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Did You Know You’re Telling Customers “Come Here…Go Away?”

The other day I was doing a website review for a client. They were very pleased that they’d incorporated some social features on their site – not just anywhere on their site but prominently positioned on their home page.

When I asked why they put them on their home page, they looked puzzled and asked “Why not on the home page? We want to show people we are social media savvy, its part of our brand.”come-here-go-away2-300x199

This customer has a Facebook page, a rather nice one, but one that is targeted to a small subset of their website visitors. By putting a prominent “Follow us on Facebook”, they were encouraging every site visitor to immediately leave the website and go to the Facebook page, where most of them would discover that the content on Facebook was not of interest to them. Human behaviour suggests that the majority of them would not go back to the website, they’d simply leave.

It takes so much effort to drive visitors to your website, you owe it yourself not to drive people away once they get there. We helped this customer think this through, and ended up moving the Facebook link into the task area that this audience went to most often. Their bounce rate went down dramatically which means that more people were actually moving through the site instead of leaving it.

Even when we moved it into the right section, the Facebook follow request wasn’t optimized. Each company on Facebook uses it in their own unique way, and usually we can’t know for sure what we’ll be seeing on a Facebook page until we get there. Tying a Follow us on Facebook message with a reason for doing so just makes sense. It’s a lot like signing up to get email from a company – there are so many different types of emails sent out by companies that I only sign up if they tell me what kinds of information I am going to get. I can’t afford to get more email unless it’s really relevant. Facebook is no different. I want to know why I should follow you on Facebook before I get there. We as site owners should make sure they only go to the Facebook page knowing ahead of time they won’t be wasting their time and their clicks.

Most of us are too close to it to see our websites clearly. We need to step back and use fresh eyes at least once a year so we can really see what behaviours we are encouraging and whether they are the right ones for us and for our visitors.

Written by Lynda Partner

August 27th, 2010 at 8:46 am

With one comment

Branding Canada eh?

The best part about blogging is that it can be about opinions, unconstrained by the lack of context or data, just pure opinion.

Last week I went to a breakfast session put on by the good folks at Leger Marketing. The talk was about branding a nation as opposed to a corporation. I was fascinated by the subject as I have long had a secret desire to take on branding Canada as my next career challenge. It’s unlikely to ever happen but it sure is fun to think about how brand to the country I love so much.Canadian Boy

So here are my thoughts as a citizen on what elements we should brand as a country. I know I am oversimplifying but hopefully it will be food for thought.

First my simple criteria for selecting my three point brand focus:

  • Branding a nation is difficult so our brand focus should leverage something that is already culturally grounded in our psyches. For example, if we are not a warlike people, we should not consider a brand association with aggression.
  • Branding a nation is time consuming so it should align with a macro trend that will help us leverage our brand position into real economic benefits that strengthen over time as the trend or trends develop
  • Branding a nation should be about something that will benefit the citizens themselves as well as the external audiences for our brand
  • Branding a nation should take into account the realities of attributes about the nation that are not easily overcome, for example in our case we have a very large geography that is not easily changed
  • A brand strategy should have a focus – we can’t be all things to all people. People can’t remember any more than 3 things at any one time, so let’s keep our brand focus at 3 things.
  • Our brand strategy should support economic as well as social goals – for example, increase tourism, exports, inward investment, talent attraction and retention

So without further ado for brand element #1, I think our Canadian brand should be associated with Extraordinary Customer Service.


  • We are already known as “nice and polite”, why haven’t we translated this brand equity into something tangible. We can leverage attributes that already exist in our psyches.
  • As technology becomes more commoditized, It is clear that customer service will increasingly be “the” competitive differentiator. With the advent of social media the ability of each and every consumer to talk about customer service and influence your business has increased exponentially. We’ve already lost control of the message, why not ensure that every interaction with a Canadian is a positive one and let the people promote our brand for us. There is nothing people would rather talk about than how they feel about a product, service or company.
  • And lastly, we’d all benefit. Just think how much better life would be if Rogers and Bell Mobility offered extraordinary service. What would we do with the extra time we’d have, the time that we wouldn’t have to spend on hold or arguing about how their service really isn’t working as it should be.

