intended consequences podcast

The effort to improve website performance has traditionally been the problem of your hosting provider or IT. With the growth in mobile traffic, it is probably something marketers need to drive themselves.

Improve Website Performance with Lukas Haensch

Subscribe to the Podcast

iTunes | Spotify | Stitcher | Google Podcasts | RSS


There is a ceiling on your conversion rate. It’s not your price. It’s not your copy. It’s not your form.

When I tell you what it is you might roll your eyes and shrug.

But it’s eating your website from the inside out. This is something that Google is keenly focused on. It’s causing your SEO to atrophy. It’s causing your paid search placement to drop. It’s causing your visitors to bounce.

And it’s only getting worse as mobile traffic grows.

I hate hearing that people have the attention of a goldfish. It’s not true. But even a goldfish has a limited attention span when staring at a blank screen on her little goldfish phone.

What is the ceiling on your conversion rate? It may be your page load time.

Picture of Lukas Haensch of Pathmonk and Brian Massey of Conversion Sciences

Lukas Haensch of Pathmonk and Brian Massey of Conversion Sciences discuss how to improve website performance.

Now, before you shrug this off as an IT problem listen to my guest, Lukas Haensch. He’s the founder of PathMonk and this company doesn’t have anything to do with optimizing website performance.

But he used to be on the performance analysis team for none other than Google.

Considering that Google is so important to your marketing efforts, I think you should listen to what he has to say.

I asked him to bring load time down to a level that we all can understand. We talk about how to diagnose our site and some tactics to ask our tech team to implement to break through the ceiling.

Discussed in this episode

Critical Rendering Path
Speed Index
Render Blocking
Lazy Loading
Base64
Parser Blocking
Async JavaScript
Deferred JavaScript
Speed Budgets

The Growing Mobile-Only Population

We need to be delivering a different mobile experience for [mobile-only visitors] and performance is a piece of that

Are you testing your mobile site on your corporate WiFi? That could be hiding performance issues on your site.

Page speed is not just an IT problem

There are a lot of small things, a lot of immediate quick wins, and a lot of things that you can do to change how you load various files for your page to increase page speed.

Focus on above “the fold” performance

The Speed Index is the time it takes to render the content above the fold. This is the key metric that Google looks at when evaluating a user’s experience.

Pro tip: Inline the CSS that renders the content that is above the fold.

Carousels are performance killers

We’ve been trying to kill the use of top-of-page carousels for years.

Read Rotating Headers don’t have to kill your conversion rate.

Embed Images in HTML using Base64

Did you know you can embed images in the HTML text instead as part of a separate image file? This can help your above-the-fold load speed, improving your Speed Index.

JavaScript blocks loading

JavaScript blocks the critical rendering path, hence you will get a penalty, hence it will be affecting your page speed.

Consider using Async and Deferred loading of JavaScript.

So what you could be doing is simply load javascript code asynchronously, which means you add async tech to your javascript file.

Test the load time of your website

When you get back to the office…

If you aren’t already excited to run a free WebPageTest report on your site, I’ve got nothing for you.

Visit WebpageTest.org, enter the URL of your home page and see what grade you get. You can see my score below. It’s not perfect, but we’ve been working on this for most of this year.

A screen capture from Web page test dot org for Conversion Sciences dot com

WebpageTest.org Report for ConversionSciences.com Mobile Site. See all data.

You’ll get a score of A through F, like an English elementary school student. Then you’ll see vast details of your site.

One of my favorite tools is Filmstrip. It shows you what you’re visitors are seeing at specific intervals. It slows the load process down for you.

Fast load times help SEO, too

Now, about that page you’re trying so hard to rank on Google search. Is load time causing you a problem? Put the URL in and see.

You may have to educate your visitors on things like the “Speed Index” and “Critical Rendering Path”, but now you’re equipped.

Now go science something!

Subscribe to the Podcast

iTunes | Spotify | Stitcher | Google Podcasts | RSS

Find out how to AB test copy, the words, images, captions, and fonts that you use on your website persuasively. Learn how data can be used to find out if your copywriting will deliver conversions.

