively communicate the relevant Benefits of the company’s Products or Services, in language that potential customers would respond to?
Does it explain effectively how those Benefits are produced by the Products or Services on offer?
Does it effectively communicate User how to seize these Benefits? (i.e., how to initiate a sales process)
Value -Centric Usability
Does the Web site meet the customer where they are, by reflecting their perceived needs and wants? (e.g., catering for both expert and novice visitors)
Does it let the customer specify their preferences and help them make sound selections if they’re unsure or unclear?
Does it help them evaluate the best choice of solution from the repertoire of possible products or services on Does it effectively and easily allow the customer to set up an account, pay, log in, check their order, receive a receipt, etc.?
Value -Centric Usability
Does the website provide the right online services (features, tools, functionality) to satisfy the needs of its customers?
Company Capability Customer Needs Features
Value -Centric Usability
How well does it assist with setup and configuration?
Does it inform customers about how to get the most benefits out of the product or service?
Does it answer questions customers may have?
Help troubleshoot customer problems?
Ameliorate bad customer-experiences?
BENEFITS OF USABILITY
Business Benefits of Higher Usability
In the general case, Usability problems can be the causes or contributors to the following negative business consequences:
Low sales-to-marketing ratio.
Substantial revision of product required after usability testing or soon after release.
Slow adoption of important features by users.
High drop-off rate of first-time users.
Low rates of repeat use.
High demand for tech support by users.
Poor reviews for usability in the press.
Low scores in customer surveys.
Complaints from customers.
Complaints from sales or support people.
When Usability issues are properly addressed, it can greatly contribute to the following business benefits:
Increased Sales & Usage
Better reviews, word of mouth.
Better optimization of feature set, usability, and the desires of customers.
Clearer, easier to understand, easier to use features.
Faster learning by customers about how to use.
Customers make use of more features more frequently.
Competes Better: Easier to use than the competition.
Less Support Needed: Clear, easy to understand, easy to use features.
RIA USABILITY ADVANT AGES
Summary of the Advantages of Rich Internet Applications
Expression : more appropriate media for the message, e.g., physical object interactions and visual simullation
Relevance : more relevant because page-submit and form-field contrivances out of the way. Direct vs. indirect.
Grouping : tighter integration of GUI with User’s purposes (more related stuff together, fewer clicks, fewer “page mechanics”)
Order : more flexible, less prescribed, more dynamic, adaptable
Depth : flatter, fewer tunnels and restrictions, more adaptable
Span : wider, more accessible at any one time, more adaptable
Timeliness : faster, earlier
Feedback : way faster, more informative, less “batched”
Fidelity : much higher, more concrete, less abstract and indirect
http://www.imediaconnection.com/content/24195.asp This data comes from more than 200 sites monitored over time.
Despite economic meltdown and job insecurity, traffic to some of the Internet's largest price comparison websites decreased by 30% over the first four months of this year.
What problems must price comparison websites overcome to remain popular with online consumers?
Key usability functions, such as support for collaborative approaches and enabling the sharing of results, should be incorporated to give users more control.
Greater brand transparency and trust must be achieved through transparent practices and off-site support.
- Results page formatting should be clear and include adequate filtering and sorting functions to enable consumers to quickly find what they want.
Simple Usability E-commerce Sales Tips
1) Assist customers with finding model and part numbers
2) Place big-ticket items at the top of product lists
SEO is visibility for your website through disciplined business practices SEO isn’t magic or voodoo…
Customers are searching, Why SEO? SEO directs them…
• Can be geo-targeted • Active buyers • Conversion tracking • Nimble • Buyer targeted • Pull advertising • On 24/7 • Indefinite shelf life SEO Benefits
3 Keys of SEO
Can see … your website?
If you publish, they will come
Links connect one website to another
How Search Engines read Most keyword-rich content Least important content
You see… Search Engines read keywords sees…
Correlations Importance of KW Usage in Various Parts of the URL
Correlations Importance of KW Usage Positions of the Title Tag
What is a Keyword?
What is your PageRank? to • How Google grades your web pages • “ Page” – not website • “ Rank” – not score • Higher Rank beats quantity
What is SEM? Paying to be here
Where do people click? SEM 20% SEM 10% SEO 70%
How do I get there?
