Not Another Predictions Article: How To Grow Your Business Tomorrow (Or Next Week)
Read any marketing predictions for 2015 lately? They’re everywhere. (Heck, I’ve even written my own.) But while every predictions article you’ll read aims to make bold predictions and be the first to forecast where our industry is headed, very few are grounded in actionable advice. So instead of predicting what’s ahead, let’s take some time […]
Read any marketing predictions for 2015 lately? They’re everywhere. (Heck, I’ve even written my own.) But while every predictions article you’ll read aims to make bold predictions and be the first to forecast where our industry is headed, very few are grounded in actionable advice.
So instead of predicting what’s ahead, let’s take some time to look at potential sources of growth that many retailers are leaving on the table, along with ways to address them right now. Here’s a quick list to get started:
Don’t Have A Mobile Strategy
Have a customer experience strategy. We don’t need a prediction to tell us that the digital world is more fragmented than ever. We have phones, tablets, mini tablets, phablets, watches, XBoxen (the plural of XBox, of course), PlayStations and more. The list goes on, and this is not a trend that appears to be reversing itself.
There was a time when we called online buyers “web customers.” Well, it’s 20 years later, and it turns out the path to purchase is not as linear as we thought. A customer is a customer is a customer, and each one expects an awesome experience on every device they choose to use.
It’s true that we live in a pan-device world, and it’s also true that a lot of retailers still have a lot of catching up to do on mobile. Check out Will Critchlow’s article on why you shouldn’t have a mobile strategy, but rather a digital strategy that has specific mobile tactical executions.
Get Serious About Your A/B Tests
“Yeah, we do conversion optimization — button colors, text size, that kind of stuff — but I don’t see much of a difference.”
I hear this sentence more often than I would like to.
The value of A/B testing boils down to what’s being tested. If you don’t test significant variables, tests are going to show little to no results and, once discouraged, you’ll eventually stop doing them. As marketers, very often it’s a lot easier to not rock the boat internally and challenge long-held beliefs. It’s also a sure-fire way to maintain the status quo.
For those of you struggling to see real results with A/B testing, find the test that scares you a little — then run it. The more you do this, the more comfortable you’ll become with running bold tests that yield statistically significant conclusions.
Eventually, you’ll start to see the results that so many conversion rate optimization articles have told you exist.
Use Retargeting To Its Full Potential
Retargeting is one area of digital marketing where capabilities are far outpacing adoption. When you start to think of retargeting as more than harassing your customers with the same ad for 30 days after visiting your site, you’ll start to unlock its real potential. Here are a couple of suggestions:
Time delayed offer. For most e-commerce sites, the longer it’s been since the user visited your site, the less likely they are to buy. A few hours after? Very likely. 30 days later? Much less likely. Bucket your retargeting campaigns based on how recently a visitor has been to your site, find where the conversions start to drop off, and make them a new offer they can’t refuse.
Video. Did you know with the same remarketing pixel you drop for the Google Display Network you could retarget pre-roll video ads on YouTube? Video is the most powerful medium in the history of advertising — and you can use it to target people who have already expressed an interest in what you’re selling. Sounds like a win-win.
Custom audiences. Did you know you can upload your email lists to both Facebook and Twitter? From there, the social networks will match as many email addresses to user accounts as they can, and you can target ads to them.
It’s no secret that a lot of the engagement you get from widely targeted ads on Facebook results in “botted” engagement and even click fraud. If you want your adoring fans on Facebook and Twitter to be real, paying customers, look into custom audiences.
Go beyond AdWords. Adroll, Triggit, Simpli.fi, the list goes on. There are a ton of RTB (real time bidding) platforms out there that give you access to more of the advertising web than just the Google Display Network. Use them.
Make Friends With Customer Service
[blockquote cite=”Steve Blue”]A brand is not just your logo. A brand is the sum total of the messages, interactions, and experiences a customer has with your product, services, and people.[/blockquote]
Brand and retention marketers spend their careers puzzling over how to create brand advocates and intensely loyal customers, yet consistently and tragically overlook how customers are treated when they have a personal interaction with their organization.
Your customer service team is likely one of – if not the only – human representative of your brand that a customer will ever meet. Do you treat the customer service process with the same love and care that you put into your retention programs? It’s time – no, it’s way past due – that many of us take time to align our marketing messages with our customer service policies.
Stop Predicting; Start Performing
There’s no doubt that industry predictions serve an important purpose, and the transition from one year to the next is the perfect time to look at the bigger picture. However, in many cases, we’re considering the implications of changes that are months or even years out, when we could be focusing on overlooked opportunities that already exist.
Let’s also use this time of transition to consider ways we can improve today.