The Spider Web Theory

A spider is one of the most unique hunters out there. It puts out a web. Waits for an insect to get caught. And rest is a discussion about survival and growth.

Recently I had a chance to experience this spider theory in real life with a product sales team. As a marketing team, they expect us to put up a web like sticky website. And leverage all marketing to drive prospects into this web so that they get stuck and sales can quickly convert them.

Many ecommerce sites use things like ‘You might also be interested in’ , or ‘users who liked this also liked this’. The idea is to keep the user on the page or portal as long as possible. Chances of getting something sold automatically becomes higher.

However this retail thinking doesn’t go far for tech products.Today tech buyers don’t use search engines to search for keywords. They’re looking for answers.

Theses search strings cannot be fed into your meta data. You cannot optimize your site for these keywords. But there is one thing you can do. Write relevant content that captures these answers. You should be able to figure out the rest.

The spider theory just simply fails for a tech product sale. The prospect will willingly come to your website. He or she will spend time consuming your content. May even download demos and trial software. But the eventual MIB will happen some chronological weeks later.

Product marketing teams are perceived as ‘Lead Generators’. However today’s software sales are complex. There are multi-disciplinary dependencies. The product has to communicate with 5 other systems (like in the case of niche financial tools). Or compete in a highly commoditized market (like project management and CRM tools). In such a complex environment, this spider web theory will only bring your prospect close to the water’s edge.

A better approach is to educate the prospect. Empower him with knowledge that makes him do the math in his own mind. The idea is for him to only think of your product when the time is right for him to buy.

How many software products have you used that have made a sticky impact in your mind? And how many pirated, free and trial software are you using? Get the point?

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