Olivia Ross: Testing Copy

Subscribe to the Podcast

iTunes | Spotify | Stitcher | Google Podcasts | RSS

I believe that copywriters suffer from a particular kind of post-traumatic stress disorder. It comes from the fact that anyone who knows the language feels qualified to edit their copy.

They deliver their best work, well researched and designed to persuade. Then their work is edited by anyone and everyone. The red marks are like wounds bleeding onto the page. Too often the metaphors, symbolism and structure are amputated out of the prose. In their place are industry jargon, superlatives, and unsubstantiated claims. What is left, I call styrofoam copy.

And when the resulting copy fails to persuade, the copywriter feels a sense of defeat. The copywriter still maintains ownership of the effort — and sometimes blame. So, they begin to deliver copy that is designed to appeal to the editors, and less to persuade the actual customer.

It’s safe, jargony, and corporate.

We’re told terrifying things; that people have the attention span of a goldfish; that Millennials don’t read; that we only have 8 seconds to make our point. No wonder we’re confused about how to communicate through copy.

Data to the rescue.

The words we use to establish our value and persuade visitors to take action can be tested, and my guest today is going to talk about this. Tested copy can be defended from revisions and build your cred as a marketing genius.

Olivia Ross is the Director of CRO at Directive Consulting. She is a designer who turned into a conversion optimizer and believes that copy is at the core of any great customer journey. We discuss how to AB test copy for your marketing campaigns.

She just published her 2020 Guide, What is CRO?. Grab a copy for yourself.

When you get back to the office…

Go find your best performing copy. The landing page that is your workhorse, or the email that delivers ready traffic to your site. How would you improve it?

Would you try a longer version? A shorter version? Would you include an image and a compelling caption? Would you write a more compelling headline?

Write these down. You might want to put them into a spreadsheet so you can sore them and sort them. You’ve begun to create your own hypothesis list.

How could you test the most compelling idea on the list? Most of your tools have the ability to test different versions simultaneously. Your landing page software, your email service provider, and Google has a free testing tool built in.

Take your list to your team and see if they can help you design a test of one of these ideas.

If it fails, you’ve learned something about what your visitors want. If you succeed, you’ve improved the performance of a flagship campaign.

Either way, you win.

Resources and links

Subscribe to the Podcast

iTunes | Spotify | Stitcher | Google Podcasts | RSS

Every agency believes they have the right service for the price a company is willing to pay. So they can be very persuasive. Find out what questions you should be asking to pick the right agencies for your business.

Agencies make things possible that our marketing teams just can’t do with the resources they have.

What is maddening is the variety of different ways a problem, like getting search traffic, can be solved.

I believe that data can help us decide who we should go with and which agencies we should let go.

But, what data should you be asking for? Ask any agency and they’ll tell you, “The data we provide.” Who can you trust?

Fortunately, I have an old friend and high-integrity individual to ask, someone I know that won’t tell me what I want to hear. Lance Loveday is the founder and CEO of Closed Loop, a digital advertising agency that specializes in paid media management. I know Lance as a speaker and straight shooter.

Lance Loveday on Hiring an Agency

Subscribe to the Podcast

iTunes | Spotify | Stitcher | Google Podcasts | RSS

Brian Massey and Lance Loveday on the Intended Consequences Podcast.

Brian Massey and Lance Loveday on the Intended Consequences Podcast.

Don’t be fooled by his mild manner. I we talk about the tough questions to ask when bringing on external resources to solve your most important problems. I was surprised by some of his answers, which means I learned something.

As an optimizer by nature, digital marketing comes naturally to Lance. He’s analytical but also creative – he uses his left brain and his right brain.

Closed Loop helps organizations leverage user experience to maximize strategic advantage. Their work is guided by a few simple beliefs: Good user experience is good business.

They believe there’s always room for improvement. And companies that value design, UX, and the human element will outperform those that live and die only by the numbers.

