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Thread: Proactive Website Marketing

  1. #1
    Modding with Class JabezStone's Avatar
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    Proactive Website Marketing

    The most interesting thing happened to me today. As I was browsing the vast expanses of the world wide web, I happened to turn down the treacherous avenue of website hosting. In fact, I was only at this particular web host's site for the purpose of checking their HTML against W3C's validation tool. Going through my regular deconstruction ritual, I began moving to different pages of this company's site and examining their code. Insterestingly, this huge corporation's code failed every validation attempt I made, including css and html, but that's another thread. So, I was just about to click to a new page when, out of the blue, a chat window pops up and a voice clearly states, "Well, hello!"

    OK... freaky. Then, in the chat window, a message appears... "so, what brings you to "XYZ" today?" (obviously XYZ isn't the company's name... you get it, right?)

    So, feeling a little cocky I reply, "Huh?"

    "We would like to be of service in any way we can, so if you need a hand, please let us know."

    OK, I didn't ASK for any help. It's like driving through McDonald's, placing your order for a hamburger and them asking, "Would you like fries with that?" And you reply, "Did I ASK for fries with that, Mr. Big Shot?!"

    But seriously, there was something kind of cool about this, yet weird at the same time. Here I was in a "zeros and ones" zone where I didn't expect any contact with an actual human being, and lo and behold, a friendly sales associate is right there to help me.

    I responded back to Kelly, "Ok, what is the main reason I would want to host with your company?" "2 things, really," she said, "First, we have the best and most reliable hardware in the world, and second, we have a rock-solid SLA".

    "Good enough for me," I thought, but I really wasn't here to buy, so I said, "Thanks for your time, Kelly, gotta go." "You're welcome, Mr. Jones... and don't forget, your wife wanted you to pick up bread and milk on the way home!" Just kidding... it sort of felt like that, though. It was just a little too personal of an encounter... sort of. Actually, it was sort of cool.

    The pros of this sort of marketing is that you can engage the customer while they are on your site... before they leave. Many times, people will leave a site because they don't find the info they're looking for. Other times, it's because they just aren't "sold" on the product. But what if you were able to intercept them before they left and determine what their needs are? What if you could say, "well, Mr. Jones, I am prepared to offer you a special introductory rate that isn't advertised on our site if you'll give it a try." Or, "Oh, the information you're looking for can be found by clicking this link, http://www.XYZcompany.com/yourinfo.htm"? The list of pros can become long quickly, and I'm sure you're thinking of some right now.

    What are the cons? Well, for starters, this only works when you have someone available to do it. To provide this 24/7, you still have to be near your computer or have to employ someone to do it. This doesn't mean you have to be "ON" your site, though. One of our own moderators here, has developed a software that will monitor your site and play a sound when someone hits it (can't remember who, right off hand, but will edit this if I can find him).
    Another con? It is all too much like the intrusive salesman at the appliance store that spots you across the room and makes a bee-line directly toward you. You can't even slip by this guy if you want to. I think one of the things people like about internet shopping is the anonymity of it. You don't have to feel like you will be beat up by an overzealous salesperson when you "walk in the door".

    All in all, I think the pros will outweigh the cons on this one, and we will see it more and more.

    Proactive web-marketing. Has a nice ring to it, eh?

    So, what do you think?
    Last edited by JabezStone; 08-28-2003 at 08:12 PM.

  2. #2
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    I like the sound of it, while I rarely buy anything forced on me by a sales person, I agree totally about the frustration of not being able to find something quickly and with minimum clickage.

    Like you I often look at the code of other sites and often I won't return if it's bloated or there's something I don't like the look of (tables with the height in the html, image dimensions in te html etc).

    Definitely there is a big benefit of having someone available to promote your product, you've got someone there to alay the viewers fears that your company might not be the perfect one for them.

    Hosting, in particular ones who offer 24-7 support are in a good position to have someone there to offer this sort of service while normal small business sites are less likely to have the resources available but you've certainly got me thinking about offering a more in depth FAQ page for my own business site.

    I'd be interested in seeing the site you visited though, if you could pm the link to me I'd like to check it out
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  3. #3
    Modding with Class JabezStone's Avatar
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    You've got mail, James.

    I was giving some more thought to the idea of providing this type of "proactive" marketing. Really, it could be feasable for anyone to use on their site, since it would merely mean contacting visitors whenever you were available.
    Basically, if you were at a computer (say, at work?) and you had your site monitor up and running, you could respond only when someone visits your site. From there, it's just bringing up your web-based chat module and initiating a conversation.

    At any rate, I think web-business owners often overlook the need for clearly communicating to their visitors. "hits" mean nothing if you don't have a good method of selling your service, whatever that may be... even if your service is free. Somehow, the visitor should be led to make a positive decision.

    In this proactive format, it is almost like the ultimate form of communication. Rather than having to "find" the info they need, a visitor is led directly to the info they desire... or that the seller think will secure the sale.

    The more I think about this, the more I like it.

  4. #4
    YH Jelly Llama Jockey defuzz's Avatar
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    If you've already got a tech supprt or sales team on hand for phone calls then why not have them online ready for chats.

    PERSONALLY though, I hate it when shop assistants come up to me and say "Can I help you sir", I just want to be left alone to browse, but when I want someone's assitance, they all disapear. Thats what I would want from a live help fcility, I'd get annoyed if they popped up and said hello, but I'd like it if there was a link I could press to get immediate assistance.

  5. #5
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    Wow, thats intresting. Ive always found those live help/support chat things nice, but alittle annoying.


    Could I please see the site you were referring to(the hosting)?

  6. #6
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    editp.
    Last edited by younghistorians; 07-07-2006 at 01:19 PM.

  7. #7
    Part Time Goth TianaKaeSha's Avatar
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    I have visited a lot of sites where they have the yahoo/ICQ/MSN "I am online" buttons on a page.

    I really like this idea, because if I really want some information that is not on the site, and they are online, it means that I can talk to them directly.

    It is like picking up the phone to call.

    I would like to see this happening a lot more.

    At the same time, I hate having windows pop up that I have not requested
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  8. #8
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    Originally posted by TianaKaeSha
    I have visited a lot of sites where they have the yahoo/ICQ/MSN "I am online" buttons on a page.

    I really like this idea, because if I really want some information that is not on the site, and they are online, it means that I can talk to them directly.

    It is like picking up the phone to call.

    I would like to see this happening a lot more.

    At the same time, I hate having windows pop up that I have not requested
    Well, I find it better than a phone call because I don't have to let them hear me, or even my tone of voice

  9. #9
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    The best use of it is to have it readily available...but not automatically spawn.

    There is a certain site I go back often too (well..not any more) that kept spawning the dang window even though I was a customer. No cookies, etc to tell them this little piece of info.

    It will become counter productive....okus sometimes the little Java-portions of these things can stall/crash... leaving a very bad impression of your company.

    2 Cents,

    Tom

  10. #10
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    Originally posted by Agent_Coop
    The best use of it is to have it readily available...but not automatically spawn.

    There is a certain site I go back often too (well..not any more) that kept spawning the dang window even though I was a customer. No cookies, etc to tell them this little piece of info.

    It will become counter productive....okus sometimes the little Java-portions of these things can stall/crash... leaving a very bad impression of your company.

    2 Cents,

    Tom
    Yes, I hate it when those little java windows ruin everything. The chat software I have allows me to see how many times this visitor has visited...also allows cookies, etx...its nice!

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