December 11, 2012
So which author avatar is the people’s favorite?
Yesterday I promised to share the large scale (1500 responses) survey results as to which author avatar consumers would pick from amongst the local search results when they were asked: If you were selecting a lawyer based on these images, which would you select?
Surprised? I admit I was initially. The white, elderly looking republican type won and won by a statistically significant margin amongst the sample of the ~1300 responses used in the weighted results.
Which attributes caused Mr Old Republican to be more appealing? Was it gravitas? Age? Clothing? Shot distance? Colors? Facial expression?
You can find the complete results of the author avatar survey here. These results will allow you do your own faceted analysis of the data by various demographic criteria and you might want to do so prior to coming to any conclusions. Minimally before you go off and use aging software, change your tie color and redo your photograph read on for insights from Cyrus, AJ Kohn and Matt McGee…
December 4, 2012
Moses & Rooth Attorneys at Law commissioned me to help them understand how consumers find specialty lawyers. Their goal was to appropriately allocate their marketing dollars in a realistic way between the many choices. Do consumers go to Facebook? How important was their website? What role do reviews play?
To that end, we created a Google Survey as to how consumers might find a specialty lawyer and what things would they look for while online in their search.
We surveyed 1500 consumers with 3 questions as to how they go about the process of choosing a lawyer. Moses & Rooth’s conclusions about the consumer lawyer survey can be viewed here. And the Google data, in its entirety, as to how consumers find lawyers is available here. I would encourage you to view the Google data and create some faceted views of the data to understand the differences in responses due to age, urban density, geography & income.
The weighted sample size included ~1200 respondents and the results were judged to be accurate within ~+3/-3 survey points. The Google Survey produces “a close approximation to a random sample of the US Internet population and results that are as accurate as probability based panels”.
The three questions asked moved from the general to the more specific:
- When you need to find a specialty lawyer how would you start your search?
- If you search for a specialty lawyer on the internet what is most important to you?
- If you searched for a specialty lawyer on Google, what would do you first?
The results of the survey are telling. Here are some top level take aways:
- Word of mouth from clients is critically important
- Search engines are the most likely source for new clients
- Facebook offers little value in finding new clients
- The print Yellow Pages, while not as likely to be used as the search engines, still have some life in the legal industry. This is particularly true in the MidWest and amongst older clients
- Google reviews are 3x more likely to influence a decision than Yelp (question 2)
- A website and online reviews play a critical role once the consumer makes it to Google (question 3).
In a broad sense I think we will find similar responses across a number of industries. It is likely that for many local industry types that the print YP impact might be less important but that the overall results will likely generally hold true. Here’s hoping I get the chance to survey additional industries.
To view the complete the survey data go here. The data is structured so that you can view the results by age group, income and population density. There are some interesting differences that warrant explorations.
If I were a lawyer and saw these results I would:
- Make sure that I am gathering my client’s emails and staying in touch
- Invest in local search and possibly Adwords
- Go out a buy some great bourbon for those lawyers that consistently refer me business
- If I chose to invest in any other marketing, be sure to put in place measurement tools to evaluate and periodically review the investments.
CNET writes that Chrome has gained a foothold in mobile but is a no show on the iPhone. Its not hard to understand why most users don’t give it a try but I went so far as to install it on my iPhone was forced to remove it. Not only did it not do what I hired my mobile browser to do – or rather what Apple taught me a mobile browser should do- which is to allow me to easily share web content, it inserted itself into Google products at inappropriate times and places. I was continually and inadvertently opening it from within Plus even when I didn’t want to.
I actually use and like the Google+ app on my iPhone with but one caveat – it doesn’t allow sharing to any other communication service; not Twitter, not Facebook, not Texting and not even email. What is social content for but for sharing? I read a lot and Google+ , Twitter and my feeds (I am probably the lone user of Google’s Currents iPhone app) have become a primary source for discovering interesting content. I share this reading with my wife via email, via text to my kids, to my peers via Twitter, etc. etc.
You get the picture. I share it. As should be done with social content. But the Google+ app only allows me to share a story to my Google+ circles. That is unless I open the content in Safari and then share it from there. Thus the sharing workflow on my iPhone was to find an article in Google+, open it in Safari where I might read it now or later and then share it from Safari to anyone and everyone that I thought would find it interesting.
