Artificial intelligence and machine learning has become essential if you are selling sales, customer service and marketing software, especially in large enterprises. The biggest vendors from Adobe to Salesforce to Microsoft to Oracle are jockeying for position to bring automation and intelligence to these areas.
Just today, Oracle announced several new AI features in its sales tools suite and Salesforce did the same in its customer service cloud. Both companies are building on artificial intelligence underpinnings that have been in place for several years.
All of these companies want to help their customers achieve their business goals by using increasing levels of automation and intelligence. Paul Greenberg, managing principal at The 56 Group, who has written multiple books about the CRM industry, including CRM at the Speed of Light, says that while AI has been around for many years, it’s just now reaching a level of maturity to be of value for more businesses.
“The investments in the constant improvement of AI by companies like Oracle, Microsoft and Salesforce are substantial enough to both indicate that AI has become part of what they have to offer — not an optional [feature] — and that the demand is high for AI from companies that are large and complex to help them deal with varying needs at scale, as well as smaller companies who are using it to solve customer service issues or minimize service query responses with chatbots,” Greenberg explained.
This would suggest that injecting intelligence in applications can help even the playing field for companies of all sizes, allowing the smaller ones to behave like they were much larger, and for the larger ones to do more than they could before, all thanks to AI.
The machine learning side of the equation allows these algorithms to see patterns that would be hard for humans to pick out of the mountains of data being generated by companies of all sizes today. In fact, Greenberg says that AI has improved enough in recent years that it has gone from predictive to prescriptive, meaning it can suggest the prospect to call that is most likely to result in a sale, or the best combination of offers to construct a successful marketing campaign.
Brent Leary, principle at CRM Insights, says that AI, especially when voice is involved, can make software tools easier to use and increase engagement. “If sales professionals are able to use natural language to interact with CRM, as opposed to typing and clicking, that’s a huge barrier to adoption that begins to crumble. And making it easier and more efficient to use these apps should mean more data enters the system, which result in quicker, more relevant AI-driven insights,” he said.
All of this shows that AI has become an essential part of these software tools, which is why all of the major players in this space have built AI into their platforms. In an interview last year at the Adobe Summit, Adobe CTO Abhay Parasnis had this to say about AI: “AI will be the single most transformational force in technology,” he told TechCrunch. He appears to be right. It has certainly been transformative in sales, customer service and marketing.
When I ask prospects or clients if they are tracking phone calls from their website, they often tell me they are not, never thought of it or “I guess we could look at our records from the phone company”. To make things worse, nowadays trying to make sense of attribution and storytelling to the client on performance has become an analytical nightmare. In this post, I will discuss the many benefits of Call Tracking and why it matters so much for both advertisers and agencies.
Let’s be clear, Call Tracking may not be beneficial for every business. In fact, some may not want to receive phone calls simply because they solely want to rely on online forms or digital transactions. But…. Here’s the problem. For those businesses that do rely on phone calls for their business’s success, it’s imperative that they know where the calls are coming from. This is not only a dilemma for the business, but also the agency or marketing director handling the marketing and advertising dollars.
Benefits of Call Tracking
For many years, I have managed everything from PPC, SEO, Email, Landing Pages, Social, etc…. In fact, even though they had extensive Google Analytics and platform pixels installed, tracking phone calls from the website was always the biggest obstacle because I could not verify that metric. With the addition of call tracking “into the mix”, it allows me as a marketer to identify which Ad platforms, campaigns and keywords generate phone calls. In addition, I can then correlate the Caller Id’s in the reporting to justify a valuable lead from a junk lead.
Learn more about Call Rail
While there are many call tracking companies available online, I have found that Call Rail provides the best features, easiest integration and frankly top-notch customer service around. Here are just some of the features of Call Rail:
Visitor & Keyword-Level Tracking
CallRail’s call tracking can reveal which keywords, campaigns, and landing pages are effectively driving phone conversions. See your visitor’s journey through your website before, during, and after the call.