“If you if you don’t know for sure that you’re winning, you’re almost guaranteed to be losing.”

Lance believes that if you’re investing in the competitive ad auctions on Google and Facebook, you don’t want to be the “dumb money at the table.” Listen as we explore how to find an agency relationship that gives you a competitive advantage.

“There’s a really important qualitative element involved in any relationship right. And I think you need to have good chemistry. You need to ensure that there is alignment of values between the organizations and between the teams.”

When to bring in a paid advertising agency.

“It’s one thing to ask the person who’s running the website to run the paid media campaigns, too. And even though you’re not fully trained and you’re not a professional at this we’re going to ask you to take this on as a fourth or fifth responsibility. And that’s OK, if you’re spending you know maybe ten or twenty thousand a month as a mid-sized company.

If you’re spending you know maybe ten or twenty thousand a month as a mid-sized company it’s really not ok at the point you’re spending one hundred or two hundred thousand a month to not have a dedicated professional who does this.”

Full funnel advertising

“You need to have a full funnel advertising strategy to both feed the top of the funnel and then harvest the existing latent demand out there as well.”

Questions to ask when picking an agency?

“Where would we fit in in terms of size amongst your client base. Are we going to be a small fish and therefore get minimal attention?”

“Ask to meet the team that would be dedicated to your account. It drives me nuts to compete with agencies I know are putting junior inexperienced people on accounts and because we we just we don’t do that.”

“Ensure that there’s good chemistry, for lack of a better term. There’s a really important qualitative element involved in any relationship and I think you need to have good chemistry. You need to ensure that there is alignment of values between the organizations and between the teams.”

When you get back to the office…

Think about how you act as an agency to your internal teams. Ask a few good questions.

  • What do you do to ensure you’re communicating the right amount?
    What data do you deliver and why?
    How do you work on your “fit” with the rest of the team?
    How are you soliciting feedback from others to improve what you do?

The answers you give for yourself can then be turned around to your agency relationships. What you expect of yourself should be expected of your agencies. Demand it.

Subscribe to the Podcast

iTunes | Spotify | Stitcher | Google Podcasts | RSS

Marketing departments are understaffed, overworked and required to do quantitative and creative work. No wonder marketers are struggling. How does Erin Collis deal with the variety of tasks all marketers face? What can leaders do?

Wearing all of the Hats, with Erin Collis

Subscribe to the Podcast

iTunes | Spotify | Stitcher | Google Podcasts | RSS

F. Scott Fitzgerald is credited with saying “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.”

But most marketers are holding dozens of ideas in their minds, many of which are in opposition. And then these poor souls are expected to be creative and thoughtful amidst all of this.

I experience it. The people that attend my seminars and workshops experience it. And I believe it is a barrier to a culture of experimentation in marketing, product development and more.

I can bring book authors or consultants or titans of the industry on the Intended Consequences podcast any day, but today, I want to help you step outside of yourself.

Erin Collis and Brian Massey on Intended Consequences Podcast

Erin Collis and Brian Massey on Intended Consequences Podcast

Carl Jung defined Projection as our tendency to project subconscious thoughts onto other people. He believed studying our thoughts about others would lead us to breakthroughs in our own life and work.

I want to help you see your own challenges through the eyes of another marketer like yourself or the people on your team. It is difficult to see ourselves in motion, so you’re welcome.

Erin Collis has a lot on her plate, as I suspect you do. Erin is Marketing and Communications Manager at Corradi USA. I picked her almost at random to join me and talk about the challenges of being a digital marketer in 2019.

She attended one of my full-day workshops, but we aren’t going to talk about that. Instead, I want you to listen to the advice you would give her. My guess is that this advice is exactly what you need.

As you listen, pay attention to what you are projecting onto our conversation. Would any of those thoughts apply to you?

As always, stick around after the interview for my “When you get back to the office” segment.

Marketing mix.

From these magazine [ads] we can’t see what’s happening with them, or if they’re even making an impact.

