eStrategy: You are welcome; but you not so much!

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Whether you like it or not, you are living on the “animal farm.” Is it time your eStrategy reflected Orwellian thinking?
Strategists often focus on web traffic and for good reason. However, not all visitors are created equal – some are more equal than others. So a single minded focus on traffic without analysis of specific visitors is, more often than not, a wish and a prayer not sound strategy.
Before you spend time and energy, not to mention shareholder dollars, barking at the moon, think!
Organizations spend a lot to get traffic to their website. Advertising dollars are spent; websites created; systems integrated without thought on how they will generate value. In a business world driven by “differentiation” we fail to differentiate between visitors. In an attempt at customer service we serve everybody – the same way.
This futile attempt at getting value from the web drains dollars and delivers disappointment. But there is a more dangerous unintended consequence – we tick off our “valuable” visitors. For they visit us to be served and we fail to serve them properly with our “socialist” eBusiness model where everyone is served the same way. Our message is not focused and the net is that we do not convert visitors into “maximum” dollars – again, a single minded focus on converting “visitors” into “customers” without regard to how much value each customer delivers to our bottom line comes in the way.
Here is a simple rule of thumb: each visitor delivers different value to your business. Apply the 80-20 rule with the zeal of a bigot. Differentiate between visitors and make it obvious. Go to the extreme – actively engage valuable visitors and push, yes push, the less “desirable” ones to your competitors. Believe me, they might not like it but they will understand. They live in this capitalist society too!
Your business model dictates which visitors are more valuable than others – check your levers of competitive advantage to make sure. If a customer visits often and buys nothing then you are better off without that traffic. If they visit often and call more then get rid of them. If they buy lots then provide means to give them personal service. If they buy higher margin stuff then put a bow on the package – if you know what I mean!
Be Orwellian, without shame or guilt, and modify your customer service mantra – all customers are created equal but some are more equal than others.
Go after valuable visitors with your advertising, but more importantly, with everything that your website, nay operations, are all about. Valuable visitors should feel welcome. They should want to interact with you. They should want to buy more from you. And this should be evident from every aspect of your existence not just your website.
Know what they want and deliver it. Ask them if they liked what they saw – passionately kick out what they did not like. Ask them what more can you do for them and deliver it.
Analyze visitor traffic to isolate which ones are more valuable than others. This analysis should start with web log analysis should not end there. An integrated capability – again, a data warehouse is an important component of this capability but not an end all – that separates the wheat from chafe is critical to your success.
If you do not have this capability then you are still playing in the little league. Expect pee wee results. You deserve them.

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