Traffic is not everything marketers

but laser-focused traffic probably is

A few years ago, I went to Jammu city in India and while I was travelling a very interesting incident happened with me. In one of the famous marketplaces in Jammu, there were all these shop keepers coming up to me and telling me that they’d like to show me ‘chingu’. As a tourist, I was intrigued because I did not know what it was. So naturally, my first question to them was what the hell is it? Is it an animal? They said they’ll show me ‘chingu’ once I agree to enter their shop.

I kept wondering, is it a bird? Is it a thing? Is it a food item? Is it an accessory? And there were literally thousands of shop keepers trying to convince me to see ‘chingu’ in their respective shops. Curiosity got the better of me and I agreed with one guy and entered his shop.

Turns out it was all a scam.

‘Chingu’ is a blanket/shawl which Kashmiri shopkeepers claim to be made of feathers of a rare animal. They were trying to sell me this offer with all these attractive terms and conditions and gifts and they showcased it to me for one-full-hour. Even though I was visibly not interested, they kept me there and relentlessly showed me the full details of the offer. At that point, I was convinced I would never buy their shawl and also made up my mind to tell everyone I know about this scam. (bounce rate was high, if you get what I mean ;) )

They kept offering free stuff after free stuff (which I didn’t need) if I agreed to purchase that ‘chingu’ shawl. They also had an extremely convincing refund policy (2 years!). And yet, I didn’t buy it. Because I knew I was being force-fed the product info and I was fooled into entering the shop.

So, what did I learn from this incident as a marketer?

  1. ‘chingu’ is your regular click-bait article or landing page
  2. Me, the author of this story, is your visitor
  3. The shopkeeper is you or your product evangelist or your sales guy
  4. The shop is all the CTA’s on your website

Now read the story again and try to get on the same page as me. There is always something to learn from incidents around you.

The internet is a similar market that I just depicted in the story above. You can intrigue a person to visit your website or landing page or post and then when the expectation is high, you force present your product. At this point, your visitor loses interest, moves out of your site and probably curses.

Don’t focus on just traffic, focus on quality traffic.

And I cannot convey this enough. I’m specifically referring to the way us marketers write and amplify content hoping to get some sign-ups along the way. We-need-to-be-better.

I just wanted to share this story because I believe we tend to learn better if we associate real life incidents with our learning. I hope at least a tiny fraction of you here were able to take away something insightful.

Question: Did any of you here face any incidents that gave you some key insights about how you could become a better marketer? I’d love to hear them!

About me

My name is Madhav and I’m a growth marketer. I’ve handled growth for a few companies including my current growth role at Hubstaff and I’m learning A LOT of things along this journey. I occasionally blog about my experiences as a growth hacker.