Transcript of the live chat session that took place Thursday, July 2, 1998. These sessions are normally scheduled for 12 noon-1 PM Eastern Time every Thursday. Please note that the US is now on Daylight Savings Time. So in international terms, we are on at GMT -4 instead of GMT -5.
These sessions are hosted by Richard Seltzer. If you would like to receive email reminders of our chat sessions, simply send a blank email message to email@example.com or go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/businessonthewebchats and sign up there.
For transcripts of previous sessions and a list of future topics, click here .
For an article on how to make "business chat" work (based on this experience), click here .
Since the chat itself happens at a rapid pace, it's often difficult to note interesting facts in particular URLs as they appear on-line. Here's a place to take a more leisurely look. I've rearranged some of the pieces to try to capture the various threads of discussion (which sometimes get lost in the rush of live chat).
Please send email with your follow-on questions and comments, and suggestions for topics we should focus on in future sessions. So long as the volume of email responses is manageable, I'll post the most pertinent ones here for all to see.
Richard Seltzer -- Welcome, Larry. I just finished reading your book. Loved it.
Larry Chase -- Thank you for the compliment upon finishing my book Richard.
Larry Chase -- Let me make sure my makeup is on just so.
Richard Seltzer -- Larry -- You look just fine. How many chat sessions have you done lately? It seems like such a natural way to promote a book, and that kind of promotion is such a key part of your book -- I'm sure you must be practicing what you preach.
Richard Seltzer -- All -- as you connect, please introduce yourselves and let us know your interests. We're joined today by Larry Chase, author of Essential Business Tactics for the Net.
Dianna Husum -- Hi Richard, it's Larry Chase in drag.
Richard Seltzer -- Larry/Dianna -- I see entries for both of you. Are you sitting next to one another -- one helping the other to input?
Larry Chase -- In a matter of speaking, yes. It's just that the US sits between us, as Dianna is in San Diego while I'm in NYC.
Eileen -- Could this be the world-famous author Larry Chase live online?
Richard Seltzer -- Welcome, Bob and Eileen. Please introduce yourselves and let us know your interests. And if you have questions for Larry, please fire away. He's a great resource for what's happening on the Internet today in marketing and advertising, and this is also an opportunity to test some new business ideas and find out if someone else has already tried it, and if so, the results.
Larry Chase -- Eileen is that you? One of the two world famous editors of WDFM?
Richard Seltzer -- Larry -- Okay. (For those reading this, let me clarify. One of Larry's many activities is publication of a weekly digest of Web site reviews known as Web Digest for Marketers http://www.wdfm.com So his cohorts/alter-egos in that activity are also on-line now. Excellent.
Steve Fink -- Hello to larry and richard. Looking forward to the view from NYC - good to you Larry yesterday.
Larry Chase -- Hey Steve, good to see you.
Sudha Jamthe -- Good Morning Richard! How are you doing? I am internet analyst, work in Internet Strategy and Solutions implementation. Interested in learning more about Internet marketing trends.
Shane -- Am here from Raleigh NC, Hi all
Steve Fink -- With a very dedicated audience - the weather is GREAT here and its the day before the 4th of July.
Richard Seltzer -- Welcome Mitchell Eisen and John Hough, please introduce yourselves and let us know your interests. And if you have questions for Larry et al., please fire away. Anything having to do with Internet marketing and advertising and commercial Web sites is fair game.
Larry Chase -- BTW: two people are in this forum that were integral to the put together of my book Essential Business Tactics for the Net. Both Eileen Shulock and Dianna Husum did awesome amounts of research and delivered to me finely ground knowledge which served the book greatly. Thank you guys.
John Hough -- Didn't see my last message come up. Anyhow I'm John Hough. I produce software for Realtors. Looking for tips on marketing over the web.
Larry Chase -- John: I suggest John Kremmer's marketing tip of the week at bookmarketing.com. This weekly tip sheet is especially useful if you are marketing a book like I am.
Larry Chase -- Banner ads are part of the mix.
Richard Seltzer -- Larry -- I'm trying to sort out the right niche/role for banner ads, when they make sense and when they don't. Someone I ran into at a meeting a couple days ago came up with an interesting number. She said that a 2% sales conversion rate was common for banner clickthroughs for sale of "impulse items" and she mentioned books as an example of "impulse." Does that sound right to you?
Larry Chase -- Direct marketing and banner ads go together like glue. Banner ads aren't going away, but they won't dominate either.
