Author: ICMA Admin

Marketing as the battle of perception?

Maybe you think that marketing is the battle of products? Thanks to Talia Wolf’s presentation “Conversion Optimization” one could realize marketing is much more the battle of perception.

And first thing to do if you want to optimize your conversions is to realize that people who are buying your products are emotional beings. And they usually have an emotional reason why they buy something. And you should focus on that. You have to understand why they bough your product and track their “conversion feeling”.

Don’t just display, rather explain
If you take a closer look at the online world, there is such a huge push on customer to buy any product displayed. Instead of doing this, companies should concentrate much more on explaining to their customers why their products are good for them.
So, what is the core question you should ask yourself if you want to boost your conversions? “How do people feel when they visit my website?”

Three pillars, three ways how to change your mind set
Talia Wolf mentioned three different pillars which can help everyone to understand their customers’ feelings much better.
The first pillar is making it about the customer from the beginning. It could be the hardest one because you as a company have to change your perception of communication. You should start to be customer centric which means you have to stop just talking about and highlighting your brand because presentation like this is not working anymore (if ever so).
Instead, you have to communicate how your products change your customer’s life. Of course, in a better way because people are usually trying to find the better version of themselves when they are online.

Show it, don’t tell it
If you know how to do it, you should show it, not tell it. Which is the second pillar. If you care about emotions you have to concentrate on the whole picture not just on text. Every image shown on your website counts. But how did you choose them? Are they representative enough that customers would understand what do you want to say on every single page?
What’s more, you have to choose carefully because you have just a few seconds to deliver your key message to your customers because of the lack of permanent attention and concentration on the website.

Look for emotional triggers
The third pillar is about testing. Remember that there’s no shame in not knowing. How could you understand your customers’ behavior better after testing it? It is crucial to A/B test your website and see what has worked and what has not. But instead of testing the color of your buttons (which is a detail you can try to improve later on), you have to concentrate on a bigger picture – emotional triggers.

What does it mean? Emotional triggers basically motivate and target people in the first three seconds when they see your messaging on the website, and triggers something in them to buy. Deliver them the right emotion they need to feel when they visit your page – present your trust, confidence or show them that you are powerful. This is the basic trigger trinity which could have, for sure, its own sub-triggers. For example the expression of confidence, superiority or inspiration.

To sum up, before you start with a website conversion optimization, you have to realize that it is going to be a long run testing. And what is more, you have to know what exactly to test and concentrate on emotional triggers which could help to boost your conversions.

Written by: Andrej Slivka, Content Manager at Annonce

Is It Possible To Compete With The Big Boys In Classifieds?

…Yes, Find A Problem And Solve It.

Have you ever considered to launch a new digital marketplace, but wondered if you might have a chance at all, in a market which is truly global and more or less ruled by big players like amazon or eBay? If you are in the classified business or wanting to enter it, your answer is most likely to be “yes”. And even more likely, you might have also heard of, or experienced yourself, examples that did not go very well.

Besides other factors, one of the reasons might be that this marketplace was simply ‘just another platform’ doing the same things for the same users, or simply just a ‘number 2’ nobody was really waiting for.

At this years’ Autumn conference of the International Classified Media Association in Madrid, Luke Taylor – CEO of The Marketplace Lab – presented a very structured approach on what it takes to launch a new marketplace in an environment which already has its proven big players. “What’s your point? How to take on the big boys and win” was the title of his session, and he really brought it to the point. Long story short: “Find a real problem, solve it and you can beat them”.

Sounds easy, doesn’t it? Well, we will still have to do our homework, but his thoughts will definitely help.

Principles for successful competition
So what to take care about, if you not only want to launch a new marketplace, but actually take on the big boys successfully?
• Don’t start with a fight. There is no point in doing the same thing anyone else does, if you do not do it better. Wannabe the next carportal in the market? Or a brand new marketplace for customized classic cars of the early days? Finding a niche is key.
• Come ready armed. It can be a hard job but no one was waiting for a new platform which does not have sufficient inventory. A few ads in every category are not enough. You need satisfying search results for any search, starting from day 1. That means you have to acquire inventory before you start huge marketing campaigns, which will not the easiest job, but truly important.
• See what is already there and do it better. Also the big ones are facing struggles. Do the extramile and check out the existing platforms in every detail. At one point you’ll find a problem and then you are halfway already. Find the problem, see how you can do it better and solve it.

This will differentiate you from others.
When it comes to technology, be careful, as it must fit the idea of your platform. Is it enough to be a marketplace or do you need ecommerce features for fulfillment? Make sure that processes are simple.

Persona-driven development
So how can you identify the problem you will solve? Whatever you do, put the customer first. Try to see the world with his eyes and you will get a better understanding of his world.
Luke Taylor highly recommends persona-driven development, an approach which is especially helpful if you cannot involve real customers. The idea is to create virtual characters which represent your future clients and create a personality for them. This enables you to identify common challenges and is thereby the natural source of any feature development for you. You can create personas for anyone fitting your target group perfectly, but also for potential clients.

Although I think this is a very useful idea, I would still try to involve real people, by creating a focus group or something similar, since opinions of real people will always be more true than the opinions you created for your virtual characters. But still, it will help you if you cannot involve customers, for which reason ever.
In the end, it is all about identifying common challenges of your (potential) customers. This is where you can start to improve and where there will be room for new business ideas.

Written by: Claudia Nessler, Head of Classifieds at Russmedia

Classified Marketplaces must own end to end interactions to survive

Sangeet Choudary author of “Platform Power” gave an excellent and pragmatic presentation at the ICMA conference in Berlin. He’s not the first to identify the key shifts for classifieds being Mobile, Social and Big Data but he clearly defined the role each of these will play in the future of classified marketplaces.

No business is safe from disruption from the combination of an always smartly connected population, an identified population through any number of social platforms and the insights offered by the recording of our behavior. Whether your Craigslist or any existing vertical you are under threat. Continue reading Classified Marketplaces must own end to end interactions to survive