#25/25: For the Win



  • People are motivated by well-designed game features
  • The game itself is a reward

Gamification: The use of game elements and game-design techniques in non-game contexts.

  • Internal Gamification / Enterprise Gamification
    • Improve productivity, innovation, etc. within a organization
    • Players a part of a defined community
    • Motivational dynamics
      • Organizational citizenship behavior
        • Do it because you want to be a good citizen not because of money
        • External Gamification
          • Involves Customers / prospects
          • Behavior-Change Gamification
            • Involves larger undefined groups
            • Game Elements
              • Objects
              • Relationships
              • Abstract concepts
              • Game-Design Techniques
                • „Why should I care about this?“
                • New users are maybe discouraged
                • Games should be
                  • Fun
                  • Addicting
                  • Challenging
                  • Emotionally resonant
                  • Reasons
                    • Engagement
                      • People love solving puzzles
                      • Getting feedback
                      • Reinforcement
                      • Engagement leads to iniation
  • Experimentation
    • Mastering the game by try and error
  • Results

Game Thinking

  • What’s in a game?
    • It’s voluntary
    • Ability to make choices
      • Which have effects
      • Give a sense of control
  • Rules of a game
    • New „reality“
    • Game Thinking = engaging expierence that motivates desired behavior
    • Ask the following questions:
      • Why do people use your service in the first place?
        • What is their motivation?
        • What makes them want to do business with you?
        • Can you make it more fun / compelling / interesting?
        • Gamers try to win the game
          • Try to design a desirable outcome
          • Sense of progression is important
          • Game itself is a process, a journey
          • Choice give a sense of empowerment
          • Design goals
            • Motivation
              • Needed for
                • Creative work
                • Mundane Tasks
                • Behavior changes
    • Is going to
      • Passionate
      • Engaged
      • Focused
    • Provides a
      • Measure of meaning
  • Meaningful choices
    • Player autonomy
  • Structure
    • Measure (of quality) and respond to action
    • Track user’s activities
  • Potential Conflicts
    • Leaderboards can be harmful if they are in the wrong environment

Why Games Work

  • What means motivation
    • From latin: serving to move
    • Amotivated = indifferent
    • Intrinsic = wanting
    • Extrinsic = needing
    • Cognitivst
      • Self-Determination-Theory
        • Ext. Environment needs to support internal wishes
        • Three factors
          • Competence
            • Effective dealing with ext. Environment
              • E.g. learning to dance
      • Relatedness
        • Interaction with others
      • Autonomy
        • Control of own life
      • => Always focus on building authentic engagement
  • Reward can crowd out fun
    • See post about Punished by Rewards
  • Boring can be engaging
    • Extrinsic motivation works on boring dull tasks
      • i.e. tasks that are non-intrinsical
    • Focus on learning and development instead of competition
  • Feedback loops
    • Should be fast
    • Reinforcement of „good“ actions
    • FB: near real-time feedback score
      • Data from
        • Coworkers
        • Progress towards goals
        • Coaching
        • Supervisors
    • Lessons
      • FB should be unexpected + informed
        • Increases autonomy
        • Increases intrinsic motivation
      • Reinforcement should work toward progress
      • Metrics will determine actions
  • Different stages of motivation
    • External = punishment
    • Introjected = „I must …“
    • Internalized = „I should …“
    • Integrated = „I want to …“
    • Intrinsic

