The online marketplace just can’t be compared to physical retail. Apply this buyers framework to your conversion rate optimization strategy and double your conversion rates 2 out of 3 times.
http://bit.ly/eA8V8J via Unbounce http://bit.ly/1c52nJn
The online marketplace just can’t be compared to physical retail. Apply this buyers framework to your conversion rate optimization strategy and double your conversion rates 2 out of 3 times.
Guest Post If content marketing has replaced direct contact, how can companies engage with prospects? Put another way, what do 100 likes of an infographic on Facebook, 1,000 views of a video on YouTube or 10,000 downloads of a presentation actually translate to?
It’s been pretty obvious from the stock price, but LinkedIn, which I’ve written about every so often, is really on a roll lately. The influencer content play (which I will admit I’ve been part of, in a small way) is a clear winner, the company is enjoying very positive press, and its premium services are […]
Charlene Li and Brian Solis have penned a nice e-book that can help you better understand what a social business strategy is and judge whether or not your social efforts are, in fact, strategically focused. With the Altimeter Group’s normal quality of basing their assertions in research and case studies, The Seven Success Factors of Social Business Strategy outlines what […]
via Social Media Explorer http://bit.ly/13s7Ftl
With 1 billion unique users every month, YouTube has become a necessary platform in virtually any marketing plan.
MDG Advertising created an infographic that breaks down all the numbers that explain why advertisers need to be on the video sharing site.
Some teasers are:
- 21.7% of Americans check YouTube everyday
- The top 500 brands on YouTube average 884,000 monthly views
- YouTube shares the love. According to MDG, videos that get YouTube attention can increase that brand’s Facebook interaction by 800% and increase sales by 107%.
See why advertisers would be crazy to ignore YouTube below:
[shared via Google Reader from Logic+Emotion]
In the beginning, there were products and services, and some were good. Fewer became trusted brands, but those that did enjoyed unquestioned loyalty supported by a simple yet effective marketing engines built to reach people in mass quantity. The formula worked for decades. An empire was built on the shoulders of Madison Avenue and expanded globally. It is an empire, which still exists today, though arguably it’s a diminished version of its former self.
More recently, technology has had it’s own evolutionary process which it’s still going through. Well over a decade ago, when large organizations developed and updated their complex Web properties, the most popular and rigorous process one could follow in development was referred to as “Waterfall”. Think of this as a descending, linear staircase where one step of the process was completed in full before moving on the next. The methodology was rigorous, but also left little room for tweaking, testing, adapting and improving along the way.
Today, digital design and development is often done leveraging the “agile” method of development, which favors smaller, cyclical bursts of development and rapid testing. Start-ups favor this approach as well building not only their tech products but also their business models in a way, which resembles more of an agile philosophy vs. a rigid, sequential approach. Even “large” start-ups like Facebook demonstrate this in how they roll out enhancements to their global platform, often making the changes incrementally, rolling them out with select users and then adjusting based off the data they analyze. Google often works this was as well. If you were to undertake designing and building a digital property today—you would also have to ensure that it would perform across multiple platforms (desktop, tablet, mobile). A popular methodology for developing this way is called “responsive design”—a technique, which leverages code that results in a shape shifting design which auto-magically fits the medium it, is being interacted with in.
Most Marketing Remains Linear And Unresponsive
Despite the pervasive nature of all manifestations of digital, including social and mobile, much of the marketing emphasis remains dedicated to reaching people in mass, following a tried and true formula for advertising designed to build off consumer insights and craft compelling messages which could be distributed across a myriad of channels (including digital). The approach is designed for the broadcast industrial machine including print, radio and television, which, despite rumors of its demise is likely to stay with us for some time. The problem it poses however is that it is an approach that much like its counterpart in tech development, (Waterfall) is neither nimble nor flexible and isn’t built for rapid change nor does it adapt well beyond the dominant media it was designed for.
Is Disrupting Modern Day Brand Building
CMOs, chief digital officers and brand managers across many organizations are currently grappling with the notion of content used in the context of marketing—inherently they understand that their customers value content, consume it, create it, and share it—and they want in on the action. They also understand that this type of content isn’t often the traditional campaigns they execute for broadcast so they face a dilemma:
What content do consumers value most?
How do they find it?
What gets individuals sharing content with peers?
How does content scale, reaching the right audience at the right time?
How do brands insert themselves into the content ecosystem in ways that bring value back to the brand?