Richard Seltzer -- Larry -- interesting. What are "intersitials"? And what kinds of products/services seem to benefit most from banner advertising? (I'm more inclined toward providing lots of background information on the Web to help people make complex buying decisions. I'm less familiar with the "impulse" mode.)
Larry Chase -- Definition
of intersitials... Rude full-screen ads using push/pull (auction-like ten-second
updates) forcing ads to appear and leave before you get to the next page
you intended to go to in the first place.
I call this subliminal advertising in slow-mo.
Richard Seltzer -- Larry -- ah, yes. At some point I believe that Tripod was going to do something like that (throw ads in visitors faces while the next page was loading). I don't think they went ahead with it. One of those technologies that may sound tempting to a marketer but that really angers visitors. Did anybody actually do that sort of thing on a large scale?
Larry Chase -- Richard: re-
intersitials. Yes, GeoCities, and users were not at all happy.
Eileen -- Banners where you can interact right on the banner (request info, etc. without leaving the site). Seeing more personalized e-commerce boutiques. Those are 2 trends that this Co-Editor of WDFM has noted, and I also type faster than Larry!
Steve Fink -- Saw something new this week-end. REI (outdoor gear) has added a Web Kiosk in their Reading, MA store to handle items in the catalog but not in the store (and off-load the help desk!). no idea if its taking hold.
Eileen -- Etoys does the emailable Santa list. Also, many wedding sites have gift registries; huge biz. Here, I'll plug The Knot http://www.theknot.com
Richard Seltzer -- Eileen -- How does the emailable Santa list work? Who gets the list?
Eileen -- The child sends it to grandma, grandpa, friends, aunts, etc. Or parent can help.
Richard Seltzer -- Eileen -- Above a certain age, sending email to grandma etc. would work well. But below the age of 8 (which is a huge Christmas market), it would be good to have a way for the kid to post his/her list to "Santa" (alone or with the help of a parent) and have that list available then (gift registry style) so grandma can know the preferences and also know if someone else already bought it for him/her.
Eileen -- Etoys does all of that.
Richard Seltzer -- Eileen -- Thanks. I'll check Etoys. (Is that a Web-only store? Or is it affiliated with a physical chain like Toys-R-Us?)
Larry Chase -- For a good example of online, offline cross merchandizing... I like the Kodak picture network. I refer to this in the promotions chapter of my Essential Business Tactics for the Net... In-store kiosks let you post your pics to Kodak web site featuring your photo album. So grandma can see it in Turkey.
Richard Seltzer -- Larry -- yes, I was very interested in your comments about Kodak in your book. I didn't realize that for $4.95 a month they will post your photos on the Web and that you can order that when you get your film developed; and then anyone you give the PIN/address of those photos to can order prints etc. Very interesting business model.
Shane -- With Kodak's business model do they have advertisements for Frames or similar vertical markets?
Larry Chase -- Shane: I don't know about cross merchandizing picture frames, but it makes sense.
Steve Fink -- have you heard about Streamline, the Boston area grocery trial, where the whole idea is building up a data base of family shopping patterns?
Shane -- Tracking Family shopping patterns, wasn't the introduction of the scanner at the checkout supposed to do that also?
Steve Fink -- Every time you buy something, they get to know you better - and prepare service and offerings for you (young kids vs. retirees etc.) Scanners track transactions for manufacturers, this approach does that as well, but is consumer focused.
Larry Chase -- Steve: That which you are explaining about grocery scanning, -- tracking and familiarizing with customer buying patterns -- is the future of much of Internet marketing as it is basically dynamic databasing of customers to deliver better customer service.
Steve Fink -- I think a key angle (like Home Depot in the past) is removing a layer of distribution to lower costs, while improving service - don't think they have any plans for "aggressive" banner ads.
Steve Fink -- Lower costs by one level less distribution, spreading the workload over 24 hours, and using remote, low cost real estate rather than "prime" shopping locales.
Larry Chase -- Steve: RE Home Depot. Why not?
Richard Seltzer -- Steve -- I hadn't heard about Streamline. Is their main purpose to build that database? Or are they a home delivery service like Peapod and Groceries to Go? By the way, I just heard about Netgrocer, which seems to have leapfrogged the other home grocery sites -- going national instantly, by teaming up with FedEx for low-cost delivery anywhere in the US. Larry, do you have any idea how well they are doing? Is that likely to last?