Game Elements

  • Points, badges and leaderboards (PBLs)
    • Basic but not everything
    • Points
      • To effectively keep score
        • „how well am I doing?“
        • can define levels, i.e. represents the true „play space“
        • To determine the win state
          • E.g. to give away a prize
          • To connect progression and extrinsic rewards
            • X points will give you Y
            • To provide feedback
              • Quickly & easily
              • To externally display progress
                • Status
                • To provide data to game designers
                  • Analyzing tasks
                  • Badges
                    • Visual representation of some achievement
                    • Motivational characteristics
                      • Provide a goal to strive toward => positive effect on motivation
                      • Provide guidance as to what is possible => engagement
                      • Signal what user cares about and what they have performed => capability
                      • Virtual status symbols
                      • Tribal markers => sense of identity with a group
  • Very flexible
  • Leaderboards
    • Most troublesome
      • Can be motivating or demotivating
      • Turn of players (zero sum game)
      • Usually reduce performance rather than enhance it in business
      • Game Elements
        • Dynamics
          • Constraints
          • Emotions: curiosity, competivieness, happiness, etc.
          • Narrative: consistent, ongoing storyline
          • Progression: player’s growth and development
          • Relationships: social interactions generating feelings of camaraderie, status, altruism, etc.
  • Mechanics
    • Challenges
    • Chance: elements of randomness
    • Competition
    • Cooperation
    • Feedback
    • Resource Acquisition
    • Rewards
    • Transactions
    • Turns
    • Win states
    • => combinations, for onboarding (new participants) and interest curves (exp. Players)
  • Components
    • Achivements
    • Avatars
    • Badges
    • Boss Fights: especially hard challenges
    • Collections
    • Combat
    • Content Unlocking
    • Gifting
    • Leaderboards
    • Levels
    • Points
    • Questions: predefined challenges with objectives & rewards
    • Social Graphs
    • Teams
    • Virtual Goods


  • Hierarchy of all game elements

Six Steps to Gamification

  • Design process
    • Define business objectives
      • Specific performance goals
      • List objectives
      • Rank them
      • Delete means to an end
      • Justify objectives
  • Describe target behaviors
    • Which behavior helps achieving your objectives?
    • How can you measure these behaviors?
  • Describe your players
    • Who are they?
    • What is their relationship to you?
    • What might motivate your players?
    • What demotivates them?
      • Volition: perceived lack of desire => Engagement
      • Faculty: perceived lack of capability => Progression
    • How can you segment your players?
      • Achievers, explorers, socializers, killers
        • See other post
    • Write a small story of (some) players (basically personas)
      • Which Bartle player types are they?
      • What are their hopes and fears?
      • Their talents?
      • Their hobbies?
  • Devise activity cycles
    • User actions provoke some other activity, which in turn provokes other user actions, etc.
    • Engagement loops (Micro)
      • What your players do
      • Why they do it
      • What does the system do?
      • Feedback as an important element
        • Actions immediately produce visible responses
    • Progression stairs (Macro)
      • What’s the player’s journey
      • Start out simple
      • „boss“ villain = major challenges which gives a sense of pride
      • Incorporate some randomness
      • Small surprises help to escape the hedonic treadmill


  • Don’t forget the fun
    • Would players participate in the system voluntary if there weren’t any extrinsic rewards?
    • Types of fun (Nicole Lazzaro)
      • Hard fun = challenge or puzzle
      • Easy fun = casual enjoyment
      • Experimental fun = trying out new personas and new experiences
      • Social fun = interaction with others, even competitive
  • Deploy the appropriate tools
    • Start picking appropriate mechanics and components
    • Then iterate, iterate, iterate

Epic Fails

  • Problem: Focus too heavily on the rewards instead oft he experience
  • People will go to the limits
  • Legal constraints

If nothing else, gamification may make business more fun.

#24/25: What is Lean Six Sigma?


  • Top-down support is essential for change projects
  • Project scope has to be right


–       Find out where the problems are: Missing documents, late delivery, etc.

–       Get all responsible people together

–       Problem solving:

  • Brainstorming
  • Forming hypothesis
  • Collecting data
  • Developing solutions
  • Goals:
    • Delight customers: higher quality in less time
    • Improve processes: less variance & defects, better flow
    • Teamwork: interdisciplinary teams
    • Based on data

Delight customers

–       Quality is defined by the customer

  • internal
  • external

–       Which factors are important in the customer’s decision to buy your solution? (Critical to Quality: CTQ)

–       Voice of Customer

  • Tracking complaints
  • Focus groups
  • Visiting customer sites
  • Interviews
  • Surveys

–       Eliminate defects

  • defects: things that don’t meet the customer need

–       Create consistency

–       Ensure Speed, Quality and low costs

  • Quality only with speed: eliminate waste & delays
  • Speed only with quality: if there are errors, you have to go back
  • Low price only with quality & speed

Improve processes

–       Deming: 85/15 Rule; 85% problems are problems built in processes, 15% are problems by employee’s faults

–       To improve quality, you have to change the system

–       Process management:

  • Documenting how work gets done
  • Examining the flow between people
  • Training people the knowledge & methods they need to constantly improve their work
  • Eliminate variation in quality and speed
    • What do customer want and what do they find acceptable?
    • Everything else is a defect
    • To generate low variation everything before the outcome has to work fine  
  • Improve process flow and speed
    • How many process steps does it take?
    • Ask for every step:
      • Is it necessary?
      • What value does it add to our customer?

