You Can Fool Some of the People…

We’re doing some work for a new client and, as we sometimes do, we were perusing the web site of their previous vendor. Within their marketing copy on the site, the previous vendor touts the ease of which updates can be made using their software. They also mentioned, in the case study regarding this particular client, how great the site navigation is and that the site allows the visitor to easily see all the iterations of the product line.

Now, I’ve been known to be a little cynical, but I’ve also been known to be a big fan of writing good, compelling copy. The problem in this case, is that the previous vendor has either:

  1. made all of this stuff up,
  2. not really asked the client what they thought, or
  3. really believes their own marketing copy.

Regardless of the reason, it’s a telling lesson: We’re actually doing this work because the previous software was impossible to use, the site navigation was horrid, and the client was frustrated to the point of seeking a new solution.

Folks, talk to your customers. Often. Be inquisitive. Ask them if they’re happy and, if not, find out why and what you can do to fix it.

Unless, of course, you’re a direct competitor to all of us at Rare Bird. In that case, keep up the good work.

I have another story about how this relates to e-commerce. More on that later.

"I’m Gonna Miss You, Daddy."

I always knew being a parent would be challenging. But I never expected this much of a challenge from a 2-1/2 year old.

Picture this: The car is fully loaded for the trip to Florida. Everything is in place except the kids. I’ve gotten Abby and Grace in the car and I’m working on getting them buckled. Having some difficulty, I resorted to threats:

“If you want to go to the beach, I need you to get in your seats,” says I.

Not much response.

“Listen guys, if you want to go with us, you’re going to have to get in your seats and get buckled.” Still no response. I decide to rephrase it.

“If you don’t get into your seats right now, we’re going to leave you at home by yourself.” This finally got their attention, though the response wasn’t what I intended.

Grace climbed out of the car, walked to the front porch, turned around and said, “I’m gonna miss you, Daddy.”

Great Advice About Cultivating Bloggers: Don't Do It

Ben McConnell posted shortly and sweetly this morning about attempting to get bloggers to discuss your latest and greatest [fill in the blank here]; what he calls the “myth of ‘cultivating’ bloggers.” The bottomline: Don’t do it. He does make another very bright suggestion: engage your current customers and get them more involved. I couldn’t agree more.

[Read his post]

I've Been Arrested!

I knew this would happen. I’ve been living too loosely; walking too close to the edge. They’ll be slapping the cuffs on me in a few weeks and I need help raising bail. Thankfully, the bail in this case is only $1,800 and every bit of it goes to a great cause: helping Jerry’s Kids.

The Muscular Dystrophy Association is a national voluntary health agency dedicated to conquering more than 40 neuromuscular diseases that affect a million Americans of all ages. And they need your help (and so do I.) In a few weeks, they’ll be arriving on my doorstep to arrest me. To be released, I’ll have to post bail in the amount of $1,800. Your donation will help us reach our goal.

Please take a moment to visit my personal Lock Up page and make a tax-deductible donation today. I’ll appreciate it, the MDA will appreciate it, but — most importantly — Jerry’s Kids will love you for it.

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