Larry Chase -- Richard: I don't think sending canned, stewed tomoatoes by FedEx will last. No.
Richard Seltzer -- Larry -- I think it's more than "canned, stewed tomatoes." I've used Groceries to Go to buy groceries here in Boston. It worked great. They had a delivery deal with Hood (the old milk truck finally had something useful to do). But that deal fell through and they had to scale back. If FedEx could deliver the same stuff (and the delivery price, apparently, is just $4.95 for an order of $50 or more; and the prices, purportedly are about 20% below normal), that could work. Depends on how fast the delivery is.
Shane -- Larry::: Maybe the reason to buy through net grocer isn't the Fed-exing of groceries but maybe the price.. Are they able to offer such a service at a reasonable price?
Larry Chase -- Richard: It seems to me a low tech solution to grocery shopping is most easily done at the nearest grocery store. Have your grocer deliver a boiler plate shopping list every week unless told otherwise. If your grocer doesn't offer this service he should.
Richard Seltzer -- Larry -- Actually, the Web-based shopping does have real utility. You ought to check it out. How useful it is depends on how often they deliver. But if you could place an order on the Web in the morning, and find the groceries (for that night's supper) on your doorstep or even at a conveniently located pickup point, that's service for people who are busy and two-wage-earner families.
Larry Chase -- Richard: I've used Cybermeals, as you know from reading the book. Have you checked them out? Very cool.
Richard Seltzer -- Larry -- No, I haven't tried Cybermeals yet. (Actually, as I read your book, I was scribbling notes about sites like that that I should try.
Eileen -- One other way of looking at it is delivery of staples for kids, for example. Diapers delivered every two weeks, if size changes, change your order online.
Richard Seltzer -- Eileen -- diapers makes sense. But if they are coming to your door, they should be delivering far more (the trip is the cost). So whoever is doing that, should like up with an on-line grocery outfit and other outfits that need delivery to the same kind of households. (Maybe if you need diapers, you get a price break on delivery of the groceries...)
Shane -- The grocery model ... Sounds like Narrowcasting. Larry do you touch upon narrowcasting in your book?
Richard Seltzer -- Shane -- Larry covers just about everything related to marketing and advertising over the Internet in his book. It's like a machine gun blast. No matter how knowledgeable you are about the Internet, chances are you'll find some gems of examples and advice here that you'd never come across before.
Larry Chase -- Thank you Richard for the nice words about the book.
Larry Chase -- Shane: On narrowcasting, I do talk about it a lot. Big companies and entrepreneurs alike need to learn how to make more money by more completely meeting the deep needs of fewer people.
Shane -- Larry::I think that a good example of Cross Merchandising would be something like LL Bean.. You could be purchasing Fishing lures at their website and then have ads for Fishing poles, tents and even canoes!
Larry Chase -- Yes Shane, that type of accessorizing is happening now.
Shane -- Larry:: I totally agree, But could some types of narrowcasting research touch upon privacy issues? For example should a company monitor usage via cookies and then display web pages because that person has been known to look at similar items such as "Cars".. OR should it be based on previous purchases(Eileen)?
Eileen -- There are many sites that recommend for you, based upon previous choices -- esp videos
Eileen -- I think combo of purchases and interests
Larry Chase -- Richard: I think people are too lazy to consciously sell out preferences for the most part.
Richard Seltzer -- Larry -- Actually, the firefly kind of behavior is amazing. Of course, it all depends on personality, but there are many many people who cheerfully spend an hour or more rating books and movies and music, in hopes of getting good targeted recommendations in the future. It's very very different from asking someone to fill out a questionnaire. (I hate being pigeon-holed. Any form that asks how old I am, where I live, how much I make, etc., I simply throw away.)
Richard Seltzer -- Eileen -- Amazon does it both ways. They will give you immediate recommendations based on your previous purchases and they also will let you rate a lot of books to determine your real preferences (the collaborative filtering thing). For me, the preferences works far far better. (Previous choices is just a red herring -- not just the things I wish I'd never bought but also things I bought as gifts for others get thrown into the mix).
Larry Chase -- I like the way Amazon shows me a list of books purchased by people who have purchased mine.
Eileen -- Of course you would :)
Eileen -- We are building a site where one can shop, and if you like an item, but don't want to buy it right NOW. that info is stored for your next visit, so that you don't have to repeat the shopping process.
Richard Seltzer -- Eileen -- What you describe sounds like an
online lay-away plan. By indicating you are interested in a product, do
you somehow reserve the price or the availability of the item?
