Last time, I promised to show you what a true persuasion scenario looks like. A persuasion scenario is much more than a one-dimensional, overly simplistic conversion funnel. So, before I dissect and expose a truly persuasive scenario, we must define a persuasion scenario's necessary qualities.
Persuasion Scenario Defined
To quote my site:
A scenario consists of persuasive components that lead a visitor segment to participate in a conversion action. Some of these components will be linear; others will be nonlinear. All must be customer-focused -- based on how each segment approaches the decision to buy -- rather than business-focused.
[It] provides for the meaningful measurement of customer activity so you can optimize performance.
Each aspect of a persuasion scenario must be planned with a customer focus that acknowledges the differing needs of each visitor segment (persona) and provides persuasive momentum. Into that structure, and always sensitive to it, the scenario incorporates the business' sales process in a way that benefits visitors without undermining their buying decision process.
Most effective persuasive efforts begin with a narrative or brief storyline that describes how each persona will behave and what it'll need to gain buying resolve at all stages of the buying process. A persona's path to a macro conversion may consist of several unique scenarios, each with a measurable micro-conversion action required. Only after you've identified these persona needs can you create and map your persuasion scenario.
Persuasion Scenario Components
Every scenario component will consist of one or several persuasion entities, each with a distinct responsibility and measurable contribution to the scenario's success. The persuasion entities are typically Web pages, but they don't have to be, as some scenario aspects occur offline or offsite. A persuasion entity can be a banner ad, a search engine result, a mass-media ad, a print ad, a telephone sales script, even something like a business card. Whatever contact method you have with the prospect should be accounted and planned for.
The components defined:
Hypothetical Persuasion Scenario
Let's pretend General Motors has identified four buyer segments, or personas, for the Corvette. One segment is a competitive buyer; he's most concerned with performance and speed. Let's plan a simple scenario for the competitive buyer persona, "Donald":
This uncomplicated scenario shows how a simple conversion funnel falls short. For one, it doesn't account for human-based, nonlinear marketing, much to the chagrin of technical types who would like it to be simplified and left-brained. The real world of customers just doesn't agree.
And this is just one scenario. Donald could have several more to account for different driving points and different conversion goals, not to mention the other personas and their scenarios.
What site do you think will have a better overall conversion rate, the one that accounts for all its complex buying scenarios or the one trying to stuff prospects into a simple conversion funnel or two? Want a hint?
Not only are these persuasion scenarios exciting to marketers, they're also measurable and accountable to business goals by design. Since each of these scenarios posits a model for customer behavior, each can be analyzed and optimized.
More about analyzing and its superiority to conversion funnel reporting next time.
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Bryan Eisenberg is coauthor of the Wall Street Journal, Amazon, BusinessWeek, and New York Times bestselling books "Call to Action," "Waiting For Your Cat to Bark?," and "Always Be Testing." Bryan is a professional marketing speaker and has keynoted conferences globally such as SES, Shop.org, Direct Marketing Association, MarketingSherpa, Econsultancy, Webcom, SEM Konferansen Norway, the Canadian Marketing Association, and others. In 2010, Bryan was named a winner of the Direct Marketing Educational Foundation's Rising Stars Awards, which recognizes the most talented professionals 40 years of age or younger in the field of direct/interactive marketing. He is also cofounder and chairman emeritus of the Web Analytics Association. Bryan serves as an advisory board member of SES Conference & Expo, the eMetrics Marketing Optimization Summit, and several venture capital backed companies. He works with his coauthor and brother Jeffrey Eisenberg. You can find them at BryanEisenberg.com.
March 19, 2014