Dynamic Number Insertion
Campaign-Level Call Tracking
Create trackable phone numbers to use in all of your online and offline marketing campaigns, including paid search, digital advertising, direct mail, television, radio, and print ads. Find out which ads are effective.
Multi-Channel Call Attribution
See the full story on your PPC, organic, social, remarketing, and other campaigns. Understand how they influence your customer’s journey. Multi-channel call attribution goes beyond first- and last-click metrics.
Capture leads from forms instantly, and let CallRail alert you by phone, text message, or email. View detailed information about where your form completions are coming from and call customers back immediately.
In 2015, the movie industry reported a record setting $ 11 + billion in world-wide ticket sales. According to the Fool.com article entitled A 2016 Outlook for the Movie Theater Industry, The U.S. theater industry is controlled by three main companies Cinemark Holdings , Regal Entertainment and AMC Entertainment. However, in the PPC Marketing world, which can sometimes act as a “barometer” of company marketing vision, only one of these industry titans is starting to learn toward paid search on its own accord. Can you guess which one?
As you can see in the screenshot below (thanks to SpyFu.com – Search Marketing Competitive Analysis) AMC Theatres has started to put some ad dollars in Adwords while, Regal and Cinemark have remained stagnant.
AMC Goes all-GEO in their PPC Keyword Strategy:
The data shows that AMC has been spending a majority of their PPC dollars on GEO-centric keywords within the past couple months. This could, in effect, be in effort to boost awareness in these specific regions, especially when we see Zip Codes as part of the keyword strategy. However, this strategy could be in direct competition with Fandango which basically controls the entire Search Marketing landscape? Well, lets just say there more to the story….
How did Fandango dominate the Online Movie Ticketing space?
In a very interesting article back in 2012 from TheWrap.com entitled, How Fandango Won the Online Movie Ticketing War, it talks about how Fandango convinced AMC to leave a competitor and the rest is history. According to the article: “Fandango managed to convince the country’s second largest theater chain to jump ship from MovieTickets.com, adding 3,000 more screens to its rolls. Making the defection particularly painful is the fact that AMC was one of the companies that founded MovieTickets.com in 2000 and remains a part owner. Then, in short order, Fandango announced it has partnered with three former MovieTickets.com cohorts, AOL Moviefone, Yahoo! Movies and MSN Entertainment, to sell tickets, putting it substantially ahead in the battle to establish a foothold on the major portals.”
Who’s Dominating in PPC Today?
According to the graph below, Fandango has been controlling a majority of the PPC Marketing space (yet notice the roller coaster effect in seasonality), but as mentioned before, AMC is starting to get more involved. However, I am a little surprised by the lack of effort by Movietickets.com as well as Cinemark and Regal which have no presence at all in the PPC Landscape.
The “Soap Opera-like” story of how Fandango convinced AMC to leave MovieTickets.com to become the largest online movie ticketing company is interesting. However, my biggest take-away is the early 2016 surge in GEO-centric keywords from AMC. Is this a sign of things to come? Will Regal Cinemas and Cinemark follow AMC in their PPC efforts? We will have to wait and see.
We’ve been working together with our sister site, ClickZ, to honor the best and brightest marketing technology companies today (which includes some SEO-related tools).
These Marketing Technology Awards are voted on 50/50 by the community and by a panel of judges. The ceremony will be hosted by Scott Brinker, and will take place on the night of March 21 in Tribeca, New York.
We’ve been raising quite a bit more hubbub about it on ClickZ, which more directly covers all marketing technology.
But since our SEW name is on there too, we wanted to make sure everyone here was in the loop as well. (You’ve probably seen it in the newsletters!)
How do the Marketing Technology Awards work?
Categories span across various types of marketing technology, including CDPs, ABMs, call analytics, conversational bots, and a dozen more.
And of course, a handful of more SEO type things such as search tools, location-based marketing, mobile marketing, etc.
