The New Purchase Journey

January 10, 2011

When consumers purchase something, almost anything, these days, they no longer go through the traditional “awareness, familiarity, consideration, purchase, loyalty” funnel so many sales and marketing teams are brought up on.

Instead, there is a continuous evaluation and feedback loop going on – consider, evaluate, purchase, enjoy, advocate.

From this:


Traditional Purchase Funnel/Journey


to this:


New Purchase Funnel/Journey


It’s up to us as marketers to acknowledge and adapt to these changes in as smart and sophisticated way as possible.

via Speed Summary | HBR on Social Media & New Rules of Branding | Social Commerce Today.


The Art of Marketing Special Offer: Toronto March 2nd

January 18, 2010

The Art of Marketing conference takes place in Toronto on March 2nd and you should be there. More on that later. The event features six global marketing leaders although it only needed one to convince me that I should go (as a guest of the organizers):

Seth Godin. I am a huge fan of Seth’s and having watched almost all the YouTube/TED videos I could find of him, I am so very excited to see him speak in person.

However, I don’t want to let my fanboyishness of Seth obscure the other great speakers who I am equally excited to see. They include my friend Mitch Joel, Dan “Made To Stick” Heath, Max “Experience the Message” Lenderman and Sally Hogshead while James “Adland” Othmer rounds up an all-star cast.

From the conference Web site:

Developed to answer the questions currently facing your organization The Art of Marketing will provide a clearer understanding of how marketing has changed, what role it now plays in the buying decision, its impact on your business and ultimately how the consumer views, interacts and positions your brand in a crowded marketplace.

But far more importantly than that, this event, from my perspective, will open your mind to new techniques and then inspire you to try them for yourself and for your employer/clients. If working in this space has done anything for me, it has broadened my horizons quite considerably and allowed me access to some of the best thinkers in our industry. For that, I am forever grateful.

More details on the day’s agenda are here.

Because this seems like such an awesome opportunity, I asked the conference organisers to allow me to give the opportunity for one lucky Blogging Me Blogging You reader the chance to attend the conference as my guest. They agreed so I have one free ticket to see these amazing speakers on march 2 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

Please just leave a comment to this post (with your email address in the form field) saying what you would hope to get out of the event below. I will pick my favourite and even buy you lunch at the event – travel is, unfortunately, on your own dime.

If you don’t fancy the lottery of trying to win a ticket, you can purchase one at a reduced rate and save $50 off the list price (link has the discount already embedded).

Thanks to the fine folks at The Art of Productions for this offer.

**UPDATE** I will be doing a draw on Feb 2 so get your “entry” in now!

**UPDATE 2** Better late than never. Just did a draw and Rob Gee has the free ticket. Congrats Rob; sorry to all the other commenters.

Misperception is Perception

January 11, 2010

From the New York Times Q&A with Zappos’s CEO, Tony Hsieh:

  • Q. If you could ask only one or two questions to get a sense of a person, what would they be?
  • A. “If you had to name something, what would you say is the biggest misperception that people have of you?” Then the follow-up question I usually ask is, “What’s the difference between misperception and perception?” After all, perception is perception.

Very insightful. (Mis)perception is perception.

via Corner Office – Tony Hsieh of Zappos – Celebrate Individuality – Question –

Four Quadrants of Innovation

December 8, 2009

In a meeting with my former CEO at Fleishman-Hillard, Dave Senay, he told the group, in response to some  heavy thinking, that “every consultant has to have a matrix”. Mine is still a work in progress (very nascent work in progress!) but this caught my eye, from Hutch Carpenter over on the Blogging Innovation blog:

Four Quadrants of Innovation

As always with these matrices, you want to be high and to the right. My one gripe with this matrix is that it is too leading. There are clear benefits to being in each of the other three quadrants which, for this to have any merit, need to be articulated. We should not be scaring our clients or colleagues into making the wrong decision by with-holding or diluting the data needed to make those decisions.

These benefits are clearly laid out in the post (link below) but for those of us who just like to look at pretty pictures…

Blogging Innovation: Four Quadrants of Innovation

Is Listening an Endangered Skill?

November 5, 2009

Four habits of highly effective listeners:

1. The listener thinks ahead of the talker, trying to anticipate what the oral discourse is leading to and what conclusions will be drawn from the words spoken at the moment.

Although, I hate it when people vocalise this. It is distracting when someone constantly interrupts you and tells you either what you are about to tell them or, worse, what they think you are about to tell them.

2. The listener weighs the evidence used by the talker to support the points that he makes. “Is this evidence valid?” the listener asks himself. “Is it the complete evidence?”

3. Periodically the listener reviews and mentally summarizes the points of the talk completed thus far.

4. Throughout the talk, the listener “listens between the lines” in search of meaning that is not necessarily put into spoken words. He pays attention to nonverbal communication (facial expressions, gestures, tone of voice) to see if it adds meaning to the spoken words. He asks himself, “Is the talker purposely skirting some area of the subject? Why is he doing so?”

Very interesting stuff and something we can all work on.

via Is Listening an Endangered Skill? – HBR Editors’ Blog – Harvard Business Review.

Not so interesting but also kind of cool: this was posted using the funky WordPress “Press This” bookmarklet.

The Stringer Bell Business School

November 2, 2009

Stringer Bell Business SchoolIf you follow me on Twitter, you’d know that I am a rabid fan of The Wire. It is, simply put, the most amazing TV show. I would usually add the disclaimer “that I have ever (ever) watched” but in this case it is entirely unnecessary. It is so good that when I finished the last episode I felt a profound sadness that it was over and that I would never experience watching it for the first time ever again. I have however watched it (all five series, in order) many times since then. I also take great joy in recommending it to anyone who asks, and quite a few that don’t. I envy these people. I envy anyone who will experience watching this masterpiece for the first time.

Stringer Bell is undoubtedly one of my favourite characters in the show. He is a businessman trapped in a gangster’s life. And he can teach you almost anything you need to know about business as long as you are happy with NOT SAFE FOR WORK language. But hey, he’s from the mean streets of Balitmore. What do you expect?

Reminder, not safe for work language in the below video and quotes which are after the jump.

The Stringer Bell Business School is raw and grimey and gets results!

Read the rest of this entry »

One more thought on Free

July 1, 2009

The Anderson/Gladwell debate on Free rages on. Seth adds his thoughts (and a Squidoo lens) while Mark Cuban weighs in and there are a tonne of others, including my friend Mitch Joel who has an excellent recap, adding their thoughts to this fascinating debate.

I was chatting with my father-in-law this morning and we both came to the same conclusion. In our experience, people place value on things based on how much they paid for them.

  • If you pay a high price for something, you place a higher value on it.
  • If you get something for free, you place less value on it.

Ergo, the more you charge, the more value the buyer places on it. Want to add more value (in the eyes of the purchaser) to your product? Charge more. Not less.

Take Seth Godin. We get the same knowledge from his blog as his books, which as he acknowledges are *just* curated versions of his blog posts. But what do you place more value on? The $26.99 book or the free blog post that pops up in your RSS reader? I know what I value more.

Free may be the future but if you can’t charge nothing, charge a lot and add value.

This debate will go on for years. There are so many ironies and paradoxes in play that it will take a long long time to come out in the wash. I think that this shows we are diverging away from middle. Your products will either be free (and supported by some complementary business model) or they will be very expensive. This recession is showing that there is a race to the bottom in some industries, while others are doing very well by charging a premium. It is the middle, the mediocre, that is suffering, not the edges.

As an Internet user, I see free all around me while as a consultant, I want to provide fair value to our clients – so it feels as if I am playing both sides.

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