84 Percent of Website Visitors Convert on the First Visit


Yes!!  The data is available, thanks to https://www.straightnorth.com/  and my “confirmation bias” could not be happier 🙂

No, we do not need to wait until the initial site visitor will become “ready,” site visitors are ready now, and we, marketers, should take advantage of it.  The report 10 Ways to Make Your Lead Generation Website Convert on the First Visit gives recommendations on how to use the data to benefit our companies.

Lead generation websites: If you do not make a great first impression, you will not earn a conversion, and you will only get a second chance 15 percent of the time.

Companies that want a full pipeline of sales leads MUST pull all the stops and make their websites first visit conversion machines.

Another popular confusion is clarified in the report:  only 23 percent of online leads come from mobile devices (data source is 70 percent B2B and 30 percent B2C).

Based on my personal experience in B2B and B2C, the number is even too high for B2B; the 30% of B2C in the sample might have received the most of mobile attention.  Each company should probably evaluate its own opportunity cost of heavy investment in mobile.

Yes, we, B2B marketers, can be in love with our long sales cycle and sophisticated buyers journeys, but we can increase effectiveness of our marketing efforts if we think about first visit more.  And – there is nothing to loose 🙂

BMA – B2B Digital Marketing Success

just-mediaDick Reed, CEO – Just Media, Inc., gave interesting insight into the industry and shared a couple of unexpected facts with a very appreciative audience.  The event was so popular that usual meeting area had to be expanded to accommodate more interested marketers.

A few points from the event:

  • Important to involve all stakeholders of the initiative (marketers, internal stakeholders, agencies), and make sure everybody understands the big picture.  In some organizations this approach introduces internal stakeholders to each other first time.
  • “Plan campaign backwards” – the easiest method to discover any gaps in the flow
  • Facebook audience converts for b-to-b initiatives (surprising finding) – though the content needs to be more suitable to the medium, not a typical white paper.



  • Paid search combines two categories:
    • Searches (people are searching industry terms – looking for an information on the topic)
    • Navigators (using Google to navigate to a destination – ready to convert)
  • Half of cookies are deleted in a week (I find it hard to believe… )
  • Leads coming from the company’s website, 8-10 times better quality than leads coming from content syndication. People who are looking for something on the site, are further down in the sales cycle.
  • Print advertisement – direct mail pieces with interesting features, dimensional, etc. are effective now as very few companies do them.  People are excited to receive something unusual.
  • Avoid RAM (Random Acts of Marketing)  🙂
  • Marketers expectations of what a video can deliver is currently off.  Videos are watched, but direct action is is rarely taken.
  • Mobile devices impressions are growing in b-to-b, but the engagement is significantly lower.  Mobile clicks are 1/3 of desktop clicks – the agency is optimizing campaigns for desktop. 
  • The agency believes that the next stage is for agencies to help customers run marketing systems they purchased, as the systems are becoming more and more complex and require in-depth expertise.  Curious development…


Interesting slide with depiction of the marketing process.

Book – QR Codes Kill Kittens

bookAnother lovely book from Scott Stratten.  I still have some points from his Un Marketing book in one of my periodically updated work presentations 🙂

Every time you use a QR code for your business because you can, and not because you should, whether your market wants them or not, a kitten dies – a sweet, innocent kitten.

The book is very entertaining, and the video below is simply hilarious – highly recommend!

The main idea of the book is a call to think before using any new “shiny object” in marketing – think about the purpose, audience, and the benefit (or any potential harm?) to the brand.


Why would anybody need a QR Pet Tag?

  • 85% of people have a cell phone
  • 50% of phones are capable of scanning a QR code
  • 17% of people have scanned a QR code
  • 50% were successful and would scan a QR code again

This means that 3.6% of people scan QR codes.  99% of people can call a phone number with their phone…  How about trying something else on the tag?  Like a phone number.

How about placing a QR code where it is not possible to scan?  Below is an excellent example.


Another hilarious example – a QR code on the bus that allows to check with availability of local emergency room.


Advertising executive might love QR codes…


Other curious marketing issues:

Study conducted by InsideSales.com on 696 companies with online lead forms revealed that sales reps were, on average, attempting their first call to a newly submitted web lead after 39 hours had passed… 36% pf those audited never responded to a submitted lead during the entire two-week tracking period (2012).