Thought Leadership • Display expertise • Solve buyer problems • Generate yourself • Targeted • Best Material • Keywords Content for links • Wide spread • Generic • Outsource • Quantity for links • Syndicate • Keywords
Where do I publish?
Use Social Media
Turn content into Links The lifeblood of SEO Links “vouch” for your website Quality over quantity Increase Pagerank Drives traffic
Why is Link Building Important?
Links build traffic
Links infer meaning based on the text used in the link
Variety is the spice of life for link text and sources
Internal links are also important
Inbound links from relevant, authoritative web sites are key
Links, as they pertain to both the domain and the individual page, are vastly superior in importance to the page's content.
Correlation with Specific Metrics Across the Engines
Keyword-rich anchor text
• Would you like to buy a boat? Click Here
Correct: • Would you like to buy a boat ?
1. Keywords in content 2. Incoming links Keywords Key Word Word Key Word Key Word Word Key Key Word Key Word Word Key Key Word
Essentials for Link Building
Use keywords in link text
Yes: red widget No: click here
Earn links with great content
Promote on social networks
Link up with marketing partners
Cross link internally
Embed links in news releases
Social bookmark pickups
Syndicate content via RSS
Where you can create Link Juice
User Experience • Purpose • Natural flow • Lead your buyers • Organized internal structure • Is your website easy to read, navigate and use ?
Website Analytics • Window into your website • Track user activity • Increase conversions • Keyword data
Now you know SEO basics
Blogging Creates Dynamic and Informative Content
Blogging for Business
What You Need to Know to Get Started
Blog Readership Source: e-Marketer In 2008, 45% of the US internet population read blogs on a monthly basis. In 2013, 58% of the US internet population is projected to be reading blogs on a monthly basis.
In 2008, 13% of the US internet population created or maintained a blog. By 2013, 17% of the US internet population will be blogging . Source: e-Marketer, blogs updated at least once every 3 months Blog Creation
128 million people in the US will be reading blogs on a monthly basis. 38 million people in the US will be blogging. Both stats reflect a 50% increase over current levels. By 2013… Source: e-Marketer
So, what IS a blog? A tool that allows you to quickly and easily create and publish new content. Allows readers to leave feedback on that content, as well as react to feedback from other readers.
Google loves blogs, which can be good, or bad Wal-Mart Blog Results Posts from other bloggers about Wal-Mart Blog
Components of a blog
Header Post Sidebar Comments
Why write about birthdays? What does that have to do with Graco?
Promotes Best Western but also helps travelers find good deals
Is this a post about carpet, or decorating?
Blog posts can serve as communication tool in crisis situations
Comments give readers a chance to leave feedback and interact
Notice how blogger and readers refer to each other by first names
Graco’s sidebar gives readers information and encourages interaction
Sidebar contains additional information that readers can find value in
The header sets visual tone for blog and has links to information for readers
Two column layout; Post column and sidebar
Two column layout; Sidebar and post column
Three column layout; Sidebar, post column, sidebar
Three Column Layout; Post Column, Sidebar, Sidebar
Issues to consider when picking a blogging platform
How many people will blog for your company?
How comfortable are you with editing your blog’s template?
Do you want to host your blog on your website, or a separate domain?
Do you want a free blog platform, or can you pay a monthly fee?
Does Your Company Have the Resources to Blog?
Two issues to consider:
Do you have the time?
Do you have the people?
Qualifications for blogging?
People who are passionate about blogging and social media
People who are passionate about your company
People who are passionate about connecting and helping your customers
People who can write
Should your CEO blog?
A group blog is a very popular choice
Letting your evangelists blog for you can be a great idea
A podcast is a series of digital media files , either audio or video , that is released episodically and downloaded through web syndication . The mode of delivery is what differentiates podcasts from other ways of accessing media files over the Internet , such as simple download or streamed webcasts : special client software applications known as podcatchers (like iTunes , Zune , Juice or Winamp ) are used to automatically identify and download new files in the series when they are released, by accessing a centrally-maintained web feed that lists all files currently associated with that particular series. New files can thus be downloaded automatically by the podcatcher and stored locally on the user's computer or other device for offline use, making it simpler for a user to access episodic content. Like the term broadcast , podcast can refer either to an ongoing series of episodes of particular program or to the method by which they are syndicated; the latter is also called podcasting . A podcaster is the person who creates the content.
