06 October 2011

Entrepreneurs & Baby Boomers: Part II

From my business web site:

I have an egalitarian bent and enjoy slinging sentences for small start-ups and entrepreneurs.

So I get a lot of email from entrepreneurs and folks starting their own businesses.  Some emails are ignored (MLM, vitamins, supplements, etc.), some are answered and we might chat for a bit on the phone as I try to point them in the right direction, some become clients, some don’t.

It’s sort of like the real-life business world.

I’ve found that there are two mistakes made by almost every entrepreneur targeting this unwieldy, diverse market:

  1. Positioning their product/service in a medical category when it could easily be positioned as a lifestyle or premium offering.
  2. Assuming that all you need is a web site, maybe a bit of paid Google Search, maybe some banner ads here and there – and they will come.

I’ll write about #1 in future posts.  Let me take on #2 first (not that I haven’t been screaming about it for years).

Some posts you should skim before I prattle on:

Click this ad. 0.051% do.
… a tiny fraction of people ever click on an ad. In fact, 99% of stable cookies examined never click on an ad … optimization of campaigns to achieve higher CTR may in fact be reducing brand ROI.

Ad Campaign Effectiveness Dives
by Steve McClellan
ertain segments in the online space were more sharply impacted during the reported period. Display ads and sponsorships were down 26% and 35%, respectively, in customer engagement.

Online ads generally were 25% less effective than traditional ads for "incremental customer demand generation," per the report.

…With the exception of the workplace, smartphones (along with iPads and Kindles or something like them) might just make desktops and laptops and the web as we know it obsolete.  If ‘being connected’ mostly means communicating with friends, doing simple search, reading the news - then all that’s really needed is a smartphone. 

A ubiquitous phrase (I’ve used it myself):  You have to cut through the clutter. 

imageActually, the reverse is true when uploading a product/service web site.  A better hackneyed analogy: Think about traveling along a major highway in the desert and seeing a dirt road leading to what appears to be nowhere.  Now imagine travelling ten miles up this empty road and finding a big billboard for your product/service.  That’s what a consumer-targeted web site really is. 

You can put a small billboard on the main highway telling people to turn off and travel ten miles to see your big billboard – but how many people will do that

imageAlexa is a free service (or partially free).  I have their toolbar on my browser.  It’s fascinating to know what a web page rank is:

A Bit Of Social Networking Site Research

  • ****.com has a three-month global Alexa traffic rank of 32,289. Approximately 68% of visits are bounces (one page view only).
  • *******.com has a three-month global Alexa traffic rank of 411,987, and roughly 58% of visits to the site consist of only one page view (i.e., are bounces).

Ready to spend your marketing nickels or your gazillions on Banner Ads or coercing members to be ‘fans’ on these sites?

I had a meeting with an advertising agency a few months ago.  Their client is a medium-sized financial planning company.  They hired a comic actor (semi-well known) and made a few videos with him, hoping they’d ‘go viral’ or something.  This was not a TV campaign, and I wondered why.  “We’re going to have a Facebook page!” the account exec said, with a big, excited smile.  They already had some banner ads floating around on a few financial web sites. 

Here is the Alexa ranking for this web-only campaign: image
There isn’t a U.S. Ranking because it’s so infinitesimal you can’t measure it. 

And this is not a small start-up. 

Part III will be about an interesting piece of sporting equipment that is being positioned as a medical device.  Its Alexa global ranking at the moment is 16,114,472.

Entrepreneurs & Baby Boomers: Part I