Psychology and Sociology research for Marketing and Sales

Mostly Questions based on the research in

Daniel Gilbert -Mis-perceiving our own future: http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_gilbert_you_are_always_changing 

And a good refresher on marketing themes that work:

http://www.wired.com/2014/06/5-hidden-visual-tricks-advertisers-use-to-sell-you

What I learned and what I don’t know.

  1. Humans are called “the ape that looks forward” but when we look into the future, the ways in which we see both ourselves is flawed and the way we view how we will feel about what happens to us is flawed.  We do that in some very specific and predictably irrational ways (with appropriate head nod to Daniel Ariely).
  1. There are people who sell things to humans.  They do this for money mostly.  There are two primary types of people who create the context where sales happen:
    1. Marketers are people who generally define the message to humans so that we seek out a specific product to purchase, use, or think is cool! And;
    2. Salespeople are those who execute the specific sales to specific people
    3. To blend these two things together:  Marketing people at Apple let you know via commercials that 1)there is a thing called an iPad, and 2)all the cool sexy people already have one, and we’ll sell you the right be one of the cool, sexy people if you go to our stores.  Sales people on the other hand are standing inside the store, or increasingly designing the sales websites where people buy things, and those sales people are there to 1)execute your purchase, and 2)encourage you to acquire a few additional items for your purchase so that the company makes more money than if you just bought the iPad.
  2. Can you relate which themes are being used to make the ape who looks forward reach into her wallet and buy something?  What different themes are being manipulated to encourage us to spend money or buy things? Why is it hard to see this in ourselves, when we should already know how bad we are at predicting our own happiness?
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Not Law School – seems like a bad place to hide out

Ignore this article if you are already going to law school because you know that you will: 1)prosecute violent criminals, 2)write constitutions for newly democratic nations, or 3)work in immigration.  If you are in those areas, then you already know you want to do something which helps people but does not pay much.  Reality.

If you are going because you are good at arguing, think you are Jerry McGuire, or don’t know what to do after your sports-management or history degree, then you should pause and think.

The Business Insider is not a good source for hard hitting facts.  They instead roll up other people’s research into sensationalized headlines.  But that doesn’t mean that these facts are wrong.  I loved law school.  It was an excellent education, and the mental cruelty is very much worth it.  I don’t practice law anymore though.  I’d recommend every lottery winner goes to law school, so you can both get a great education in logic (and illogic) as well as learning something about how your rights actually get applied.  If you are going to law school to earn income, then you should pause and confront a lot of these conclusions.

Disruption ready market analysis of legal market: http://www.businessinsider.com/regular-people-may-be-able-to-afford-lawyers-2014-5

Law schools have to hire troves of graduates (at low wages) to keep employment numbers looking respectable: http://www.businessinsider.com/some-law-schools-are-paying-graduates-salaries-to-boost-rankings-2014-3

How bad Debt is: http://www.businessinsider.com/loyola-accidentally-releases-student-debt-info-2014-3

Roll Tide? http://www.businessinsider.com/university-of-alabama-national-jurist-best-value-law-school-2013-10

A lot of truth in this diagram: http://www.businessinsider.com/samuel-browning-and-michael-leichter-flow-chart-2013-10

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Why Amazon is smarter than your management.

Jeff Bezos distills how to look at modern internet-based information flow.  The internet hasn’t disintermediated every business yet – there are still a lot of “we got the work because of someone knowing someone.” Which is always said by companies not operating at large scale.  At large scale, to expose your product to many people, you have to be understandable by people from 1 web page.  Amazon – every service they have, is understandable within 1 web page of headlines.  Buy here. See Movie Here. List Product Here.  These are Amazon hallmarks.  It’s interesting to know if others see the world as clearly as Bezos.  He’s right on with this quotation: “The balance of power is shifting toward consumers and away from companies… The right way to respond to this if you are a company is to put the vast majority of your energy, attention, and dollars into building a great product or service and put a smaller amount into shouting about it, marketing it.”

You can still hear people say: no one can find you without 80% of money going to marketing; which may be where the difference comes in: Bezos isn’t trying to niche anything; he’s renovating selling products.  Maybe that’s why he can be so bold.

“In the old world, you devoted 30% of your time to building a great service and 70% of your time to shouting about it. In the new world, that inverts,” Bezos continued. Are you too focused on how you talk about your business and not on what it actually does? “The very best businesses acquire customers ‘organically’ without advertising. Great products and word of mouth drives sales at these companies. By contrast, companies which must sell their wares with huge advertising budgets are losing their edge in the Internet era,” comments Griffin.

