Optimization - usage and opportunities
Adobe recently released a report on the top 5 conversion opportunities for digital marketers. This report talks about the important issues surrounding optimization strategies – something close to our hearts here at Klick Health. As one of the pre-publication reviewers I have a few insights about this report on why marketers are not using more of these tactics, and the tactics themselves.
Current marketing teams are not using all the tools at their disposal
- Very few respondents are employing attribution modelling, which I feel is a huge gap currently with marketers’ strategies – e.g. measuring the impact of display on driving downstream search conversions.
- Only about a quarter of users are using remarketing / retargeting… It’s surprising because I have found this to be one of the most successful tactics for driving conversions. It enables advertisers to reach back out to ‘hand raisers’ after they leave their site. Dynamic personalization is not only a significant opportunity to increase relevance on-site, it can also be deployed off-site via retargeting as well. Segmented, sequential messages that pull the user down the decision funnel.
- Over half don’t do testing on their on-site search results. If you’re going to have on-site search, you need to make sure it delivers relevance. If you aren’t optimizing it / ensuring users are getting relevant results, then why bother?
Part of the non-usage above could be due to a lack of education around these tactics…It would be interesting to understand if they’re not using it, why not? Some obvious issues could be:
- Too expensive: analysis takes time, and time is money. Once set up many of these techniques can be reasonably low cost, but none are free.
- Not enough knowledge: just hearing the name of a tactic isn’t enough, marketers need to be convinced there is value in using it. This is where clear, quick education comes in. Part of our jobs as digital agencies is ensuring we describe the value of these tactics in clear terms.
- Too much internal time: all of our clients are busy, and even if something fits within existing budgets if it takes too much time from the internal team then it won’t move forward.
Comments on the report
Some of my other thoughts on the topics in this document:
1. Importance of prioritizing optimization organizationally and as a strategic process
Developing and implementing a strategic process for analysis and optimization – and scheduling in these efforts – is critical to ensure that insights can be identified and actioned in a timely manner that drives measurable business impact. Beyond this, these efforts must be prioritized by senior management to ensure they receive the attention they deserve by product managers or agencies who are often faced with many conflicting priorities.Many companies shy away from testing because of perceptions around additional effort and cost. But testing and optimization doesn’t have to be complex to produce benefits. Even simple A/B tests on email subject lines, paid search ads, or landing page CTAs can make a big impact on conversion rates.
Using an automated approach to optimizationA rate-limiting factor for how often optimization takes place is the band-with to undertake this analysis and draw actionable insights. The ability to automate these activities through rules-based algorithms or technology platforms is appealing as it not only reduces the overhead required to execute on optimization, it also tends to produce better results. That said, there will always be a need for some level of manual optimization. Particularly in highly regulated industries like pharmaceuticals, auto-optimization is not always possible. However, in those cases securing approvals for the multiple versions of the content to enable dynamic optimization to performance is an option.
Very few companies are leveraging the power of data and technology to deliver a more relevant customer experience. Dynamic content personalization based on observed on-site and off-site behaviors can ensure that you get the right message, to the right person, at the right time, increasing user engagement and conversion.Most websites are designed to be relevant for a whole host of potential audiences or personas. Designed for the majority, but largely irrelevant to the individual visitor. Personalization technology enables you to understand the motivations and interests of your audience so you can serve up the most relevant content and offers.
3. Rich media content trends – video and interactive publications / brochures / catalogs
Content is and always will be king. But beyond that, video content is king. More and more, visitors want to see and hear, not read. We talk about the concept of “E3″ content – content that entertains, engages and empowers. Companies who don’t have or are not focused on developing rich media assets now will pay the consequences down the road through reduced customer engagement.
We are seeing a definite migration towards digital consumption. There is a convergence of print and digital happening here – almost everything you could once only get in print version is now available in digital. In the healthcare industry, physicians are consuming journals online and on their iPads. They’re educating patients in-office via desktop or tablet-based digital content. They’re receiving virtual details instead of in-person rep visits. This shift to digital is drastically changing the type of strategies and tactics that companies are employing.
4. Mobile optimization
To optimize or not to optimize, that is the question. Or is it? At minimum we’re seeing a best practice of mobile ‘compliance’ across the board. Essentially you (or your agency) should make sure your site is accessible, loads and displays properly (at the very least isn’t broken) when users access it on mobile. Depending on what your objectives are and what users come to your site for, it is usually a case-by-case assessment as to whether a separate mobile site is warranted.
Designing a site for mobile absolutely makes sense when there are very obvious needs that someone might have on mobile that they wouldn’t need on the desktop version. We’re seeing a trend toward increasing use of responsive design to ensure that your site layout adjusts appropriately to the various screen sizes, eliminating the need for a separate mobile version.
5. Social engagement
Social is and continues to be the ‘buzz word’ of the day. Some industries are doing a much better job than others in truly embracing the social opportunity. The pharmaceutical industry is understandably lagging behind due to increased regulatory concerns. We’re advising our clients that at minimum even if they don’t participate, they should be listening. Social media monitoring should be a best practice for companies at this point. Most of our clients are testing social on their own sites by providing sharing functionality and various social rating / voting mechanisms.
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