For those of you that have been with me a while, you know that I’m a tremendous advocate of performance based marketing. I firmly believe that online marketing is heavily, certainly predominantly, and almost completely analytics driven when done well. We need not as what ad rates well with focus groups or how effectively a campaign creates “awareness” for a new product or brand; measure performance directly, optimize, and move on.
I had a chance to catch up with Lance Loveday, CEO, Closed Loop Marketing, a marketing services organization which recognizes that a holistic approach to online is key. Simple put, and these are my words, not his, a holistic approach to online recognizes that no activity acts in a vacuum and that optimization of every touch point you have with customers creates synergy to greatly improve performance. Take, for example, the simple concept of a display ad campaign.
Most marketers still treat banner campaigns ad mere advertising vehicles with impressions, clicks, perhaps some behavioral targeting thrown in if their agency is savvy enough to upsell them. In reality, few banner campaigns deliver immediately clicks let alone conversions to justify the spend. No; advertising causes people to search. Upon searching they visit your website, call, or head to the store. And in turn that more direct touch with the customer is what causes them to buy or act. As a marketer, those most successful put the pieces together to recognize that improving conversions, or the propensity of customers to buy from the website, call center, or in store, improves the performance of their search program which in turn reflects on the success of banner campaign. Lance is one of those marketers and has put together a great list of resources to help marketers understand the whole picture.
In his book, Web Design for ROI, Lance and co-author Sandra Niehaus address how even the simplest of changes can have transformative results on your business. The book is intentionally laid out into sections addressing landing pages (of which, honestly, I’m not a fan but that’s a discussion for another day), your home page, category pages, detail pages, and your point of conversion or “forms and checkout,” creating, effectively, a series of priorities or steps through which to go to work with your designers and engineers to improve the quality of the site. Goals and objectives are spelled out making it easy for folks to understand and explain what to expect and why it is important to dedicate time and resources to optimization that is right for your company.
I really encourage your grabbing a copy of the book, moreso for those of my readers in e-commerce. This happens to be one of my favorite discussion topics so if you’d like to know more just drop me a line (or, incidentally, if you haven’t tried Grand Central yet, I highly recommend it… click the “Call Me” button I’ve added to the top of the blog and you can literally do just that – if you want an invite to use the platform, let me know).