–       Think in processes

Team Work

–       Environment where people are encouraged to work together

–       Free sharing of information

–       Meetings are full of energy

–       Skills that need to be trained for effective collaboration:

  • Listening
  • Brainstorming & discussion techniques
  • Organizing ideas
  • Decision making

–       Important steps:

  • Set goals everyone agrees on
  • Assign accountability
  • Conflict handling
  • Decision making metrology
  • Effective meetings
  • Continuous learning
  • Collaboration


–       Foundation of six sigma

–       Rule: People must support their opinions with facts

–       Problems:

  • Lack of available data
  • Little training in collecting & analyzing data
  • Data is not used for making decisions about improvement

–       Result measures

  • Outcome of a process

–       Process measures

  • Internal metrics of a process

–       Typical metrics:

  • Customer satisfaction (result)
  • Financial outcomes (result)
  • Speed or lead time (result / process)
  • Quality or defects (result / process)

–       Collecting data can take 75% of the time


–       WIP (Work in Process): amount of work in process that isn’t complete yet

–       Lead time: from order to delivery

–       Little’s Law: Lead Time = WIP / Avg. Completion Rate

–       Queue time: work that just sits there = delay time

–       Value added work: customer wants to pay for

–       Non-value added work = waste

–       Complexity: different types of products/options processes have to handle

–       Process Cycle Efficiency = Value-add time / Total lead time; avg about ten percent

–       Flexibility: how easily can people switch between different types tasks

Laws of Lean Six Sigma

–       Law of the Market: Customer needs define quality – highest priority for improvement

–       Law of Flexibility: Speed of a process is proportional to its flexibility

–       Law of Focus: 20% of activities make 80% of the problems

–       Law of Velocity (Little’s Law)

–       Law of Complexity and Cost: Complexity adds more costs and WIP than either poor quality or slow speed


–       Infrastructure

  • Champions: Executive Sponsor
  • Black Belts: 4-5 weeks of training on leadership + problem solving; full- or part-time; responsible for leading or coaching project teams and for delivering results on projects
  • Master Black Belts: upper Black Belts, more responsibility and training
  • C-Suite: setting corporate goals
  • Business unit managers: work with Champions, define criteria for selecting projects that support their goals
  • Line managers / process owners: Project sponsor, frees time of people for training and attending meetings, provides support
  • Green Belts/Yellow/White/Team members: Usually normal job but help working on projects in their work areas

–       Training programs

  • For different belts
  • Introduction courses
  • Courses for green belts: leading projects
  • Black Belt: skill building tools/methods
  • Master Black Belt: Some special tools

Common Problems

–       Projects didn’t address important business problems

–       People became “quality commandos”

–       Little or no monitoring of projects

 => Improvement should be done to support business goals not to replace them

Project Selection

–       Which project adds the most value?

–       Start with a burning platform, e.g. reach new customers, reduce overhead cost, speed up deployment, etc.

–       Goals are translated down to business units

–       then down to value streams (specific processes)

–       Maintain the links at each step

Tollgate system

–       Review between each DMAIC phase

–       Purpose

  • Status update
  • Check if project is still critical
  • Adjust project is necessary
  • Inform management about barriers


–       A lot happens in the first I00 days – slow results aren’t any better than no results

–       Starts at the top

–       Formal announcement

–       Project selection & training in waves


–       forces team to use data to

  • confirm a problem (nature & extend)
  • identify the true causes
  • find solutions
  • establish procedures

–       Start with project charter

  • up to 2 pages
  • goals of the team
  • team members
  • time lines
  • only a draft => reiterate and communicate with management

DMAIC Phases


  • What is the project?
    • . Discuss project charter => get shared goal
    • . Get customer data => confirm possible opportunity
    • . Review existing data
    • . Drafting a high-level process map
    • . Setting up a plan and guidelines
      • Realistic scope
      • What is success and how is it measured?
      • Get people comfortable working together


