Persuading Your Cat To Bark

I have been attending the eMetrics Summit in London where I was the last speaker of Fridays session. There were some excellent presentations and some great insights given by the speakers over the course of the event. One of my case studies was based around how to measure the effect of brand value so when this article was brought to my attention I was naturally interested. To summarize Shane’s points;

Is it time to evolve our perspective on measuring online marketing performance to include more focus on branding? I believe it is.

You’ll get no argument from me there. Not only is the measurement of branding important but measuring the effect of non sales/service websites. One of the biggest issues facing enterprise level businesses today is learning how to measure the success of websites which are not traditionally eCommerce/lead generation websites. Branding is one key area which can be quantified as I showed in my presentation on Friday.

As for the next point;

The problem with persuasion is many customers don’t want to be persuaded. Some cats don’t want to be taught to bark. They’re happy behaving like cats.

I am a little surprised and dissapointed at the authors approach to explaining his argument and in my opinion he should know better than to take a cheap shot at someone else’s work. It’s completely obvious that he hasn’t read the book, or studied the philosophy behind it. He follows it up quite ironically with this;

What if your job as an online marketer wasn’t to persuade your audience to do what you want, but instead to make it easier for them to accomplish what they want? How would that affect your site’s design?

Erm, yes. If the author had studied persuasion architecture to any degree he would know that the approach he has just described is exactly what PA is. It’s all about allowing visitors to achieve their goals and aligning their goals with your own, not trying to force the simplistic direct marketing technique onto people which the author seems to think it is.

Persuasive architecture helps you speak to the dog, about what matters to the dog, in a language that the dog understands, where the dog is your customer. It’s not about forcing the dog to eat cabbage.

So before you start comparing Persuasive Architecture to adding huge red buy now buttons to your site and direct marketing, do some homework and get the book Waiting For Your Cat To Bark?, which comes out in June.

Steve is a well known analytics specialist, author and speaker. A pioneer since 2002, he established one of the first European web analytics consultancies (Aboavista), later acquired by Satama (now Trainers’ House) in 2006. In 2008 he wrote his first book Cult Of Analytics published on May 14th 2009. He currently serves as CEO at Quru and has presented and keynoted web analytics topics across Europe. These include The Internet Marketing Conference (Stockholm), The Search Engine strategies (Stockholm), IIH (Copenhagen), the IAB Finland (Helsinki), Media Plaza (Amsterdam), Design For Conversion (Amsterdam) The eMetrics Summit (London, Munich, Stockholm), Divia (Helsinki) in addition to sitting on dozens of panels.

Posted in Conversion, General

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