What does Conversion Rate Optimization Mean for Marketers in 2019?

 

Conversion rate optimization (CRO) has developed into its own specialty field in digital marketing that is growing rapidly. The field of CRO deals with increasing the amount of web traffic a site gets into buying customers. As you can imagine, this field is of critical interest to retail website owners and its influence on marketing programs continues to grow.

Talking To An Audience

Website owners are constantly looking for more effective ways to convert web traffic into buying customers because this cuts down on the cost of selling. A CRO expert understands what makes users go from browsing to buying, and this means that more CRO experts are working with digital marketing experts to improve the overall customer experience. With the data generated by CRO experts, marketing professionals can determine more effective ways to find new target audiences, communicate with those audiences, and develop more powerful marketing messages.

Simplifying The Process

A CRO expert considers everything that attracts and repels potential buyers when developing their ideas. It has been proven over and over again that a streamlined purchasing process is one thing that keeps consumers coming back to a website. But before the emergence of CRO experts, digital marketing professionals were never really sure what buyers wanted. With the help of CRO, marketers now have a better understanding of how buyers want the purchasing process simplified.

Don't Forget The Desktop

Since CRO is relatively new, most people assume it only deals with the emerging industry of mobile computing. But any good CRO expert will tell you that consumers want a unified experience with desktop and mobile websites, and consumers want both kinds of websites to be as easy as possible to use. The idea that the desktop is going away is not accurate, and CRO experts are constantly reminding marketers to keep an eye on desktop development.

Maximize Mobile Options

One of the aspects of mobile computing that CRO experts constantly talk about is the lack of modern tools being used in developing mobile websites. Geolocation and the click-to-call marketing tactics are not used as widely as they could be, and that is not making users happy. There are some forms of marketing that users want to see on mobile websites, and CRO experts are trying to educate marketers on what those new tools may be.

The Regional Framework

When a portion of digital marketing spins off into its own field, such as CRO, the detailed manner in which that field is analyzed becomes more intense. Lately, CRO experts have discovered that regional limitations such as laws regarding online retail sales, international shipping issues, and maintaining inventory for customers all over the world is hurting CRO as much as anything else. Websites need to be aware of where their target audiences are located and develop strategies that address regional challenges.

The field of CRO will only grow in 2019, which is good news for digital marketing experts. The more information marketers have regarding consumer trends, the easier it gets for those marketers to develop effective marketing programs.

How to Get Clients by Growing Your Business Network

 

For any business, word-of-mouth advertising is extremely powerful for bringing in new clients. There are plenty of ways to pay for word-of-mouth advertising and paying for it is just as effective as growing your own network. But an organically grown network is going to give you a more hands-on approach to growing your business through the power of referrals.

Creating a Business Network

A business network is simply a collection of people you meet in your daily travels that are interested in growing their business and helping you to grow yours. Your business network will consist of anyone you meet because you never want to limit your range of influence to just one industry. To create a business network, you carry business cards wherever you go and swap cards with people as you meet them. You keep their contact information and use that contact information when the opportunity is right.

Using Your Business Network

As you are talking to someone you just met, they might mention to you that they need a plumber to fix a problem they have in their home. You give them the contact information of one of the plumbers you have in your business network and strongly recommend that your new contact call your plumber. You should also make sure that your new contact mentions to your plumber that you said to call. Over time, these referrals create a constantly-growing network of business contacts that will help grow your business.

Online Business Networks

Creating business networks online is just as powerful as the networks made up of contacts you meet face-to-face. Social media is an excellent place to start building your networks because of all of the groups and communities each network has available. You should also look into professional organizations that have online message boards and other ways to network with people online. As you grow your online network, you would utilize it the same way you would use your business card network.

Mixing Networks

At some point, you will want to find the social media profiles of your business card contacts so you can connect with them online. But it is important to keep your business card and online networks separate to prevent you from making incorrect referrals. For example, a local small business owner you meet would probably benefit better from the local accountant you know instead of the one you know several states over.

Business networks are essential to any growing organization. It is important to constantly connect with people you can refer to others to help enhance your credibility and, eventually, grow your own business as well. The larger your networks and the more active you are with them, the more you will consistently add to your customer base and improve your overall revenue.

Online Marketing vs. Offline Advertising

 

Online marketing has become very popular around the world and many companies wonder if they even need to do offline print advertising anymore. The comparison between online and offline marketing has several facets to it with cost being only one. In order to get the full benefit of your marketing dollar, you must be prepared to spend a few extra dollars on targeted print advertising. A robust digital marketing plan should, in all instances, also include offline advertising programs.