Or just simple lack of attention that was not beneficial for a marketer:


And a note for social media issues in marketing (there are too many):

If you don’t have the time or resources to manage your social media accounts properly, or your product quality control for that matter, you shouldn’t be focusing on new technologies.  Your time is better spent elsewhere.


Book – Neuro Web Design

neuroVery interesting book and a pleasure to read.  My guess, the topic of the book is more broad than nuances of human psychology that can be used in web design – it is a wonderful overview of nuances of human psychology that can be used in marketing in general.

A few good points to review:

  • Scarcity implies that the product is more valuable and more desirable
  • If we SEE what we will get, we want it right away, that will speak to the mid brain and encourage us to act
  • People tend to select an most left item on e-comm sites – and then justify the selection in an elaborate way
  • One more reason to use “you” language rather than “we the company” language: it is appealing to the old brain, which is rather self-centered and concerned about danger, sex, and food.  Using the world “you” is an automatic way to grab the attention of the old brain.
  • Attractive images of food will catch attention (I remember pie-chars made in Pizza and chocolate…  now it makes more sense 😉  ).
  • “Because the old brain cares about safety and danger, any pictures or headlines that look or sound frightening will automatically get our attention.”
  • “Surveys can be used not only to gather data from customers, but also to elicit a public statement that will help clinch commitment
  • brainYou are more likely to listen to and buy from someone who is like you and someone you find attractive.
  • “if you site is for particular demographic, make sure that the photos are similar.”
  • Application of loss aversion: show a complete product and offer to remove features (and reduce price), rather than show a basic product and offer to add features (and increase price).  People will not want to “lose” the experience that they already had.
  • “90% chance of success is better than 10% chance of failure”
  • Could be tested: people may be more willing to fill out a form after receiving useful information – reciprocity principle
  • Importance of storytelling.  If someone at work suggested you attend a workshop on how to communicate clearly at work, you might be interested.  But how many of us would scoff if it were suggested that we attend a workshop on storytelling?  🙂

MIMA Summit 2013


Interesting and inspiring event!  The topic seem to be perfect – it is permanent stat of change in marketing 🙂   We all probably don’t know what to think – is it bad (where is not enough time to keep up!) or good (oh – look at all the opportunities!), but we all have to adapt… or else 😉

My notes from the event:

  • SLJournalism:  some part of the profession changed dramatically (newspapers are practically dead), but some parts remained important and will never change.
    • Changed: ability to “own” a niche – easy access to a very specific audience that was not possible before
    • Changes: “the scourge of the kitten video” – utilitarian video that brings views
    • Will never change: great reporting and great writing (people will read long stories if they are right for them)
  • Interesting: the publication is concentrating on the video experiment…  however, if a person new to marketing will just see the “video” as the main objective, in the reality, the main objective is the innovative topic, and video is just a chosen format (or channel) for the topic.
  • Content for slow experiences (excellent notes from this session by Vertical Response) – interesting: people perceive experience as “slow” if it is boring, but do not perceive an equal amount of time as “slow” if the experience was engaging.  The same principle can be applied to content
  • crutchExample of “slow” content – Crutchfield.  Interesting – Crutchfield migrated to the web its core business model – fantastic in-depth content for a specific niche market.  The model is rather based on business strategy, and content is a tactic.  The organization also centered around customer service, which include content in every form – print, web, chat, and technical support.
  • Other organizations providing  fantastic long-form (and helpful) content are REI and Patagonia
  • In content marketing field volume alone confers no advantage; one insight is more important
  • Brand is a powerful force, but the knowledge behind the brand is of greater value.  Lowe’s wonderful example of useful tips delivered via Vine


  • Do not value your content over the job it is supposed to do.  An example: a DoSomething.org video received over 1.5 million views…  but contributed nothing to its objective.  It could not be considered a success.