The solution to the content question lies somewhere between acknowledging that a brand must support both a traditional, linear marketing model in addition to a newer, cyclical construct which is constantly in tune with the current environment and operates in consolidated time frames. Responsive marketing sits at the core of the content evolution that many companies find themselves trying to navigate as they pull together newsrooms, command centers and media operations which are designed to help brands act more like publishers. All of these can be effective in treating the symptoms a brand may exhibit if they possess only competencies in linear forms of marketing, but they do not address the root issue—deconstructing a marketing machine which places the majority of resources on mass marketing will ensure it never gains proficiency in alternate forms of content and media.
A more holistic approach is needed.
The Acquisition & Engagement Funnel
Marketing is by design measurable, and most marketers are trained to value metrics, which can be at minimum tied to awareness and ideally connected to sales and loyalty. This is where the relationship between responsive content marketing and business objectives must be reconciled—what good is content if it is not connected to commerce? Content should be a vehicle, which “fills the marketing funnel” and should be leveraged as the currency, which entices the target to share, thus creating further awareness for the brand, which can lead to bringing others into the funnel. It is the consumption of content via social, web and mobile which fuels the acquisition and engagement funnel—the flow works as follows:
Shared And Found
Content Drives Acquisition
Content which is optimized and valuable inevitably finds its target, whether through paid, owned, earned or shared means (usually it’s a combination of all). When content is found valuable, it often leads to an “acquisition” whether it via e-mail or a subscription to a brand’s social property. The “consumer” in this construct demonstrates intent to at minimum engage with the brand.
Once a consumer, customer or prospect is acquired, a brand can further engage via content, messages, and through “micro-interactions” over time. Each like, comment, or share on Facebook for example is a micro-interaction, which solidifies the relationship and loyalty between the brand and the consumer.
Loyalty Creates Awareness
Customers “acquired” via social and digital means are now available for targeted content marketing tactics which can be especially effective via paid enhancements whether that be through social or search. In the case of social—shared content leads to further awareness using the networks of peers as a distribution ecosystem while organically raising its profile in organic search results.
Content As Currency:
The Four Key Archetypes
For content to be successfully leveraged at the open end of the marketing funnel, brands must understand the full landscape of content types and the relationships they have with their core paid, earned and owned channels. The four archetypes are:
A brand can curate content from infinite digital sources and provide value by deriving signal from noise. A popular tactic connected to curating is aggregating it in a single destination for easy access.
Content can be co-created amongst consumers via collaboration or through the consumer and the brand itself. Brands, which encourage consumers to co-create content with it, invite them to participate but cannot often control how consumers will want to co-create.
Original content is produced by the brand, specifically for its target audience and is owned by the brand. Original content can take many forms and production value and be planned in advance or spontaneously in response to emerging trends and events.
Consumer or user generated content is often produced by non-professionals and May or may not include references to the brand. It’s often in highest quantity but also lowest quality.
Building & Maintaining A Responsive Content Marketing Machine
In order to build a content machine for a brand or business, the leadership behind it must buy into the premise that content is a viable brand building tool. This sets the stage for an evolution of roles within the organization—brand managers must at minimum be literate in community management, editorial and digital analytics. Organizations internally should re-evaluate their digital centers of excellence and take stock of partners to ensure that content strategy and execution exists as part of the mix. This foundational work is core to then constructing a an “always ready” content machine, which operates in a continual, cyclical fashion as part marketing, part editorial operation as illustrated above.
Conclusion: Marketers Must Evolve Beyond The Linear
Unlike software or web development, marketers have had less pressure to overhaul their approach despite signs that media consumption is highly fragmented, shifting to digital and increasingly more difficult to track. As more pressure is applied to the CMO to produce results for the organization; it is more than tempting to rely on the mass metrics of the past to demonstrate that reach is being achieved at scale. This undermines the need for marketing to undergo it’s own transformation where shifts in resources go into building up direct media channels (social or owned media) and potentially reaching more targeted audiences who may be inclined to share a brand’s content with their peer networks. An agile and adaptive mentality is badly needed in the marketing arm of organizations—one that is less dependent on historical data to make decisions and is inclined to parse data inputs as they come in daily.
The content conundrum represent the tip of the iceberg for the marketing discipline but must be dealt with as proof mounts that content is valued while overt advertising and marketing is something to be filtered out. Brands will learn to be more flexible, in tune with rapidly changing sentiment and responsive in their approach to messaging engagement and telling their stories across a de-centralized and splintered media landscape.
[shared via Google Reader from Inside AdWords]
That’s the philosophy behind Google Analytics tools like Multi-Channel Funnels and Attribution Modeling. Tens of thousands of our largest advertisers are gaining valuable insights from Multi-Channel Funnels every month, and we’ve collected these insights using aggregate statistics to develop a benchmarking tool — The Customer Journey to Online Purchase. This interactive tool lets you explore typical online buying behavior and see how different marketing interactions affect business success.