Costs

No matter how you try to compare them, digital marketing costs are always going to be less than print. One of the big advantages of digital marketing is that there are so many ways to track the effectiveness of your results that calculating return on investment becomes much easier. But before you bury offline advertising for good, remember that print collateral often lingers for months longer than digital. A full-page ad in a magazine could still be getting read on an airplane or a doctor's office months after it was printed, where most digital content has a solid deadline where it no longer exists.

Exposure

Offline print advertising is accessible to almost anyone. A billboard can be seen by thousands of people who might not own a computer, while an online banner is only seen by computer users. There are millions of computer and smartphone users all over the world who are capable of seeing digital advertising, but there is not a lot of room for the kind of random exposure print offers. A digital ad is usually placed on a user's computer or smartphone based on their past purchases. But a newspaper or magazine can still put that random ad in front of a consumer that could spark an interest that was never there before.

Working Hand-In-Hand

The truth is that offline and online marketing need to work hand-in-hand if you are going to have a successful campaign. In some demographic groups, such as people over the age of 40, print advertising is a way to add an air of legitimacy to online advertising. Contrary to popular belief, younger audiences also read print advertising and when done properly, print can add a great deal of power to digital marketing.

The key to a successful marketing campaign is to understand your audience and use the right mixture of online and offline advertising. Every demographic group has its own preference when it comes to offline marketing, and you need to exploit those preferences if you want to get your message out to the widest possible audience.

When it comes to brand building, the goal with your marketing is to find the largest audience possible. Offline advertising fills in gaps online advertising leaves behind and creates a more comprehensive marketing plan. If you want your marketing to be a success, then it consistently needs to be some mix of online and offline marketing.

Quant Marketing Goes Mainstream

 

Quantitative marketing (quant marketing) has been around for a very long time. Most people have been approached by a marketing associate holding a clipboard looking to ask questions about a company or product. This is quant marketing, but it had almost vanished when big data was introduced to the marketing world. It was thought that big data, which includes social media information, would be all companies would need for market research.

Recently, marketing experts have realized that big data gives a lot of good information, but it does not give a complete picture. It is still necessary to go out and talk to the customers, which means that quant marketing is going to get pushed back into the mainstream as marketing companies strive to learn everything they can about consumer tendencies.

What Is Big Data Lacking?

Big data can use social media and other consumer indicators to tell trends from the past, but it cannot predict how consumers will react in the future to any accuracy. For example, if a customer had a very good experience at a store recently, then the customer might decide to visit that store more frequently. The only way to get that information is to ask consumers directly. Quant marketing uses a lot of closed-end questions (questions with definite answers) to get important marketing data.

How Will Quant Marketing Be Done?

While technology continues to march forward, quant marketing is going to be done the same way it has always been done. There are three methods to collecting quant marketing data:

Big Data And Quant Marketing

Digital marketing is constantly evolving, so it is almost impossible to say if there will ever be the definitive way for collecting data. But now that quant marketing is making its way back into mainstream marketing tactics, it is safe to say that most complete marketing campaigns in the future will include a combination of the two. Big data is excellent for collecting data that tracks past consumer trends and quant marketing is a more accurate way to forecast future consumer trends.

Many digital marketing experts felt that the emergence of big data meant that marketing associates with clipboards talking to consumers in department stores would be a thing of the past. But as we are finding out, the tried and true tactics of quant marketing are proving to be an effective compliment to anything that is being done with big data.

Visualization Is More Important Than Ever

 

Data visualization has been around for a long time, but it was usually something reserved for marketing executives, IT directors, or accountants. It was expensive to create reports that helped put data into a context that each person could understand. As the era of big data continues to grow, the need for more people to access that data increases. This growing need to distribute data has helped to spearhead a data visualization movement that is creating an increasing number of tools that anyone can use.

What Is Data Visualization?

Data visualization is getting data put into a form that allows anyone to understand its effects. When data users start asking questions pertaining to data, the answers can be represented in the form of a pie chart, infographic, or anything that would make it easier to understand the real effects the data is predicting. It is also easier to compare data side-by-side when using visualization.

How Do You Visualize Data?

There are thousands of computer programs available that allow data collectors, such as IT directors, to present data in a form that marketing associates can understand. Instead of complex data comparison reports, this data is presented in a visual form that makes it easier to understand and utilize.

