I recently picked up an old copy of Malcolm Gladwell’s, What the Dog Saw. In the first chapter Gladwell spotlights a brilliant marketer Ron Popiel, the founder of Ronco, and inventor of popular kitchen gadgets. He narratesPopiel’s family history, which while interesting, wasn’t nearly as fascinating to me as the fundamentals behind Popiel’s marketing success.
Gladwell attributes Popeil’s empire to the fact that Popeil consistently positioned his products as the star of the show rather than his company or himself.
Popeil passionately showed his audience how his products worked and provided visual demonstrations of why Ronco products, while often higher priced, were better than the competitors. (Even though this book is almost ten years old, this right here is a classic example of how to leverage your unique value proposition.)
So what does this have to do with your online marketing?
One way to leverage the Popeil approach is to create a microsite focused on one or two of your products. A microsite allows you creative flexibility and freedom that you might not have with a corporate site.
And you need to use video!
Using Video to Promote Products
People want to see what they are getting. When you showcase your product using video, its kind of like “trying before buying” for your clients. Demonstrate your product’s capabilities, differences, and ease-of-use.
Think about it this way. Would you rather buy a gadget from Company Z for $100 and hope it’s a good fit for your application, or would you rather spend$25 more with a company that has a plethora of videos on their site detailing how the product works in a variety of applications? I’d gladly pay the extra $25 to save wasted time and money.
Tip: Just as users skim written content, they also want their videos short and to the point. Keep video segments brief, no longer than 3-4 min each, and separate them out by topic or feature. That way if someone is interested in only knowing how one small portion works, they can just watch that one video rather than having to watch an entire 20 min segment about your product.
A microsite should NOT be where you house a full-length bio on your CEO or detail your entire product catalog. A microsite is typically fewer than five landing pages and in some cases, it’s only one. Focus solely on one or two key items and link to your main site for those who want to look at more. Always make it clear how they can take their next step and let your products be the star.
Unless you only sell a few products, a microsite is NOT a replacement for your corporate website. However, they present very well on mobile and can be the perfect answer for an advertising campaign.
Keep in mind that the genius part of Popeil’s marketing message is that it’s to the point. While infomercials can be a bit cheesy, they work because they keep things simple and focus on the most important selling points of the products. Successful pitchmen don’t go on and on about how the gadget is made and how he got the idea for the invention-blah, blah, blah. Instead, they focus on what the customer wants and needs to hear in order to make a purchase. That should be your focus too. Keep it simple. Be continually looking for ways to cut the fat out of your marketing message.