Erik Qualman " Socialnomics: How Social Media has changed the way we live and do business "
Russia has World’s Most Engaged Social Networking Audience Vkontakte.ru Ranks as Most Popular Social Networking Site in Russia with 14 Million Visitors Two-Thirds of Global Internet Users Access Social Networking Sites Of the 1.1 billion people age 15 and older worldwide who accessed the Internet from a home or work location in May 2009, 734.2 million visited at least one social networking site during the month, representing a penetration of 65 percent of the worldwide Internet audience.
Of the 31.9 million people who accessed the Internet in Russia in April, 18.9 million visited at least one social networking site, representing a reach of 59 percent of the total online population. The most popular of these sites was Russian-based Vkontakte.ru with 14.3 million visitors, followed by Odnoklassniki.ru (7.8 million visitors), Mail.ru – My World (6.3 million visitors) and Fotostrana.ru (1.6 million visitors). Facebook.com attracted 616,000 Russian visitors, up 277 percent versus year ago.
Brand Marketers Embrace Social Media Adoption of social media as a marketing tactic is well past critical mass. Brand marketers are getting involved with multiple tools and tactics, and shifting even more spending to the area.
Despite reporting trouble with measurement, marketers do track various social media metrics. More than six in 10 brand and agency respondents reported tracking Website hits—rudimentary, perhaps, but a start. Marketers also monitored feedback, links and mentions on other sites, and sales. Just 14% of brand marketers and 12% of agency marketers reported not measuring social media efforts at all.
Paid Social Media Monitoring
1. Read Company Profiles - Do you want to target specific companies within a niche industry? To find these companies, simply use LinkedIn's "Search Companies" function. (Look for the search tool at the top of each LinkedIn page.) You can learn quite a bit reading Company Profiles: how large the company is, its specialties, locations and the number of employees at each location, and its previous years revenues. Even better, you can quickly see which employees are in your network, new hires, employees recently promoted, former employees, and those employees who have "popular profiles." Even better, you can find people with the job titles you're trying to target for marketing campaigns. 2. Study individuals' profiles - Once you have a list of individuals you'd like to target, go to each person's profile and see what you can learn. Some people keep their entire profile "open" for viewing, and for those who do, you can learn quite a bit: the person's connections, the Groups they belong to, the events they're attending and even the books they're reading. Also look to see if people have links to a corporate or personal blog or Twitter or Facebook profiles - if they do, be sure to follow them and/or add their blog to your blog reader. 3. Search "Groups" - You can also find people within your targeted industry by using LinkedIn's Search Groups function. Find specific Groups by using industry keywords in your search (i.e. B2B social media). Look for Groups that seem to have a good fit with the industry you're targeting and see if they match them up with the Groups the prospects on your list belong to. Then, join those Groups. Why? So you can begin networking and getting to know people!
4. Join Groups - Now that you have an idea of who some of the experts are in your industry, which companies they work for, and which Groups they belong to, it's time to join a few (2 - 3 at the max) Groups. The reason I limit this number to two or three is because to do this step well, you really need to devote time to getting to know people within the Group and how the Group operates, and answering questions when you can (without being self-serving). If you join too many Groups, you'll spread yourself to thin. (Trust me, I belong to too many Groups and have time for only one - my own B2B Social Media Group.) 5. Search "Answers" - Again, do a search using your industry terms and you'll find questions (and answers) people have posted relating to your query. Read those Answers that pertain to your industry and analyze who is answering them - do these people match any of the names on your prospect list? Who are the experts? Yes, doing all of this "grassroots research" (as one of my clients calls it) does take some time and effort. But the result is worth it: over time, you get to know industry players, you begin to add them to your network, and eventually they'll begin clicking through to your Website, downloading content, and then doing business with you. In effect, you're targeting real people on a one-to-one basis versus hoping unknown people with "job titles" notice your ad in a print publication or respond to your direct mail letter. About the author: Dianna Huff, Principal of DH Communications, Inc., specializes in B2B marketing communications consulting and copywriting.