Another related service that I'm surprised I don't see more of is on-line gift registry for weddings and graduations. I'd even expect a place like Toys-R-Us to have a way for kids to leave their Christmas/Santa lists that authorized adults could take a look at (and indicate what they've already bought, without the kid knowing it).
Shane -- National Public Radio had an excellent Talk of the Nation debate over Internet Privacy and marketing on either Tuesday or Wednesday and it could have been a MOnday... Should take a look
Eileen -- Lar, BTW, a good friend of mine is a producer at NPR
Larry Chase -- Shane: The cookie tracking you speak of is happening now and my sense is that many people (not all) will trade in whatever privacy issues they may or may not have in exchange for convenience, savings and more direct, relevant advertising and personalization.
Larry Chase -- Richard: Re Community. Time I guess, lack of time. Plus I like to control my messaging in a one-way style like Web Digest for Marketers. Just personal style I guess.
Richard Seltzer -- Larry -- Regarding control, remember that the real value of a chat session is the transcript, and you control the content of the edited version of that that you post afterward (and get indexed at search sites). Keep in mind that I'll be posting an edited/threaded version of this session in the next couple days. Check http://www.samizdat.com/#chat
Larry Chase -- Richard: Reason I like WDFM one-way style is cuz each issue initially reaches 12,000 and is passed along to another 20K plus. For the money and effort spent, WDFM more completely brands me to the reader than a chat area, I believe would. Guess it's more branding to more people for me, which was the original reason for WDFM as you know -- you were present at the creation. With advertising plus licensing revenues it now is in the black.
Eileen -- Yes to sales surpassing computer items!
Larry Chase -- Shane: Already consumer product spending for online advertising is even with or surpassing high-tech ad budgets...
Larry Chase -- Travel and books are huge on the net and getting huger by the hour.
Shane -- Gee Whiz! I guess That I haven't been keeping up!!! Are the items being purchased big items or smaller items? From What I recall items that can require a lot of research such as OTC drugs,stocks,cars etc were selling much better..
Eileen -- travel -- priceline.com -- amazing growth. I know NYC retailers doing $500K in ecommerce in clothing, teens kind of stuff
Eileen -- To Richard -- an example of a one-woman show selling stuff other than computers over the Web http://www.air-shop.com
John Hough -- John Hough firstname.lastname@example.org http://members.aol.com/taxcma CMA software for Realtors
Eileen -- Eileen Shulock, email@example.com, Co-Editor, WDFM
Shane -- Yes.. What is WDFM?
Larry Chase -- WDFM is Web Digest for Marketers. Not affiliated with the Ohio radio station :-)
Eileen -- It's the best marketing publication online :)
Larry Chase -- To subscribe to WDFM, just visit http://www.wdfm.com and fill out the brief form.
Shane -- Is WDFM anything like the The Internet Marketing Discussion List back in 1996?
Richard Seltzer -- Shane -- the Internet marketing discussion list (Glenn Fleischman's thing) was a moderated email list. WDFM is written by experienced editors/reviewers and consists of reviews of maybe a couple dozen commercial Web sites per week. Over time, they've built up quite an archive of useful material.
Larry Chase -- Larry Chase
BTW people can see a free sample chapter and hopefully buy the book at
LarryChase.com. Thanks for having me Richard. Oh. The book is published
by John Wiley and Sons and can be bought in any bookstore. The title is...
Essential Business Tactics for the Net by Larry Chase with Nancy C. Hanger. Published by John Wiley June 1998. ISBN# 0471257222 Again, thanks for having me.
Richard Seltzer -- Larry -- by any miracle would you be available to do this again?
Larry Chase -- Yes, Richard. Let's do this in the fall.
Richard Seltzer -- All -- thanks very much for joining us today. hope you can come again next week. please spread the word.
Richard Seltzer -- Thanks again to all. Best wishes. Richard firstname.lastname@example.org
Nice to "meet" you, and feel free to let me know if I can help you in any way,
Co-Editor, WDFM; Director, Webgrrls International http://www.webgrrls.com/
A comment on brand-recognition: It's all about standing out in a crowd. Anybody that doesn't want to be identified in a crowd doesn't belong in one. It's like our national motto: "E Pluribus Unum: One Out of Many".
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Book Marketing and Sales via the World Wide Web http://www.azstarnet.com/~lnrider/booksell.htm
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