The Zone of Indifference


Has anyone sent you an unexpected gift?

It leaves an impression.

It works in business, too.

In fact, sending unexpected, personalized gifts to cold prospects has proven to drive us 5x more appointments than just with cold calling.

Why? Because it gets them out of what I call “The Zone of Indifference”.

Let me explain.

Take your entire target market and lay their level of satisfaction with their current solution, the solution you’re trying to sell, your product or service, and lay it on a normal distribution curve. It looks like a bell curve.

On the faaaar end of one side, you have customers who are very satisfied with their current solution.  These are the customers who not only enjoy great value with their current product or service, in many ways, they’re so happy that they promote the company, and the products / solutions they provide, to other people without solicitation. They love their current solution, and they want others to love it as well. From a Net Promoter, or NPS, perspective, they’re what they call “Promoters”.

At the other far end of the bell curve, you have customers who are very unhappy with their current solution, and they’re in the market actively looking for other options. These are your motivated buyers. These are the people who you’re going to capture through inbound channels, if you do your inbound marketing properly. These are going to be people who are on Google searching with bottom of the funnel keywords, downloading e-books and white papers,  on social media asking their network for recommendations, so on and so forth. If you’re doing inbound properly, these are people you’re going to capture through those means.

From an NPS perspective, they’re what they call detractors. They’re defecting from their current solution, and they’re in the market looking for something else.

What’s left is everyone else in the middle. This is the area I call “The Zone of Indifference”.

zone of indifference

These are the customers who are neither very satisfied nor very unhappy. In other words, they’re just generally happy with the solution they currently have to the point where they’re not actively spending any consideration on it. The solution they have works, and they don’t think about it that much. As such, making a switch is a low priority, so the topic just sits somewhere in the back of their minds, and they don’t act on it.

It’s important to note that this is the biggest section of the bell curve:

zone of indifference

I use MailChimp as an email marketing platform, and they have a lot of features that meet my needs, but there are some features I wish they had, such as better automation functionality. With that said, with MailChimp, I’m able to get the job done that I need to get done, and the switching costs are a bit high for me, so I figure, “Why change?” But at the same time, I’m not actively promoting the MailChimp brand or the platform to anyone. I’m not wearing my MailChimp t-shirt that they sent me out around, but on the other hand, I’m not so unhappy that I’m shopping for another email marketing provider.

If were to find another email marketing provider who had all the features I was looking for, and I was convinced the switching cost was low relative to the value I’d receive, then I’d be inclined to make that change. But I’m not looking for it, and if the solution does exist out there, I don’t know about it, so I’m going to stay put. For now, I’m in the zone of indifference, like a vast majority of your target customers. That’s what “The Zone of Indifference” is.

Maybe your company’s next growth opportunity exists in the “Zone”.  And if so, what are you doing to initiate value-added conversations with the businesses that exist there?

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CMO’s Guide to Influencer Marketing

Check out my latest e-book:

cmo guide to influencer marketing


Here’s the pitch:

Want to get the best results from your Influencer Marketing campaigns but not sure where to get started? Download this free guide today to learn everything you need to know.

In This Guide, You’ll Learn:

  • What is an Influencer?
  • What is Influencer Marketing?
  • How Influencer Marketing works
  • How to choose the right social media platform(s) for your campaign
  • How to measure the results of your campaigns
  • And much more

Download it here: CMO Guide to Influencer Marketing

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Pricing Strategy For Hyperlocal Business

I was quoted today at on pricing strategy for businesses who sell into SMBs:

[box]1. Understand your product’s value. “One pricing model that works for one company may not work for another, so of course, do your research online and look at your competitors. I think it starts with understanding the value that your service or product delivers to the end client. What ROI will they get by using our product? That helps us price appropriately. Aligning your product or service with the value delivered ensures that you can have long term, healthy relationships.”  (Corey Quinn, The Search Agency)[/box]

You can read the full article here.

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5 Things SMBs Can Do to Optimize for Mobile Search

The mobile marketing boom is continuing to grow. According to BIA/Kelsey, by 2015 mobile search is expected to exceed desktop search for local business information.

But what’s even more interesting is recent data that demonstrates how users interact with their mobile devices when looking for local businesses. According to data from Google, 94% of smartphone users have searched for local information, 70% have called a business after searching, 66% visited in person, and 90% of these users acted within 24 hours. This trend to mobile makes mobile an increasingly critical success factor for local businesses.