Categories also include “Use of Technologies” (best campaigns, best tech stack), as well as “People” (martech CEO and CMO).
The awards were free to enter, and anyone who has used any of the platforms (excluding employees) could vote on them, rating the tools on things like ease of use, integration, innovation, value for money, customer service, etc.
Finalists were determined based 50% by community votes, and 50% by these judges.
Announcing the finalists
So for 2019, we want to thank everyone who has entered, nominated, voted, scored, and otherwise provided your valuable insights and experience.
We’d like to announce the list of finalists for this year, and offer a huge congratulations to everyone on this list.
We can’t wait to celebrate you and your great work at this event.
Here’s the full list:
Best Account Based Marketing Tool
Best Analytics Platform
- AT INTERNET
Best Attribution Platform
- Marketing Evolution
Best Call Analytics Platform
Best Chat/Conversationsal Bot/Tool
Best Content Marketing Tool
Best Conversion Rate Optimization Tool/Technology
- Lucky Orange
Best Customer Data Platform (CDP)
- Arm Treasure Data
Best Customer Relationship Management Platform (CRM)
Best Data Privacy/GDPR Tool/Technology
- Isatis CyberSoft
Best Data Visualization Tool
Best Demand Side Platform (DSP)
- The Trade Desk
Best Digital Asset Management Platform (DAM)
Best Email Service Provider (ESP)
- Upland Adestra
Best Influencer Marketing Platform
- IZEA Worldwide Inc.
Best Location Based Marketing Platform
- Rio SEO
Best Marketing Automation Platform (MAP)
Best Mobile Marketing Platform
- Urban Airship
Best Paid Media/Bid Management Tool
- Kenshoo (Kenshoo Search)
Best Personalization Platform
Best Predictive Analytics Platform
- Keen Decision Systems
Best Sales Enablement Technology
- List Partners LLC
Best SEO Tool
Best Social Media Marketing & Monitoring Company
- Kenshoo (Kenshoo Social)
Overall – Marketing Technology Company of the Year
- To be announced from the list of finalist at the awards dinner
Use of technologies
Best Customer Experience Campaign
- Nestlé (Nestlé China)
- Ogilvy (H&M & Ogilvy)
- Best Data Enablement Campaign
- Adobe (Adobe)
- Catalyst (Catalyst & Tauck)
- Idomoo (Fairmont Hotels & Resorts)
- Marketing Evolution (Marketing Evolution)
Best Marketing Technology Stack
- Kenshoo Inc.
Best Personalization Campaign
- Conversant (Swanson Health)
- Location3 (Mountain Mike’s Pizza)
- Selligent Marketing Cloud (OPEL NETHERLANDS)
- Sitecore (Herschend Family Entertainment (Dollywood.com))
- Velocity Worldwide (The Belfast Classic/Sport Changes Life)
Best Technology Combination
- Merkle (Globe Life and Accident Insurance)
Best Use of Marketing Technology
- Adobe (Adobe & Adobe Advertising Cloud)
- Ogilvy (H&M & Ogilvy)
- SAP (SAP & MSIGHTS, Inc.)
Marketing Technology CEO Award
- Conductor (Seth Besmertnik, CEO, Conductor)
- Marketing Evolution (Rex Briggs, CEO, Marketing Evolution)
- Sourcepoint (Ben Barokas, CEO, Sourcepoint)
- Tapad (Sigvart Voss Eriksen, CEO, Tapad)
- Trustpilot (Peter Holten Mühlmann, CEO, Trustpilot)
Marketing Technology CMO Award
- Hootsuite (Penny Wilson, CMO, Hootsuite)
- The Trade Desk (Susan Vobejda, CMO, The Trade Desk)
- Yieldify (Hannah Nakano Stewart, CMO, Yeildify)
Again, a huge congratulations to all of these fantastic companies and people! For inquiries about the ceremony, please see more information and contact info here.
