Hey everyone. It’s been a bit. I ended up typing out a few entries lately, and ended up rejecting most for one reason or another. But here’s one for old time’s sake(no the blog isn’t dead, I’m just busy). This entry is going to be about the economy, psychology, and how to get some conversions out of it all.
The Economy & Hope
Yeah everyone knows the economy sucks. That’s not what this is about. What it’s about is it’s affect on the consumer mindset. A lot of people are broke, and those not broke are not spending. Except on hope. Hope turned out to be more than a presidential campaign motto in my opinion. Not in the political sense, but more in that it was the perfect motto for the American consumer/voter’s mindset.
Sure enough, hope is what’s converting. I’d like to nominate it for product of the year actually. It’s not like the “hope for a perfect golf swing”, but rather “hope for money” “hope for love”, etc. So how do we figure out what people are going to be buying
Affiliate Marketing, now with Excellent Maslow Goodness
Alright. Really quickly for those who don’t know: Maslow was a psychologist who created something called the hierarchy of needs. It’s basically a classification system for the different human needs and motivations, and their importance. They’re shown in the triangle below.
Ok. So the base are the most basic needs. Keep in mind that being on the bottom of the pyramid does not necessarilly create an increase in demand, but at least should be more stable than things that fall towards the top in the current economy.
Level 1 – Physiological
Since it’s a bit tricky to sell water or food online(though it is done), we’ll rule those two out.
“Homeostasis” is a persons ability to regulate their internal system. So that’s medication(for our purposes). Unfortunately though, most of the health products around for affiliates(that won’t give their merchant a lovely phone call from the FTC) are not really based around homeostasis, but rather are for external health.
I could pretend like all the “colon” weight loss offers were excretion, but really the motivation for those products was not the desire to poop.
As for “sex” there’s a few obvious industries that come to mind(adult, dating, etc). However, my understanding of the pyramid leads me to believe that they mean to imply the ability and opportunity to have sex. So according to that, fleshlights and other supplemental things may not be included in that.
Level 2- Safety (The Important One)
This is the one to pay attention to. It’s where a lot of the american public is mentally. “New things” and the excess that has existed before seems like it’d be driven by the consumer’s view of their own success(esteem) being heavily related to that which they could(in theory) afford. Now, it’s not about that. It’s about keeping their job, house, family, etc. So products that convert are going to be within those basic areas, and with those basic goals.
Think about what the term “safety” implies. It’s preservation of the old, not creation of the new. This obviously would ordinarily be a problem, except that people also panic when they feel their safety(in any respect) is threatened. Ever get the feeling that you need to do something, but not know what to do?
A lot of people feel like that right now. Give them a potential way out and they’ll likely take it.
For example, let’s take a look at how online colleges are doing right now.
Using Quantcast Data
Phoenix.edu in december(and as far back as the graph shows) was at around 2 million uniques per month. In January it was edging up on 4 million.
Kaplan.edu – Previously averaged around 180,000 users per month. Last month it was estimated to be around 474,000 users per month.
Using Compete.com Data
Kaplan.edu – Up 61% for the year, 128% for the month.
Phoenix.edu - Up 184.6% for the year, 48.6% for the month
Some More Random Thoughts
The economic conditions create a few more things that pretty wildly play with the marketplace. Whenever a big company goes out of business, look into the conditions under which they went out. Some companies have recurring customers that then all become fair game. Others, like Circuit City, can flood the market place with cheap goods as they liquidate their stock. Loads of fun. Either way, if you see one dive, don’t think of it as “that niche is dead” think of it as “some company is going to benefit a lot from their old customers”.
Oh yeah, and sorry if people have been doing entries similar to this one lately. I haven’t had much time to read lately, so I don’t know if they have.