  • Develop / improve measurement system
  • Gather data & improve the process map
  • Find out what’s really important
  • Tools
    • Observe the process
    • Time value map (visualize value-add time and non-value-add time)
    • Pareto chart


  • find the real causes for problems
  • find most critical actions
  • Tools
    • Fishbone diagram
    • Scatterplots


  • Find new solutions
  • Check best practices
  • Develop a criteria for selecting solutions
  • Planning the implementation
  • Tools
    • PICK chart (Possible, Implement, Challenge, Kill)
    • Four step rapid setup


  • Document the new process
  • Train everyone
  • Set up procedures for tracking KPIs
  • Complete project documentation
  • Tools
    • Control charts

#23/25: Total Quality Management

Total Quality Management


„Management model is not on how much we are making but on how well we are meeting our customers’ requirements“ – Peter Drucker

  • Understand their own systems first before adopting programs that work on other companies
  • In an increasingly competitive marketplace, you cannot hope to survive in a system that is out of control
  • You will need to:
    • Know your customer requirements
    • Have a well-defined process to translate requirements into internal actions
    • Align all of your tasks/processes alogn common goals and objectives
    • Use key measure to manage by fact
    • Involve everyone in continuous improvement
    • Understand and improve all your critical processes
    • Satisfy your customer
    • Quality = meeting or exceeding customer expectations
    • Quality excellence doesn’t have to be expensive
    • TQM doesn’t make decisions but provides a model to control and improve the company


(source: http://www.emeraldinsight.com/journals.htm?articleid=841097&show=html)


  • Without clear and consistent leadership, the company will never be a quality leader
  • Quality leaders
    • meet with employees frequently, to inspire and recognize their best efforts
    • visit customers to find out what they need and expect
    • track quality improvements
    • take and teach quality courses
    • demand excellence
    • preach quality to every audience that will listen
    • Transition
      • Step one: Commit to quality
      • Step two: Know your company’s systems and values
      • Step three: Participate in your company’s quality processes
        • E.g. Fedex: Important things:
          • People
          • Service
          • Profit
  • Step four: Integrate quality into the company’s management model
    • Culture of Quality
    • Senior manager as leaders
    • Open communication; employees shouldn’t be afraid
    • Set, track and help to achieve goals
    • Responsibilities for quality leaders
      • Lead the quality improvement process
      • Quality zealot
      • Understand customers’ needs and expectations
      • Empower everyone in the company to meet customers’ needs and expectations
      • Manage by studying facts
      • Promote process improvement
      • Strategic planning process to keep the company focused
      • Demand rapid, continuous improvment

Customer Focus

„Satisfaction used to be something that validated our performance. Now it drives the way we do business. – Steve Hoisington, IBM Rochester

  • Talk, listen, check, verify and test with your customers
  • Business begins with customer focus and ends with customer satisfaction

Strategic planning

  • Align all the efforts oft he organization to customer satisfaction, quality and operational performance goals
  • Translates visions into action plans
  • Regular reviews of performance (daily, weekly, at max monthly)
  • Most effective strategic plan allows each employee with each task to support one or more corporate objectives
  • Quality and business planning must go hand in hand


Quality is not an assignable task. It must be rooted and institutionalized in every process. It is everyone’s responsibility. – Motorola

  • Motorola’s process
    • Have a set of metrics
    • Determine results
    • Pick a problem
    • Address the problem
    • Analyize the solution
    • Move on
    • Managers have to listen and engage their subordinates
    • Persuade rather than demand
    • Support their initiatives, coach, train, facilitate and serve
    • Leadership sets a company’s vision and values
    • Customer indicate what to focus on
    • Strategic planing converts all these into company goals
    • Goals need to be translated into goals for employees
    • Primary methods
      • Set challenging goals
      • Develop action plans o pursue those goals
      • Train people to achieve the goals
      • Exceptional Quality (EQ) Question for managers
        • What are you personally doing to improve EQ?
        • What are your plans for improving the work climate in your area?
        • What are your plans for empowering your people?
        • What have you identified that needs tob e fixed and how can I help you fix it?
  • What successes have you had with EQ in your area?

