Marketing: Getting To
March 23, 2000
Shereshewsky, Direct Yahoo, Yahoo! Inc.
"The Net is different.
…Think different, act different."
At the sold-out March 23 Networking Event, Jerry Shereshewsky of
Yahoo! Direct led a lively session on what he termed Net-O-Nomics
101. Most marketers have focused on "getting to yes – the ka-ching
moment" he said, and the mistake that many are making is trying this
same behavior in the online environment.
Starting with the core of all marketing programs -- reach, frequency
and sequence – Jerry first explained that reach in traditional media is
actually less expensive than in the online environment. This is because
in traditional media advertising displaces content, while in the online
environment it co-exists, with buttons and banners subordinent to the
content. In addition, there is the element of "intentionality" with the
Internet – the prospective customer chooses to go online – which doesn’t
exist in traditional media.
Further, while advertising in traditional media is about impact, the
Internet is about persuasion – getting the prospective customer to click
that button. Because, once someone clicks on the banner or button, both
frequency and sequence, Jerry continued, become virtually cost-free,
while traditional marketing programs are constrained by the high cost of
frequency and the inability to sequence messages.
Given these differences, Jerry went on to explain the Internet
- The Internet is about Persuasion.
- Persuasion is based on Permission.
Traditional marketing programs focus on getting customers to "yes "–
where ready, willing and able prospects accept a product offer. The
secret of Internet marketing, according to Jerry, is getting the
customer to "maybe" – the step at which prospective customers grant
permission for a dialogue and, possibly, a lifetime relationship.
Permission, Jerry said, is a "pre- ka-ching" moment, and is based on
self-interest. It is not, he cautioned, a list or ad, although they
could be the first steps to permission. It is the "maybe" asset and must
be valued. This makes the content strategy of that dialogue
Internet marketing, according to Jerry, is for companies that:
- Have an allowable
- Value the customer as an individual
- Need to eliminate a risk – whether financial, performance or
- Have a complex story to tell.
Amazon.com, he explained, understands the power of the Internet and
is finding prospective customers first and then products that it can
direct to them. He concluded with the advice that Internet marketers,
like all marketers, should test everything. If "direct marketing is
research on the hoof," he said, "Internet marketing is research on
Shereshewsky, Direct Yahoo!, Yahoo!, Inc.
may be the only marketing executive in the burgeoning digital technology
field who's invented a new brand of soda pop. Then again, he has been
associated with breakthrough marketing ideas in every phase of his
distinguished career. In 1981, at the dawn of the modern computer era,
Jerry ran the Atari account at ad agency Young & Rubicam. He rose to
senior vice president, working on such accounts as General Foods,
Frito-Lay, Johnson & Johnson, and Gillette.
As VP/Marketing &
Special Products at Bertelsmann Music Group, Jerry ran the company's
sales promotion efforts and created one of BMG's first Web sites. During
his tenure at direct-response giant Wunderman Worldwide, Jerry developed
and launched Gevalia Kaffe for General Foods, the highly successful
directly-marketed coffee brand. He even conceived and helped create a
soft drink brand, Mello Yello, for the Coca-Cola Company. Jerry also
served as a senior vice president at public relations powerhouse
He helped make Yoyodyne the premier direct
marketing promotion company online and made them sooo attractive to
Yahoo! that they bought them. Today he is "Apostle to the Gentiles"
bringing the Yahoo! message of integrated online direct marketing around
the country and the world. He is on the Advisory Board of the
Association for Interactive Media (AIM) and on the Board of Directors of
The Direct Marketing Association (DMA).
He is a graduate of the
University of Wisconsin, where he received his degree in Russian
History. Shereshewsky lives in North Salem, NY with his wife Catherine
and his two daughters, Beryl and Lexi and two boxers (Bert &