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October 7, 2014

Pubcon Keynote Liveblog: The Importance of ‘Buyer Legends’ with Jeffrey Eisenberg

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“Buyer legends” are what marketer and bestselling author Jeffrey Eisenberg calls the narratives that craft a customer journey – and it’s also the name the company that he runs with his brother. In this morning’s keynote, Eisenberg will dive into buyer legends, exploring why they matter and what goes into them.

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“Buyer Legends: The Executive Storyteller’s Guide”

People want wisdom. What they’re always looking for is one thing – they love to hear one thing – do this little thing and everything will work. They just love to take one nugget that makes a huge impact on their business.

But we don’t have just one thing.

There’s so much that goes into online marketing, and marketing at large:

  • Copywriting
  • Testing and experimentation
  • Search marketing
  • Social media
  • Design and layout
  • Psychology, human behavior and persuasion
  • Marketing and branding
  • Sales Presentation
  • Usability and user experiences
  • Information architecture
  • Business and web analytics

Finding one thing leads to a feeling of celebration — a feeling where everything went right. Think the 1986 Mets. A world series is a great metaphor for how to run a business – every marketing success comes from a long-term campaign for success. It’s about doing a lot of things right, not just one thing right.

Buyer Legends

Knowing that there can be no one single thing that makes or break marketing, buyer legends become all the more important. Buyer legends are the narrative that craft a customer journey, but they’re also an integral business process.

“Buyer Legends is a business process that combines the emotional power of storytelling with hard data to open new opportunities, spot gaps and optimize your sales and marketing.

Buyer Legends communicate the brand’s story intent and critical touch point responsibilities within every level of an organization from the boardroom to the stockroom.

Buyer Legends deliver improved execution, communications, testing and provide a big boost to the bottom line.”

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Jeffrey Eisenberg, “Buyer Legends: The Executive Storyteller’s Guide”

Why You Can’t Look at Hard Data Alone

The problem with hard data is that we’re looking through a quantitative lens and throw out empathy. This isn’t an opinion; there have been studies that definitively show when one part of the brain is turned on, the other side is turned off. You need to pay attention to both sides.

You need to tell stories. Stories lead to neural coupling, mirroring, dopamine production and increased cortex activity.

Conversion is a Journey, Not a Destination

“Conversion rate is a measure of your ability to persuade visitors to take the action you want them to take. It’s a reflection of your effectiveness and customer satisfaction. For you to achieve your goals, visitors must first achieve theirs.” —Bryan Eisenberg at ClickZ 2001

When thinking about personas, don’t just think about the personas – be the persona. Experience it.

Eisenberg thinks Amazon does a great job of this, and calls Amazon the most customer-centric company he can think of. He quotes CEO Jeff Bezos: “The most important single things is to focus obsessively on the customer. Our goal is to be Earth’s most customer-centric company.”

Hard data shows that customer experience leaders have a far greater ROI than customer experience laggards.

Amazon’s model works. Realize:

  • Amazon has a 13 percent higher American Customer satisfaction index than competitors.
  • Amazon has seven times the category depth of competitors.
  • Amazon’s prices are 5 to 14 percent lower than their competitors.

10 Essential Elements of a Buyer Legend

  1. Who?
  2. Their purpose and objectives
  3. The sequence of steps in their plan
  4. The rational for their plan
  5. Key decisions
  6. Emotional struggles
  7. Anti-goals (the pre-mortem – what you don’t want to happen)
  8. Constraints and considerations
  9. Reasonable alternatives
  10. How will you measure it?

Why are buyer legends Important? A buyer legend:

  • Improves communication. Everyone gets the big picture and the details.
  • Improves execution. Direction communication instead of implied instructions.
  • Improves testing. Better variations to test, and if variations fail look to assumptions.
  • Makes more money. Improved experiences increase conversions and are worth the investment of time upfront.

Read more about buyer legends in the aptly titled eBook “Buyer Legends,” to be released Oct. 27, by Jeffrey Eisenberg and Brian Eisenberg.

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