Why Do We Need Data Visualization?

In digital marketing, large portions of marketing plans are dedicated to solving problems and creating a larger market share. For example, a marketing professional working on a marketing plan might wonder how the sales projections would change if the product were presented in red instead of blue.

Thanks to big data, there is plenty of market research data available that can easily answer that question. The problem is that presenting that data as a comparison that would alter a marketing plan can be complicated. Visualization puts the data comparisons into bar graphs or pie charts that are easy to read and allow the marketing associate to immediately quantify the information.

Other Uses For Visualization

Visualization is also a very powerful tool when it comes to present milestone data for marketing plans that are in effect. Instead of pouring over spreadsheets of data, a room of marketing professionals can compare visualized data and immediately determine how a program needs to be altered to be effective.

Data visualization also makes it easier to compare historical data to future data projections. Since visualization helps to speed up the analysis portion of a marketing project, it can save a company money and allow changes to be made at a faster pace.

The more that marketing companies rely on big data, the more they will need data visualization. The act of presenting data on spreadsheets with multiple columns to a room full of people with varying levels of statistical abilities can often lead to confusion and frustration. But with data visualization, the ever-expanding amount of data that is available can now be put into formats that everyone will be able to understand.

Why Are Leading Brands Investing In Live Events?

 

Have you ever wondered why you see so many more large brands at the live events you attend? From concerts to sporting events, the biggest brands in the world are buying more and more marketing space to reach audiences. Sometimes the matches don't quite make sense; like when a car insurance company sponsors a race car. That is not exactly the best way to promote safe driving. But there is a broad-reaching reason why these brands are spending billions on live events, and you might find that reason very interesting.

Clogged Channels

In our new virtual world, most of the marketing dollars spent today are showing up on the Internet, television, and even in magazines. Advertisers are spending millions on print advertising that automatically interacts with your smartphone to create a very different experience.

But the fact is that every possible marketing distribution channel is over-saturated. There are still plenty of ways for digital marketing companies to reach target audiences, but the fact is that messages need to be more focused than ever to get through.

People Are Stepping Out

At the same time that the marketing world is bombarding target audiences through a variety of mediums, people are getting out more and more. The most popular mobile apps deal with restaurant reviews, buying movie tickets, and getting a ride from someone using their personal vehicle as a taxi. People are stepping out more and more, and brands see that as a huge opportunity.

Banking On Live Events

When digital marketing first started, the idea of throwing it up against the wall to see what would stick was used a lot. These days, big data has made digital marketing more focused and effective as ever. But at live events, the idea of using that wall has resurfaced.

Brands are realizing that people are moving targets, and that is why brands are investing in live events. It is all a matter of putting as many eyes on the marketing collateral as possible to advance the brand.

Why Use The Old Marketing Tactic?

Investing in live events is a tie-in to the rest of the marketing that big brands are doing. When 40,000 people at a baseball game constantly see ads for ABC, Corporation, they company name and logo stick in their heads. They don't know what ABC, Corporation does, but they know that name and logo.

When some of those same people later go looking online for a product and see a product made or sold by ABC, Corporation, instantly that recognizable entity is going to have little more credibility than the others. With that investment in live events, big brands are using an old marketing tactic to make their new digital advertising more effective.

The next time you go to a sporting event or concert and wonder why that big brand is advertising there, start to think about the bigger picture. A live event audience is a captive audience that will see these advertisements all day long. In most cases, the experience at a live event is very positive, and that puts those brands in a positive light.

Later on, when you are shopping online and see that brand's product, you are more likely to buy it because the name of the company is associated in your mind with that live event. It is an old marketing tactic that was thought to be outdated, but live events are making mass marketing popular again.

Figuring Out What Your Consumers Are Interested In

 

The point of marketing is to give you precise ideas as to who your customers are, where they are located, how you can reach them, and how to get them to spend money. It is a broad way of saying that marketing helps you to learn who your customers are and how you can best sell to them. But marketing is also there to help you figure out what your customers are interested in to gets sales moving along and help improve your products. It used to be tricky to figure out what your consumers are interested in, but advances in digital media have made that easier to figure out.

Big Data

Big data has helped open a lot of doors in digital marketing, and that includes predicting consumer trends with significant accuracy. Using numbers to try and figure out what customers really wanted used to be a hit or miss game, but the collection of significant data from a consumer's life activities makes it much easier to predict what products they will buy in the future, and what types of features customers want. For example, collecting data on what types of product advertisement consumers respond to the most helps companies to understand what types of products will be popular.

