Happiness and the microsite

(Caveat: The open secret to eternal, unassailable happiness or, more accurately, ‘joyful stillness’ is to eliminate the false sense of separation. That is not the happiness of which we speak in this article. The happiness referred to herein resides on the phenomenal level and feeds and sates the genetic, conditioned ego. Just so you know. No enlightenment here. Not today. A blog on that TK.)

Consumers pursue happiness with every breath. And don’t listen when they tell you otherwise. Marketers have to be like Ulysses tied to the mast, hearing but resisting, as the Sirens sing their songs of deception. Listening to consumers tell you there are reasons for their behavior other than their own egoic needs is like listening to that Dutch guy say he reacted the way he did to save the plane. He reacted to save the Dutch guy. (Or maybe he was overcome with patri-guilt as it was his boneheaded TSA agents who waved the panty-bomber through.)

With this in mind, determining what makes consumers happy and more prone to buy is quite simple. Just discover what feeds their insatiable and persistent ego. And by ego I don’t mean narcissistic vanity. I mean that force inside that demands you be seen as separate and special and heroic and needed.

Like the big plant in Little Shop of Horrors, the ego is constantly chattering and nagging your brain to be fed.  Even the most enlightened can’t shut it down.  It will be heard.  And what it wants is, at the core, to ensure the survival of the self.

So exactly what will guarantee its survival?  To be more attractive, smarter, stronger, healthier … the usual suspects.  There are dozens of human needs pyramids and tables from which to pull.

But today’s little addition to those ubiquitous lists – something that will definitely feed the happiness of the ego – is a simple thing that is essential in any marketing program that needs to convert a browser into a buyer and to track that exchange (what marketing program doesn’t?) I’m talking about the microsite.

Any DRTV ad, any print ad, any outdoor campaign – basically anything that drives a buyer to a URL to get more info or to order – needs to be supported by a microsite that is designed for instant recognition and instant gratification.

First, instant recognition. The buyer should be met by a microsite that displays the same graphics and copy positioning as the ad that led them there. Sounds obvious but this somehow eludes even the savviest of marketers. This will increase your conversion rate exponentially. I’ve seen the tests. By sending the potential customer to the company’s main website you could be launching them into a sea of conflicting messaging and offers.  And you can’t tell what offline ad got them there in the first place. An inexcusable direct marketing mistake.

Next, instant gratification. Like any 5 year old, the insatiable ego wants what it wants and wants it now.  We have conditioned the consumer to be able to get action and service 24/7. Any backtracking from this expectation will result in lost business. So the design should be such that getting the information they need and taking the next steps are quite apparent to all levels of users.

Clean, simple, instant. That’s not as easy as it sounds.  Going back to the old days of creating insert cards for magazines we saw the design of a card account for huge leaps in response rates. It’s the same with microsites. It takes an experienced creative team to arrange the ones and zeroes in their proper places.  (Um, yeah, we’ve got those people on staff here at m3digital.)

So you see, a perfectly executed microsite is the key to happiness. Tell that to Deepak Chopra.

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