Wal-Mart New Classifieds Site Mentors Us All

Posted by Marty Dickinson on Jun 3, 2008

I learned this morning from DMNews that Wal-Mart has launched a classifieds website to “give customes another way to save money,” according to DMNews’ email quote by Wal-Mart’s spokesman Ravi Jariwala.

But, we all know what’s really going on here, don’t we? Wal-Mart is trying to get into the social networking experience that the web has to offer. And, it figures going up against Craigslist and EBay is the best vehicle.

I’m not one to disagree with that. In fact, I’m embracing it. What Wal-Mart has done is a classic case of identifying something that works in their industry and copied someone else to do things a little better for their own gain. And, that’s something all of us with websites should model after.

Here, take a look. Give the Wal-Mart Classifieds a try. You’ll never find a link to the classifieds area on the Wal-Mart home page (and I’m not sure why), so I’ve provided you with this link that goes directly to it. Search for something. Post something.

If you’ve used Craigslist before, you’ll notice a few oddities with Wal-Mart’s Classifieds.

1. It takes more time to figure out how to search than on Craigslist. So, I’m wondering what percentage of people actually find what they’re looking for if it’s a job versus Craigslist or how much actually gets sold versus EBay.

2. It takes more time to post to the right category. I never even found a category for marketing or Internet marketing.

3. Search results seem to be more limiting. I mean if I wanted to hire someone to come work with me in Aurura, I’d still like my posting to display if someone searched for Denver. And, with Craigslist, that happens as I’ve used Craigslist many times to find helpers.

But there are some things that Wall-Mart has improved upon that Craigslist seems to conveniently avoid.

1. The posting I made was immediate. Even with Craigslist you have to wait 15 or 20 minutes.
2. My posting actually showed up. Craigslist seems to hate any posting I make and I could never figure out why as much as I would eliminate obvious words that might get picked up.
3. The postings seem to have a higher-level flair to them. I’m not exactly sure what I mean by that. But, Craigslist draws a lot of frauds, y’know? And, they’re starting to get a little ‘rep.

Maybe it’s just that the Wal-Mart Classifieds are new and fresh and already highly populated with lots of things for sale and people looking for work…

Maybe it’s because they teamed up with Oodle to produce the site and probably an integrated database of some sort too so that Wal-Mart didn’t have to do any of that themselves…

Maybe I’m just glad to see yet another one of these fast-paced growing companies who refuses to reply to an email or take a phone call is getting passed up by a company that knows the customer (or in this case, the “visitor”) is still king…

But I believe that Wal-Mart’s launch of its own classifieds section is another lesson to us all to first think of an idea that will enhance our websites and then, second, find someone who already has something close to what we want and private label it with our company branding to make it our own.

Watch out Craigslist and Ebay. There’s a new social gatherer on the planet!

How Polite is Your Website?

Posted by Marty Dickinson on May 24, 2008

I was driving home from my office yesterday when a stoplight turned red. I stopped of course and turned on my right turn signal. The light turned green and here was this guy crossing the street. And, boy, did he take his own sweet time. By the time he strolled his way across 6 lanes of traffic, I was able to make it through the light…but only as the light turned yellow.

There was no reason he was walking so slow. Maybe he just liked the power of holding up traffic. But, no one was going to get him to move any faster. It was just plain rude I thought.

How polite is your website to your visitors? Do you make them take more time than they should? Do you create your pages with your own interest in mind? Are you sympathetic to peoples’ time?

Don’t be the slacker that holds up traffic while crossing the street. Spring across to the other side! Smile as you run by! Wave to give thanks to the people you’re running in front of.

Be polite and considerate with your website and people will thank you for it.

Boss Bailey Proves Marketing Skill Can be from Birth

Posted by Marty Dickinson on Mar 14, 2008

Boss Bailey… now, just think of that name for a moment. BOSS Bailey. The name all its own was designed to stand out and command a position. What position? Maybe the “boss” of a strict manufacturing plant. Or, maybe an upper management leader.


Maybe Boss Bailey is a formidable force on the football field!

For the Denver Broncos, we’re about to find out as Boss Bailey (Brother of Champ Bailey) will join the Denver Broncos in training camp this summer.

Boss Bailey and Champ Bailey. Did their parents have a marketing degree? I mean, these names were pre-meditated for marketing glory!

Some things related to sales and marketing you really are born with. For other things related to how to sell and market, they CAN be learned!

All you need is a place to learn them and that place is The Capital Factor. Check out The Capital Factor Blog and learn what it really takes to bring your business to the next level.

Plan a Website Before You Build One

Posted by Marty Dickinson on May 24, 2007

Planning a web site is one of the most difficult pieces of the Internet process. Why? Because it all starts with a blank piece of paper…or a blank screen…or just an idea in your mind. Instead of actually planning for a web site, instead, most people bypass the entire planning step. Or, they’ll just turn the whole project over to a designer.

If you are thinking about launching your first website, or are revamping one that’s already existing, don’t skip the planning process. Here are five steps to apply to help you plan your website:

1. Plan a website by writing down on a piece of paper all of the things your audience (visitors to your web site) might want to know about related to your topic. If your website is for a school, for example, visitors might want to know how many people attend, classroom sizes, nearby restaurants, hours of operation, anyone famous that came out of the school. Write down every possible topic someone might want to know about related to the industry you’re presenting.

2. Plan a website by putting yourself in your audience’s shoes. Visit some websites as if you are wanting the services those sites have to offer. Are you driven to take action? What are the turn-on’s and turn-off’s?

3. Plan a website by finding what people are searching for. Use this tool: http://www.herenextyear.com/overture-keyword-search.php. Type in a general phrase like “high school” and see what comes up. These are topics that people are searching for already. Plan your website to feature content that answers peoples’ questions.

4. Plan your web site to grow. Avoid websites that cannot be expanded. Your website will always be in-process. Plan that you will always be able to add pages or products.

5. Plan your website to allow you to be in control. There are few worse feelings in business than to be confined to the power of your designer to make even small changes to your website. Plan to be in control of the process and be involved.