Informational Peekaboo?

The moment when somebody is on your website, interested in what you sell, and in need of answers, is The Question Moment of Truth (QMOT) explains marketing consultant Barry Feldman. Based on his interview with popular social media strategist Jay Baer, Feldman explores how well companies are responding to this critical moment here. Some takeaways:

  • Companies are generally not responding well enough to the QMOT. “Too many organizations still feel like there’s a reason for somebody to come to their site other than if they have a question or problem.. (as though) somehow going to their website is going to be valuable entertainment. A lot of brands still believe they are somehow competing successfully against Facebook for attention.”
  • “Websites are the only form of communication in the history of communication where every individual consumer of that content has to relearn how to navigate that content every time. Every website has different navigation, which is absurd on surface.”
  • “We are at a point, a transition phase, where business websites are going to become less, not more – and should – because nobody wants to go to your website unless they have a very specific task in mind.”
  • “Just because somebody comes to your website doesn’t mean anything, it does you no actual good unless the person who comes to your website then takes a subsequent action.”

So how does that “subsequent action” happen in the e-commerce experience? (this “weird game of informational peekaboo” as Baer describes it). And what happens when a prospect visits your website and can’t find what they’re looking for?
Baer and Feldman struggle for answers. They tell us offering more website options and channels to communicate is a possible solution, but timing – how to engage when the customer wants and needs to engage – is the challenge. Adds Baer, “Some people hate live chat, some people love it. And this idea that everybody has to call us doesn’t make sense because people don’t want to wait on hold.”

Perhaps it’s all not so complicated. It seems that an easy-to-navigate website, with concise information customers want, might be sufficient?

“We’re so focused on customer acquisition that we don’t spend enough time thinking about customer retention, and certainly not enough time thinking about what our current customers can tell us about what we should offer in the future.”
-Jay Baer

'I'm afraid Mr. Caldwell doesn't want to see you now. However, you're free to visit his web site.'

 

High on Wood

It’s not everyday that lumber traders get to climb 18 flights of stairs to see first hand how mass timber is reshaping methods and process on industrial construction projects. It was our privilege yesterday to visit the UBC Brock Commons site with our NAWLA Vancouver Regional Planning Committee. The private tour, arranged and lead by Oscar Faoro, Contractor – Special Projects, Canadian Wood Council (NRCan – Canadian Tall Wood Building Demonstration Project Initiative) offered closeup look at one of the tallest hybrid mass timber buildings under construction in the world.

The memorable afternoon included an informative presentation by Oscar at the Brock Commons Education and Outreach Centre. He detailed the high performance, cost effective, sustainable solutions in support of the business case for Mass Timber Construction. In architecturally magnificent, wood enhanced surroundings of the Wesbrook Community Center, Ralph Austin, Seagate Structures introduced us to background information. Seagate was awarded the contract for wood installations at Brock Commons. We also viewed the planned site of Virtuoso by Adera, the first six-storey, hybrid Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) building in Western Canada.

Special thanks also to Karla Fraser, Senior Project Manager, Urban One Builders, who lead our group in the informative tour to the top, with kindly consideration for respite at occasional elevations to both absorb information on stages of construction – and catch our breath.

Autumn Winds

Elizabeth Browning’s poem The Autumn refers to this time of year “Where waving woods and waters wild  Do hymn an autumn sound.” For many of us, this year’s first sounds of fall bring an unusual mix of seasonal notes:

Amid Maritime vacation memories not yet fully unpacked come reviews of first day of kindergarten for my four-year-old, a tumble and fall off the bus on day one of Grade One for my six-year-old, and newspaper reports suggesting the provincial government could seek exemptions from export duties for B.C. re-manufacturers that might come in a new Softwood Lumber Agreement with the U.S.
Ensuring access to timber for the value-added sector poses ongoing challenge. It is hoped the proposed exemption would provide incentive for big timber licensees to make more wood available to the value-added segment of the forest industry. Meanwhile, a report today from CIBC Capital Markets cites a source via Inside U.S. Trade who suggested SLA negotiations were closer at the 100-day period than they are now. 

It seems the “chilling autumn winds” that Browning talked about could deliver more than a bloody lip that highlighted my daughter’s Grade One debut. Amid election-fueled talk of softwood negotiations, lumber traders are bracing for the October 12th standstill expiry to deliver more tears than exemptions.

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Lunchtime! with Grandad – Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia (30 Aug 2016)