Take Sight for a While

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					Take A Walk On The Wild Side

Having a little trouble grabbing some attention for your products? Well, have you
considered that you may be playing it too safe to be noticeable. Let's face it, people who
get attention aren't typically the shy and unadorned kind, they are the more extroverted
and rambunctious crowd. So, is your product too staid to really go after the traffic on the
web, and generate genuine interest and enthusiasm? Well, then you might want to think
about taking a walk on the wild side.

Controversy Sells

If you find yourself shying away from controversy, this is one area you genuinely need to
explore. It doesn't even have to be your own created controversy, it can be someone else's
controversy, and all you're doing is adding to the conversation. For instance, when eBay
first came out with it's policy to not allow infoproducts on their auction listings unless
sellers delivered a physical product, like a CD or DVD, it generated a huge controversy
around the Internet.

While others where moaning about the collapse of their business models, there were more
astute business people who exploited the opportunity to get some free publicity by
offering products to help sellers transform their business model so they could continue to
sell on eBay. No matter what side you were on, whether it was a bad or a good policy, the
fact is that the amount of controversy that it produced provided a perfect opportunity to
ride a wave of free publicity, if you can help people overcome some of their issues.

Walk A Fine Line

So, yes, you do want to constantly look out for opportunities that come with issues of
great controversy. They typically have a short window, but during that window, you can
get instant product and name recognition, if you play your cards right. What you don't
want to do is align yourself with one side or another and alienate half your customers.
There is a fine line you must walk if you dare to walk on the wild side. You want to
engage the controversy, but you don't want your name associated with negatives of the
entire thing too. And, certainly there are some controversies that are simply “too hot to

Don't Burn Yourself Out

Unless you are Planned Parenthood, the odds of a classic online business wanting to
engage an abortion controversy is almost non-existent. It's just a controversy that is
extremely volatile and can end up burning people out instead of creating enthusiasm and
genuine interest in the topic. So, engage controversies that are interesting, have some
oomph, but avoid the ones that are going to cause problems for your public image or
alienate too many of your customers. If you do find that you've inadvertently done that by
accident, retract your support immediately, issue an apology to all your customers,
regardless of the issue, and move on. So, it does take a bit of daring to engage
controversy, but the strategy can enliven your business overnight, if done properly. If you
do that, you can take a walk on the wild side, and learn how to position your products to
profit with a wave of free publicity.