Social Media

One of the side-effects of big data has been the development of software that collects information from social media posts and turns it into marketing data to predict consumer trends. In many ways, collecting social media information can be a much more powerful way of understanding what consumers are really looking for in the products they buy. By being able to grab information from consumer conversations about products, it is easier for digital marketing experts to predict consumer trends.

Asking Your Customers Directly

Even in the age of digital information and Internet marketing, few marketing methods are more reliable than consumer surveys. Digital marketing companies spend a lot of time and money collecting advanced data, but they seem to forget that they can just ask consumers questions as well. You can use website surveys or send surveys out to your existing customer base to get an accurate idea of what your clients are looking for. You can even have people do surveys in your business while people are shopping to find out what consumers are thinking.

Track Sales

The oldest form of establishing consumer trends is to track what sells and go with the big sales items. The two problems with this method is that by the time consumers start buying a product in large quantities, that product is already on its way to being old news. The other problem is that product sales always represent fads as well as trends, and it can be hard to separate the two.

It becomes easier to sell to your target audience when you know in advance what your target audience wants to buy. As technology continues to advance, digital marketing experts are finding it easier to pinpoint consumer trends with accuracy and help businesses to create more effective products. With the help of big data and more advanced marketing software, digital marketing experts are able to deliver consumer trends before they start happening, and that gives manufacturers a big advantage in planning future product lines.

Why Performing A Competitive Analysis Is Important

 

When a football team prepares for a game, the head coach spends hours each week watching films of the competition. The coach is looking for ways to defeat the competition, and he is also looking for things the competition does well that he can use for his team. A football coach never goes into a game without doing a competitive analysis, and your company should take that same approach.

A competitive analysis takes a look at what your competition is doing to market their products or services online, and the tactics your competition is using to establish their brand. You use a competitive analysis to develop ideas that are superior to what your competition is doing, but there are other reasons why a competitive analysis is so important to your business.

Stay Updated On The Competition's Cost Model

You and your competition face very similar challenges when it comes to keeping down costs, and a strong competitive analysis will help you keep track of your competition's cost model. If the competition releases a product that has a price well below what you could sell the product for, then you know that the competition has made significant changes to their product. You can learn how to keep your own costs down when you follow the competition's cost model, or you can find better ways to differentiate yourself from the competition by pointing out cost cutting measures the competition is using.

Keyword Analysis

Any digital marketing professional can determine how your competition's website is performing, and they can even break it down to the keywords your competition is using. A competitive analysis will give you the chance to examine the new keywords the competition is using, and help you to enhance your own keyword tactics to get better results.

Comprehensive Website Analysis

A significant part of any successful competitive analysis is a complete breakdown of every aspect of your competition's website. You will want to find out the kind of traffic your competition is getting, their bounce rates, their conversion rates, and the kind of click through they are getting that results in orders. You do not want to copy these methods, even if they are successful. Your purpose to a comprehensive website analysis of the competition is to find out why the competition's website is successful and determine how you can improve on what the competition is doing.

Calls To Action

For many business website owners, the call to action is often considered a throw-away item. Consumers do not like to be told what to do, but there is still significant value in encouraging consumers to act on information they found helpful on a website. It is always a good idea to spend time comparing your calls to action with the ones your competition are using. You might start to notice patterns with some of your competitors that could help you create more effective calls to action for your own website.

If you want to stay successful, then you need to constantly keep an eye on the competition. You should hire a digital marketing firm to do a quarterly competitive analysis on your industry to let you know how you can increase your revenue, and find out what the competition is up to.

Common Mistakes Brands Make When Marketing To Their Audience

Establishing a brand takes a long time and requires a great deal of precision marketing. Experienced digital marketing firms know the work that goes into setting up a brand marketing plan, and the patience it takes to see the plan through. Sometimes brands decide to do their own marketing, and that is when any one of a number of common mistakes can occur that will cost that company a lot of money.

Wrong Mediums

Finding the right medium to establish and grow a brand is extremely difficult to do. Many companies think that they can just put their advertising on the hottest websites and it will take off. The problem is that these companies never stop to check if their audience is going to those websites. In some cases, the audience may not even reside primarily online. Using the Internet to reach a radio audience can result in the loss of a lot of money.