The was until I installed the iPhone Chrome app. It inserted itself in the Google+ app front and center just above Safari link. I would have left Chrome on my phone for research purposes and the occasional use but I kept inadvertently opening it when I wanted to open Safari. Even that would not have been a problem except… Chrome, like Google+, supports no social sharing.
I find Google+ to be a useful and valuable addition to my phone. It sits on the limited real estate of my front screen. Yet it, like Chrome, manages to disrespect a fundamental core feature set of the iPhone. I often wonder how it is that Google, with such brilliant engineers, programmers and (now yes) designers manages to get it wrong.
Was it a business decision to limit sharing to Google only products? Or was it just an oversight?
October 31, 2012
Sometimes the lights go on and the realization strikes that a new metaphor has taken hold and will change the market going forward. That realization struck when I recently read about GoPago’s Free POS system for SMBs. Greg Sterling first wrote about the product in August but it wasn’t until I saw a second article did it dawn on me that free POS was an incredibly powerful way to get SMBs to fully embrace the possibilities of local.
The product has a symmetry, pricing and usefulness that speaks to a wide swath of the smaller bricks and mortar stores and fills a need that Square and Paypal have only hinted at. The product includes an Android tablet, a free Verizon Internet connection, a cash box, a receipt printer, the company’s app for handling transactions and inventory tracking, and setup and support of the service. The cost? A 2.85% credit card processing fee.
The product includes a built in loyalty program and an interface with social sites but could easily be expanded to include other cloud based services like electronic payments, PPC, offers, reputation management, email management or any other local marketing process.
The product is not a perfect fit for every business but it is ideal for the small bakeries, coffee shops, restaurants and smaller retailer & service businesses that dot the landscape and often have to pay high processing fees on their credit card transactions.
The early creator of metaphor changing products sometimes reaps the benefits and other times the benefits go to better capitalized late comers. Certainly GoPago has no lock on this market. Square, Paypal, Bing and Google could all step in and have both distribution efficiencies and marketing clout that could give them an advantage in this space. Imagine Google offering up a free Moto/Android based POS system that also guides SMBs through a business center experience as the SMB gains familiarity with the many marketing options that Google offers. If I were Bing,in an effort to kick start their Local Business Portal, I would walk over to GoPago and hand them a check even if it meant the POS had to continue to use an Android based product.
October 10, 2012
Much has been reported in the media about the iPhone Map App that Apple rolled out with the release of iOS6. The early reporting was anecdotal, apocalyptic or often just plain wrong but very little of it addressed the question of what consumers thought of Apple’s new Map app.
What do they think? It would seem for most of them the iPhone Map App is a non issue.
To answer this question I created a survey in Google Consumer Surveys tool that ran from Friday October 5th through Sunday October 7th. The recent survey indicates that over half of current users of the new app were not affected at all by the app and over 91% fell in the “not going to jump off the Empire State Building” cohort. 74% were satisfied or perhaps just didn’t notice. Only 3.2% indicated that the Map App would definitely prevent them from buying another iPhone in the future.
(click to view larger)
When you dig into the numbers a bit you can see some other interesting tidbits: Females were less disaffected by the product than males, folks older under 55 were more likely to indicate that they were happy and those over 55 were more likely to indicate that they were never going to buy another iPhone (ouch). Urban users were happier than rural one.
January 17, 2012
The Preschool Learning Center (PLC), a small school for the developmentally disadvantaged in rural upstate NY , is like most not for profits: overworked, understaffed, a heart of gold and a very limited budget. There is probably no better program for kids with autism anywhere and certainly not in the markets they serve.
We helped them build their website in 2008 and it has been moderately successful for them. It has provided them reach throughout their marketing region and it has attracted a large number new job applicants. But they wanted to do more but were having difficulty seeing their way through the many options for communications and sharing. They attended the Getlisted.org Local University seminar in early November and learned a great deal about the relative strengths and weakness of the possible directions they might take their local & social efforts on their limited budget. At the seminar Matt McGee offered them this tidbit to help them get clarity: If you want to know where your clients are online, ask them.
It was advice that the PLC took to heart. Gerry Guild, the staff psychologist, put together a Social Media Assessment (available here) that did just that and gathered the exact information that they needed to craft a path forward for improved communications with their clients.
I think the results of the survey are telling. The results and the survey also provide an excellent framework for any small organization with similar questions about how to move forward in the complex social media landscape. The PLC survey puts communications with the client first and it models a process that every not for profit (or any smaller organization) should think about following to better understand where they should put their on line marketing and communication priorities.