Social Media’s Place in the Elite Marketing Trio
1. Optimize Your Video for the Web 2. Recruit Your Email List 3. Get It On Your Site 4. Create Relevant Tags 5. Don’t Stop at YouTube 6. Reach Out to Bloggers 7. Talk About it Offline 8. Run Online Ads 9. Link Link Link Distributing and promoting your video online.
Put Your Brand in Motion. Engage customers online with compelling video and interactive events, while improving the security, control and distribution of brand-related content.
Pulte Homes Seeking to convert Web site views into secured home sales, Pulte Homes brought Web video into the mix, allowing potential buyers to view homes and explore neighborhoods online. Monsanto Committed to technology and innovation that enables farmers produce more while reducing environmental impact, Monsanto does the same in its marketing and PR efforts with online video. Best Buy With a corporate mission to “make technology deliver on its promises,” Best Buy turned to The FeedRoom’s proven, online video platform to help the retailer connect with customers and employees around the globe. The Pentagon Designed to broadcast military news and information to members of the armed services 24x7, The Pentagon Channel includes Web simulcasts featuring live and on-demand video.
TAC CaseStudy TAC Deploys ActiveMedia® for Global Marketing Agility Challenge TAC, a world leader in building automation systems, needed the sales and marketing infrastructure to support rapid global growth. Solution ActiveMedia®, a digital asset management system, provided a centralized approach to storing, managing, and rapidly distributing global marketing materials. Results TAC gained the business agility – in terms of time, money, and brand control – to enable rapid, corporate-sanctioned, regional response around the world. TAC achieved this agility without the expense and personnel resources typically associated with deploying sophisticated enterprise software on a global scale. The company calculates that ActiveMedia resulted in a savings of $250,000 in the first year alone.
Challenge General Motors global business requires an “always-on” 24/7 internet webcasting network for delivery of live and on-demand programming. Solution The Feed Room not only manages a complex archive of online video content, but it also enables live webcasts to the media, consumers, and business partners. Results By creating a 24/7 distribution channel for video assets, General Motors has significantly increased audience reach while maintaining a modest cost structure. GM CaseStudy Version 200812-CS-GM Online Video Engages Automaker’s Media and Consumer Audiences Cost-Effectively
Hulu .com is a free online video service that offers hit TV shows
Googled your name? Do you like what you see?
Reputation management: The process of tracking an entity's actions and other entities' opinions about those actions; reporting on those actions and opinions; and reacting to that report creating a feedback loop. All entities involved are generally people, but that need not always be the case. Other examples of entities include animals, businesses, or even locations or materials. The tracking and reporting may range from word-of-mouth to statistical analysis of thousands of data points.
Search Engine Reputation Management Search Engine Reputation Management (or SERM) tactics are often employed by companies and increasingly by individuals who seek to proactively shield their brands or reputations from damaging content brought to light through search engine queries. Some use these same tactics reactively, in attempts to minimize damage inflicted by inflammatory websites and blogs launched by consumers and, as some believe, competitors. Given the increasing popularity and development of search engines, these tactics have become more important than ever. Consumer Generated Media (like blogs, social media, podcasts, video, etc.) has amplified the public's voice, making points of view - good or bad - easily expressed. Search Engine Reputation Management strategies include Search engine optimization (SEO) and Online Content Management. Because search engines are dynamic and in constant states of change and revision, it is essential that results are constantly monitored. Social networking giant Facebook has been known to practice this form of reputation management. When they released their Polls service in Spring 2007, the popular blog TechCrunch found that it could not use competitors' names in Polls. Due largely to TechCrunch's authority in Google's algorithms, its post ranked for Facebook polls. A Facebook rep joined the comments, explained the situation and that the bugs in the old code had been updated so that it was now possible.
Specifically, the online media that is monitored in ORM is:
Social networks (e.g. Facebook, MySpace, Bebo)
Consumer Review sites such as epinions.com, MouthShut.com yelp
Sites like DontDateHimGirl and PersonRatings.com which allow reviews of individuals.
Social news/bookmarking sites
Collaborative Research sites such as Yahoo Answers, Rediff Q&A
Independent discussion forums
User-generated content (UGC)/Consumer Generated Media (CGM)
Blogging communities (e.g. Open Diary, LiveJournal, Xanga)
Microblogs (e.g. Twitter, Jaiku, Plurk)
Affiliate programs. You pay affiliates for showing your ads only when a customer clicks-through and makes a purchase from you. Can be effective, but good affiliates are difficult to find and motivate to create adequate volume.