In today’s world, there is rarely a PPC Marketing Strategy that does not include or even toy with the notion of creating either a Facebook Ads or Twitter Ads campaign(s) at some point in the strategy life-cycle. Because of this, marketers are developing and testing different audience segments based on interests, household income, marital status, exercise habits, etc… Frankly, it has changed the landscape of online marketing as we know it. In this post, I will talk about the importance of leveraging the targeting abilities within Facebook Ads and how it can benefit your next Google display campaign.
Facebook Ad’s Demographic Targeting Abilities
The targeting abilities in both Google Display and Facebook Ads are similar with regard to Demographics and Topics/Placement. However, truth be told, Facebook is just far more superior to marketers based on their the deeper targeting options and more precise segmentation abilities. So without further ado, lets talk about the similarities and how marketers can harness what they have learned from Facebook and apply to Google.
As you can see from the screenshot below ↓, Google Display provides similar demographic targeting options as compared to Facebook. They allow marketers to choose Genders, Ages and even Parental Status. However, there is one major “elephant in the room” here that skews all of this and that is the dreadful UNKNOWN that we see in all of our data reports. These unknowns are basically people that Google can not identify to be associated with any or all of the targeted options selected. (In Facebook, they have the same problem). The common issue is that not all people want to disclose their information to the platforms, hence making it more of a “ballpark” than a “hole in one”
The Fuzziness with Google Topics Targeting
In Google Display, we have the ability to select specific topics and/or placements where we want to advertise our display banners and text ads. In the screenshot below ↓, I have provided a small example of how we can target the topic(s) of Coffee & Tea. But here’s the catch. In Google, we have an INTENT problem with our ability to choose specific audiences based on these very generalized topics. Meaning, the Coffee and Tea audience found in Google could be anything from Coffee Market Financials to the Health Benefits of Green Tea, but NOT specifically the Coffee and Tea drinkers. It is this little dilemma that forces marketers to add another layer of targeting to try and “hone in” on their preferred audience. That extra layer is called Placement targeting, but there are some extra steps that are needed to get the most out of it.
Extra Effort needed with Google Placement Targeting
Placement Targeting is the closest thing to to Facebook Ads in terms of reaching specific brands or interests that possess a higher level of intent to make a purchase. However, there are some common issues with placement targeting that marketers need to know before they start spending their ad dollars.
- The partnering websites in this network are common Adsense customers. They can vary from being very authoritative and prominent like (CNN, Nytimes, etc..) all the way to suspicious arbitrage sites where all they do is drive up impressions and cost (yes, they still exist)
- Marketers are often missing out on potential site partners because Google’s own search engine is not up to date on listing all of them (meaning, there are great sites that are a part of the Adsense network that are not listed in their directory). This hiccup forces marketers to do their own research to find those sites and they need to be added manually.
The targeting abilities within Facebook Ads have become an absolute “game changer” in the PPC marketing world. It has made such an impact that it’s starting to question Google’s own targeting abilities within the display network. The FBA platform allows advertisers to reach those avid Coffee and Tea drinkers by targeting everything from certain Brands, Flavors, Keurig Cups, Brewing types, etc… However, simply eliminating Display from their strategy is not a wise choice, considering the missed opportunities in reaching that additional audience. If there is one take-away from this article, it is to take what they have learned from Facebook Ads and apply them to their display campaigns.
I’ll be upfront. My goal here is to persuade you that you should be using Facebook Messenger marketing and chatbots as part of your marketing strategy. This isn’t a sales pitch. This isn’t an infomercial. This is hard-hitting marketing intel. Whether you’re a PPC specialist, an SEO, a CMO, or just a curious bystander, I […]
Read more at PPCHero.com
Have you ever heard this one? A Financial Planner and PPC Marketer walk into a bar… Probably not. However, the strategy that they would advise their clients on would be quite similar. If there was (1) one piece of advice I would give Startups (especially Early Stage), it would be diversification… and a lot of it. Startups typically have very limited advertising budgets so they have to account for every penny they spend. In this article, I will explain the reasons for this diversification as well as how best to execute them on a limited budget.
