If you’re not conversing, you’re not converting


Did you know that Frisbee (the flying disc) began as a pie tin?

In 1871, William Frisbie established the Frisbie Pie Company. His pies, delivered in metal pans, were a huge hit, especially among college students. He logically attributed his success to the freshness of his pies. “Fresh Always” became the company’s slogan, consistently appearing on signage and advertising.

But a funny thing happened that would forever change the Frisbie Pie Company. According to legend, someone noticed that a growing number of the metal pie pans in which the pies were being delivered weren’t being returned for deposit. Frisbie got curious, and decided to do something unheard of: He got up from behind his desk and went out to talk to his customers. And in the process, he discovered the real reason why consumers were purchasing his pies.

People had fun tossing the metal pie pans.

Today, more than 300 million Frisbees have been sold worldwide. All because William Frisbie recognized that the product he was selling wasn’t just food – it was fun.

The lesson for marketers is conversion begins with conversation. The best marketing and sales strategy in the world won’t make you a success if you don’t truly understand why people buy your product or service. And that’s something you won’t learn from a spreadsheet.

The problem with today’s marketers is an overdependence on hard data to make decisions. Consumer data is great at telling you the who, what and when, but it doesn’t answer the most important question of all:


To learn the answer to that, you have to engage in a conversation with your consumers. This conversation can take many forms, such as focus group research, message testing and listening in on sales and customer service calls. Then use those conversations to develop a strong messaging architecture to guide all of your consumer communications.

That’s where conversion begins — with conversation. Just as William Frisbie discovered.