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What do people want online?
Jay Conrad Levinson
(author of "Guerilla Marketing")
not what you think it is!
What people want online is a question guerrillas ask themselves a lot.
Whether it's for fun or work or something else, understanding a consumer's
motives once he or she logs on is a necessity. But the experts can't agree
on what people want.
want to look at ads?
Some folks see the web as a vast, new field for advertising
messages, assuming that while people may want to do something else, if
we can entice them with flash, we can sort of trick them into paying attention
to our products and services.
what. That's not gonna happen.
Other folks seem to subscribe to the notion that people online
are looking for entertainment on the Internet, and therefore they construct
messages aimed at persuading while playing. And, in other cases, the time-honored
direct-response model wins out: Grab people when you can, get 'em to take
an action, and then market, market, market. The answer may be that the
consumer has and wants a lot more control than we give him/her credit
webmeisters are in control. Sort of. In a perfect
cyberworld, people will be in control. Sort of.
recent studies shed light upon this dilemma. One was conducted by Zatso.
The other was conducted by the Pew Research Center. Zatso and Pew. (Those
guys didn't spend much time reading "how-to-name-your-company"
books, I guess.) Still, both of their studies illuminated the answer as
to what people want to do online.
want to accomplish something!
The answer, as most answers, is very utilitarian: People want to accomplish
something online. They're not aimless surfers hoping to discover a cybertreasure.
Instead, the average Net user turns out to be a goal-oriented person interested
in finding information and communicating with others -- in doing something
he or she set out to do.
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at the Zatso study. "A View of the 21st Century News Consumer"
looked at people's news reading habits on the web. It revealed that reading
and getting news was the most popular online activity after email. The
guerrilla thinks, "That means email is number one. How might I capitalize
out of three respondents reported that they read news online every day,
with their interests expanding geographically -- local news was of the
most interest, U.S. news the least.
Personalization was seen as a benefit, too. Seventy-five percent of respondents
said that they wanted news on demand and nearly two out of three wanted
personalized news. The subjects surveyed liked the idea that they, not
some media outlet, controlled the news they saw. They feel they're better
equipped to select what they want to see than a professional editor. Again,
control seems to be the issue. Again, guerrillas think of ways to market
by putting the prospect in control.
Pew Research Center study revealed that regular net users
were more connected with their friends and family than those who didn't
use the Internet on a regular basis.
Almost two-thirds of the 3,500 respondents said they felt that
email brought them closer to family and friends -- significant
when combined with the fact that 91% of them used email on a
regular basis. That's 91%. It took VCRs 25 years to achieve such market
What did people in this study seem to be doing online when they weren't
doing email? Half were going online regularly to
purchase products and services, and nearly 75 percent were going online
to search for information about their hobbies or
purchases they were planning to make. Sixty-four percent of
respondents visited travel sites, and 62 percent visited
weather-related sites. Over half did educational research, and
54 percent were hunting for data about health and medicine.
surprising 47 percent regularly visited government web sites,
and 38 percent researched job opportunities. Instant messaging was used
by 45 percent of these users, and a third of them played games online.
Even with all the hype in the media, only 12 percent said they traded
Are we talking theory here? Absolutely not! Jay's ideas are turned into
practical "how-to" plans to put your website on steroids. They
are all available in his new eBook - and it's very affordable! Check out
the full details - and some free offers - at:
lessons for e-marketers
What does this mean to e-marketers? It means that if you're
constructing a site for goal-oriented consumers, you'd better
make sure you can help facilitate their seeking.
than focus on entertainment, flash, and useless splash screens, the most
effective sites are those that help people get the information they want
when they need it. Straightforward data, information that invites comparison,
and straight talk are going to win the day.
client buddy of mine showed me his website which heralds his
retail location and attempts to sell nothing online. He said it
has been the biggest moneymaker in the history of his
35-year-old company. Then he apologized for its lack of glitter
and special effects. He asked how his site could be so
successful even though it lacked anything to add razzmatazz and dipsydazzle.
you know the answer.
Conrad Levinson is probably the most respected marketer in the world.
He is the inventor of "Guerrilla Marketing" and is
responsible for some of the most outrageous marketing campaigns in history
-- including the "Marlboro Man" -- the most
successful ad campaign in history. In his latest book, "Put
Your Internet Marketing on Steroids" Jay reveals how you can
use marketing steroids legally to make your business insanely