  • afternoonMetrics – interesting point: just counting available data points allow much better understanding of the situation than pundits are able to do by evaluating only data they favor.  Election prediction was not hard if results all available pols could be simply tallied.
  • 85% correlation where eyes move and people click (evaluation of click-mapping tools)
  • When people come to a web site, they came for a specific reason.  Content to satisfy the need has to be on the site.  Multiple areas with call to action encourage clicking of the back button.
  • Best online solution will not help if the basic research is not done (selling phones in Hong Kong online did not succeed because common method of purchasing phones is to do it in person from multiple street sellers).

MN Search – Mobile

Excellent event!  Three superb presentations; Aaron Weiche’s presentation is probably the best one on mobile marketing topic I encountered so far 🙂

The most interesting concept from Aaron’s presentation is complexity of technical issues in our world, and rather limited impact mobile strategy can create (at this point in history 😉  ).


Mobile User Experience starts from user’s objective.  Why would you access Target.com from:

  • targethome?
  • road?
  • inside the store?

According to where the person is the need for the information and user experience varies.  Questions need to be addressed:

  • Who?
  • Where?
  • Which device?
  • Goal?

After this exercise all user goals and business goals are listed and prioritized.


Prioritization allows company to agree on what is more important (and what content is more important) before any content has been created.  Then, the content prioritization is applied to the site’s architecture.   All of these activities happen before design phase starts.


Basic principles of mobile:

  • Keep it simple in terms of design
  • Keep it simple in terms of content
  • Reduce “digging”
  • Take advantage of native capabilities

Know thy user, and YOU are not thy user

Proliferation of mobile is happening fast, Even Google thinks that mobile is faster than they anticipated.  However, mobile has significant challenges and marketers seem to be struggling with these challenges.  Ha!  It feels identical to our struggle with first generation of web sites 😉

almost literal translation of the web site into mobile site does not result in a good site from user’s or marketing perspective.


How navigation is handled in mobile?  Use “hamburger” icon.  Even Microsoft is using it 😉


Mobile channel can be served differently, and companies have different approach to their mobile customers.


Responsive design – the site design is “fluid” – one content that is presented differently on different devices; content is the same, some pieces of content may disappear depending on the browser size.

Dynamic (or adaptive) design – the site design is specifically adjusted for certain type of devices; content is the same, but it is positioned differently based on the specific device where the site is viewed.

Parallel design – the mobile site is completely different from the main company site.

Wonderful example of mobile specifics – mobile situation suggests that most likely the user would find phone number that can be tapped is more important than other information normally presented on the main site.


Interesting points:

  • Responsiveness of the site is not a ranking factor
  • Google bot and Google Mobile bot are different
  • Mobile SERP is changing more often (Google)

Need for testing of major changes:  one organization was going through brand change and took advantage of the moment with major home page upgrade, including HTML5, parallax, etc.  Unfortunately, the conversion dropped 20% and nobody noticed the drop for a few months.  Now the company has a rule of testing all changes for the home page.

Screen sizes – a list of popular devices with corresponding screen sizes (and popularity!)


Aaron’s complete presentation:

Mobile March 2013

mmThe main evolutionary progression from previous Mobile March conferences was probably highlight of mobile as one of business and marketing “parts” rather than its own entity.  “There is no mobile marketing, there is just marketing…” 

Gone are charts of explosive adoption of mobile devices (almost ;-)) at the same time as business objectives, integration with other channels and customer research take more slides in the presentations.  Mobile took its rightful place among other tools in modern marketing tool-set  -tools which unique capabilities can now be included into an overall marketing strategy.

Another interesting note from the conference: attendees lamented that few people use QR codes, but printed agendas were much more popular than QR codes leading to agenda among…  mobile marketers and developers 😉  Why?  Paper agenda is just so much more convenient!

Several presentations also paid tribute to “minimally viable product” in application to the mobile projects , what makes complete sense; mobile is just part of business.

A few points from the conference:

  • Four key principles of Mobile User Experience
  1. phonesThere is an intimate relationship between the user and their mobile device

Phones are rarely shared; when a person shows a mobile phone to another, it is usually shown in hand, and not given away.  When anybody takes a phone from a user (to make a payment) it does not feel comfortable

Assume privacy and ownership (password does not need to be hidden; but an option to do it helpful)

Too easy payments are uncomfortable for consumers – they feel too easy.  The user needs to know when the transaction happened.