Agency digital marketing data.

The data that [the agency] sent to us, we couldn’t understand. And we didn’t see any uptick in sales or recognition.

Building and maintaining relationships (digitally).

A majority of our business currently is offline business, but the value that we have to offer our customers — our dealers — is offering them services making it easier to sell the product.

When you get back to the office…

I found our discussion about creative time most interesting. When do you get to settle in and write, or design or get curious?

For me it’s Friday afternoons and certain mornings that I delay coming into the office.

But I realized I never put that on my calendar. I never carve out time to let the competing thoughts in my head quiet down and let my curiosity take the wheel for an hour or two.

Do you do this? Should you do it more?

That’s all this week, scientists.

Subscribe to the Podcast

iTunes | Spotify | Stitcher | Google Podcasts | RSS

Barbara Caveness of Uncommon Logic tells us how she builds and manages teams that are both data-driven and creative.

Building a Data-driven Team with Barbara Cavness

Subscribe to the Podcast

iTunes | Spotify | Stitcher | Google Podcasts | RSS

What job description would a marketing manager write if they wanted experimenters in their organization? I think it might go something like this.

Title: Marketing Experimenter

Primary job description: Making people aware of our products and persuading them to purchase them.

You are perfect for this role if:

    • You are not confident in your ability to create digital campaigns that will connect with our prospects.
    • You fail frequently and with minimum impact.
    • You do not consider yourself an intuitive copywriter.
    • Your do not have an intuitive sense of design.
    • You are good at holding off helicopter executives.
    • You ignore the expectations of others, unless they are prospects or customers.
    • You can waste time strategically.
    • You forget past victories easily.
    • You are unmoved by cool agency designs.
    • You’ve master the tools necessary to learn how to speak to our prospects.
    • You are good at talking about data and sharing it with teammates.
    • Must be good at asking questions.
    • You know how to celebrate successful campaigns.
    • You know how to celebrate failures.
    • If this is you, please apply immediately.

If any of these qualifications seem counterintuitive to you, don’t worry. We are all going to have to learn to work with this kind of curious, disciplined and creative person.

Would you want people like this working in your organization. I suspect you may already have these kinds of people on your team. So the real question will be, would this person be delighted to be in your organization?

Intended Consequences Podcast with Barbara Caveness and Brian Massey

Intended Consequences Podcast with Barbara Caveness and Brian Massey

To help understand these kind of people, I invited Barbara Cavness to join me on this episode of Intended Consequences.

Barbara is the CEO of (un)Common Logic – a digital marketing agency that you might be tempted to put into the category of “Search Engine Marketing”. But this is really an organization that enables teams of talented people to do great things. Her team investigates digital marketing data to find the surprising facts that can solve their clients toughest problems.

Barbara is very purposeful in her approach to building teams, even though she encounters all of the same obstacles that we do. Learn how this former Duke University lacrosse player became the head of a marketing organization and how she fosters teamwork, curiosity, and creativity.

Fostering curiosity

You know, there are a lot of ways you can free up time and provide opportunities to learn and try new things. TYhere are a lot of overt and subtle ways that you can nurture that.

Gone are the days of the unsophisticated digital marketer.

The vast majority of the clients at least that we serve are very sophisticated marketers themselves so they can spot a fake from about a mile away.

Data can save the day.

OK. Hang on. Deep breath. What does the data tell us.

The importance of pushing your team and investing in your culture.

We have a lot of young people on our team obviously. It is a young company, young industry etc. And so they’re sort of still finding their way when it comes to maximizing their potential. You know, it always comes back to sports for me right. You know I love also being a coach. I love pushing my team.

On doubts

Go run through that wall. You can absolutely do it.

Resources and links discussed:

When you get back to the office…

Take a look at your work day. Write down the top five things you do in your role.

Then, for each rate yourself on a simple Experimentation Scale.

In those roles in which you are the initiator of experimentation, give yourself a 3. These are the roles in which you often say, “Let’s study that,” or “Who could we survey?” or “Do we have any history to look at?”

