The Imagination Factory


May 4th, 2008 by Ted Bailey

Just when you thought you weren’t going to need anything special for doing business, BAM! along comes someone who throws an arcane mathematical formula or two at you.

Going into business is actually quite simple. All you need are the four (4) “P’s”. You need to build a PRODUCT (or service) that meets a need, set the PRICE that consumers will pay, figure out the best PLACE and best channel to sell and with some PROMOTION, you’re all set!

Now that was simple, wasn’t it?

One problem comes when we become victims of “MCS” (the “My Car Syndrome”). It could be BTS (Blue Toyota Syndrome), Y2S (Yellow Yugo Syndrome) or BHS (Basset Hound Syndrome)… you get the idea. MCS is a function of the relationship between synchroncity and proximity. The closer you are to (or the more you use) an item the more likely it is that you see more of (or more people using) that same item.

Think of it like this… whatever car you drive, you didn’t really SEE a lot of them UNTIL you started either thinking about buying one or actually bought one. As you became more aware of them, you fell prey to the misperception that if you own or do something that you think is cool or effective, then you assume that everyone else does the same.

The phenomenon is more apparent with the vehicles we drive, but pervades many of our daily activities. You have a need, you make/find something to solve that need (for you). You begin to see (or perceive) that others are struggling with the same need… How can any NOT want your product? OR you find a great web search engine and it quickly becomes your favourite. If you like it so much, how can anyone else be using anything different? So when you roll out your ‘product’ (remember that one that everyone needs), you also feel that your favourite search engine is the absolutely best place or only place you need to be.

MCS can creep into each of the four P’s. Just because you like the product or the price, doesn’t mean everyone will. Just because you like one method of sales, distribution (place) or promotion, doesn’t mean everyone will use it or that it is best for your product.

So how do we address MCS with the web?

  • Think of your website as one of your PRODUCTS. After all, like all your promotional efforts (print, radio, TV, signage) your website speaks directly to the confidence your customer has with your product and in doing business with you.
  • Use your website as a PRODUCT TEST LAB to help determine what your customers’ want from you/your PRODUCT.
  • The web allows you almost immediate determination of the customers’ PRICE elasticity.
  • And as the old adage about business goes… location, location, location. The web can be a perfect PLACE to market and sell your PRODUCT. 24 hrs/dy x 7 dys/wk x 52 wks/yr mean you’re never closed.
  • As discussed in our¬†Deja Vu¬†article, the web gives you a variety of vehicles and avenues to PROMOTE your PRODUCT.

However, its been said that “marketing without measurement isn’t really marketing, its just pretty pictures and prayers” (ain’t that a lot of alliteration?). Also in the Deja Vu article, we make the case that the only visitor that counts is the repeat visitor. While 95% of today’s netizens are using search engines, 65% of a site’s traffic comes from direct navigation (typing the URL or bookmarks/favourite places). So it is important to:

  • Get traffic to the site,
  • Keep them coming back to the site, and
  • Measure how they get to the site, how many times they visit, where they go, what they want, how long they stay, visitor to customer conversion rate, etc..

If they won’t visit OR return… you will not obtain a good return on the investment. And make no question, the internet is a long-term investment. There are a number of essential things to designing a website doesn’t just “seem” useful, but actually assists the user (and you). The Imagination Factory works hard to ensure that your website doesn’t just have a lot of content, but that it has the “right” content.

The Imagination Factory • 15 Ionia Ave. SW, Suite 220 • Grand Rapids, MI 49503 • phone: 616.356.CLIK (2545) • fax: 616.356.2546 • email: Contact Us Online

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