The tool draws on Ecommerce and Multi-Channel Funnels data from over 36,000 Google Analytics clients that authorized sharing, including millions of purchases across 11 industries in 7 countries. Purchase paths in this tool are each based on interactions with a single ecommerce advertiser.
You’ll find benchmark data for:
- how different marketing channels (such as display, search, email, and your own website) help move users towards purchases. For example, some marketing channels play an “assist” role during the earlier stages of the marketing funnel, whereas some play a “last interaction” role just before a sale.
- how long it takes for customers to make a purchase online (from the first time they interact with your marketing to the moment they actually buy something), and how the length of this journey affects average order values.
Channel Roles in the Customer Journey
The data shows that every industry is different — the path to purchase for hotel rooms in Japan is not necessarily the same as the path as for an online supermarket in Canada.
A few findings stand out, in particular:
- As you might expect, customers typically click on display ads early in their purchase journeys, but in some industries, such as US travel and auto, display clicks tend to occur closer to the purchase decision.
- Across industries and countries, paid search has a fairly even assist-to-last interaction ratio, implying that this channel can act both in the earlier and later stages of the customer journey.
- Once you’ve explored the benchmarks, look deeper into your own marketing data with the Multi-Channel Funnel reports, and consider defining your channels and campaigns to separate out categories that are specific to your business needs.
Purchase values and the length of the journey
We also see interesting patterns emerge when examining the length of the customer journey. While the majority of purchases take place within a single day or a single step (i.e., a single interaction with one marketing channel), longer paths tend to correlate with higher average order values.
- in US Tech, online purchases that take more than 28 days are worth about 3.5 times more than purchases that occur immediately. And while 61% of tech purchases take place on that first day, only 53% of revenue comes from single-day purchases.
- in Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG), on the other hand, most purchases (82%) are quick, likely because these are smaller and simpler purchases that don’t require much research.
- in Edu / Gov, 41% of revenue comes from multi-day purchases, but 60% of revenue comes from multi-step purchases — suggesting that even when customers make decisions in a relatively short time period, they often have multiple marketing interactions before purchasing.
- In Multi-Channel Funnels or the Attribution Modeling Tool, you can adjust the lookback window to reflect the typical length of the purchase path in your industry. For example, if your business tends to have shorter paths, you can zoom in on paths that take 5 days or less:
Putting the benchmarks to work
For marketers, it’s always a crucial challenge to design campaigns that deliver the right message at the right moment in a customer’s journey to purchase. We hope these benchmarks will provide useful insights about the journey and help you put your business into context. In particular, take a look at the final infographic, the “Benchmarks Dashboard,” to get a quick overview of your industry. Then, when you view your own data in the Multi-Channel Funnels reports in Google Analytics, you’ll gain a better understanding of where different channels impact your conversions and what your typical path looks like, so you can adjust your budgeting and marketing programs accordingly.
Try The Customer Journey to Online Purchase today on Google’s new Think Insights website.
Posted by Paul Muret, Director of Engineering, Google Analytics
[shared via Google Reader from Brian Solis]
How do you define engagement?
No matter how you define it, engagement is something that we most likely underestimate. Engagement symbolizes the touches that occur in various moments of truth and this should completely change not only how you engage someone in each moment but also how the inside of your company works with one another to make it frictionless and experiential.
Whether a customer stands on the stage of awareness, consideration, purchase, or post purchase, touch points open and close. And, it is in those moments that engagement, regardless of source or shape, affects the next steps and impressions of customers.
These moments of truth however are not limited to any one channel. Whether customers are navigating social, mobile, web or IRL (in real life), they approach each stage of the journey with different needs, in varying stages of decision making, and with one of several frames of mind depending on the context of engagement and also the screen (smartphone, PC, tablet, TV, etc) they’re using in each moment. It’s becoming increasingly complex, but then again so is the path of consumer decision-making. That’s why I wrote WTF, What’s the Future of Business…someone had to tell the story of the new customer journey, their way points, and how to reach them. The answers revealed that social was only part of the adventure.
The image above represents a detailed customer journey map, which outlines the important steps your connected customers take during and following decision making. The map also introduces the diverse elements that factor in to each step. Perhaps more importantly are the channels and screens individuals use to make their way along the journey. Mobile, social, web, IRL, they each contribute to a customer experience that either helps or prevents them from moving along in your favor.
In my research I’ve found that more often than not, each stage of the customer journey along with the mixed channels that they use are defined or programmed by different groups within the organization. The social experience is developed independently of the mobile experience, which is disconnected from the web experience. The point is that customers only see one brand or business and therefore each channel should complement one another to deliver against a desired experience and journey optimized for the moments of truth and for the context of each screen.