For those roles in which you are a preventer of experimentation, give yourself a 1. This is not a bad thing. We need people on our teams to help us focus our experimenters. This is like the control rods in a nuclear plant. They slow the activity, and are very important.

For those roles that you’re not sure about, give yourself a 2.

In which of these roles do you find yourself most satisfied. In which are you frustrated? Is there a pattern?

I’ll leave you to decide for yourself what this simple exercise means?

That’s all for now scientists.

Subscribe to the Podcast

iTunes | Spotify | Stitcher | Google Podcasts | RSS

Is analytics really going to make a difference? Will I benefit by getting deeper into my analytics? Find out how exciting one man can make Google Analytics.

Analytics is not one of those words that inspires action. It’s not a word like “Rose” dripping with alternate meanings and romantic associations. It’s not like the word “Disgust”, a word which evokes emotions and even specific facial configurations.

Shakespeare never wrote “A Midsummers Night’s Analysis”.

There has never been a hit pop song with the word Analytics in the title. And I didn’t even bother searching to make sure.

So, it is no wonder that it’s hard for us to imagine ourselves spending time in analytics. It’s a shame. Because, there, amidst the pageviews, conversions, events, and revenue are the hopes and dreams of our visitors. Their trials. Their triumphs, Their frustrations.

If there was anyone who would write an Ode to a Graph I saw in Analytics One Dewy Morning, it is my guest. He is genuinely excited about analytics, and Google Analytics specifically.

He is infectious. That means that, if you listen, you might get excited about analytics, too.

I know this. Your visitors hope you get excited about analytics, because it is the fastest way to make your website better for them.

Getting into Analytics with Chris Mercer

Subscribe to the Podcast

iTunes | Spotify | Stitcher | Google Podcasts | RSS

Chris Mercer Can anyone plug into analytics on Intended Consequences

Chris Mercer aka ‘Mercer’ is not only good at analytics, he’s good at teaching analytics. That’s what he spends his days doing as the Co-Founder of Measurement Marketing dot I-O.

Chris and his team help people like you discover how to grow your business using tools like Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, Google Data Studio and more.

Chris is my go-to guy whenever someone asks how they should start in analytics. His model is great for small business owners or marketing teams who want to learn and expand their skills and build a system to help them grow.

Essentially, Chris helps people get to know the numbers – to grow the numbers.

So, how can anyone plug into Google Analytics? And where do you start?

You’ll be surprised by some of Chris’ answers. Here are some examples.

Where do we start when it comes to analytics?

I want to know the results. Number one I want to be able to see my results. So which traffic sources are causing which results. How am I getting those results.

It’s not just results.

It’s not only knowing what your results are but it’s knowing how you’re actually achieving those results.

Start with a question in mind.

We say it’s like the myth of the jade monkey. People think their data is like this jungle that they have to hack through and come up on these ruins that they find, and there is this little jade monkey worth of data that makes them a superhero. From a marketing standpoint, that doesn’t exist. Stop looking for that.

When you get back to the office…

Think back to a time that you had to trade off immediate desire for a long-term payoff, something that amazed you.

  • Did you ever watch Sea Monkeys grow as a child?
  • Did you ever plant bean seeds and water them daily?
  • Did you ever care for an ant farm.

These are all examples discovery over time. This is the gift of analytics. Your website is the ant farm and the glass is analytics.

No, your customers are not ants. But they want to understand them. Analytics is the way.

Watch Mercers Quick Start “How to” video –for free — and get some other freebies at MeasurementMarketing.io/ICP

Subscribe to the Podcast

iTunes | Spotify | Stitcher | Google Podcasts | RSS

How is Curiosity related to Creativity? What are the barriers to your curiosity? Find out how to spur the curiosity of yourself and your team.

Experimenters. You know the type.

As children, we call them “precocious”. They’re the ones who are always asking, “Why? Why? WHY?”

