Internet Special Report - Re-Learning the Basics of Marketing (
The Law of Big Numbers
The weakness of relying solely on one-to-one marketing principles is that it limits our focus to individual knowledge, while ignoring the Law of Big Numbers. All traditional direct marketers know the Law of Big Numbers. It states that the more interactions we have with many consumers (note: not many interactions with the same consumer), the more we learn from patterns in the data.
These patterns speak louder than any one consumer. They tell us what specific marketing levers are stronger than others, and what we can do to influence consumer behavior to drive greater results. In essence, the consumers themselves will tell us how to succeed in our marketing efforts, if only we'd listen and act on what we learn. This isn't simply a function of telling visitors to your online bookstore that those customers who bought one book also bought, say, "Relationship Marketing." More is required.
Take a look at the basic Web commerce destination sites. How many of the major toy e-tailers know what Web site color-combination drives more results on their Web pages? How many have figured this out by constant testing and re-testing? Probably not many. But you can bet that traditional direct marketers know what color envelopes work best for them, and when, and with what group.
Large online investing Web sites often offer premiums such as free stock reports or a month of free trades. Can these companies quickly decide which offers pull the most response for the lowest cost per acquisition? How about on a Tuesday afternoon as opposed to a Friday morning?
Do the big Internet booksellers know whether putting 100 links on a page dedicated to selling a single book is cost-effective? How would it affect sales if they put less, or even more?