Employee Involvement

  • Employees who have been trained, empowered, and recognized for their achievement see their jobs and their companies from a different perspective
  • Process of empowerment
    • Willingness from managers to give other responsibility
    • Training people in how to delegate and accept responsibility
    • Communication and feedback to tell people how they are doing
    • Rewards and recognition


  • Don’t assume any level of knowledge when you assess the need for training
  • Without training no continuous improvement is possible
  • Top performers treat their workers as  assets to be developed, not commodities to be used
  • Question to ask
    • What kind of training do we need?
    • Whom should we train?
    • How will we deliver training?
    • How will we know whether the training is effective?
    • How can we improve the training process?
    • Duration: half to about one hour
    • Training should be very practical

Reward and Recognition

„The surveys show that people crave day-to-day recognition but they’re not getting it. They want feedback. They can’t function in a vacuum anymore. – Maehling (Recognition Redefined)

  • Rewards become more important if a management system is established
  • Employees crave recognition
  • Recognition program
    • Consistent
    • Frequent
    • Interpersonal skills to give specific information about the accomplishment
    • Recognition comes from peers
    • Try to recognize as many people as possible
    • Prestigious awards that are considered special
    • Public display is involved
    • Must be based on sincere trust and respect
    • Specific feedback is provided
    • Tangible reminder to remind recipient oft he reason fort he recognition
    • Recognition is timely
    • Recognition is win / win — everyone is a winner

„Pay’s function is to create equity and fairness. IT should attract people to an organization and keep them there. Pay should not be an active ingredient in promoting teamwork and motivating performance“ – Dr. Michael Beer, Harvard

Employee focus

„The business exists as much to provide meaningful work tot he person as it exists to provide a product or service tot he customer“ – Robert Greenleaf, „Servant as Leader“

  • Employees as an asset to develop
  • Ben & Jerry HR agenda:
    • Guide for managers and employees
    • Improving communication
    • Adding training & cooperative work skills
    • Enhancing measurement
    • Introducing a new compensation system to reward them for acuqiring certain skills and competencies
    • Employee loyalty
      • Empowerment
      • Training
      • Reward and Recognition
      • Safety
  • Jerry Greenfield: „If it’s not fun, why do it?“
  • Measure employee satisfaction
  • Communicate results to everybody

Customer Contacts

  • Personal attributes that contribute to solid customer relationships
    • Treat customer as you want tob e treated when you are a customer
    • Take personal responsibility to see that customers’ needs are met
    • Constantly seek to improve by learning
    • Share your knowledge, skills, and time with others
    • Have a positive outlook
    • Communicate effectively
    • Solectron’s customer service standards
      • Notify the customer as soon as possible about unexpected problems
      • Identify the problem and its impact and propose an action
      • Try to respond within 24 hours
      • Don’t argue with customers about complains
        • Encourage them to talk
        • Apologize for any inconvenience or mistunderstanding
        • Ask for suggestions
        • Take action immediately
  • Do not blame Solectron’s problems on any individual or department
  • Formal weekly exchanges with the customer
  • Ask customer how you could improve your service
  • Short weekly surveys, e.g. one question about
    • Quality
    • Delivery
    • Communication
    • Service

Design of products and services

  • Most customer-focused activity your company undertakes
  • Key Questions:
    • How do we translate customer requirements into products and service design requirements?
    • How do we ensure design quality?
    • How do we reduce design-to-introduction cycle time?
    • How do we improve the design process?

Process management

All the management practices now being recognized as best practices follow the same basic approach: identify what is important tot he customer, identify your approach, and measure the results – Emery Powell, process strategy Manager, RTIS

  • COPIS model
    • Customers
    • Output
    • Process
    • Input
    • Suppliers
    • Don’t just focus on financial results
    • Focus on people and processes that produces these results
    • Process
      • Identifying the problems
      • Deciding on the methodology
      • Recommendations
      • Action Plan

Supplier Quality

Companies that want to be lean and nimble in ever-flatter organizations strive to do only what they do best and to outsource the rest, without sacrificing quality, schedule, or cost.