In middle school, they were sometimes called “mischievous,” seeming unable to resist finding out what would happen if…

In high school, they were called “nerds” because they seemed to obsess about the most unusual things.

As adults, they brew beer, collect anvils, travel, rebuild car engines, watch birds, and join fantasy sports leagues. They seek to understand the rules of some endeavor, and then figure out what happens if they break those rules.

Yes, this is pretty much everyone. In some area of our lives, we all find ourselves obsessing about how things work, why they work that way, and what we could do to make things better.

Unfortunately, the area of our lives that we spend the most time on isn’t the one we are most curious about: our work. How many experimenters do you work with — the kind of people that make you ask, “When did you have time to do that?”

If your answer wasn’t “I am that person,” I have to ask the question, “Why?” What has dampened your curiosity?

It turns out there are four factors that limit our curiosity. My guest, Dr. Diane Hamilton documents them in her book, “The Curiosity Code.” She evaluated me, and I was surprised at what I learned about the limits of MY curiosity.

The Relationship Between Curiosity and Creativity with Dr Diane Hamilton

The Relationship Between Curiosity and Creativity with Dr Diane Hamilton

Curiosity with Dr. Diane Hamilton

Subscribe to the Podcast

iTunes | Spotify | Stitcher | Google Podcasts | RSS

Dr. Diane Hamilton is an expert in emotional intelligence and behavioral science. She is an author, radio host of “Take the Lead Radio,” and creator of the Curiosity Code Index – which we will dive into on today’s episode.

Curiosity is a topic that is at the core of everything marketers do. We’re all about experimenting, discovering data, and getting answers when it comes to website redesigns, launches, and campaigns.

More importantly, I think that curiosity is a doorway into the mystical peak experiences called “Flow.”.

So anything that limits my curiosity is something that needs to be addressed. Let’s find out what the four limiting factors are and how I scored on her evaluation.

We all start off curious.

When you get back to the office…

When do you feel it’s OK to put your work down and play? Or learn something new?

For me it’s often on Friday afternoons, when the deadlines are met, and things are winding down. I’ve gotten purposeful about tapping these natural times when the bonds of my mind relax, allowing me to follow my curiosity.

The other time for me is when I’m on a deadline. I allow myself to renegotiate a deadline if I’m learning something that will improve my performance long term.

When do you find yourself following rabbits down holes?

Do you feel guilty?

Does your team support it? Do they even know about it? Why not?

How could you configure your work world to indulge these moments of exploration?

I recommend you take Dr. Hamilton’s Curiosity Code Index and see what’s in your way.

An example of Brian Massey's Curiosity Code Index

An example of Brian Massey’s Curiosity Code Index

Resources and links from the Podcast

Subscribe to the Podcast

iTunes | Spotify | Stitcher | Google Podcasts | RSS

Should you be stealing ideas from your competitors? Wouldn’t you like to know how their website is converting first? It turns out that you can, and Mike Roberts wants to make it cheap and easy.

Novelty Bias.

It is the tendency of new things to increase our interest in them. For a digital marketer, it means preferring one design over another because it is cool, interesting, or just new.

We are rapidly leaving what I call the era of the carousel. This was a period of time in which rotating carousels were added to the top of almost every business website on the planet.

One person did it. It was cool. Several more followed suite. Before long website templates made this a standard part of their designs.

And for many of you, it actually lowered conversion rates.

This is Novelty bias at work. It often involves stealing ideas from others without knowing if they work, simply because they are new or interesting.

We’ve always said you should “steal like a scientist” riffing on the title of Austin Kleon’s book “Steal like an Artist.”

This means testing any ideas you want to steal from your competitors or other sites.

But, what if you could just see the analytics of any of your competitors’ websites?

UPDATE: Nacho Analytics No Longer Available

In July of 2019, the data feed that powers Nacho Analytics became unavailable. As a result, the Nacho Analytics service is no longer available. Nonetheless, I hope you’ll enjoy my conversation with Mike Roberts.

