March 11, 2013

Creative - A Home Page Study

For decades, it's been understood that creative (how we present merchandise to a customer) is worth +/- 10% to the sales potential of a business.  We identify this fact by testing different creative treatments, then by measuring response/conversion - we know there is considerable truth to this statement.  

Notice that this style of measurement is "short-term" in nature.  In other words, the impact of creative is +/- 10% in the short term.  What is the impact, long-term?  That's something few people measure.

That's something that many people should measure.

I will offer you a hypothesis, my hypothesis:
  • The creative treatment you employ has a +/- 10% impact on the short-term value of your business, and has a +/- 50% (or larger) impact on the long-term health of your business.
This is a hypothesis, because I don't have the data to prove my hypothesis.

But I do have information that is compelling.  This week, I'm going to share some of the compelling differences in creative, and associate the compelling differences with our Judy / Jennifer / Jasmine framework.

Let's start with an example.  This is the home page of QVC, as of the evening of March 8.

Which audience purchases from QVC?
  1. Judy - Average Age = 60.
  2. Jennifer - Average Age = 44.
  3. Jasmine - Average Age = 28.
  4. Jadyn - Average Age = 12.

Carefully study the creative treatment used on the home page.  Look at all the "stuff" presented to Judy on this page.  Yes, there's a story here "A Clean Start", but, wow, QVC doesn't want you to leave the home page.

Here's Footsmart ... another Judy-centric business, according to Quantcast (click here).

Again, there's a theme ... but from the home page, there's a desire to get you to whatever you want, without any waste of time.

If you are +/- 60 years old, go find your favorite brand, and look at the presentation of merchandise on the home page.  You're likely to find similarities to this style of presentation. And if you look at the websites preferred by younger generations, you'll see a different style of presentation.

For instance, here's Zappos (Quantcast says Zappos is preferred by 25-54 year olds, the average, of course, would be Jennifer).

We've got four stories being shared instead of three (not that that matters much), but the presentation is a bit cleaner above the fold - and there is the focus on free shipping and free returns (which, you'll find, is frequently aligned with websites that appeal to Jennifer - take a look for yourselves).

You'll find that Judy-centric websites are drill-down focused, less story-oriented, and are more likely to increase the assortment on the home page.  As you move from Judy to Jennifer, you start to see the introduction of stories - still easy to get around, but the creative presentation is more story oriented.

Tomorrow, we'll continue our discussion.