Tablets are more likely to be shared, but there is a primary owner (tablets are a household device)

  1. Screen size implies user’s taste and also where user is using the device

In most cases, when we are using a mobile device we are waiting; we are not performing “big important tasks” – we are not completely engaged in the activity.  We would not watch the entire movie on the phone, but more likely on the tablet.  Similar relationship is observed with the spreadsheet

Phone:  maybe check a number

Tablet: maybe make a few corrections, but unlikely to create a new formulas, etc.

Computer: major spreadsheet work

We need to understand what is the user’s main relationship with the screen  – what is the context?

  1. Mobile interfaces are truncated, other interfaces are not

Long-form tasks are inconvenient on mobile.  Mobile is better suited for data collection than data entry.   Ideal approach is to instruct the device “to collect” data and leave it working (the jogging route, etc.)

Magic is the “killer feature”

Listen to your customers… but don’t.  Do one thing exceptionally well. Create experiences people want, but not necessarily asking for.

Thinking about a problem to solve: what is the single feature that you can make and make it “amazing” from the user’s perspective.  “Let us do one awesome thing”

Why people photograph food and not scan QR codes?  When you scan QR code, the interaction is starting, when the food if photographed, it is ending.

“Mobile is a little window in the big world”

  1. Design for mobile platforms – the big ones

Web app – a web site that looks like an app.  People expect to find web sites when they use a browser…  web sites should not look like an app.

Mobile apps – native apps should be about hardware (using native sensors of the device in the app).  You don’t need an app if you don’t have a problem that only an app can solve.  


Wrong approach:  We want to do mobile strategy!
Right approach: Let us do a “grand experiment” first; let us do something simple and measure its impact.

  • Continuity is the new consistency.  Netflix – there is continuity, but the experience on each device is different from the other – it is specific to the device and the circumstances where/how the device is being used.  What does the person wants to do the most during that time using a particular device?
  • Mobil apps: performance is important – but it is important how fast it appears rather than how fast it is.  A loading screen can show earlier pre-loaded images during the loading process, etc.
  • Interactivity myth: people do not like “interactivity” on the “big screen,” however, people are happy to use “companion devices” while watching TV.
  • Bob Schukai, Global Head of Mobile Technology at Thomson Reuters said that he started his new job in a new company with a statement of everything that was wrong.   For many businesses his 12 page approach might be excessive, but the idea is fabulous – and a wonderful opportunity to track obstacles and successes.
  • Bob uses external agencies – the main benefit of external agency is their experience working with variety of clients.

Below are interesting videos promoting apps.  Apps need to be promoted as products, and many people don’t use apps more than just a few times.  If you are promoting a free app…  how does it help your business?  😉

MIMA – Advances in Consumer Psychology

brainfluenceAnother excellent event!  Roger Dooley, the author of the book Brainfluence: 100 Ways to Persuade and Convince Consumers with Neuromarketing, made a wonderful presentation for local marketing community.

The presentation is probably just a fraction of the wealth of the information in the book, which (we are in luck!) is also available in an audible version.  This book is definitely on my list to listen next.

Some of interesting points and links:

  • pet-execCFO/CIO are still trusted by 90% of people…  but CMO only 20% Why?  Most marketing money still wasted…
  • Showing common interests helps to increase “liking effect” – example Petsmart executives pictures with their pets.   If these features are present, they don’t need to be burried somewhere deep in the site’s navigation
  • Though science is still emerging, we can use “neuro-nudges” to encourage desired behavior
  • People who “thought” that their wine tasted better (because they were told it was more expensive, etc.) truly experienced better taste based on the brain scans


  • If the person sees himself consuming something he is more likely to like the product (LinkedIn uses this approach in “Picture yourself in the new job…”
  • Apologies work!
  • Scarcity (perceived) is attractive… “only two seats left…”
  • audibleSelling to men: pictures of attractive women influences men’s tendency for short term thinking and risk taking.  Interesting: a photo of attractive woman in a loan application works as well as a loan interest rate reduction of 4%.
  • Use simple fonts and language to minimize perceived efforts.  A task described in an easy to read font is perceived as a task that takes less time to complete.