Nacho Analytics with Mike Roberts

Subscribe to the Podcast

iTunes | Spotify | Stitcher | Google Podcasts | RSS

Your online competitors are now exposed. Intended Consequences Podcast

Your online competitors are now exposed. Intended Consequences Podcast

Who is the most curious person you know?

I make a good living trafficking in curiosity, and it’s been on my mind for several episodes of this podcast, Intended Consequences now.

Tim Ash told us how to build a curious business (Listen).

Dr. Diane Hamilton tested me using her Curiosity Code Index (Listen). Would you be surprised to learn that my curiosity is quite suppressed?

But, who is the most curious person you know?

For me, the answer is Mike Roberts. Mike called me late last year and told me about a new product he was launching that would let me see the analytics of any website. Then he told me the name: “Nacho Analytics.” I’m sure I woke up babies all over the neighborhood.

I knew that companies would pay hundreds of thousands of dollars a year for this data. Mike wasn’t interested in this.

Mike is the Founder and CEO of SpyFu and Nacho Analytics. He is a digital marketing pirate, if you will. As I’m writing this, I realize he could be the “Dread Pirate Roberts” from “The Princess Bride.”

Find out why he’s pricing this so ANYONE can access it, and what Google said when they learned he was pumping his data into Google Analytics for easy access.

When you get back to the office:

If you’re afraid of Google Analytics, you are double handicapping yourself. Not will you not understand your own visitors, you’re missing out on understanding your biggest competitors’ businesses.

When you get back to the office…Subscribe to this podcast.

Because next time, I’m talking to Chris Mercer of MeasurementMarketing.io. My question to him is this: “How can anyone plug into Google Analytics? Where do we start?”

You’ll be surprised by some of his answers.

Resources and links from the Podcast

Subscribe to the Podcast

iTunes | Spotify | Stitcher | Google Podcasts | RSS

Every business wants to know their customers better. Yet many businesses are inward looking. What has to change?

When you want to save a file in your favorite application, which icon do most apps offer up?

Why it’s the image of a 3.5″ floppy disc, of course.

The Save Icon is typically a 3.5" Floppy Disk. Find out why.

The Save Icon is typically a 3.5″ Floppy Disk

Why is it that the universal icon for saving a file is an image of a technology that breathed its last breath sometime in 2007? This is a technology that most users today have never even seen.

The reason is that Apple burned the 3.5″ floppy “Save” icon into our brains with the release of the Macintosh in 1998. Adobe, Microsoft and other software manufacturers followed suit.

By the time the 3.5″ floppy started being phased out just a few years later, the most primitive part of our brain had solidified this as the easiest to recognize icon when we didn’t want to lose our work.

Every time we clicked it, and got confirmation that our work was saved, we got a feeling of relief — and a squirt of dopamine. This cemented it in our mind and made it instantly available.

The image could have been a picture of a flying pig and we would still be using it today.

The save icon could have been a flying pig. Learn why this would work.

The save icon could have been a flying pig

Primal Brain with Tim Ash

Subscribe to the Podcast

iTunes | Spotify | Stitcher | Google Podcasts | RSS

This is the behavior of our limbic brain, called “System 1” by Danny Kahnemann in the seminal book, Thinking, Fast and Slow. It’s been called our lizard brain and our monkey brain. It’s the knee-jerk decision maker, fight or flight.

My guest, Tim Ash, calls it the Primal Brain.

Why not something more intuitive? Like a file folder?

Or even a cloud?

Because, when our lizard brain doesn’t have a quick answer, it turns to our Executive brain. This part of our brain analyzes things to make decisions. And when this happens, it creates cognitive load.

This makes our applications harder to use and less satisfying.

We make few decisions with our Executive brain. It’s our Primal Brain — our emotional, fear-based brain — that gets the first shot.

So why are we using logic and rational thinking so much in our marketing?

Tim Ash started his career in the ‘interwebs’ back in 1995. He and I have a lot in common. For one, we both built web companies back in the ‘OG’ internet days.

