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Battling HiPPOs

Marketers struggle all the time when trying to create optimal website experiences that drive sales and action. But the biggest hurdle often isn't consumer behavior, it's hippos. HiPPO stands for 'Highest Paid Person's Opinion.' HiPPO's are bosses, and their bosses, creative directors, and so on, who, usually unilaterally, decide what goes on the website. In the past, you did not have many options to counter a HiPPO. But now there are a range of website analytic tools that can arm you with data to counter the HiPPOs and reveal what actual consumers really respond to. Marketers struggle all the time when trying to create optimal website experiences that drive sales and action. But the biggest hurdle often isn't consumer behavior, it's hippos. HiPPO stands for "Highest Paid Person's Opinion." HiPPO's are bosses, and their bosses, creative directors, and so on, who, usually unilaterally, decide what goes on the website. In the past, you did not have many options to counter a HiPPO. But now there are a range of website analytic tools that can arm you with data to counter the HiPPOs and reveal what actual consumers really respond to. (james f. kraus)

Marketing Profs Daily Fix
Marketers struggle all the time when trying to create optimal website experiences that drive sales and action. But the biggest hurdle often isn’t consumer behavior, it’s hippos. HiPPO stands for ‘‘Highest Paid Person’s Opinion.’’ HiPPO’s are bosses, and their bosses, creative directors, and so on, who, usually unilaterally, decide what goes on the website. In the past, you did not have many options to counter a HiPPO. But now there are a range of website analytic tools that can arm you with data to counter the HiPPOs and reveal what actual consumers really respond to.

Reveries
Soap relationships
Do you have a relationship with your laundry detergent? Brand managers at Procter & Gamble know the answer is yes, and it's partially driven by our sense of smell. The Gain brand of detergent has 10 percent of the $66.6 billion US laundry detegent market, up from 7 percent in 2001. It's now number two to Tide, which has 44 percent of the market. How did it get there? By emphasizing fragrance, not cleaning ability. I believe it. I buy a lot of products based on smell, or lack of it.

From blog to book
SharedBook.com creates technology to help online content creators make books automatically, sometimes called reverse publishing. A great example: their partnership with CarePages.com -"free, personal, private Web pages that help family and friends communicate when someone is facing illness." By linking in with SharedBook technology, it's possible to "save the outpouring of support" received on the site in a keepsake form.

Computerworld
The new Microsoft
Mike Elgan writes "it's official, Apple is the new Microsoft." Micosoft's Windows/Internet Explorer dominance used to be the root of all monopolistic evil. But just look at the iPod. Forcibly bundled with iTunes, it locks all your music purchases so if you stop using your iPod, you lose all your music. Have an iPhone? You need iTunes "even if you want only to make phone calls." But Elgan defends Apple, as he defended Microsoft: "Apple has earned its growing power and influence, just like Microsoft did."

Newsweek
Microtrends
A new book called Microtrends, by pollster Mark Penn, focuses on "under the radar" shifts that are "reshaping American society - from one based on group identity and forces of circumstance . . . to one based on personal choice." Examples? Teens and twentysomethings are the fastest-growing group of knitters and helped drive fashion yarn sales up 56 percent in one year; 30 million people in the United States now have tattoos, and those making more than $75,000 are more likely to be among them. Penn says that "by the time a mere 3 million Americans have caught on to a trend, it is ready to spawn a hit movie, best-selling book or new political movement."

CNN Money
Cars get small
In 2008, DaimlerChrysler will begin selling the Smart ForTwo, a two-seater 40 inches shorter than a Mini Cooper. But even with a starting price below $12,000 and a likely 40 m.p.g., it will face competition from Toyota, Honda, Nissan, and Chevrolet, which offer vehicles "with more space for people and cargo, more features and fuel economy that comes close to the Smart ForTwo."

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