Author Max

The New Social Shopping



There is another tidal wave of “Social” that is about to hit Ecommerce, digital marketing and the budget of client/agency campaigns.It’s the social that is more likely to have an immediate effect on bottom line for companies. It will inform how companies purchasing and partnering is chosen. Plus, in marketing, you don’t have to win the buyer’s heart. But, you may find yourself your budget is diverted to winning back the buyer’s heart.

The social I am speaking of is “Social Awareness”. Seems like a small population, “the bumper sticker crowd”, cling on to awareness issues  like genetically modified foods, corporations who  fund millions upon millions of dollars into the politics (due to the Supreme Court’s 2008 ruling on Citizens United)

The app “Buycott” allows you to scan your supermarket items and find out who you and what you are actually buying. Are you a liberal giving your money to The Koch Brothers? Are you eating all natural, but your brand of soymilk was sourced through Monsanto? Now you can EASILY vote with your wallet on brands, subsudieries, and sourcing.

Good information, now what to do with it: This is on the horizon of marketing, but it can either be something you ignore, I would call that gambling.

Here are some of the biggest social awareness issues facing the US:

  • Environmentalism
  • Economy (US)
  • Economy (Global)
  • Health
  • Politics and Corporations
  • Crime
  • Ethics
  • Ethnic divides

These are large complex themes from which the vast majority of today’s social awareness comes from. If you can think of a social issue that is in the mainstream, it probably fits in here.

Or you can consider how social awareness can be used to your benefits.  Here are some scenerios:

  • Switching power — Would your current customer go to another store if they walked in to a store only to find your competitor?. Is there something you can highlight in your marketing that would be not just a functional benefit, but a social awareness benefit also?
  • Insights — Besides the communities you work in, is there an audience that uses your products, that also have pet social awareness campaigns?

Google’s Zero Moment of Truth

Two years ago at a Google B2B conference, located at the mothership campus in Mountain View, CA, I was introduced to Google’s theory on the “Zero Moment of Truth” (ZMOT).  ZMOT is derived from Proctor & Gamble’s First Moment of Truth” , which says in-store shoppers make up their mind on a brand purchase within seven seconds. ZMOT refers to the new shopping reality of shoppers researching their needs ahead of eyeing a product solution. At that magic moment when the shopper sees the solution of their dreams, that is the Zero Moment of Truth.  This is why e-commerce shopping completely different than in-store purchasing.  The amount of research tools located simply by search engines, (not mention social media, email marketing, online ads, and all other traditional marketing) means the consumer has more tools at their disposal then ever.  And as the economy continues its long, hard slog to recovery, people are online researching how to make the most of their budgets, Finally, with social and review tools, the user is then empowered to spread that message to hundreds, if not thousands of people, I can’t say this loud enough: You must be visible, relevant and looking your best at the Zero Moment of Truth!









Here are some considerations to make sure you are visible, relevant and good-looking when it counts!

  • Mixing SEO with CPC -  If you are in a crowded group of contenders and not at the top of Google, you may want to consider an Adwords CPC campaign.  If you go that route you must follow closely and utilize all of the tools available to you; like negative keywords and off-peak hours timing. Also, always have a conversion goal to measure.
  • Social Media  — I know you are all sick of hearing about social media, but think of it as an individual soapbox that your new converts can utilize. Help facilitate getting that message out when someone converts to your product.  Let them share their new prideful purchase with the world!
  • Reviews — If you are a manufacturer, and don’t sell via your site, you still need reviews.  This is modern-day word of mouth, and people trust reviews just the same. So what if your product/service has a problem at some point? If there is a problem, it is your transparency and ability to overcome that obstacle that will go far with customers.
  • Syndicating data — Most suppliers go through sales channels, and regardless of your customer’s channel, they probably are selling online.  They need data with integrity, correct up-to-date images, and relevant helps with promos, keywords and and any other ways you can digitally streamline your brand.

What do you think about the Zero Moment of Truth?  Have you put much thought into this?  Do you think it may be overblown?  Do you think this is common sense?  I want to know. — max


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Interactive Infographics in Business

Recently my love of infographics and the need to tell a more compelling marketing story finally collided in my brain this past week, and what a thud it was! I can’t believe it took me this long to realize just how valuable an interactive infographic could be for our products.  Our products are a step up from our competition in features, durability, human engineering (ergonomics) and value.  This justifies the price that is paid in the marketplace.  In an economy such as ours, telling the story of why we do what we do, and why it justifies a purchase is paramount.  This keeps your brand promise alive and well.  As I searched for some examples of who did this well, I came across FedEx.

Here is their new interactive environment:

Here is what FedEx says about it:

“At, visitors can interact through a world map with data and content provided by The Economist Intelligence Unit on eight world trends initially, including air travel, people in cities, entrepreneurs and success, paper trail, business growth, education, money and happiness, and research and development.  Visitors also have an opportunity to analyze the data, share information, or participate in real-time, online polls.…

“At FedEx, we pride ourselves on our ability to offer great customer experiences,” said Malcolm Sullivan, vice president, Marketing, FedEx Express Asia Pacific.

My big takeaways from their fantastic piece of work is the following:

  • Data visualization can be more impactful when it is interactive
  • This isn’t just a stand alone marketing campaign, this is a complete change in how they interface with customers
  • They let it be known that why they do what they do, is just as important as what they do.
  • This is truly focused for a global marketplace
  • The technology improves business functions.

So what are your take-aways?  I want to know what you think.


People Don’t Buy What You do… They Buy Why You Do it”

I really was inspired by this particular TED Talk. It made me ask:

  • Do you know why you get up everyday and go to work?
  • Do you really believe in what you do?
  • If you don’t believe in what you do, how will anyone else?

Product Configurators — Do you really need that much help?

Recently, my life has been focused on a re-build of my company’s current website.  We have over 6,000 products, so we need a way to creatively get users through the funnel.  We have been pushing our agency to give us product configurator ideas.  Simply put, a product configurator will allow a user to parse their database through a series of questions and will lead to the best possible solution for their needs.  It streamlines decisions.  That is a good thing.  But, before just assuming a configurator is the right solution for your website, I think a few things have to be taken into account.


1) Is your data really up to snuff? - If a user takes the time to go through a set of questions, and ends up with something that is less than desirable, then you just lost.

2) What are your Analytics telling you? -  Are you dropping users through the conversion funnel?  If so, a configurator could be a great way to stop the losses, always consult your data first.

3) Are you staffed to manage the upkeep? — Like all marketing tools, this is one that needs to be launched and loved, you will add new products, you will obsolete products.  Have a plan to manage this.

4) Are you gaining weight? — If the configurator will provide multiple solutions, you will want to be able to weight these to lead to not only the best solution, but the solution that best impacts your sales.  Maybe it is weighting a newer, better product, or maybe even one that is simply better for the bottom line.

What do you think, do you like product configurators?

- max


This is a link to, as they are advertising their new appliance selector tool. Would you use this tool yourself?