Sales Prospecting Tips & Methods | Jeff Molander
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This Week in e-Tail: September 24, 2007

This Week in eTail
Performance Marketing

Shopping.com Responds to Advertisers’ Demands
Shopping comparison engine, Shopping.com, is first among the major engines to share useful performance data and optimization tools with advertisers and agencies including:

  • SKU-level bidding: allowing advertisers to get specific on highly-trafficked products within categories and better management tools for SKU bids requiring “special attention”
  • Product performance reports: Allowing for insight on what’s working and what isn’t on a product and product category level
  • Value-based pricing: Starting in early Q4 clicks are being priced on each publisher’s traffic performance
  • Shop cart enhancements: integration with eBay express, email marketing opt-ins, etc.
  • Distributed shopping: Providing for a more flexible “do it yourself” engine (think AdSense for shopping comparison) with the intent to increase advertisers’ ad distribution

WHY IT MATTERS: As compared to Google and Yahoo’s search ad platform, comparison shopping engines have been laggards in providing such useful data insights to customers. Advertisers now have a shot at actual optimization!

Integrated Performance Marketing Agency Launches
Mercent announced new advertising spend management and billing service — a full-service performance marketing agency dubbed Mercent Performance. The company provides retailers with a single-contract, single-invoice option for managing ad insertions and billing across more than 50 leading online shopping feed channels. As the merchant’s agency-of-record, they literally manage every aspect of a retailer’s online product advertising efforts — including arrangements with comparison shopping engines, shopping portals, online marketplaces and affiliate programs.

WHY IT MATTERS: Affiliate networks and comparison shopping engines represent fragmented performance marketing channels that beg to be automated (scaled) when it comes to optimization. Advertisers also expect this automation to take into account things like product inventory levels (there’s no sense in buying more clicks when you’re out of product!) and a product or category’s ability to turn that inventory (what’s hot – what’s not).

Amazon Launches Affiliate Program Widgets

Featuring

  • Slideshows: Presents images from the Amazon product selection as a slideshow
  • My Favorites: Users can recommend and commenting on products
  • Wish List: Just what the name says it is
  • Product Cloud: Including the ‘wisdom of crowds’ by bolding the most popular items
  • Amazon Unbox Video Previewer: Shows movie studio and TV network previews for videos available from the Amazon Unbox video download service

WHY IT MATTERS: Why aren’t you providing affiliates with widgets?

Social Media

Shop.com Building Customer Communities with Blog and Facebook Tool
Shop.com is adding a lifestyle blog, a Facebook shopping application and gift registries for multiple stores as it tries to give customers more ways to shop and exchange information online. The blog will be updated five times a week and will include guest expert bloggers, surveys and polls.Shop.com also developed a new shopping application for the social network Facebook. It enables Facebook users to search Shop.com, add products to their wish lists, view their friends’ Shop.com wish lists and share product information.

WHY IT MATTERS: Open Brands” are more than just hot air and advertisers aren’t taking the lead themselves so their distributors are. Let’s go advertisers! You don’t see distributors letting negative Web 2.0 spin get the best of them do ya? Read up!

Research

44% of catalogers’ orders are consummated on Web sites, up from 39% a year ago says DMA’s “Multichannel Marketing in the Catalog Industry.”

WHY IT MATTERS: Multi-channel catalogers are at the forefront of developing new efficiencies. Vinny Lingham and Brookstone’s Steve August understand the importance of uncovering multi-channel advertising waste and inefficiencies to drive more cost-effective marketing and incremental sales.

About the Author Jeff Molander

Jeff Molander is the authority on starting sales conversations online. He teaches a proven, effective and repeatable communications process to spark buyers curiosity about what you're selling. He's a sought-after sales prospecting trainer to individual reps, teams of sellers and small businesses owners across the globe. He's an accomplished entrepreneur, having co-founded the Google Affiliate Network and what is today the Performics division of Publicis Groupe.

Jeff also serves as adjunct digital marketing faculty at Loyola University’s school of business. His book, Off The Hook Marketing: How to Make Social Media Sell for You, is first to offer businesses a clear, practical way to create leads and sales with platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and blogs.

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