Read more: http://www.inc.com/jessica-stillman/7-jeff-bezos-quotes-that-will-make-you-rethink-success.html#ixzz31RnZtRJm

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Software gets trapped by bad decisions

It is very possible to create a box where software is forever broken.  You create insane amounts of headache, forever, by not understanding when dev gets pressured to pave over or code around problems without addressing the core problem causing your pain.  This occurs most often in software development in 2 specific situations.  The term is technical debt, for when you end up in this problem where everything is built on top of bad workarounds.  There’s a lot of analysis on why software ends up in this state.  The reasons are boil down to; your software isn’t working well because:

  1. A Prototype gets taken into production – prototypes should take shortcuts! Production cannot live with those shortcuts when it scales up (non-software people always think you can just “fix it later”).
  2. When dev aren’t given time or expertise to investigate, then understand, then fix root cause…so instead, the approach is called “programming by behavior” ( You know this is occurring when you hear, “it works, and we’re not sure why” which really means, “it works, for now, it’ll break in the future and everything we build on top of this Band-Aid will be fragile as well)
  3. When dev doesn’t have sufficient time to do fix problems 1 or 2 – this has 2 causes:
    1. Saying yes to everything – which is the same as lying but feels better. Or,
    2. Pressuring development at all costs to deliver to a date, instead of delivering to a quality bar – for example a solid, dependable, methodically tested set of features…This one requires focus and executive brains (define features in advance) and balls (stick to the aforementioned feature set).

This point can get dogmatic, so I will skip the rest of the diatribe.

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Why American Idol is moving to a later time – why popular shows move to a new, later time.

  1. American Idol is watched by millions of people – 38Million people watched the 2003’s season 2 finale.  But, for comparison, 14M watched last season’s (season 13) finale live.  Both numbers are a lot of “eyeballs.”  30M people viewed Idol yesterday (3/19/2014), 20% of them later at night on DVR.
  2. TV commercials are more expensive to buy with popular shows – so the makers of American Idol make a lot of money when people tune into the show and can be shown to watch the commercial.   The advertising rate was selling over $700,000 for a 30-seconds slot,[186] and reaching up to $1.3 million for the finale.[187] Its ad prices reached a peak in season seven at $737,000.[181] Estimated revenue more than doubled from $404 million in season three to $870 million in season six.[188] While that declined from season eight onwards, it still earned significantly more than its nearest competitor,[189][190] with advertising revenue topping $800 million annually the next few seasons.
  3. The advertisements during traditional commercial breaks are still very expensive, but that is coming down as DVR watchers skip those commercial breaks (except old people who often DVR something but do not fast forward through commercial breaks).
    1. Coca-Cola and Ford are 2 companies which advertise *inside* the show, called product placements, so DVR folks still see their advertisement associated with the American Idol stars – Those 2 companies sponsorship deal cost around $10 million in season one,[193] rising to $35 million by season 7,[184] and between $50 to $60 million in season 10.
    2. Right now on average, more than 20% of all viewings of American Idol are on DVR, and young people tend to watch the show the same night, only later so they can skip the commercial breaks.  This is why PRODUCT PLACEMENT within the show is so important to advertisers, and why it is so expensive.
  4. Young people are the most important to advertisers because they will spend money their whole lives on products, and they usually live a lot longer than old people.  So that is a lot more money.  The advertisers want young people watching commercials.  If the show moves later and later, then the younger people who DVR the show will more often (not always!) tend to watch it live instead of DVR, so they can see it before bedtime.  Most younger people get sent to bed around 10pm.  Which is a big part of the reason that advertising rates tend to be much cheaper after 10pm, and why most popular shows end before 10pm.
  5. Here is a very interesting picture of why Coca-Cola spends so much – when people cannot see what they are drinking, then Pepsi is as popular as Coke. But when we see the “brand” then people choose Coke over Pepsi 75% of the time.  We are (perhaps very sadly) a completely consumer society.  Which is why marketing products is so critical to profit for companies.  Image

Sources:

 

http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2009/03/17/american-idol-has-most-dvr-viewers-terminatorscc-has-greatest-share-of-viewing-by-dvr/14683/

http://www2.smartbear.com/outbound-alertsite-mktg-infog-wtw.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Idol#Advertising_revenue 

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Your pricing page is too complicated

The pricing page is too hard to understand.  Without even heavy analysis, the site is too complicated to convert most people.  Simpler pricing pages equal more conversions.  People have to understand pricing, and it is too complex right now.

it is too complex

The huge list of seventeen features between “Freemium” and “Pro” just confuses people.  There’s a lot research to prove the point.  The easiest one is this – you get more abandons at the pricing page if you have a long list of features. Tell a simple story, even where that means reducing your word count and concepts down to simple and straightforward words.

http://blog.priceintelligently.com/blog/bid/192297/The-Saddest-SaaS-Pricing-Pages-of-the-Year#!

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SMB offering. Small and medium business data on needs analysis

30-50% of SMBs have their own website already.  The avg total annual marketing budget of SMBs ranges from $3,000 and $82,600. 

Freeware for businesses (Open Source) – http://www.cio.com/article/743211/How_to_Run_Your_Small_Business_With_Free_Open_Source_Software

In the SMB SEO space, we:

    • Improve Title Tags and H1 tags
    • Submit citations
    • Set up Google Alerts
    • Set up a  blog
    • Provide editorial advice for weekly blog post topics and Facebook posts
    • Control blog commenting on the business owner’s behalf
    • Draft review solicitation emails on the business owner’s behalf
    • Track the success of review solicitation campaigns via a spreadsheet
    • Reach out to business and community organizations for locally-relevant links
    • Create hyper-targeted Facebook ad campaigns under $50/month in total spend*
    • *In my opinion, Adwords has effectively killed its own small business market opportunity with the increasing number of “not enough search volume” long-tail keywords and ever-higher minimum bid levels.
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