October 05, 2006

An Alternate Point of View on Selling/Hybrid/Branding Websites

My recent posts about homepage selling/hybrid/branding techniques resulted in a series of complementary and critical emails. One series of emails from Fred Meyers, Chairman and Founder of The Queensboro Shirt Company, resulted in a few observations worth sharing with you. Here's a sampling of Fred's observations:
  • "Where have you distinguished between the influence of the actual design of the landing page as opposed to the overall selling strategy of the company? Where is the indication that the design of the landing page in an of itself has any influence at all on the behavior of the visitor? Isn't it in fact likely that there are a lot of other factors that are likely to influence a visitors behavior and the metrics you cite other than the design of the landing page?"
  • "I personally feel that the landing page of a web site is part of an overall marketing strategy and all must work together. A hybrid strategy may generally be the most productive, but that is a decision that probably should be largely determined by market size and the overall 'personality' of the business, including its competitive advantages, if it has any."
  • "If a test indicates a hybrid landing page outperforms one of the other approaches, and they hybrid approach is in contrast to the basic selling strategy of the business, perhaps it is not the design of the page that is responsible for the improvement, but the overall approach to the customer. In this instance I would say possibly (and probably) the prior approach was not the best one to take."
  • "I don't think the analysis supports the conclusion that the hybrid landing page design, in and of itself, is the most productive format, only that more successful sites are hybrid than any other format."
There are valid points in Fred's argument. My analysis did focus on the homepage, and the analysis suggested that the homepage strongly influenced overall performance. Obviously, other factors come into play in determining whether the site is productive or not. Fred did suggest that the only way to truly know if my conclusion is appropriate or not is to do rigorous, scientific testing.

So give Fred two points for having a point of view that is different than mine. I stand behind my conclusions 100%. But I also want MineThatData to be a place where professionals can have different opinions, and can feel comfortable voicing those differences. An open and honest dialogue that supports diverse points of view is something that will be encouraged at MineThatData.

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