And if you think that’s bad, wait to hear that 81% of the 1,700 plus digital marketers surveyed reported that after burning the $92 to get you to their site, they then do little to keep you around.
I just finally got the chance to read through a research report put out by Adobe, the 2012 Digital Marketing Optimization Survey, which I took part in earlier this year. My reaction? Oh boy, let me start by telling you that I was as guilty as charged – yes, I belonged to the group that would spend $92 or more to snatch you up. But what really thrown me off was that my peers, and in an alarming amount, had reported of having committed the same sin and more!
The survey, which attracted over 1,700 digital marketers worldwide to participate, asked meaningful but often overlooked questions such as “who or what determines which marketing content is displayed on your site?” and “in which areas are you conducting online tests?”. These questions and others focused on examining the conversion gap by looking from an optimization stand point, across channel, content, personalization, social networking and mobile engagement.
Adobe defines optimization as taking action on rich data and content to deliver the highest return on marketing spend and efforts. Of the 1,700 plus digital marketers surveyed in 2011, over 80% of respondents reported allocating 15% or less of their marketing budget to optimization efforts. Just a shy 1% up from 2009.
On overall site, page and content optimization, here’s what the marketers reported:
More than 50% cited testing was not a company priority
Fewer than 50% reported are optimizing on-site search results and
38% of said that they don’t provide any content or product recommendations features on their site
In the burgeoning areas of video, mobile and social on the other hand, marketers seem to be on track:
61% said they are focusing on video in 2012 to help drive conversion
70% of respondents cited social sharing as a top effective social strategy and
The top three mobile strategies marketers plan to focus on this year are mobile optimized sites, mobile apps, and advertising promotions, including bar codes and QR codes
So what’s going on here? After not buying into social and mobile for years, are we finally starting to figure it out? But did that come at the expense of abandoning some long-time tried and true web tactics? I hope not. Let’s not forget, as web mavens, our job is to nourish the whole digital ecosystem and that usually starts from the web (the one you have little control over) and, in a perfect world, should ends on your site (the one that you are in charge). The loop can be long, can be short; the circle can be big, can be small, but most importantly, integrated marketing beats out stand-alone campaigns (that’s a whole other story we can explore some other time) and optimization, applied effectively, will help increase your bottom line.
Coming back to the Adobe report, five areas emerged that may hold the biggest ROI opportunities for marketers to “take advantage of”, or I’m just going to be honest and say these are the areas that we need to catch up. Here’s what Adobe had to say about them:
Prioritize optimization across your organization as a strategic process. Tip: demonstrate small conversion wins to gain support and buy-in for more ongoing optimization efforts.
Use a data-driven approach to optimization. To do: leverage your analytics to better inform site search results, what content to test and to recommend and what areas to focus on personalizing.
Optimize conversion with video. Do now: offer more video content, whether it’s created in-house or created by your users. Both formats offer visitors with a way to engage deeper with your brand and become more educated before deciding to click, purchase or subscribe.
Optimize social engagement. Do more: enable content sharing functionality within your conversion funnel and test the placement and messaging of the calls-to-action.
Optimize for all mobile channels. Double check: make sure that your tablet experience is laid out for that particular audience and the way they prefer to shop or consume content. Your approach for smartphone users will also be distinct.
Get a copy of the results report and if you have time, go through the questions with your team and use it as an opportunity to rate yourself and if necessary, reassess your digital strategy.