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Last Update: Wednesday February 26, 2020

Key Idea: Offer Customers Try-Buy

At this site that sells construction plans, part of a plan is given away to convince customers to buy a full set of plans.

Key Question:


We learned from the interviews we did at MacroVision that the new way to engage Web users and slow piracy is to make it very easy to buy your product or service. Adam Gervin demonstrated how MacroVision technology enables a game to be offered up in levels to the user. The user can play level one and level two for free and if they want to continue, they must buy. They call this strategy "try-buy." Another "try-buy" method is to allow users to test your full offer for a few days or a few uses. After the free offer expires, the user can be given the chance to purchase. We're old enough to remember this as the "Puppy Dog Close" in selling. If you own a pet shop and let the customer take the puppy dog home, there are huge odds that the customer will come back and buy that puppy.

Q: Why do we have to give something away in order to make a sale?

A: It's about trust. Many Web users will never meet you face to face because you are a global company the minute you put yourself on the web. The old analog way of buying and selling was done in person. The best way for you to win thousands of new customers you would never be exposed to without the Internet is to give them an opportunity to test your product or service risk-free. The other reason is that all too often if people can't get something in a legitimate way, they will steal it.

Think about it

What can you offer for free to web users that will entice them to buy from you online?

Clip from: Protect Your Intellectual Property (IP)

Silicon Valley, Los Angeles and Seattle: Economies grow when money is transacted for something of value. Theft kills economies and IP theft is a real pandemic.

Lying, cheating and stealing has been going on forever. But now, the other IP (Internet Protocol) has made it so easy to steal, our children and all sorts of decent-loving-gentle people think nothing about "borrowing, using, enjoying" and otherwise ripping off somebody's creative work.

In this episode of the show we visit with the lawyers who argued down Grokster in the U.S. Supreme Court. We visit with a small business owner who is being ripped off, a composer who is figuring it out, and technologists who are waging the war to protect our intellectual assets.

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Mitchell, Silberberg & Knupp

Mark D. Litvack, Parrtner

11355 W. Olympic Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90064

Office: 310.312.4000

Business Classification:

Year Founded:

Offer Customers Try-Buy

ADAM GERVIN: Our system is designed so that if you have a piece of software that has not been purchased legally, it simply doesn't work.

HATTIE: (Voiceover) Adam Gervin is senior director of marketing for MacroVision.

ADAM: In the press a lot of people talk about the DRM and they are focused on security. Digital Rights Management. The truth is DRM is a lot less about security and a lot more about the business models that allow content owners to provide (to) consumers.

I think the emphasis should be that in a world where there is so much competition for the consumer's dollar and the consumer's mindset, the focus online should be getting the right piece of content to the right person at the right time. So let's say you're a game fan. And a particular game has levels. It will let you play level one and level two then when you are about to start level three it will offer you the opportunity to buy that game.

HATTIE: And this is your try me, buy me strategy.

ADAM: Exactly.

STEVE: Years ago it was all about piracy and now it is all about how do I get it to someone in a secure manner. In a way that people can get compensated. That is the future. I really think that is the future.

GEORGE: You'll be able to put in controls and constraints as long as you have a legal basis for it and as long as that's part of the equation.

I think you're going to have a situation that there's going to be technology that is trying to do free everything and there will be other technology that's going to limit it and you hope with some education, some talking to people, some realizing the consequences of your action and some business models by the industry that are actually things that people want -- creative, flexible and I get what I want fairly soon, it doesn't cost that much which is where a lot of the industry is moving right now.

So it's great to have free distribution of information. It's great to have an Internet that's essentially unregulated, but at the same time there needs to be some checks in place so that you just don't have a wild west continuing. I thought it was in danger of doing until recently. Actions have consequences. In this day and age when everything happens so quickly people often don't think of the consequences of what they do, but they should.

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