What Online Sales Can Learn from Frogger

3 minutes

Help buyers navigate a new world where time is short and stakes are high

Our constantly connected world has blurred the lines between personal, professional, and social lives, creating one big freeway of accelerating demands. Greater access to tools and information have leveled the playing field, giving individuals amped-up buying power and making it more difficult to market to people who have increasingly diverse purchasing needs as well as increasingly divided attention.

It’s almost like the classic game of Frogger: buyers are navigating a dangerous field of conflicting messages, and marketers need to guide them through to purchase with the right messages. In the past, sophisticated lead nurturing campaigns were used exclusively to bring high-profile corporate clients and businesses through the buying process. In the more convoluted modern world, all kinds of buyers need a custom plan to guide them through a complicated and rapidly changing purchasing landscape. With more competition than ever for buyer attention online, marketers face a lot of obstacles in trying to reach individuals.

Modern marketers need to nail two elements: timing and personalization. Buyers don’t always realize it, but they’re extremely accustomed to receiving personalized messages online. Whether it’s contextual ads in Gmail, targeted ads on Facebook, or sponsored ads in a Twitter stream, almost everything that people see online these days has been tailored to their specific needs, based on their browsing history. This means that messages need to be personalized accurately, no matter what channel they use.

And while personalization has become a requirement, it’s not enough on its own. Messages also need to be timed right, down to the moment, so they get in through the stream of competing ads – just like in Frogger. Getting the timing right is all about making it as easy as possible for people to act on messages given their current context and the information they have. Links need to go directly to the purchase page for the right item, or even to the shopping cart with the item already in and the custom discount applied. Requiring buyers to type in a discount code just introduces another step in the process that busy buyers don’t have time for. Prospective buyers shouldn’t have to focus on figuring out how to purchase. They just need to be able to do it – as quickly and easily as possible.

And even as monetization clearly counts, interactions need not always be about the exchange of money, through a cart, in-product or otherwise, they need to be about the exchange of value, which in turn increases conversion and retention.

While it may seem obvious that marketers need to provide the right personalization at the right time, the massive quantities of data, channels, and tools that marketers must deal with can really complicate the process. Much like our game of Frogger, marketers can never stop thinking about all the other forces bombarding their buyers. That’s why software vendors need streamlined tools that are capable of seeing buyers as individuals as well as part of a cohort or segment, and to selling through any channel or model that buyers demand.

Marketers can – and should –take advantage of the technology that’s available to make interaction with the brand, consideration, purchase and usage seamless across channels.

Also, don’t be stuck into B2B or B2C labels – the world is b2i – Business to Individual. Marketing automation and lead gen tools were mostly used for B2B marketing – guess what? More and more companies are using automation to nurture leads even for smaller value, B2C purchases. Another example would be to make channel considerations, like affiliate or partner credit for sales, invisible to the end customer.

In Frogger, it doesn’t matter which path is taken – what matters is just that Frogger gets there safely. Ultimately, marketers need to make sure they’re using timing, personalization, and positioning to guide buyers to making the right steps towards engagement and repeat purchase – not running into obstacles.


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