So, what do SMBs need to do to ensure they’ll get calls from potential customers who are searching on mobile? Here are some best practices to help you get started with mobile paid search advertising:

  • Google Search Marketing on MobileBid for Position One or Two: Because screen size is relatively small on smart phones, it is important for local advertisers to bid more aggressively for the number one and two positions on the search results page, which appear at the top the page. If you come up below these two positions, your ads are shown either at the bottom of the first screen or are pushed to the second page, and therefore are seldom seen.
  • Bid on Mobile-Specific Keywords: Mobile searches generally include more misspellings and shorter phrases than queries performed on desktops, so it is wise to bid on common misspellings for brand and related terms.
  • Write Ads that Are Tailored for a Mobile User: Individuals performing searches on mobile devices want to find information quickly and navigate the site as easily as possible on the much smaller screens on their mobile devices, in comparison to desktop searches. With that said, advertisers should create mobile advertisements that include a strong call-to-action and easily accessible discount codes/coupons for mobile users who are out and about looking for a deal.
  • Utilize Mobile Ad Extensions: Where possible, ads should utilize Call Extensions that allow the searcher to click to call. Additionally, mobile sitelinks should include location extensions that highlight a store locator feature or in-store deals to prompt searchers to visit a brick-and-mortar location. Equally important are Location Extensions – these get you on Google Maps results page.
  • Use Mobile Optimized Landing Pages: Mobile optimization landing pages should diminish any friction that would prompt a user to give up on their mobile search. All users should be able to navigate the mobile landing page with their thumbs, messaging should be concise with a clear call-to-action, and load time should not be longer than 7 seconds. Additionally, advertisers should include easy to find store location addresses and a phone number.

You can read Google’s Mobile Search Marketing Case Study Here.

This article was also published here.

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7 Powerful Resources for Lean Startups

As a starter, I am always on the lookout for powerful tools to help me get more done in less time.  Here are 7 resources that I’ve used and I think are worth sharing:


If your business serves customers / clients within a certain locality (e.g. your city),you should check out  This is a great resource to quickly verify that your website is listed in the locally oriented search engines, such as Google Places, Yelp, etc.  And if you are not, it provides a link to get registered.  100% free.  How to works: Go to, enter your business name and zip code, and click “Check My Listing”.  It’s that easy.

2. oDesk

If you are looking to hire high quality overseas freelancers, oDesk provides a great platform to find, interview, hire, manage and pay contract workers at hourly rates typically far less than what you find in the states. You can find contractors for pretty much anything from software development to bookkeeping to online marketing; and can hire them for a day, a full time position or anything in between.  I personally hire overseas contract workers on oDesk for transcription of videos and have had a very good experience.  My advice is to interview and test out several contractors before deciding on one.

3. Tynt

As a business owner, you invest in your website content. What you don’t know is how many people are lifting your content from your site. Are your site visitors copying your content from your site and pasting it on their blog or in an email? Tynt is a free tool that allows you to track every time when your content gets copied from your site.  A cool feature of the tool is when your content is being copied, Tynt automatically appends a back link (that you customize) to the copied content so that what it is pasted, the content automatically includes a link back to your site.  With this free tool, you know which content on your site is the most popular, as well as passively generate back links to your site.

4. Text Broker

If you are looking for good content writers, you need to check out a site called There, you can access their large network of talented local (US based) writers who will write your content. Many of the are writers on this site are teachers, nurses, and other folks looking for some extra cash. You pay the writers by the word, and the rates range from $0.012 to $0.067 per word ($6.00 – $33.50 for a 500 word article).  All content that is written for you is approved by you, so that you can ensure that you are only paying for content that meets your needs.

5. HARO – help a reporter

Becoming seen an authority on a topic related to your business can be difficult and take a lot of time. Plus, working with a PR firm can be very expensive. Yet, there are scores of reporters out there who are looking for sources of information for their articles, including information about topics that are related to your business and for which you are an expert. There is a website called or HARO which closes the gap. You can sign up on the site as a “source” for free. Three times a day, every day, you receive an email from HARO with requests from reporters looking for sources for their articles on topics of your choosing. Reporters from The New York Times, to ABC News, to are looking for content for their articles, so this is a great way to get your message and your business out there. Did I mention this is free?

6. 99Designs

If you are looking for an easy and smart way to get your logo designed, check out a site called does crowd sourcing for creative design. On the site you create a design contest where you invite the designers on the site to submit their design according to your specifications. You decide how much you want to pay and you only pay for the design that you like. They also offer brochure design, web design and product packaging design. So for only a few hundred dollars, you can get your logo professionally designed risk free

7. Mixergy

Some of the best start-up education available is from successful entrepreneurs who have been in the trenches and have figured it out. If you haven’t already been to the site or seen his interviews, I highly recommend that you check out Andrew Warner’s site: Andrew conducts live interviews of entrepreneurs to who have made it and those who have failed. He has them walk through their story from the very beginning all the way through to the climax of the story. By listening and watching his interviews, you get to learn the decisions these entrepreneurs made that led them to success, or failure. I highly recommend it.


Full Disclosure: Some links on this page include affiliate links where I will receive a commission if you purchase their product from a click of my website – Corey.

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Passive Income

I am working through Steve Pavlina’s series on creating passive income and am being asked to make a public commitment. Here it is: My goal is to create a new passive income stream by September 1, 2012 that generates $200 per month on average and lasts for 10 years.  I am doing this in a way that creates massive value for many others around the world.

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