In the midst of Jared Spool’s gadfly-esque “UCD never worked, maybe we should retire it” opening plenary at the IA Summit was a rope prop. The rope represented the number of visitors to a website. It had a knot to show the small percentage of visitors who are customers and another for the even smaller percentage of big spenders/ultra-fans. Jared suggests that a smart business person doesn’t worry about the huge percentage for whom the website clearly isn’t working and just focus on selling a little bit more to those ultra-fans.
But oddly not everyone in audience is just trying to make lots of money. I was reminded of this in a recent presentation from the BBC’s marketing team about audience segmentation. Like any other organisation we have a segment of highly passionate fans but, as the presentation made clear, the BBC cannot just up-sell to our the high approvers. That’s not public service.
So BBC IAs have to think about the whole rope, I’m afraid.