Though change is constant in our lives, we can be certain that human brain did not changed much in last 50,000 years 😉   Studying human behavior can give us a relatively constant tool set of understanding our target audience – people 😉

Resource: Neuromarketing blog


Mobile Twin Cities – Obama and Romney Mobile Marketing

Poli-mobilSurprisingly useful information for an average marketer 😉  Curt Prins made an excellent overview of the mobile marketing efforts during the last Presidential campaign.  Mobile Twin Cities in general is a good source of mobile insight and a great opportunity to ask industry experts a few questions.

  • Only 12% of people use mobile aps more than 3 times
  • Less than 6% of eCommerce sales come from apps
  • 36% of voters used their mobile device for political info and discussion with others (up from 26% in 2010)
  • First presidential debates generated 10 M tweets, most of which were sent from mobile devices
  • Interesting: Romney announced that those who download his mobile app will be informed first about selection of his running mate.  App was downloaded with enthusiasm: 200,000 within first 24 hours
  • Mobile ads targeting capability is increasing (geo targeting and even congressional districts)
  • Most mobile forms are 2-3 fields
  • Campaigns took different approaches – Romney had a separate mobile site, while Obama redesigned the main site to be suitable for mobile



Mobile March 2012

Mobile March 2012 could probably be considered “Mobile June” as one of presenters joked. The weather outside was fit for a middle of the summer, and presentation showed the “hopeful future” of the mobile universe compared to the “current state” of emerging industry.

Mobile March is growing – it is probably time for me to come back to Mobile Twin Cities – a group organized by local mobile enthusiasts that combines business/marketers and developers.  Developers and marketers may not be a perfect mix…  though 2012 Mobile March keynote presentation is the testament that IT and Marketing could be remarkably on the same page.

The most inspiring presentation was the overview of Bally Total Fitness remarkable achievements by Guy Thier – the company’s CIO.  The presentation was absolutely remarkable!

Guy Thier is a CIO who’s presentation could be confused with a talk given by CMO or CEO.  He was the executive who started talking with other leaders of the company about innovation – and he started from the right questions.

  • Found that 10% of people coming to the web site were viewing the site on a mobile device and started thinking how company can react to the new environment
  • Created innovative culture in IT (what is remarkable – IT was targeting typical marketing/business objectives rather than concentrating on server stability, etc.)
  • IT works out of the club to be closer to customers, 20% of developer time is reserved for innovation, virtual IT allowed to save on equipment maintenance and office costs

Remarkable innovations (not only mobile) resulted from the approach. The goal was to find how to benefit the members – provide additional value through technology.  One of the innovations was an interactive wall showing members (and future members) how would they look after loosing weight, what increased number of people joining clubs (comparing to the number of people who joined clubs without this piece of equipment).

Purely mobile innovations included

  • All sales process can be executed on the iPad in the corner of the gym rather than in the sales person’s office
  • iPad app allows club personnel to see information on all members currently in the club
  • iPad app allowing maintenance crew to see what needs to be fixed (and employees/members to submit alerts on what needs to be fixed)
  • Mobile site with a clear purpose – give people instantly what they need the most – find a club and get a guest pass
  • QR code on equipment – to see a video of the equipment use
  • QR code on equipment to electronically track workout
  • Bally has a team (a team!! ) to monitor social media and react on any unfavorable comments.

Membership sales on iPads.

Guy’s recommendations:

  • Look for right partners – there is a huge difference in development firms in user experience – choose carefully.  Oh, Bally marketing is in luck!!  They don’t need to find technical vendors on their own… 😉
  • Observe the world around you
  • Use technology to amplify your relationship with customers

Lisa’s session was next…  Her session was devoted to data that marketers and business people can use to promote their company’s involvement into emerging mobile space.  Lisa was definitely as impressed with the keynote presentation as many of us in the audience – impressed enough to modify her own presentation to include an introductory slide with the idea replicated below:

Average decision maker in an average organization are more likely to fear technology than to embrace it.  However, there are a few point that can help:

