Remixing the routes

Archive for the ‘Subtitles’ Category

Seth Godin: All Marketers are Liars (Google Talk in the Author series)

Posted by annplugged on May 11, 2007

Here is another great presentation by Seth Godin from February 2006. It is based on his book, All Marketers are Liars subtitled The Power of Telling Authentic Stories in a Low Trust World. But the focus is not on this somehow (it only comes up in the discussion phase how the ‘360 degrees web presence’ makes any fraud the worst thing to risk for businesses, or for anyone).

The first half of the presentation is instead where Seth tries to outline why he thinks Google has succeeded to date and how repeating that could really help Google moving forward. He says: “there’s a belief among a lot of companies, especially in the valley, especially on this road, Amphitheater Road (Google’s HQ address) is that technology wins. And what I want to sell you really hard on is, not that technology wins, because I don’t think it does. I think what technology does, is it gives a you a shot at marketing. And if you don’t buy into that the company sooner rather than later is going to smash into a wall. Sun Microsystems said technology is going to solve every problem, then marketing will take care of itself…. I believe that the underpinnings and what made Google work were some brilliant, maybe not intentional, but brilliant marketing decisions.”

The story that Google sells is that ‘I am your friend,’ with the right tool at the right time. And it is very much in line with Google’s personalized search project, the next big phase in Google’s (I wanted to say ‘life’ suddenly), in Goolge’s focus. What does Seth suggest for Google? To start to build their permission asset, to build the ability to have people want Google as a closer partner. He is totally convinced that people want it.

Challenge: according to Seth, Google Mini‘s challenge is that small and medium-sized businesses rarely tell each other about their successes (his remark is related to a Googler called Patsy’s question on Google Mini), discovered new tools, solutions. They don’t tell it to a friend. So it’s not entering a marketplace that’s geared to have these evangelizing, word-of-mouth conversations. Consequently, Google as an organization needs to bring small enterprises together to have these conversations (see Google Groups, and also Google AdWords seminar series, and also Google Academy for Educators for such events). “what you can do is share a couple of case studies, and then get out of the way (!), and let them tell each other the truth. And as you build these communities of people who talk to each other, things happen.”

Seth refers to the TV Industrial Complex, his notion on how traditional marketing works through mass media: buying ads, interrupting people and thus getting more distribution, then more profit, which in turn is recycled into more ads to interrupt more people. He suggests that that’s why web 1.0 was not successful, that’s why many of the old-school advertisers still think merely in CPM (cost per thousand impressions), and buy keywords, yet keep sticking to the old design and funnels of the already stale website. They do not adapt.

As a solution he recommends the so called Fashion Permission Complex (again as a buyer- prospect communciation process):

  1. step 1: make sth worth talking about (or womm) (the important footnote he adds is that “If you can’t do that, start over.”)
  2. step 2: tell it to people who want to hear from you
  3. step 3: they do what other people used to think others would do, i.e. marketing
  4. step 4: (the hardest part) get permission from these people to tell them about your next fashion (so as your asset base grows think about the iPod, and the 60.000 people tuned into Steve Job’s keynote…) And you end up not trying to find customers for your products but products for your customers.

Some of his examples, jokes overlap with ones used in the TED Talks, but again he has very entertaining new illustrations (e.g. the socks for 11 year old girls – I would surely go for it if I was still 11 years old.


Posted in Google, Marketing, Online, Presentation, Subtitles, Talks, Video, Web 2.0, Word-of-mouth | 5 Comments »

Barry Schwartz and The Paradox of Choice revisited

Posted by annplugged on May 7, 2007

In 2006 April Barry Schwartz, an expert psychologist in the intersection of economics and psychology gave his keynote presentation on the Paradox of Choice at Google Talks – based on his book published in 2004.

If you listen to his presentation given in 2006, you can discover how at certain points the professor of Social Theory and Social Action has revised/ refined his theory on the paradox of choice regarding online retails, especially search keyword-based marketing solutions. In short, well-designed websites can hide the overabundance of products (unlike brick and mortar stores), and are able to overcome the difficulties created by the paralysing effect of having too many choices. This way, Long Tail has been incorporated into Schwarz’s theory, I think.

Besides, it is worth checking out earlier interviews too: excerpts from an interview with Barry Schwartz made by Mark Hurst (January 2005)

Mark Hurst: What is the “paradox of choice”?
Barry Schwartz: Everyone agrees that having choice is better than not having choice. It seems evident that if choice is good, then more choice is better. The paradox is that this “obvious” truth isn’t true. It turns out that a point can be reached where, with more choice, people are worse off. People can’t ignore options – they have to pay attention to them. If they make a choice, is there another choice would have been better? There’s more effort put into making decisions, and less in enjoying them. What’s nagging is the possibility that, if they had chosen differently, they could have gotten something better…if a decision is non-reversible, you’ll make yourself feel better about the choice you made. If it’s a reversible choice, you don’t do that. And that’s not the road to happiness.
Mark Hurst: And not in retail, either.
Barry Schwartz: If you provide sales options in a retail store or website, you might think the way to attract people is to provide as many alternatives as possible. But that’s wrong. You’ll attract people, but they won’t buy as much as they would with fewer choices… For example, e-commerce sites should be designed so that the complexity is hidden, so that people who really care, or know a lot, can find their way to the complexity, and the rest of us who can’t be bothered to find it, won’t have to. That’s how software, websites, and retail stores should be designed… We can only learn by experimenting. I think that somewhere in the range of six to twelve options is what most people would be comfortable with, most of the time. But we have to do the research on actual websites, in places where people make their choices and buy.
Mark Hurst: What can customers do to avoid the paradox of choice?
Barry Schwartz: Most importantly, learn that “good enough is good enough.” It’s what I call “satisficing” in the book. You don’t need the best; probably never do. On rare occasions it’s worth struggling to find the best. But generally it makes life simpler if you settle with “good enough.” … arbitrarily limit the number of options you’ll consider. If your friend won’t choose your digital camera for you, then promise yourself that you’ll go to only two websites and then stop your research and make a decision; or you’ll buy the best choice in one store. It’s just not worth it to look in every store, every website.
comment by Karl Thomson: Of course, there are different kinds of shopping. Groceries is likely enjoyed less than the purchase of some great clothing. I, for one, _like_ the process of purchasing a car, and delight in learning as much as I can about the possible candidates… So to me, the paradox of choice is the personal one: some consumers will relish a multitude of options, while others prefer a smaller number of choices
comment by Paula Thornton: Yes, the possibilities are endless, but what are a few of the possibilities? I explained that they needed to create and price some ‘standard packages’, each with a specific goal or selling point — something the individual would be looking to accomplish/achieve.
comment by Rebecca St Martin: Most importantly, customers need to be guided about offerings based on their values and whatever parameters they bring with them. While it certainly is easier to create standard packages as samples than to lay all the options out and overwhelming the client, I believe the most satisfied customer comes from the opportunity to interact with a human being who is knowledgeable, who presents a meaningful line of questioning regarding their needs and resources and who is genuinely interested in their satisfaction… This is why the consultative salesperson in the new ecomomy of choices has not become extinct
comment by Marijka
last fall I spent HOURS researching vegetable juicers and vacuum cleaners. I just couldn’t stop, certain there was one just a little better or cheaper on the next site… Anyway, my solution to this obsessive decision-making is a digital kitchen timer! I give myself a set amount of time to reasearch and make a choice, and once the buzzer goes off I stop. Period.

Posted in Decision making, Google, Marketing, Online, Subtitles, Talks, Video | 2 Comments »