Gaining new customers in a fast-paced, fragmented marketplace requires constant and targeted innovation of conversion strategies. The biggest challenge marketers often face in their innovation efforts is figuring out where to look to uncover new opportunities – from refining current activities to embracing new channels.
Testing new opportunities smartly—with the least amount of disruption, expense, and risk—is daunting. Marketers today have a wide array of point solutions ready to help make connections, but figuring out how to most effectively use those tools may seem a needle-in-a-haystack proposition.
For sure, every conversion marketing operation has its own challenges. But practical experiences in the field point to five specific strategies that can narrow the search for innovation opportunities and potentially unlock incremental ROI.
1. Follow consumers to new opportunities.
Budgets gravitate toward the highest concentrations of potential customers. Mobile spend, for example, is on the rise due to the explosive growth of Internet traffic flowing through devices. Yet many marketers are not capturing and leveraging the wealth of conversion insights generated. The data may indicate a good portion of mobile sales ultimately convert offline via a call center. If so, data connectivity and message consistency from device to offline engagement are critical to further optimize this continually growing traffic source for customers.
2. Look at your customer experience across channels.
The consumer purchase path is no longer a linear line. Optimum conversion rates require creating consistent, personalized experiences for consumers wherever and whenever they look for it. Aligning content and messaging to the individual requires understanding of the consumer journey, behavioral insights from consumer segments, and the ability to deliver the appropriate experience (site, script, product, pricing, etc.) across the different consumer touch points. No one is saying that integrating marketing tools and connected data with a consumer-centric operational approach is easy. However, it is an objective with the potential for high reward in new customer acquisition.
3. Recalibrate automation that may have you on autopilot.
Programmatic capabilities have revolutionized the way organizations purchase media. And while much has been made recently about the need to examine practices around the issue of transparency, there is another compelling reason to take another look at operations. Unchecked automation may lead to over-automation and not factor in marketplace changes, emerging trends, or competitive factors. Current day-to-day seamless operations may give the impression of optimization, but it may be robbing you of an opportunity to regularly challenge assumptions and hear what your data is really telling you.
4. Use testing to spend smarter in new areas.
While emerging channels, technologies, and advertising opportunities represent valid areas for exploration, resist the urge to make heavy investments until rigorous testing is done against business-specific outcome objectives and clearly defined measurement strategies. How do target customers engage with the channel? What are the KPIs? Will it aid product/service awareness and consideration or more directly impact sales? Testing will ensure spending decisions are data driven and not unduly influenced by outside factors like industry buzz or impractical applications.
5. Look beyond attribution when predicting future consumer behavior.
Attribution tools can provide valuable performance data. However, there are limitations. These tools are backward looking and don’t account for current marketplace conditions (i.e. competitor activity, pricing shifts, seasonality, online to offline behavior, etc.) and broader macroeconomic data (consumer confidence, employment, housing, etc.). Think about your business and determine what other data is critical to driving performance and ensure that those “signals” are also analyzed to drive more intelligent forward-looking, actionable marketing decisions.
Use these five strategies to think about existing conversion efforts in a new way. There’s a good chance opportunities to innovate are ready and waiting to be discovered.
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