Viral marketing campaigns. You promote your site by creating a "creative" (video, text message, photo, animation, etc.) so compelling, interesting, bizarre, funny, or helpful, that people pass it on to their friends -- with your URL or marketing message. Wildly successful for the fortunate few who stumble upon a compelling creative.
6 Fundamental Truths Of Customer Experience 1) Every interaction creates a personal reaction. 2) People are instinctively self-centered. 3) Customer familiarity breeds alignment. 4) Unengaged employees don't create engaged customers. 5) Employees do what is measured, incented, and celebrated. 6) You can't fake it.
Experience-Based Differentiation is 100% compliant!
#1: Every Interaction Creates A Personal Reaction Experiences need to be designed for individuals . While it may not be possible to individualize every interaction, focusing on narrow segments (like Personas) is critical. • Customer segments must be prioritized . Since you need to design for specific types of people, experiences will be optimized for a set of customers. That will require companies to have a very clear picture of their important (and not so important) customers. • Customer feedback needs to be the key metric . Internal measurements may provide a sense of how the business operates, but they don't give a true evaluation of customer experience. That's why companies need to establish a Voice of the Customer (VoC) program; letting customer input drive priorities, decisions, and investments. • Employees need to be empowered . Since every situation can be somewhat different, the needs of customers can vary across interactions. That's why front-line employees need to have the latitude to accommodate the needs of key customers. THE BOTTOM LINE: YOU NEED TO UNDERSTAND YOUR CUSTOMERS, PERSONALLY.
#2: People Are Instinctively Self-Centered You know more than your customers; deal with it . You can't eliminate your biases, but it helps to acknowledge them. Recognize that customers may not understand things like product names, acronyms, and process steps that you regularly discuss at work. So there's a natural bias for making experiences too complicated for customers. Get in the habit of asking yourself: "Would our target customers fully understand this?" • Don't sell things, help customers buy them . Whenever you're thinking about a customer experience, always try and frame it from the customer's point of view. Look at all interactions as an opportunity to help customers to do something. How can you institutionalize this? Infuse the voice of the customer within your processes. • Don't let company organization drive experiences . Just because you have separate organizations running your Website, retail stores, and call center does not permit you to make customers jump through hoops. Customers shouldn't have to know (and they certainly don't care) how you are organized. Here's a key symptom to look for: Any front-line employee that needs to explains to a customer how your company is organized. THE BOTTOM LINE: MAKE THE SHIFT FROM SELFCENTEREDNESS TO CUSTOMER-CENTEREDNESS.
#3: Customer Familiarity Breeds Alignment Don't wait for organizational alignment . No organizational structure is perfect; they all have some flaws. And it takes a long time to make major organizational changes. So rather than waiting for a structural change to create alignment, use a clear focus on customer needs as a way to align the decisions and actions of individuals -- even if the organizations remain out of alignment. • Broadly share customer insight . While we all know that front-line employees affect customer experience, almost everyone in the company also has some impact on how customers are treated. Think of your company as a large production crew making the stars (front-line employees) shine on stage (during customer interactions). Since many of the decisions that impact customers aren't debated or discussed, they just happen, it helps for as many people as possible to understand customers. Think of this as a silent alignment process. • Talk about customer needs, not personal preferences . Disagreements are somewhat natural when people debate things from their own points of view. Instead of discussing what you like or think, re-frame discussions to be about customers. If you find that you don't really know enough about customers to solve the disagreement, then stop arguing and go get more information about your customers. THE BOTTOM LINE: AN EXTERNAL FOCUS IS AN ANTIDOTE TO INTERNAL POLITICS .
