Think back to the last time you were convinced to do something. Do you remember what happened?
If your answer is no, that's ok. Persuasion is an incredibly powerful force, and effective persuasion is often invisible to us. For marketers, this is the "Final Cause" of every billboard, sponsored post, and landing page developed: To convince you about some matter in a way that will impact your feelings and actions, without setting off any red flags.
Apple isn't the only one trying to sell you something. We too want to be listened to and agreed with as individuals. This desire drives all meaningful communication. Whether we realize it or not, we spend a lot of energy on persuading the people around us to believe what we believe.
Consider our ever-expanding digital world, where these signals are amplified. We drown in a sea of content and voices that grasp for our attention. As a consequence, we're becoming critical listeners. We quickly sift out only a few to trust. We say 'no' to many, but we do say 'yes' to some. How do we make that decision?
I've worked for years to understand and answer this question with large nonprofit organizations, smaller for-profit companies and everything in between.
These groups employs dozens of different tactics as search for their footing online. Many discover that immediately providing value to their prospects builds trust. Some heavily invest in growing their online following, hoping to reap the reward when the right moment comes. Still others focus on creating the smoothest online experience possible for their users. Regardless of the approach, I've noticed one recurring element:
MEasuring outcomes maKeS all the difference.
This helps remove biases and presuppositions. Organizations that measure outcomes are willing to listen, learn, and actually evolve based on interactions with their prospects and customers. And this is why their audience says 'yes.'
You've likely heard the old adage: “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't know which half.”
Digital marketing offers the opportunity to measure the waste–and then eliminate it. Through an iterative process of taking calculated risks and measuring outcomes, we can learn about our audience, refine our creative approach, and incrementally improve our online performance.
DATA DRIVEN DESIGN
PARTNER:TED’S BRAIN SCIENCE PRODUCTS
COMPANY TYPE:PAIN RELIEF-HEALTHCARE, E-COMMERCE
QUESTION:IF WE REDUCE SECONDARY LINKS ON OUR PRODUCT PAGE, AND RE-POSITION OUR CONTENT INTO A SINGLE-COLUMN, CAN WE INCREASE the 'add-to-cart' Rate?
RESULT: VALID 55% INCREASE.
A/b Testing - Strategy & Implementation
The iterative process of taking calculated risks begins with A/B Testing. This is the act of running a simultaneous experiment between two or more pages or ads to see which performs the best.
There are certain elements that are almost always prime for testing, and there are a few approaches that have shown time and time again to improve performance. However, each test is different. It is your customers and potential customers who will decide what converts best simply by their behavior. They will, in this way, ultimately play a role in determining the messaging and creative used.
programmatic advertising / Lead Generation
Programmatic advertising is the automated process of buying and selling ad inventory through an online exchange. This is how Facebook advertising and Paid Search advertising works. It's a bit more complicated than that (I think Andrew has a great analogy if you'd like to read more about it), but here's why I think it's great: (1) You can reach more people (2) You can target those people more specifically and (3) You can manage your budget more efficiently.
Programmatic Advertising and Lead Generation are two peas in a pod. Since the former allows us to reach our target audience for a price, the latter is the process of taking those target audience members (likely, still strangers) and converting them into your fans and customers.
Most programmatic advertising campaigns allow marketers to set an 'Optimization objective.' For example, if you're running a direct response campaign, you may want to get the lowest cost-per-signup possible. Using conversion goals, this can be accomplished.
LANDING PAGE DEVELOPMENT / WEBSITE DESIGN
A landing page is a single web page, used almost exclusively for a single advertising campaign. It’s where a visitor “lands” when they have clicked on one of your ads or social posts.
It's crucial for this page to 'look and feel' like the ad that led the visitor there. If the headline, copy, or imagery is slightly out of step, your visitor will get anxious and leave.
Marketing Automation / Email Marketing
In the digital world, there are countless interactions with prospects and customers. There are a variety of technology solutions available that enable marketers to automate repetitive tasks such as sending out a 'Welcome' email series, or moving a prospect from one marketing journey to another based on their activity. This is sometimes known as audience 'nurturing,' and it's a great way to personally serve a lot of prospects at one time.
Though it's not the easiest marketing initiative to execute on, marketing automation is certainly not impossible. And it pays for itself when set up properly.
Customer relationship management (CRM)
SYSTEM - Strategy & Implementation
Digital marketing is less effective when there is no central database tracking prospect & customer information. However, the daunting task of setting up a system like this can deter some groups from ever actually doing it. However, a strong CRM strategy can transform a company's ability to track their marketing spend, manage new deals, and forecast their upcoming sales (and the setup is not as bad as it sounds!).
LET's GET IN TOUCH
Let's face it: We can't improve what we don't measure.
Drop me a note! I'd love to set up a time and chat about your digital marketing goals.