Waiting For Your Cat To Bark

I just finished reading Waiting for Your Cat to Bark?: Persuading Customers When They Ignore Marketing by the folks over at Grokdotcom and must say I came away impressed, but more importantly much more knowledgeable about how the customer buying process and selling cycle interact.

My key takeaways from this book were:

  • Customers behave more like cats since they now have the ability to control the interactions that they have with your brand.
  • Due to consumer generated media and the rise of social networks, what your brand does is significantly more important than what your brand says
  • The goal of the sales process is to minimize friction throughout the buying cycle.
    • This is directly correlated with how much confidence the consumers have in your site.
  • Customers will voluntarily engage with with your sales process as long as it provides relevant answers to their questions.
  • Buying cycle begins once the customer has identified a problem that needs to be solved. These early stages are when you can have the greatest impression
  • For every sale there are micro sales, which are won each time a customer clicks through or advances in the process
  • 3 Primary Questions of any conversion process
    1. Who are we trying to persuade?
    2. What do we want them to do?
    3. What do they need?
  • Relevance is critical and must be present at every touchpoint.
  • Customers interact with brands, not channels, which is why cross channel customer experience needs to be on point.
  • Figuring out how to increase conversion rates of a channel is more valuable than pushing more traffic to the channel
  • People want personalized experiences, but aren’t willing to sacrifice their personal data necessary.
  • Using ‘personas’ allows you to simulate the buying process of a typical segment of your audience
  • Engagement as a metric is faulty. It is a means, not an end, and just because people engage something doesn’t mean they’ll advance to the next step.
  • Benefits are based on people, features are based on things. If there’s a feature, there’s a benefit, and by identifying benefits you appeal to customers emotions.
  • Key question to ask is, “Who are your prospects and what kind of questions are they asking to make them feel more comfortable about buying?”

This does not even begin to go into the level of detail as the book, as it discusses in much more depth how to create personas and guiding them through the conversion process.

For more information about creating personas, check out Creating Personas 101.

2 thoughts on “Waiting For Your Cat To Bark”

  1. Dave,

    Thank you for that excellent review! We’re glad you enjoyed the book — I’ll be sure to pass this along to Jeffrey, Bryan and Lisa.

    But I’m especially glad you pointed out the three questions (“Who are you trying to persuade,” “What actions do you need them to take,” “What information do they need to feel confident taking those actions”). If marketers had that in mind at every stage of website planning, there would be far less friction online. Of course, a lot of that is solved with personas, but the key — as you pointed out — is that if you want to boost conversion rates, you first must persuade them.

    Thanks again! Looks like you read it closer than even some of the folks who bothered to review it on Amazon. 🙂

    -Editor, GrokDotCom

    (By the way, I love that you quote a REAL Guru at the top of your blog. That’s my anthem!)

  2. Thanks for the reply Robert. One thing I’ve come to notice is just how much of an impact increasing conversion rates can have on a business, and how the leaking bucket analogy mentioned in the book was spot on. Filling the holes in the bucket is worth far more in the long run than continually filling the bucket with more water.

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