Here’s a marketing practice we might be seeing a lot more — new products shipping without manuals. The new Orb, a TV recording device written up by David Pogue in The New York Times today, does not come with directions. Pogue lambasts the company for this because the Orb requires a fairly complicated set up. He said the Orb is not ready for primetime but tres cool, by the way.
This “no manual” approach wasn’t an omission, it was a smart tactic – one that insures new customers must visit the website.
It’s a sustainable practice, which is forward-looking, unless you print out 50 single sheets of paper from your HP Laserjet, and it offers up some significant marketing surround. Though the Orb people haven’t executed it well (see screen grab of homepage below), this OOB (out of box) experience, makes buyers visit the website where it can continue the selling process and provide a video set-up tute (That’s short for tutorial, Bronwen). It’s a great place to get an email address and product registration info and also a chance to cross- or up-sell – an especially important step for ecommerce customers who may not have had an opportunity to speak with a salesperson.
No manual. I yike it! Peace.