Setting Realistic Expectations:
As one of the most “bastardized” words in agency world, it’s imperative to keep everyone’s hopes and dreams in check with regard to the online marketplace. Attending conferences, reading case studies and talking with other business owners is not only a great idea, it’s encouraged. however, it can also “set off” false expectations that could be devastating to the overall goals and objectives. I have advised clients (both past and present) to NEVER trust Google with their campaigns, keywords and budgets because they don’t care about growing your business, they just want your money. Bottom line: If it sounds too good to be true, your instincts are correct!
Separation of Brand vs. Non-Brand:
It’s simple math. It costs more money to reach consumers who DO NOT already know your brand. Over time, the brand takes “all of the credit” because that is how everyone searches for you. But, here’s the catch. Getting to that phase in consumer behavior can be difficult to achieve, especially on the wallet. Here are a couple strategies that can not only help the wallet, but also the align the expectations.
- Leverage Google Display, Mobile and YouTube Video networks
- Low cost ($ 0.10 – $ 1.00 CPC/CPV).
- More continuous visibility.
- Expectations are set to branding only.
- Utilize micro-targeting of Social media for specific audience testing
- Target specific audience segments within a short period of time.
- High volume allows for multi-variate ad testing.
- Conversion tracking pixels allow for full analytics reporting.
Monetize Everything Under the Sun
This may sound like a “no-brainer” to some of you, but startups tend to forget that measuring success is more than just placing an order or a form submission. Often, little things like email signups, chat sessions and phone calls eventually lead to “real” conversions later on in the buying cycle. It’s important for everyone involved to consider these little conversions in the overall big picture. In some instances, these interactions act as a barometer when something is wrong or unclear and can help improve usability within the website experience.
Startups are faced with tough decisions when it comes to advertising due to their limited Ad budgets. They also cannot afford to, “bet the farm” on something that they heard at a conference or read in a case study. In 2016, consumers are everywhere (Google Search, Facebook Ads. YouTube. Twitter Ads, etc…) and startups need to leverage all of the platforms to maximize their exposure. They also need to understand that certain ad platforms serve different purposes as well as perform better than others.
As someone who has been fortunate enough to be a part both the Startup and Digital Agency World, it pains me to witness the many recurring mistakes that are happening by bringing these two worlds together. The Agency wants the business and the Startup wants the best and smartest people to “grow their baby”. It all sounds like a “no-brainer’ right? Well, this perfect situation can sometimes be clouded by one of the most bastardized words in the client-agency relationship – Expectations. In this post, I will highlight some of the misconceptions that could, at the very least, help the next Startup as they prepare to show their product/service to the world.
How to Play the Digital Agency Game:
Don’t get me wrong. There are many highly reputable Marketing Agencies in the world that do not fit this description. On the other hand, there are some other Agencies that work on a different playing field that is not financially supportive of Startups. Most agencies take a 15% commission of Ad Spend regardless of performance or the companies financial situation. These agencies often provide a “Production Line” level level of service that question the actual time spend which leads to the overall client performance. Beware of agencies that promise GOLD and deliver pennies.
What Startups really need from an Agency:
- 100% transparency of where and how their money is being spent.
- Daily Direct communication with the Strategist/Marketer.
- Less than 24 hour turn-around times for typical updates.
- Level of ongoing Education on how the digital advertising world works.
Big Agency Regurgitation
I have witnessed many horror stories over the years from prospects/clients from either a performance or client relationship with a previous agency. The one thing that all of them had in common was the lack of achievable expectations. Situations such as poor communication, lackluster performance and just an overall bad experience have not only left a bitter taste in their mouth but also question the entire agency experience. Moreover, this feeling of being “burned” has motivated their thinking to bring the marketing “in-house” as the only alternative to reaching success. This is not a good thing….