Data Collection and Analysis

The Balanced Scorecard translates an organization’s mission and strategy into a comprehensive set of performance measures that provides the framework for a strategic measurement and management system – Kaplan and Norton (The Balanced Scorecard)

  • KPIs help promote continuous improvement because the employee teams want to meet their goals
  • Only measure what you can control


Benchmarking ist he identification and implementation of best practices to achieve superior customer results and business performance“ – Ameritech

  • Benchmark process
    • Know your product / service / process
      • Customers will tell you when you’re messing up
      • Two questions:
        • Has anyone ever faced a similar problem before?
        • What did they do about it?
  • Find out what other companies are doing
  • Identify gaps
  • Initiate improvements

System Assessments

  • Use Baldrige Award
    • Involve senior management
    • Establish application team
    • Train team members
    • Assign responsibilities
    • Collect data and information
    • Identify areas for improvement
    • Communicate needs, ideas and information
    • Begin writing and deliever the assessment

Crossing the River

  • About three years+
  • Goal is to align and improve your system for satisfying customers
  • Goal: Gain commitment
    • Compare company performance against industry standard
    • Look at your company from a customer perspective
    • Brainstorm what the company would look like with the new model
    • Develop a new vision, mission and values
    • Begin work on a system of measures of senior executive
    • Goal: Determine customers’ perception
      • Identify primary market
      • Gather information from every possible source about the customers’ requirements, expectation and needs
      • Analyze the data
      • Check with reality
      • Goal: Develop action plan
        • Compare status quo and vision
        • Prioritize areas for improvement
        • Determine how progress will be measured
        • Formalize a periodic system assessment process
        • Goal: Align all activities through the strategic planning process
          • Establish strategic planning process by adapting best practices
          • Determine vital few long- and short-term goal
          • Decide on measurement of each goal
          • Goal: Involve all employees in continuous improvement
            • Communicate vision, goals, requirements, and expectation to all employees (via managers)
            • Formalize processes for ongoing communication
            • Clarify management’s role in the new system
            • Train employees in the skills they need to assume responsibility for their processes and results
            • Formalize processes for providing employees with feedback
            • Train employees in the skills they need to participate in teams
            • Initiate the use of teams to manage and improve processes and solve problems
            • Goal: Manage and improve all key processes
              • Identify core processes
              • Train employees in process management and improvement
              • Assemble cross-functional teams to analyses key processes
              • Reorganize the company around its core processes
              • Establish methods of communicating feedback to teams and results tot he whole organization
              • Goal: Establish a system of measurement
                • Measure only what you can control
                • Train employees
                • Formalize processes
                • Goal: Align compensation and recognition programs
                  • Survey employees to understand their expectations and requirements
                  • Work with cross-functional teams
                  • Involve employees in running the company’s recognition programs
                  • Formalize processes
                  • Goal: Treat employees as the most important asset
                    • Ask employee what the require and expect in their work environment tob e healthy and satisfied
                    • Align the goals for employee health, well-being, and satisfaction
                    • Formalize processes for reviewing and improving
                    • Goal: Establish a benchmarking program
                      • Train management about benchmarking
                      • Formalize your company’s benchmark process
                      • Use input from customers, suppliers, and employees to identify benchmarking opportunities

Kodak self-assessment matrix


#22/25: Convert!

You should view design as the creation of a new solution to a problem.

  • What are your web site’s goals?
  • What is the value of each goal to your organization?
  • How many goals does the web site need to deliver in order to be a success?

Traffic x CR = Success, if either Traffic or CR is zero, then there's no success

  • Creativity is forward-looking, asking “What could we do?”
  • Analysis looks backward and asks “Did that work?”
  • Both combined are needed for repeating success

Instead of relying on a small number of generic pages, you will create a range of specialized landing pages, each one designed to be found by specific toes of visitors with their own specific needs


Keyword Research
You want keywords with:

  1. High relevance
  2. High traffic
  3. Low competition

Ultimate SEO

Make better content, which people want to share. You have to promote your articles first but you don’t have to do strange SEO tactics to get better traffic.

At its highest level, SEO actually becomes PR. If you create newsworthy, interesting and valuable things, then you just have to get your word out.

A man who goes into a hardware store to buy a quarter inch drill bit does not need a quarter inch drill bit – he wants a quarter inch hole.


All you sell are solutions to needs. What problems do you solve?


Instead of looking at the tool, describe how it solves a need or problem for the person who buys it. List as many problems as you can, and state the solution to each problem.


