Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Can We Vote Ana Lucia Off the Island?

Okay, I admit it. I am a fan of "Lost" and have never missed a show.

I am also a user of AOL Instant Messenger. Which means that every time I sign onto my computer IM loads, along with a website from AOL. It's a website that I normally click off pretty fast cause it is aimed at a different audience than me. But they hooked me this morning with a headline: Can We Vote Ana Lucia Off the Island?"

My hand instantly went up as a 'yes' vote, and my fingers unknowingly hit the link to find out more. Let's get rid of Ana and get nice, neurotic Shannon back. I linked across to AOL's 'Lost' site and read all sorts of tidbits.

The Important Thing About This ...

I am sure you don't care a whole lot about my television interests, but what happened to me on AOL's site is yet another demonstration for the power of CONTEXT.

I was not the right audience for AOL's site. But one piece of content that was contextually relevant to my interests and I can no longer just dismiss AOL when it pops up on my computer. They provided enough different content hooks that eventually one of them caught even me.

Maybe it was just luck on their end, but it illustrates one of my principles in communication ... your website should not be written for just one stereotype customer, but should provide plenty of different hooks to lure different kinds of visitors with different needs and interests.

The added plus for this approach is that different kinds of content hooks reveal to you important insights into the visitor's needs and interests. By tracking these click stream selections and matching them to the IP Address or to a registered and logged customer helps you build a profile of their situation so you can use this knowledge to create more effective campaigns.

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