Book Review: "Waiting for Your Cat to Bark?"

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Friday, May 25, 2007

Book Review: 'Waiting for Your Cat to Bark?'Waiting for Your Cat to Bark? by Bryan and Jeffry Eisenberg highlights two very strong ideas. The first idea is to enter the mindset of website's visitors / customers and browse your website asking the same questions that they would. The second idea involves creating personas by breaking down your website's visitors into classes, such as gamers or soccer moms.

Book Review: 'Waiting for Your Cat to Bark?'
"Waiting for your cat to bark? This question is really our way of asking, "Are you waiting for your customers to respond the way they used to?" Many marketers are, and that's a problem."
"Cats don't bark - and consumers today don't "salivate on command" like they seemed to a couple of decades ago. Consumers today behave more like cats than Pavlov's pooch. Times have changed - and so must
we."

Waiting for Your Cat to Bark? by Bryan and Jeffry Eisenberg highlights two very strong ideas. The first idea is to enter the mindset of website's visitors / customers and browse your website asking the same questions that they would. Theoretically, in this mindset you don't know enough to understand the problem; rather you know only that a problem exists and that you've turned to the Internet for a solution. What phrases did you search for? What questions are you asking? Afterwards, review your website and ensure that it addresses these same questions.

The second idea involves creating personas by breaking down your website's visitors into classes, such as gamers or the ever popular soccer moms. Once you've done this than you can begin to ask yourself what is needed in order to attract these kinds of people. What questions are they asking? Why are they interested in making a purchase? How would they use your company's website? Addressing these questions is a great way to ensure that you're in tune with your target audience, and that your website appeals to those it intended to.

Book Review

This book offers solid and actionable advice. However, my problem with it is that after several pages in it became a bit of a chore to read. The concepts were those that I've personally become familiar with over the years, and so I feel that this book provides very little in return for advanced marketers. I feel that even those with a few months of eCommerce experience would find little in return. Instead of being enlightened, I thought that the authors were just stating the obvious.

Overall, if you're new to eCommerce and the online marketing world, this is a great read for figuring out what needs to be done in order to make your business inviting to your general audience. If you're on the other end of the spectrum and are looking for advanced reading... I'm quite sure that this isn't the book for you.

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4 Comments:

  1. So you're saying I should read my copy of Call to Action before my copy of Waiting...? :)

    I'm almost through Chris Baggott's new book on email. It's a great read/refresher.
    By Anonymous Keith Miller on May 25, 2007
  2. Honestly... I would. And should you find yourself 100 pages into "Waiting" and have nothing new to show for it... stop reading.
    By Anonymous Karl Ribas on May 25, 2007
  3. Karl,

    Thanks for the kind words and the honest feedback. You are correct, you were not the primary intended persona for the book. The book in fact has two virtual halves. The first half was written for those unfamiliar with what is going on in the marketing universe today (maybe those coworkers some people have to deal with). The second half goes into more detail for those with more experience to detail Persuasion Architecture, the methodology we developed to help marketers plan and create more relevant messaging in a world where the customer is in control. Waiting for you Cat to Bark is a more strategically thinking book where Call to Action is a much more tactical book.
    By Anonymous Bryan Eisenberg on May 25, 2007
  4. Like you, I also got the book at SES-SJ, last year...

    First impression: I enthusiastically told the brothers that I heard about the book and was eager to read it, but they were dicks and couldn't care less about what I said.

    I started reading the book, but couldn't get into it... not even sure where my copy is anymore. :P
    By Anonymous kid disco on May 26, 2007

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