There’s a great business and brand planning question I often use during discovery: “Who will win the sale you lose?” If talking to Coke, the lost sale might be to Pepsi (not likely), a store-brand cola, a couponed cola or maybe a tea or flavored water. If speaking with Microsoft about Office 2010, the lost sale might be to Google Docs. Conversely, it’s also nice to know who will lose the sale your brand is going to win. Nice questions — all with actionable strategies.
With the growth of the Web and social media and the preponderant ad-supported model where many services are free (see Google Docs), there’s no sale to lose just a lost ad impression. Readers know I’ve been working on a marketing planning tool called Twitch Point Planning. A twitch point is a point in a media experience, where the visitor disconnects. So, if I’m reading a magazine article there is an Emily Dickenson poem cited, I might twitch over to Wikipedia for a quick side-bar. Or I might Google her and the verse. In this example I’ll likely return to the article, but in many cases I’m gone.
Why is Twitch Point Planning important? It’s important because as a publisher or marketer you want to minimize the loss of your audience. Or, you want to twitch them deeper into your site or sales process. Facebook is such a force because people don’t twitch away very much. And many marketers are even understanding the value of completing the sale on Facebook.
Marketers need to understand, map and manipulate Twitch Points in ways that provide branded value (not spam) at the most appropriate times. If they do so, they will be able to reduce the space between the consumer and a transaction. Peace.