Benefits of Elusivity in Internet Marketing


The words “elusivity” (being difficult to describe, detect, or grasp) and “Internet Marketing” are not words I would typically join in a sentence (no one else in the world either). But after doing a tradeshow this last week for one of our companies I found there are many benefits to “elusivity” in marketing, and that these could certainly be applied to Internet Marketing. And in case you’re wondering, yes I will explain the picture here…but you’ll have to read on.

The Tradeshow Experience – Learning about Elusivity

If any of you have been to a tradeshow before, you know the drill. A fancy stand-up booth lining the back of the 10′ x 10′ has exciting pictures and sometimes colors on it, usually with some buzz words and pictures of the product. The sales reps there are always standing, no chairs are even around for them to sit on. This not only saves $400 in renting chairs, but keeps the sales reps on their toes (for 4 days) so they are out in the front of the booth grabbing people’s attention with irresistible one line questions like “So what do you do?”.

Our booth was a bit different. No fancy stand-up booth, just a vinyl sign with our company name and logo, a slogan, and our domain name. We had 4 chairs and a round table, at which my partner and I sat at with our MacBook Pro’s (laptops) open. The other 2 chairs were situated for demonstrations of our software. Our booth was situated at the end of an aisle, and we lined up the vinyl banner with the aisle instead of central to our booth (in web design this would be like a “violator“).

We noticed that about 60-70% of people came by and asked us “So what do you do?”. The great majority of those were our target market, and we were able to get them to sit down for a brief demo and exchange contact information. This kept us quite busy during the tradeshow. Interestingly, it wasn’t our slogan (which has a bit of elusivity in it) as much as it was our business name (which really isn’t too elusive but not completely self-defining). It ate at people to walk by and not know what we do, especially seeing two guys typing away at their laptops not trying to hound them. Not only did we get a lot of leads, we also got a lot of work done!

The Leafy Sea Dragon

My parents and my own family went to SeaWorld before the tradeshow, you know, Shamu and the whole deal. One of the exhibits was various types of fish and sea creatures. One of them appeared at first to just be a bunch of coral and sea weed. My mom’s first reaction was to just keep walking past it, nothing moving, nothing to see. Having been familiar with this species, I pointed out to her that there was actually something living in there, the Leafy Sea Dragon (see picture). These creatures are amazing, one of the ultimates in camouflage. After realizing it wasn’t just coral and sea weed, the exhibit became all the more interesting and exciting for her. The elusivity of it makes your brain perk up and directs your attention away from whatever you were doing to this new object. Hey, that sounds like something that would be nice for Internet Marketing!

Elusivity in PPC

When writing ads for pay-per-click (PPC), our first reaction is to say everything. Obviously we don’t have enough space to do that, as you are typically limited to a title line and two text lines, plus your domain name. Instead of trying to give away everything in your ad, why not try to create a question or “wonder” in the minds of your ad readers, to first draw them into your site, but then to have the question answered and fulfilled. Now don’t lie to me in your PPC ad just to get me to click it, or else I will be upset and have negative associations with your brand. Instead, create a gap (or make us realize there is a gap) and then fill it when I come to your site. Don’t make me search for it either, it should be right there for me to find and learn about.

But how do I do that? Obviously every product/service is different. A good place to start is to identify what your customer is missing or lacking, the reason they are looking for you. Then fill the gap with how your product/service handles that, and why it is unique in its own way.

Elusivity in Search Marketing

This gets a little tougher because we can’t control it directly like PPC. You can optimize your site’s search engine snippets and create elusivity in there, if it applies. You can also do it all on one page, starting the page with grabbing their interest, creating a question that they can expect to get answered. They keep reading and hopefully go on to a sales or lead conversion.

Now certainly I am not saying that elusivity is the answer to Internet Marketing, it is one form of it. It has its place with certain parts of your audience. It can make a lasting memory of your audience’s first encounter with your product or service, by taking their brain off of its usual path and onto a “see gap/fill gap” experience.

There are obviously many other ways to benefit from elusivity. E-newsletters for example, are a great way to capture readers at the top fold of the newsletter, and get them to read on or click through.

What other ways can elusivity help in Internet Marketing?

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