As a big fan of conferences, they often open your eyes to a whole new world of innovation, prosperity and vision for business owners and that’s a great thing. However, it can sometimes backfire to the point of confusion and anxiety of what to focus on first. It is very easy for Entrepreneurs to get “over-excited” about the latest bells and whistles in software, automation and analytics. They are told that once they have these tools in their toolbox, they can turn their business into a fortune 100 company instantly.
Unfortunately, a reality check is needed to bring everyone down from this “high” and re-focus on the core issue at hand which is identifying, engaging and converting with their core audiences within a sensible budget. Remember, investing in Shiny Objects make you vulnerable, not successful.
The Misunderstanding of Monetization
In some instances, both advertisers and agencies, often forget to track every interaction point and that little oversight can be an unfortunate mistake. This assumed “low-hanging” fruit for tracking things other than traditional eCommerce/Lead Gen Forms such as (below) can completely skew overall performance and future optimization which could be devastating to startups as they hunger for continual growth.
- Contact Forms
- Email Newsletter Signups
- Live Chats
- Phone Calls
- Pageviews of a particular page can lead to
Mistrust of the Case Study
Case Studies are a great source for understanding the successes of a particular experience that allow the reader to adapt to new ideas and strategies. However, you need to be careful not put to put too much emphasis on the successes of these studies because of the substantiated factors which often lead inaccuracy. Here are some examples:
- Geography (Some of these studies reference a specific GEO area and not the wider population)
- Singular view and opinion. Often, these studies are done by a small group of people which may have biased opinions based on data collected.
- Case Studies are often used as a “Toot your own horn” strategy to generate more business. (Google is pretty good at that)
Don’t Bet the Farm
I can understand the anxieties of Startups where they want to launch their business with a big bang. However, spending too much too fast (especially in the PPC marketing world) can completely ruin their chances for steady sustainable growth. It’s imperative to start testing “right out of the gate” as well as identifying the quick wins and losses. Moreover, you will need to develop strategies to generate relevent traffic and awareness through alternative methods such as Social Media, SEO and quite frankly “word of mouth”. To prove this theory, just a take a look at these screenshots from SpyFu’s Monthly Trend function.
Outside Opinion Overload
Yes, it’s important to get as much feedback as possible when launching a new company. However, getting advice from people who think they know certain aspects of online marketing because they read an article or attended a conference, can be a slippery slope. Taking advice and/or criticism from someone “on the outside” that completely contradicts the vision of both your business partners and hired experts can be harmful to the business. This 3rd party opinion is often made without any understanding of what it takes to implement as well as its expected outcome. Whether it’s strategies about Landing Pages, Brand vs. Non-Brand, or even simple things such as Promotions and Offers can have a negative effect on revenue if not discussed by everyone on the team.
Solution: Soak up all of the feedback you can get, discuss with your team and agree to label these new ideas as “TEST” Campaigns and analyze the heck out of them.
Forecast Projection Failures
How many times have you seen someone simply create excel formulas which magically forecast the future of online marketing revenue based on a single monetary amount. (For example, if we increase our budget from $ 10,000 to $ 100,000 we will generate an additional $ 1 million dollars.) Yeah, I wish that were all true. However, that is not the case. The math may sound great to a Venture Capitalist/Investor, but it’s just not realistic.
- Take in account the following scenarios:
- Market Saturation Levels
- Seasonality Highs/Lows
- Potential Technical issues
- Search Engine Algorithm changes
- Increased Competitor landscape
“Off the Mark” Target Audiences
Hate to say this, but I have witnessed startup companies that thought they new their audiences and it wasn’t until they over-spent their PPC dollars and countless Landing Page A/B test to come to that realization. Selling a product or service requires more than just a few hours of typical market research. When it comes to online marketing, either hire a PPC Consultant or purchase PPC Competitive Research Software such as SpyFu.com to see some of these invaluable competitor information:
- Monthly Budget Trends
- PPC and SEO Keywords
- Top Text Ads
- Their own PPC and SEO Competitors
- Review monthly and seasonality trends
- Compare up to (3) three competitors and see which terms they are all bidding on.