On top of leading his CRO company SiteTuners, Tim is a digital marketing keynote speaker, founder of the Digital Growth Unleashed conference, and author of the book Landing Page Optimization. It’s still one of the first books I recommend to anyone who wants to get up on the learning curve when it comes to LPO….And back in the day, I learned quite a bit from it myself.

To begin to understand how our visitors think, Tim suggests we stop looking inside  our companies, and start looking outside.

Listen in as Tim explains why you should always work backwards when it comes to a redesign. Start with your end users. Understand your audience. Then build.

Warning: Tim doesn’t pull any punches.

Digital Growth Unleashed Conference

Las Vegas – June 17- 19

For more information, head over to digitalgrowthunleased.com

Intended Consequences listeners will receive 15 percent off your registration for the conference by using the code ST15 

Interview with Tim Ash: Which part of your visitors' brains makes the decisions. Listen to the podcast.

Interview with Tim Ash: Which part of your visitors’ brains makes the decisions.

When you get back to the office…

You team has data, insights into your visitors, prospects and customers. It’s time to let this data out into the open.

Invite your PPC team to talk about what ads work and which don’t.

Invite your email marketing team to talk about what subject lines are killing it and which are not.

Ask your sales department to tell you which customers buy the most, and which products are most popular.

This is the beginning of understanding your audience from THEIR point of view.

Resources and links from the Podcast

You can visit TimAsh.com for more information on Tim’s new book and to join his pre-announcement mailing list.

Unleashing the Primal Brain by Tim Ash. Book coming soon. Make sure to bookmark this page..

Unleashing the Primal Brain by Tim Ash

Subscribe to the Podcast

iTunes | Spotify | Stitcher | Google Podcasts | RSS

How do you bring a data-driven approach to your website redesign? BigCommerce hired Chris Nolan to do just that. Here’s how he used data to drive a Market-first redesign.

When we lose an employee to another company, I feel a mix of pride and saltiness. I’m proud that working here turns otherwise ordinary men and women into highly valuable data-driven performance marketers.

But I hate getting my employees poached.

In 2018, it was time for one of our employees to step into a bigger role. After working with us for years, Chris Nolan (not the Batman director) stepped into a big role in a company with Big in its name.

Chris was tapped to be the cornerstone hire for the growth team at BigCommerce. We miss him, but have enjoyed seeing how a Conversion Scientist takes on a big organization like BigCommerce.

His challenge is the same challenge that “woke” marketers are facing in every industry. How do I get an entrenched culture to adopt data and testing.

“Market-First” Strategies with Chris Nolan

Subscribe to the Podcast

iTunes | Spotify | Stitcher | Google Podcasts | RSS

You might say that Chris jumped out of his lab coat and into the fire with BigCommerce, as they recently redesigned their entire site. There is no bigger challenge to a growth marketer than an “all in” redesign.

BigCommerce homepage before the website redesign

BigCommerce homepage before the website redesign.

BigCommerce homepage after the website redesign

BigCommerce homepage after the website redesign

I invited Chris to come onto the podcast to share the challenges and triumphs of a new hire nudging a culture from the bottom during a website relaunch.

Buckle up.

Chris is the Senior Growth Strategy Manager at BigCommerce. Businesses build their e-commerce websites on BigCommerce technology. They recently completed a website redesign.

Chris started his marketing journey because he had a passion for human behavior. This episode is jam-packed as he walks us through agency relationships, differentiating mobile from desktop sites and how to think ‘market-first’ to get the right site experience for your next redesign.

Self Care Tip

Championing change in an organization is a long journey, but the victories come all along the way. So, when you get back to the office, do something to take care of yourself. Book a massage. Put a meditation session on your calendar. Invite a close friend to your favorite restaurant. Get a jog or workout in.

These are scientifically proven ways we make ourselves better marketers, too.

Resources and links discussed

Subscribe to the Podcast

iTunes | Spotify | Stitcher | Google Podcasts | RSS