Monday, August 06, 2007

Extracting the Maximum Value from your Company's Marketing Database

One of the most compelling areas of demand generation is figuring out how to maximize the return from your existing marketing database. Once a company is able to find its target customers, building a lasting relationship with those customers is a step that is often underutilized.

In a consumer focused internet business, anyone who visits your website is a potential customer. Below is a list of the potential touch points where you can build relationships with your customers. I've also included a list of ideas for effectively communicating with your prospects at each touch point.

Website visitor

Create a compelling landing page that is always conversions focused. Your prospects should immediately understand the value statement and your unique selling points. Give them an easy way to sign up, using a very simple sign up form. Do not put up road blocks in the sign up process. For example, no 'input the following code in the box below.'

If prospects leave before giving you their information (as most inevitably do), you need to find better ways of communicating with them. Provide special offers that will encourage them to sign up for your service. What unique products are you offering that provoked them to visit your website in the first place? Provide an easy way for them to give their email address and any other relevant contact information. This will provide you with an opportunity to communicate with your prospective customers through opt-in emails.

Customers who start the order process, but don't finish

These customers left the order process because you were unable to communicate with them effectively. Did they leave because the price was too high? Did they leave because your shopping cart didn't communicate trust and safety? Did they decide they could live without the product, for now? All of these questions should be addressed during the sign up process. However, follow up communication is an effective way to address these questions. Communicate with your new customers by asking them what they need from you, and provide them with ways to address their concerns. For example, if the customer is not interested in the product right now because the price is too high, would they like to be notified when the product goes on sale?

Finished order

These are your best customers, and you know it. You probably communicate with them regularly through email. If you don't, you're missing out on a big opportunity, because these customers are interested in your products enough to make a purchase. Create compelling emails that are brand sensitive and are focused on the unique value proposition of your business. Why should these customers care about your email? What value are you providing them in the email? Is that value properly expressed in the subject line? Limit the number of email communications to these customers to a maximum of weekly communication. If you're going to communicate with your customers weekly, make sure you have fresh and compelling content that really speaks to their needs.

Expressed interest in special offer or newsletter

These are prospects that have shown interest in your product, but have not committed to making a purchase. Your website delivered the notion of value and trust and some prospects decided to allow you to reach out to them through future marketing and editorial messages. Make sure you provide the customer with the emails they're asking for. If they're asking for editorial content, make sure your marketing messages compliment the editorial content, but are less than 20 percent of the messages delivered in the email.


This is a fairly new arena. The concept is to track visitors who have visited your website with a tracking pixel. This type of tracking is called behavioral targeting. Large companies, such as Tacoda (owned by Time Warner/AOL), use this targeting to deliver messages based on the behavior of the visitor. If you visit, and then leave, companies who deliver ads through remarketing can display ads for on third party websites. This is another opportunity to communicate with a prospect who you know was interested in your site.

Ryan Pitylak

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Predicting Consumer Behavior

Is it possible to accurately predict consumer behavior? Not if you’re trying to create a new market. This is the problem that was highlighted by the book titled “The Innovator’s Dilemma.”

One of my friends who started a major personalization company told me that people are only 50% correct when judging their intention to perform a new action. This is one of the main problems when using consumer surveys to evaluate the viability of a new product or service.

So what is the answer to this dilemma? There are two ways to approach the answer:
1) Find a market that is currently underserved. You can find these markets by looking at current consumer behavior and analyzing what consumers are doing in those markets. If consumers are using products in a way that they were not originally designed to support, a market opportunity might exist to develop a better product that meets the specific needs of those consumers. You will also need to develop a user acquisition model and business model to ensure the viability of the product.
2) Create a new product and see how people respond to it. Iteratively improve the product until people are happy.

At, we’ve attempted to marry the two answers by creating a service that fulfills the needs of live concert goers in a totally new way. We’re addressing an existing market (concert goers who try to find live music) in a totally new way (making recommendations based upon the user’s favorite music).

Thursday, February 01, 2007

The Entrepreneur's Dilemma

This blog highlights the interesting life of a startup B2C entrepreneur:

Many B2C businesses are difficult to predict, and therefore raising money for these types of companies has its own set of issues. I really enjoyed participating in this dialog, and hope that more dialogs are spawned from it.