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  • Affiliate Marketing, the Economy, and Maslow

    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.

    Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
    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
    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.


    12 Responses to “Affiliate Marketing, the Economy, and Maslow”

    1. Google Search Sucks says:

      Just one more thing to add. It is not that people have no money, they do have SOME money. Your job is to convince them to spend that money on the hope you are offering. If they do not spend it, it isn’t because they are broke, but because you did not convince them that it was more important than what they are currently spending it on.

      Example: Explain why getting an education now and investing in oneself will pay off in the future.

    2. Ad Hustler says:

      Catering to needs is what this whole industry is about. The better you can do it, the more successful you can be :)

    3. Ed Charkow (blackhatdigest) says:

      Buddy of mine works for Kaplan – they’ve been advertising HEAVILY this past year. I’m not sure Pheonix, but I would say Kaplan is more of a advertising success.

    4. Blackhat SEO Blog says:

      You’re always so deep man. +1.

    5. funtricia gina says:

      Thank you for your articles and insight that you share with us. I don’t think a lot of people in your place would share this kind of knowledge and would rather hoard it to themselves. Anyways much thanks.

      In one of your articles you mentioned about Xrummer. You did not elaborate your take on it though. Is it good or bad? Could Google penalize you for posting messages on forums boards? How effective do you think that strategy is? I am looking for your expert insight on this. Take care man..

    6. anon says:

      I reckon info products (preferably physical books) on survivalism and keeeping costs down will probably start to make sense to a lot more people.

    7. SEO-PRO says:

      Like being at University again with Maslow’s hierarchy! Nice post, I suppose most of the world will be interested in the safety stuff at present, but don’t forget some people do well out of dodgy times like these so there is always a market for more extravagant products.

    8. Contempt says:

      Very good post. I love the visuals, like SEO-PRO said I feel like I’m back in school – except this is something I actually want to learn :P

    9. Bill Nad says:

      I have to agree and this post really crystallizes a lot of what markets I have been thinking about lately.

      People will continue to spend money and if they find a way to leverage for safety I believe that they will jump at it. If you can hit on core values that people have and those niches then I think that it can more than make up for ringtones or whatever people are losing a fortune on right now. The marketplace for excess type goods is drying up very quickly

    10. Gab Goldenberg says:

      “So according to that, fleshlights and other supplemental things may not be included in that.”

      ahahahaha you KILL ME.

      Interesting take on companies going under. Would love to chat privately on the circuit city bit.

    11. ArtDeco says:

      Hey Shady

      Go log in to WF and ban some ‘tards please – they are selling email accounts and ebooks all over the place.

      Art Deco

    12. monkeyman says:

      Hey, come back man. Where have you gone to?

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