  • Proposition: gap between needs and solutions – translation of features into benefits
  • Internal (company) vs. external (customer) perspective
    • just because your company is organized in one way or another doesn’t mean that your website has to organized in the same way



  • It’s better to get 20 #1 for less popular terms than 1 #1 for a more popular one


Awareness Ladder


  • No Problem -> Problem -> Solution exist -> your solution -> Benefits -> Convinced


  • Everybody starts at “No Problem”
  • One buys only after “Convinced”
  • Each step has to be followed



  • What is the current level of awareness?
  • What will get their attention?
  • What is the next step from there?


Step 0: No Problem

  • The problem is education which is costly
  • You have to create a need first
  • Go where potential prospects are and educate them


Step 1: Problem

  • People want to learn about their options
  • Keywords are related to problems


Step 2: Solution exist

  • They look for solutions, maybe brand names


Step 3: Your solution

  • Address concerns about your solutions
  • Present benefits


Step 4: Benefits

  • Go deeper, talk about the future with your product
  • Use testimonials, press articles, etc.


Step 5: Convinced

  • Now you can go to the buying part


Semantic Matrix Method

  • Your solutions addresses several problems and maybe have different treatments
  • Start off with (Problems) x (Treatments) => Permutate
  • Depending on your solution, this can generate a wide range of content to create


How to create large amounts of content?

  • The assumption is that the knowledge is already in your company
  • Hire a journalism student / graduate, they should:
  • Arrange 30 minutes interviews with practitioners (in your company)
  • Record the interview
  • Ask them questions, prospects want to know
  • Write it down in an easy to read format


 Keyword / Adverts

  • Always look first at the highest step on the Awareness Ladder where you know there is market and which you don’t currently address
  • Competitions are a good way to get into a publication
  • Try to get in first into an interesting problem / topic
  • On step 0 banner-ads can work quite fine – just inform them about your new product + social media / forum participation


High exist rates (outside of support, etc.) can mean with low time on site

  • visitor didn’t know what to do next
  • wasn’t convinced
  • other random stuff


law of Multiplies – if you change the conversion rate on any step this will influence the CR in the same will


  • Always answer one question: “Am I in the right place?”
  • Every page is an ad for the next step – which can be anything
  • Consider the awareness ladder, you want to catch the immediate need of prospects
  • Proposition should be specific, you-oriented, be clearly beneficial and should offer a immediate solution



  • Your initial message don’t have to convince, it has to engage
  • should be
  • relevant
  • speak to self-interest
  • emotional
  • Try to group customers in your offering, e.g. moms with kids, farmers, etc.
  • If you advertise on a external platform, name its name, e.g.
  • “Exclusive for XY readers”You-oriented language – people want to hear about themselves
  • Differentiators should be binary. Don’t use “high quality” because no competitor would claim “low quality”



  • What can you say about your product that your competitors can’t
  • What do your prospects don’t know about you?
  • What delights your customers?


Promise to solve a problem

  • Triggers an emotional response
  • Reminds people of their concerns



  • Always look for emotional reasons that would compel a visitor to proceed
  • “Adding quote marks to a headline often increases believability and you can do it, too!”


Designing for Attention

  • Getability: I’m in the right place
  • Noticeability: Size, Contrast, Boldness, Color, Position, Space, Movement; Avoid these attributes on non-relevant elements
  • Navigation: Where you are and where you can go
  • Imagery: Use actual product images, Human faces work great,
  • Test:
  • Check headlines only
  • Remove all words on the page
  • 5 Second test



  • Affirm positive signs
  • People should imagine their life with your product
  • Stick to the facts
  • Use performance indicators


Resolve concerns & build trust

  • Answer “What if …” questions
  • Guarantees
  • Get feedback
  • Testimonials: Shipping page, near point of payment, with benefits & features
  • Talk like your customers


Build interest

  • Offer free useful information
  • Don’t try to sell now, wait till the customer wants to buy


Make it easy

  • Consistency
  • Be brief
  • Simple language
  • Readable text


Call to Action

  • Focus on CTAs
  • Low CR = a step is probably missing
  • Target the “maybe” crowd (no stays no, yes stays yes)
  • Sell without hesitation or shame
  • Show one clear path forward
  • Use you-oriented language in links
  • Use catch-alls, e.g. live chat, faqs, etc.
  • Ask only necessary details



  • Target early opportunities
  • Where do visitors leak?
  • Simplify as much as possible
  • Define your offering
  • Rate keywords by relevance
  • Create core content
  • Add more funnels
  • Generate traffic
  • Consider Step 0