The best way to get your head around website optimization is to open a Google analytics (free) account and check out the bounce rate of your site visitors. You can even run multiple experiments simultaneously. To Learn more about website optimization, check out google, Think 2010.
There is a definitive link between death and consumer behavior according to a study by Professor Naomi Mandel and co-author, Dirk Smeesters of the Rotterdam School of Management.
"Eat, Drink and Go Shopping: Why Thoughts of Death Whet Consumers' Appetite for Stuff", from knowledge at Wharton.
"The paper explores several aspects of human psychology, but its principal finding is simple enough: When humans think about death, they tend to binge.
The ability for members to freely exchange information. Most CMO's and business managers rely on web analytics - they look at quantitative data - to make decisions. CMO's should be changing their thinking about value. Rarely do they have a feel for the qualitative information. You know, the kind you would get from actively participating in a community or talking to customers. Ohhhhhhhh messy. Too time consuming.
How many times a day does - What do you think - get asked? Who's asking? Your customers, your employees, your suppliers, your kids, your friends, strangers, the media, colleagues. It seems everybody wants to know what you think.
Equally important is who is answering the question. Why, because more people can and do freely volenteer information - user generated content - about what they think. People on the net are organizing around interests and sharing reviews, images, videos, podcasts, votes, recommendations. They are writing to the web using social software applications.
From USA Today... "Survey: Social-network sites could also lure shoppers"
The networking sites "provide some of the most powerful word-of-mouth-marketing opportunities there have ever been," says Nancy Costopulos, chief marketing officer at the American Marketing Association. "It's past the fad zone and into the reality zone."
Check this out. On craigslist this morning, which I read for amusement, there was an ad for big Net retailer. The retailer is jumping into social application software - online communites. They are weaving their sites around customer interaction. The customer becomes a producer - prosumer. The customer is alive and wants to participate.
I've strung together three posts that sum the dysfunctions of many organizations. They cover unhappy customers, employees and managers. What I don't get is the fact that many of these problems can be fixed. Dave Pollard offers several great ideas, so be sure to read his post.
Escapable Logic blog, Britt Blaser's post, The Packets Kept Flowing, "...so why the breathless amazement? The Economist's cover story last week broke the news that the Internet is now officially the vehicle for customer decision making:" "Media choice has exploded, and consumers select what they want from a far greater variety of sources–especially with a few clicks of a computer mouse. Thanks to the Internet, the consumer is finally seizing power."
Passion lives with diversity on the long tail. Yep, it's an adventure going there. I discover awesome things - from niche markets - that blow me away and really cool people - bloggers - who have mind-boggling ideas about everything.