Sunday June 10th
Sitting next to Louise Bourgeois spiders (The Nest, 1994) in SF MoMA’s sculpture garden. There is a light breeze coming in the open bay doors to the tiny replica of MoMA’s much larger garden. The MetLife blimp is floating by between a building under construction with silent cranes (it is Sunday) shooting pictures of the Giants vs. Rangers baseball game.
I just heard about a museum’s guard’s desire to become a pediatric nurse. “I’m a published poet,” she told me proudly. “Three anthologies,” she said letting the deep sigh explain the need to let youthful passions go. After helping a seven year old boy lose a battle with the EVIL C she found her calling. She will go to a pediatric nursing program at City and then transfer to State.
Riding the bus to arrive at one of my favorite museums, I spoke to a man from Monterrey, Mexico who had just finished the grueling Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon. Sounds like something my sister Caroline would enjoy, swim 1.5 miles in that nasty bay that keep Al Capone and others safely locked away. Next is 18 mile bike race up and down even more grueling San Francisco mountains/hills with grades that have to be in excess of 10% and finally a mad scramble through the “rugged trails” of Golden Gate Park (remember that sequence in Dirty Harry when they run him hither and yon, that was Golden Gate park at least some of it). How was it, I’d asked with the admiration I felt. “Grueling but fun,” the nice man from Monterrey said and his two year old thumbed his iPhone with picture of his father flying by.
Having just paid $4.00 for a 6 ounces of “sparkling lemonade” my mind turns to pricing and context. Reading Roger Dooley’s BrainFluence on the flight out some cherished pricing and Internet marketing ideas were confirmed such as:
- Babies – After reading Attention Economy the power of babies jumped off the page. Not long after babies started appearing inside of tires and all manner of brand marketing. Dooley confirms our babies rock as attention getters. Thinking about the family atmosphere of Atlantic BT where every other team member is having triplets, babies seems an important manifestation of our company values, of Jon’s values, of Mark’s values. Will think more on this.
- Line Of Site – Studies Dooley quotes confirms my experience as Director Ecommerce. Visitors to your website follow the line of site of the people on the screen begging the question where are your lines of site (lol).
- Learn From Magicians – Dooley riffed on the secret to magic is movement and misdirection, but mostly movement. I made a note to write a post about magic and marketing and need to think more on how movement can contribute to conversion since misused movement can reduce buying intent. People get too caught up in the movement’s magic to follow your path. Maybe that is good and alright, but, typically, when I design a site there are particular destinations, end points, and sometimes I went to get you there fast (if your visit is pregnant with buying or converting intent) and sometimes slower (if further sifting is required before it is clear how to serve or what to serve).
- Goal Gradient Hypothesis – Here I need to quote Dooley to do this new to me idea justice:
“Back in the 1930’s researches made an interesting discovery: rats running in a maze to reach food ran faster as they got closer to the food (been there, done that). This finding led to the goal gradient hypothesis, which states that the tendency to approach a goal increases with proximity to the goal. Simply put, the closer the goal, the more effort you expend to get there.”
- “You can trust us to do this job for you.” Dooley recounted a fascinating story about how merely calling attention to trust with the, “You can trust …” statement at the end of an auto service ad jumped conversions 33%. I don’t know how to work this in to our Magento Moments Campaign yet, but you know I’m cooking ideas as I write.
- Show Trust To Get Trust – There was a very “Eckhart Tolle” section on you get the love you make (or something out of a Beatles song). A company’s culture is like a great violin. In the wrong hands even a strad sounds bad, but in the right hands you hear the mind of God. One takeaway for me was the importance of love and forgiveness, of trusting our customers and asking for trust in return. Life seems way to short to do anything other than trust, trust and trust some more. Can we get burned putting out so much trust? Possibly, but the over and under still favors the assumption people are good and so are we.
- Smell Your Way To Success – There was a long section on aromatherapy for business. I’ve wrestled with the five sense problem on line. Websites tend to be so heavily visual that the other four senses get left behind. How can we use words to bring sense memories to the table? Cinamon tea on a cold winter night moves the reader’s mind to warm Christmas or holiday moments. How can we use touch, smell and sound to better position products? Moon Audio is one of my favorite Atlantic BT accounts. Drew and Nichole create magical audio cables and combine those genius creations with headphones that make you feel like James Taylor is in your living room with you. Music isn’t just sounds. Music is tattooed on every important moment of my life such as:
- Lynn Brostof teaching me about Glen Gould at Vassar.
- Greg Arnold sharing his favorite jazz (McCoy Tyner, Oscar Peterson and from there I found Keith Jarret and Chic Corea).
- All that teenage angst at Choate with The Who, Led Zeppelin and being introduced to southern rock by Mark Starr (his real name).
- The folky house concerts in Chapel Hill that re-introduced me to the guitar and a simple smoky voice telling a complicated story.
- Passion – Long section on hiring passionate people. Passion is hard to fake. I interviewed Jon the other day and he said, “I look for people who would be doing this (Internet marketing and web development) whether I was paying them or not.” Within seconds you know a fellow traveler, a person in it for love not money. The web can make passion a challenge. The web is like a soundproof room. All white, noiseless and cold our jobs as Internet marketers is to warm it up, to use language, images and design to invite people in, to get them to jump into a midnight swim in an unknown reservoir safely and with friends.
- I got to magic word #1 FREE as we landed in San Francisco. Earlier Dooley discussed how free trials were more than currency, more than a deal. Free trials were a form of trust with customers. Free trials also create a tangible Quid pro quo, something we in the west can’t help but right, can help but even out.