  • Decision makers understand concept of the target audience (usually… or if the marketer is lucky 😉  )  – mobile audience is often perfect target audience for company’s products/services
  • Smart phone use in US at 53% of all mobile users
  • CPG companies are striving to add QR to the packaging (possible to change appropriate recipes based on the season, etc.) – this move will popularize QR for B-to-B and other organizations
  • Question: But…  could it be that QR, etc. are transitory?  Answer: Everything is transitory – if it is so cheap, use it as a paper towel and through away if does not work. However, do not “get in bed” with any particular technology…
  • 79% of online advertisers (not just companies – advertisers!! ) do not have mobile web sites
  • Mobile web site content…  You don’t need to serve a thanksgiving dinner (your regular site) if they are looking for a snack (mobile content)…  However, most companies “cooked” Thanksgiving dinner and attempt to serve it anyway.   Use specific content for mobile sites
  • Get shortnerd URL fit for your company
  • Research mobile SEO – it is different from regular online SEO

Dreaming about the future while enjoying lunch…

Mobile app legal compliance

Privacy should be “designed” into an app from the point of conception.

3 FTC mobile application settlements already has been announced.  Thought the amounts are not high – the offending companies are faced with requirement to provide information regarding similar activity for years (this can be costly to a business).

Personal information of children under 13 can not be collected (online businesses had to cope with this requirement for years).

What should be done:

  • truthful advertisement
  • important terms of the app need to be stated clearly
  • privacy lows have to be considered
You can do anything reasonable, but you need to have proper disclosure.
Long privacy statements required in the beginning of the app download can be intrusive.  Better – show the most important with the link to the rest. Provide a link on each app store listing with all policy, also on the app’s settings page. Make sure privacy policy is readable on the mobile device.
Privacy guidelines
  • be transparent about collecting and using user data
  • don’t access data you don’t need
  • give users control over data use
  • use good data security practices
  • when the data no longer needed – erase
In-app purchases: disclose and be reasonable. $99 for virtual fish is not reasonable. Do not use confusing pricing points $0.99, $99.99 etc.
Do not manipulate app ranking artificially.
  • Live Front has a “mobile testing lab” that can be used by other companies.  Very helpful!  If a company is developing a mobile site in-house, it is a good idea to ask developers to take a trip and test it. Live Front had The New iPad (aka iPad 3) during the conference, and I must admit I was ashamed not to find too much difference in resolution…  Oh oh… I am still happy with the original iPad (aka iPad 1)  🙂
  • Adding .qr to Bit.ly should produce an instant QR code
  • Gallery of mobile web designs http://www.mobileawesomeness.com/
  • Mobile usage personas (the study and application did not seem to change from the first time I saw it on Mobile March two years ago – still good resource!  Though I wonder how the segmentation changed (if it changed only in percentage in each category, or in categories too).  The white paper (right) explains the methodology that can be applied to define appropriate target audience.       Targeting Mavericks is difficult – their expectations are high…

Creative Commons resources, etc.

A couple of wire-frames from Gage


  • Data is cheap…  but data analysis is not
  • Mobile – it is not only a phone; it is a wide array of services, which have to have utility
  • Engineering liaison should not be a capable developer…  if it is the case, this person will be coding during the crunch time and won’t be doing his/her job of connecting departments and explaining possibilities (from Breon’s presentation).   Completely agree – even as a marketer with HTML/Photoshop, I found myself coding during the crunch times…  and have known people who were hiding skills or not learning software for this reason…  My guess, companies are loosing when employees are forced to take roles with less proficiency.
  • B-to-B: Boston Scientific – bought all reps tablets and created an app for sales with 3D imaging, etc.
  • QR are not a prevalent, but can give a boost to a promotion.
  • SMS programs become more effective when QR code is available.
  • Snap tag…  Is snap tag better than QR?  (I doubt it…)  However, the data indicates that more people will be texting if snap tag is present…
  • No need to worry about branding in apps
  • Transmedia (term 🙂 ) – multi-platform approach
  • Task analysis (term 🙂 )  – a list of everything people do on the web site or phone
  • Gamification (do not allow people to “lose” – do not punish employees if they are not participating in the organization-supported activities.
  • Enable user broadcasting automatically, if possible within the mobile experience.

All session resources http://mobilemarchtc.com/session-resources/

Great conference!!  Delicious food!  Oh, yes, below is the picture of the dessert – nope, I did not eat it, just took a picture 🙂