Wrong Audience

One of the ways a good digital marketing agency earns its pay is by doing the market research necessary to determine what type of audience a company needs to talk to. Not only is it important to find the right audience, it is critically important to create dynamic consumer profiles for each type of person in that audience to make sure all marketing efforts are evolving properly. Without a good audience profile, establishing a brand is a waste of time and money.

Wrong Message

A professional digital marketing agency works tirelessly on determining exactly what kind of message an audience wants to hear, and how that message needs to be crafted. Is your brand trying to reach out to a younger audience? Then you need to understand what that audience wants to hear and how they want to hear it. If your brand is enhanced by using the right emojis on Instagram, then you have to know that and you have to get the message right every time.

Wrong Presentation

Does your target audience prefer a video message, or a written message? If you cannot answer that question with confidence, then you have no idea how to frame your message so your audience will hear it. The presentation of your message is just as important as the message itself. If your audience is influenced by infographics and you present them with informational videos, then you are wasting your time.

Wrong Marketing Materials

The sports footwear industry is dominated by the appearance of the product and sharp looking logos. In that industry, a sleek presentation of the company is critically important to establishing a brand with the audience. But in the music industry, the emphasis is on availability and the quality of the music. Presentation is not nearly as important as it used to be when 12-inch vinyl albums ruled the marketplace. If you are not giving your audience what they want to see, then they will not listen to your message.

The smartest way to establish a brand is to hire a professional digital marketing agency and settle in for a long-term plan. A brand can take a long time to establish, but it can become a fruitless endeavor if all you are doing is making mistakes.

Generate Leads with These Tips

Generating leads can be one of the toughest aspects of marketing. A lead is all about the potential: a potential customer or a potential client. Finding these potential customers can sometimes feel like finding a needle in a haystack. When it comes to generating leads, there are a few basics that your business should have covered including a website, search engine optimization, and, of course, advertising. But there are also a few other methods you can take advantage that you may not have realized before such as blogging.

Website

Never underestimate the value of a good website. Websites lend credibility to your business as well as a landing spot for customers to discover or learn more about your business. In a society that relies heavily on the Internet, it is absolutely imperative to have a high functioning and aesthetically appealing website for consumers to peruse. A business without a site may as well not exist at all. And a business with a poor website is immediately dismissed in the minds of consumers for your competitor who does have an attractive and legitimate site.

There are a few things that ensure your business’s website is likeable to consumers: speedy load time, professional legible font, a streamlined layout, easy navigability, and contact information. Contact information is the crux of your site as consumers feel reassured that a business is credible when they know they can call or email someone for customer service. Make your site even better by making it cohesive with your brand as a whole. This means using your brand’s colors and ensuring your logo is clearly visible on the site. Utilize professional language that conveys the business’s expertise about the given field and be sure to highlight any relevant certifications or licenses.

Search Engine Optimization

Having a website only really matters if people actually get to see it. This is where search engine optimization plays a role. Incorporating SEO techniques into the construction your site is essential in pushing it to the top of search engine results so that is viewed organically by consumers. SEO is non-paid, which means that results depend on the amount of effort and skill is poured into it.

Hiring an SEO professional to help improve your rankings and drive traffic to your site is a good idea if you are not completely knowledgeable about how SEO works. The text on your page, your site’s relationship in terms of links to other sites, and your website’s overall structure can have an impact on your SEO. In the end, improving your site’s SEO will work to improve your site overall and ensure more people view it.

Advertising

It’s hard to generate leads if your business has not released a single advertisement to let consumers know about what you are and what you do. Your advertising campaigns should tie back to your overall brand and should feature the same language and tone.

Developing a tag line or something your brand is known for will help consumers remember you amidst all the other advertisements they are bombarded with. Making sure all of your marketing messages are in line with one another will promote a cohesive and strong brand image that consumers can fall back on.

Blogging

Blogging is an excellent way for your business to generate leads as it offers the unique opportunity for your business to talk to your consumers at length and provide value for free. While a blog may seem like a good platform upon which to boast your offerings and expertise, doing so would be a waste. Consumers will only voluntarily read your blog posts if you provide them with value. This means offering sound advice relating to your business or with background information regarding your industry and the like. Doing so will not only make your blog a good source of information for consumers, but will also make your business appear knowledgeable and legitimate.

You should always make sure your blog is able to generate leads by incorporating a sign-up section and by promoting yourself subtly and with your logo visible on the blog post. Be sure that consumers know the information is coming from you, but don’t oversell yourself. This is the chance to win customers over without overt advertising but by building a relationship of sorts.