Return on Investment is one of the most talked about concepts in the realm of online marketing. Blogs and discussion forums are devoted to helping businesses learn how to judge the ROI of their search campaigns, their email campaigns, their paid search campaigns and every other type of campaign. What often gets overlooked however, is what your customer's ROI is when they shop with you.
Yes, your customer DOES have an ROI, even if you've never thought about it in those terms before.
Information on some sites is so company focused; I have no idea what it can do for me. On other sites, the information is simply presented in a "here it is, now buy it" format, with no persuasive content or helps to convince me to purchase. The winners are those companies that realize that if they sell to the benefit of the customer, they will create a lasting impression.
FisherPrice.com sells parenting advice more than toys. They provide age-appropriate toy selection advice and how you can educate using toys - they help you be a better parent.
Woot.com makes it fun to buy impulse items that you really don't need. The goal is to buy it first and before they run out. The loftier goal is to buy the elusive Bag O' Crap.
Wine.com doesn't just sell wine, they help you become a little more intelligent about wines - you may be able to even hold your own in a discussion about a Pinot Gris.
In his post, Matt mentions a conversation we had about calculating customer ROI. It was sparked when I told him about Mango's Place, the drop-in day care center that I've started using for my kids two days a week. I mentioned the fact that I was now dropping $40 each time I took the kids to the center. ($13 an hour for three hours.) Matt laughed at me and asked what the value of kid-free work time was.
He had a good point. In fact, I'm sitting in Panera Bread working on their free wifi as I type this. I need to leave in ten minutes to pick up the kids, but in the three hours I've been here I've caught up on email, IMed with several people about an upcoming conference, edited and posted a guest article, written a 2100 word article of my own and am hoping to wrap up and publish this blog post before I leave.
How many hours would all that have taken me if I'd been doing it at home with a 2.5 year old, a 10 month old and a needy dog competing for attention? Most likely it would have taken the entire day.
That $40 fee is looking pretty good right now.
What are you doing to sell your customers on the positive ROI your product generates for them?
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