Over the American Thanksgiving weekend, a person claiming to be hunting ROI, casually struck up a conversation about a newspaper article he just read. The report claimed 2004 on-line consumer Christmas spending would increase 20% over 2003. He wanted my opinion if it would be wise to try to capture some of that demand with his yet to become e-commerce site. After I sat there in silence for several (long) moments, trying to figure out if this person was truly serious or not, I offered him several ideas for taking advantage of these kinds of trends. For as we all know, hunting ROI is not for the uninformed!
I told him, “Why yes, of course you should …… For 2005“. I explained the trend will continue, and pending any government meddling, the trend will grow for quite some time. First, I had to explain several things that were going against him in 2004:
- in general HE wasn’t prepared
- in general HIS STAFF wasn’t prepared
- the SITE was not prepared to handle e-commerce
- PPC could be used but without the research it would be less effective
Now before some of you send me emails stating that it can be done, keep in mind, this person only has approximately 15 calendar days of consumer shopping to pull this off. It would be ridiculously foolish to attempt this when this company has at least one tried and true method that has worked in the past holiday seasons. They should count on this method again, but plan for moving into the e-realm for 2005. The opportunity cost far out weighed the potential ROI.
I then began to cover some areas he should plan for in 2005:
- email campaigns to his existing clients are crucial in exploiting trends (share of wallet)
- email campaigns to prospects are equally crucial (share of mind)
- the comfort of knowing your e-commerce site can handle the peak season load is always important (peace of mind)
- back office procedures need to be adjusted and fine tuned for e-business
- key word phrase research should be done for primary phrase and complementary phrases
- PPC budgets should be planned
- give search engine optimization some time to get some pages ranked higher so you don’t have to spend so much with PPC
- research providers of internet ads (banner and tower) of your target audience
At this point he stopped me and thanked me for my time. I wonder if I will ever meet him again. I hope so; we could have done a lot for him.