#4: Unengaged Employees Don't Create Engaged Customers Don't under-spend on training . You can't just change some business rules and processes and hope that customers will be treated better. Just about any change to customer experience requires some employees to change what they do and how they do it. So don't skimp on the training effort. • Make it easy to do the right thing . If it's hard for employees to do something, then they are less likely to do it -- and more likely to get frustrated. That's why enabling technologies need to be designed for employees to easily accomplish tasks that help customers. • Communicate, communicate, communicate . If you want to have employees feel like they're a part of something, then you need to tell them what's going on. So develop a robust communications plan that not only tells employees what the company is doing, but also explains why you're doing it. And it helps if you sincerely solicit feedback! • Find ways to celebrate . If employees do things that help customers, then find a way to celebrate those actions. These celebrations can take many different forms: a handwritten note from the president, acknowledgement in a company newsletter, or an on-the-spot bonus. Look for opportunities to catch people doing the right thing. • Measure employee engagement . Firms need to put the same rigor in monitoring employee relationships that they do in monitoring customer relationships. So they need to develop a relationship tracking measure like "likelihood to recommend <firm> as a place to work" that is used to gauge progress and to identify corrective measures. THE BOTTOM LINE: CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE DEPENDS ON EMPLOYEE EXPERIENCE .
#5: Employees Do What Is Measured, Incented, and Celebrated Don't "expect" people to do the right thing . While employees may want to treat customers well, you can't just expect them to do it. Why not? Because companies want their employees to do a lot of things. But organizations often hone their measurements, incentives, and celebrations to achieve short-term growth and profitability targets. So without any explicit intervention on behalf of customer experience, the environment will push employees to focus on just about anything except customer experience. • Clearly define good behavior . Before you just adjust the environment, it's important that you define/describe the type of behavior that you want from people in every role. Do you want customer service reps to spend whatever time they need to on the phone to solve a problem or do you want them to cut down the average handle time on each call? The measurements, incentives, and celebrations should be adjusted to reinforce those behaviors. • Watch out for mixed messages . You can only get consistent behaviors from employees when all three levers (measurements, incentives, and celebrations) are working together. If you celebrate things that are different than what you measure, for instance, then employees aren't sure which signals to follow. THE BOTTOM LINE: DON'T BLAME EMPLOYEES, FIX THE ENVIRONMENT .
#6: You Can’t Fake It Don’t hide behind a 4th priority . While it’s possible to come up with a long list of priorities, there’s no way that many will get a great deal of attention. A good rule of thumb: Anything below your 3rd priority is not a priority at all. So make customer experience one of your top 3 priorities. Sometimes it’s better not to start . If you’re not committed to customer experience, then don’t start a major initiative; it’s a lot of hard work. And if customer experience isn’t a top priority, then the effort will likely fail. The result: Frustrated employees who are increasingly reluctant to re-engage in these types of efforts in the future. Advertise to reinforce, not create positioning . Since customers ultimately know how you treat them, the best you can do with marketing is to reinforce the truth. If you want to change how you are perceived, then start by treating customers better; and then use advertising to reinforce the new way that they’re being treated. THE BOTTOM LINE: IF YOU’RE NOT COMMITTED TO CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE, YOU CAN ONLY FOOL YOURSELF .
Don’t Break The 6 Laws Treat them as sacred . While it may be possible to find isolated exceptions to all of these laws, they accurately describe the basic behavior of people and organizations. So don’t spend your time rationalizing why they don’t apply to you. Instead, figure out how to capitalize on the laws. Make sure you’re not breaking them . Look at these laws regularly, especially when you are starting a new initiative. And ask yourself: Is this effort breaking any of the 6 laws of customer experience? If the answer is yes, don’t go ahead. Find some other approach that conforms to these laws. Share them with others . The 6 laws will have the largest impact when they are widely understood across your organization. So share this document with as many people as possible. THE BOTTOM LINE: UNDERSTAND THE SIX LAWS, FOR YOUR CUSTOMERS’ SAKE .
Rohit Bhargava reminds us that most business owners or execs don't go through the buying process.
He uses the example of General Motors executives who drive company cars. "They didn't research the car online," he says. "They didn't shop around and talk to several dealers about it. They didn't have to trade off something else in their budget to afford the car and figure out how to finance it." Furthermore, they don't have to worry about day-to-day ownership issues such as paying for maintenance or gas.
In other words, our hypothetical executive might know what it's like to use a Cadillac, but he might not know what it's like to buy and own a Cadillac. And that is why Rohit Bhargava advises businesses to:
Research your product or service online, just as your prospect would.
Go into a retail store and discuss the pros and cons with a salesperson.
Place an order online to see how soon it arrives, how the packaging looks and whether anyone from your company follows up.
The Po!nt: "You need to experience the entire process around buying it to really understand your customers," says Bhargava.