AMPERAGE Marketing & Fundraising

One-Minute MarketerNavigating the Web when You’re Foraging for Information

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Navigating the Web when You’re Foraging for Information

The coronavirus put a major crimp into the leisure activity of “window shopping.” The internet had already stymied casual shopping without purpose (except for a little exercise).

Internet search usually has a specific key word or end result in mind, but what about people who are just “foraging” for something new, interesting or useful. It is window shopping on the web. We are talking about scavenging for products, services, causes or information that catches your eye even though you didn’t know that you wanted it.

A study by Episerver, found 92% of consumers go to a brand’s website for the first time and leave without buying anything. The research found that of first-time website visitors only 45% of consumers were looking for a specific product or service.

According to nn/g’s research, “information foraging is the fundamental theory of how people navigate on the web to satisfy an information need.” This explains why window shopping on the web does not result in clicking every link on a page or mindlessly scrolling. Yet people do browse website looking for ques about what might be interesting or relevant to theme.

According to nn/g this is a simple mathematical equation: People want to “maximize rate of gain and get as much relevant information in as little time as possible.” Too many clicks is a cost in a consumer’s mind. Scrolling too long is a cost. Confusing site maps is a high cost. When the price gets too high to look for information, the person moves onto the next store front.

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Mark wrote his first direct-mail fundraising letter in 1981 for the University of Iowa Center for Advancement. The effort raised a few million dollars in undiscovered wills and legacy gifts. From that day forward Mark discovered a love of the big idea that moves the needle.

With that kind of experience, after working at KWWL for 12 years, Mark became one of the founding partners of ME&V and, subsequently, AMPERAGE. Today, he leads the AMPERAGE creative teams, including video production, graphic design, public relations, writing and web development.

He is creatively ambidextrous — son of an artist and engineer — and famous for distilling complex ideas down to a few words and a few visuals. Mark is a writer. When he found that many nonprofits struggled with complex branding puzzles, he wrote the book, “NonProfit-NonMarketing .” He also wrote a novel called “Reenactment.”

Mark is an active blogger OneMinuteMarketer® with nearly 1,000 readers each week on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter. One of his most popular YouTube videos is on “How to Look Good on Zoom.”

One of Mark’s fondest business memories was being named to INC 500 two times and attending the INC 500 conference with other winners. Mark is considered by some a Civil War expert (and that explains his novel). Mark also served as an adjunct professor in the business and in the communications departments at Wartburg College.

Mark is a graduate of the University of Iowa and is currently vice president of the University of Iowa Journalism and Mass Communications Advisory Board.

Mark is married to state Sen. Liz Mathis, and the two love to travel, even when it means being trapped by a volcano in the Czech Republic for three weeks.