multi-tasking and getting what we want

How smart is it to multi-task? Old question, I know. What makes it relevant to me is, I need to keep in mind that not everyone does or wants to multi-task. Sometimes, we want one thing, right now, and don’t want to have to wait to get it.

I want a glue gun. I search Google for glue gun. I click on the second result, which takes me to (a client of ours). Or, I click on the ad that I see above the main search results. Either way, I see a glue gun, and I click on it. $29.95 seems a bit pricey, but I see that it is cordless, and it says it heats up and cools down fast, so I click again. A few more clicks and it is in the mail.

But in reality, while buying that glue gun, I also searched three competitor sites, price-compared, checked Wikipedia, checked email, and IMed 2 friends and a coworker. All in one minute.

The point is, no one site has my attention. And you can’t bet that your site will hold the attention of your visitors for more than a few seconds. What you can do:

1. Reduce load time: if your site takes more than a second or two to load, I will click away, as will many visitors. There are many ways to reduce load time, among them using CSS, using graphics wisely, integrating applications correctly, and many other things. Just pay attention to how fast your webpage loads, and keep in mind that not all of your visitors are on broadband.

2. Make it obvious what to do next. Give me a big Buy Now button- make it obvious. If I don’t know what to do, I feel dumb, so I will leave.

3. Reward me. Give me something for making it another step of the way through the process. Tell me I am smart, good looking, savvy, whatever- make me want to keep going through the selling process so I don’t leave and go buy somewhere else. I have ZERO loyalty unless I am in love with your brand.

1 Response to “multi-tasking and getting what we want”

  1. 1 Linda February 15, 2007 at 2:39 pm

    Multi-tasking preference turns out to be a generational thing as well. My sense is that 20-somethings and perhaps 30-somethings who have come of age since IMing may be more multi-tasking oriented.

    40-60 somethings may be less oriented to multi-tasking for two reasons:
    1) We did not grow up with quite as much of it technologically so it may not be our comfortable work pattern.
    2) Don’t laugh, but we are losing brain cells faster than the younger set and may be more productive when we do NOT multi-task!

    In thinking about your website and about client services, it is important to think about the demographics. This can relate to comfort in multi-tasking but also to what you call things on your site. Some people know what RSS is and some don’t. Want to bet that the older your visitors are, the less likely they are to know some of the jargon and the less obvious some steps might be?

    I think so.

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I'm now blogging about internet marketing at

Red Beard Consulting

At Red Beard Consulting I work on internet marketing primarily for speakers. I also work with Infusionsoft.

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