The Expansion from Social to Digital Engagement
One of the ways I’ve defined “engagement” over the years was quite simple, when a business and consumer interact within their channel of relevance during various moments of truth. Engagement though, is then measured by the actions, sentiment, and outcomes that result from each interaction. To optimize results, experiences, click paths, outcomes, and sentiment must be defined and enlivened through each channel in each moment. To do so takes vision, articulation of that vision, and collaboration with all stakeholder groups to cast a unified approach. Yes. It’s the age-old argument of bringing down silos and opening doors between departments and groups that just don’t talk to each other right now. But, that’s just what needs to happen and the more progressive companies are already taking note.
One such company is one that you’re more than familiar with. Starbucks recently appointed Adam Brotman, former senior vice president of Starbucks Digital Ventures, was appointed to an entirely new executive role, chief digital officer. The CDO role assumes all of Starbuck’s digital projects, which includes web, mobile, social media, digital marketing, Starbucks Card and loyalty, e-commerce, Wi-Fi, Starbucks Digital Network, and emerging in-store technologies.
Sephora is another forward thinking company that is uniting disparate channel strategies and various customer journeys in the name of holistic experiences. Sephora recently underwent a makeover to define the ideal customer experience and how it would play out in digital and real world channels, including in store engagement, while complementing and optimizing one another.
Perhaps a Chief Digital Officer is just the beginning. What we’re really talking about is someone who can bridge marketing, sales, service, and technology to create a frictionless path between customers and the business…at every step of the journey. Perhaps it’s time to think about escalating the role to someone who can own the entire customer lifecycle and bring the people within the organization together to do it. To break down walls, someone must be able to show how and why everyone can and should work together and also what’s in it for them. It would take someone who isn’t tied to any one function but instead someone who has everybody’s best interest inside and outside the organization to redefine the experience and how it’s formed and sustained. As I write this, I imagine someone taking over the role of customer journey management for digital, social, mobile and IRL.
The digital lifestyle is just a way of life now and businesses that don’t think beyond social or traditional will miss the greater opportunity to lead desirable customer journeys, experiences and outcomes. Take one more look at the Dynamic Customer Journey. As you plan for 2013 social, mobile, digital, and other channel strategies, consider how each can converge into a reciprocal and congruous ecosystem. The future of customer experiences lies in experience design and more importantly, customer journey mapping…across the screens and IRL.
Welcome to a new world of customer journey management (CJM) and the ability to bring people together around a common vision for improving customer experiences, sentiment and relationships.
The story continues…
Photo Credit: Shutterstock
This post is based on a piece I wrote for AT&T’s Networking Exchange
[shared via Google Reader from Mashable]
You think you know social? How about who uses it? Well, you might not know it as well as you would have guessed.
A new study from the Pew Research Center and Docstoc shed some light on just who uses social and on what platforms. Some of the findings seem in line with what you would probably guess, but others were surprising.
If you think the smarter, more attractive sex is more socially prolific than us men, well … you’re right. Women use social media 9% more than men do. Despite having more distractions, people living in cities have the most social media activity, at 70% of the population. Perhaps it’s the connectivity of large-city life. Read more…More about Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Demographics, and Social Media
[shared via Google Reader from Get Elastic Ecommerce Blog]
This week’s Infographic Friday features stats on consumer demand for mobile-friendly sites, via Demandforce.
- Mobile traffic makes up 10% of all Internet use Tweet this
- ~10% of websites are mobile-optimized Tweet this
- According to an Econsultancy survey, mobile optimization is digital marketers’ top priority Tweet this
- 48% of users feel frustrated and annoyed when they visit nonmobile-friendly sites Tweet this
- 52% of users who have bad mobile experiences are less likely to engage with the companies Tweet this
- 48% say that, when sites don’t work well on their smartphones, it makes them feel like the companies don’t care about their business Tweet this
- 50% of people admit they will use websites less if they’re not mobile-friendly (Google) Tweet this
- 61% of users are likely to leave quickly if your site is not optimized well for mobile devices Tweet this
- 67% of users are more likely to buy from mobile-friendly sites Tweet this
- 76% of mobile site users want to be able to find location or operation hours Tweet this
- 61% of mobile web users want click-to-call functionality Tweet this
- 69% of mobile website users want bigger buttons that are easier to press Tweet this
- 78% of mobile website users want to find information within 1 or 2 clicks Tweet this
- 73% of mobile website users want to be able to save information on a site for future use Tweet this