Here’s an example:
Whether you are building a Startup company or growing an existing one, the agency experience should be a positive one. However, dealing with the “dog eat dog” agency world when it comes to trust, expectations and continual growth is unfortunate and should never happen. I hope this blog post, at the very least, has provided some insight into preventing these situations as well as learning from them. Finding the right agency partner is just as important as finding the right target audience.
As Marketers our job is to not only interpret analytics data, but to also provide a summary of the performance and apply recommendations for future strategies, forecasting and on-going testing. However, this standard metric of decoding is not enough and we need to find a better way to communicate successes and failures that the client can understand. That is why storytelling is just as important now than it was when we are in Kindergarten when the teacher read us a story in a circle.
In this post, I will highlight the importance of storytelling with the client which not only helps the client understand, but also reinforces the client-agency relationship.
Storytelling is also a Science
As marketers, early on we are classically trained to become proficient in Excel, Powerpoint and (my personal favorite) writing on whiteboards so that we can be perceived as smartest one in the room. These elements of communication comprise of bullet points, summarizations, goals and objectives, sales vs. cost projections, etc… On the contrary, we are most likely doing it all wrong. There have been many studies and published articles that debunk this MBA/classroom method and reinforce the one of oldest and most fundamental communication methods.
In an very “eye-opening” article by Lifehacker.com published back in 2012 entitled “The Science of Storytelling: Why Telling a Story is the Most Powerful Way to Activate Our Brains“, author Leo Widrich states “It’s in fact quite simple. If we listen to a powerpoint presentation with boring bullet points, a certain part in the brain gets activated. Scientists call this Broca’s area and Wernicke’s area. Overall, it hits our language processing parts in the brain, where we decode words into meaning. And that’s it, nothing else happens. When we are being told a story, things change dramatically. Not only are the language processing parts in our brain activated, but any other area in our brain that we would use when experiencing the events of the story are too.“ So in essence, telling stories not only puts our entire brain to work it also allows the storyteller to put ideas and thoughts into the listeners brain as well.
Complexities of Storytelling
For most clients, they do not care too much about CTR%, AVG positions, bounce rates, etc… they want to know what is causing their cash register to ring below are some of the common questions they are mostly concerned about:
- What’s working and why?
- Whats not working and why?
- Why are sales down this month as compared to last month?
- How can we generate more sales without increasing the budget, etc…
Because of this difference in understanding success metrics, marketers need to take all of the Analytics data (which are considered very complex by clients) and transform them into a story/language that they can understand. For example, lets suppose that the client saw a 50% increase in sales coming from their “Brand Terms” in Adwords as compared to the previous month. Instead of just providing them with increased performance metrics such as CTR%, Conversion rates, etc.., marketers need to do a little digging around and form a story that they can understand.
A story would be something like:
“Well, since we added more generalized “non-branded” terms as well as your interview on the local TV station, a larger audience of people who were not familiar with your brand before, typed your brand into Google and clicked on the PPC Text Ads. ” It is this type of success story that can create that “light bulb” in the heads of the client to ensure them that they are prospering their investment in you or your agency.”
Leveraging Web Analytics Data to Feed the Story
Just looking at common performance data is simply not enough to tell a story. Marketers need to look at various layers of data to comprise a story that can makes sense to the client. Identifying these interesting and important metrics such as hour of day, day of the week. GEO by state, metro area, city, direct/bookmark, conversion funnels, etc… These are examples of the metrics, combined with overall performance data is what makes up the holistic story that the client needs to hear. Moreover, these stories often lead to future optimization strategies and testing which is great for the client-agency relationship.
Trying to explain all of the intricate metrics and what they mean to a client is hard enough. But simplifying the data and creating a story around it, even as an “ice-breaker” at the beginning of the conversation, helps the client feel like they made the right choice in hiring you. The one thing we need to remember is that a story, if broken down into the simplest form, is a connection of cause and effect and that is what clients need to understand.