The only downside? What would we complain about?
So chip in here – what do you think we should be known for up here in Canada?

Written by Lynda Partner

September 28th, 2009 at 5:06 pm

Dear Customer, we really don’t value you.

I am a customer service nazi. I admit it. I admire those who deliver great service and I take great offense with those who don’t.

I like nothing more than acknowledging great customer service, and I have been known to make job offers on the spot to those who have given me great service because they are the type of person I want working for my company.

I almost always take the time to tell companies when their service falls short. I choose to believe they simply aren’t aware that their people need more training. I know its difficult to monitor everyone who delivers service, and in their shoes, I’d want to know if service isn’t what it should be. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Lynda Partner

August 13th, 2009 at 12:00 pm

Where oh where have your manners gone?!

The blog post below was originally written about a year ago but never published.  Why publish it now you ask?  This week I got more spam from this same company. It made me so angry that I dug up this post and I hope it gets wide distribution. Here’s why.

From 2008 sometime…….

The other day I got an email in my inbox. It said in part…. Read the rest of this entry »

Kill the Blah Blah Blah – Less is the new more

One of my biggest pet peeves is what I call “blah blah blah marketing copy. Here’s an example:
“XYZ provides the ideal combination of advanced technology and expertise to information providers. Our solutions and services lower costs, streamline operations, create efficiencies and generate new revenue for our customers. Our mission is to unlock the true potential of your market and partner with you in growth.”

Logically I know I was reading a description of what XZY company does, emotionally all I heard was “Blah Blah Blah”. I had no idea what this company did, none! Be honest, you’ve done it too right? Read something and had absolutely no idea what the product was or why you might benefit from buying it. You’re probably like most of us, who don’t admit this for fear of looking dumb or uninformed. Read the rest of this entry »

The 6 Twitter Personality Types – which one are you?

Twitter attracts all types and with so many just putting a toe into the twitterverse, I thought I’d summarize the twitter types you’re likely to run into.  Have patience when you are deciding who to follow – the right people are out there, and think about what you want to be known as when you start tweeting yourself.

The Aggregator – They scan, skim and read more quickly than most human beings. Passionate about their particular interest area, they want others to share their interest and happily tweet links to interesting articles. Strangely they don’t retweet as much as you’d think, perhaps because they feel their value comes from the effort they put in to find the articles in the first place – I bet they can all tell you how many tweets they’ve made in the past week.

What’s great about them?  They can be like your own personal clipping service, reading through the dross and finding the juicy interesting articles for you.  A good one is invaluable.

When Aggregators go bad… they figure out how to use the “tweet this” button on bogs and news sites and suddenly the frequency of their tweets increases to a feverish pitch.  They begin to think they can only win if they tweet more than anyone else and they start tweeting more and more obscure articles.

Read the rest of this entry »

What my 15 year-old son taught me about marketing

The other day I was irritated by the lack of response to an email I had sent a few days before to my 15 year old son. That night at dinner, I asked him why he hadn’t responded. His answer? “Mom, it’s not like I check email every day you know!”.  That statement stopped me in my tracks. While I am a user of blogs, facebook, twitter, and text, I am also of a generation who couldn’t survive without email. I check it many times each day and couldn’t imagine going for long without it.

Curious, I asked him how best to reach him when I was at work and he was at home. His answers, in order of preference were:

  • Text me (I always have my phone with me)
  • IM me (it’s the first thing I do when I get home from school and it works when I am playing video games on TV too)
  • Facebook me (yes Facebook is also a verb)
  • Phone me (but not on my cell phone cause it costs me money)

Read the rest of this entry »

There’s so much more than name and address waiting for you

Right now, electronic lead capture at events and experiential marketing programs is all the rage and rightly so for a bunch of reasons but it always seemed like such a waste to restrict data capture to only contact information.

It’s easy to extend lead capture to bring something special, that extra value, that can make the difference between a good event and a great event. Using technology-based interactions with event visitors, you can get so much more with little additional effort or cost.

Here are the top 6 reasons you should invest in electronic data capture systems for your next event: Read the rest of this entry »