For most businesses these days their web site is a primary and significant sales tool responsible for a large percentile of business revenue. It is the on-line digital sales man of the business and it interacts with more customers each day then the best human sales man could ever hope.
Yet the vast majority of businesses operate with an online sales tool that is completely blind, dumb and deaf when it comes to this interaction. It is the biggest Sales Zero in the business. If it was a human it would sit in the corner and drawl on the water cooler. Only some parts of him would work and sometimes none of him at all. And he would eat all of the nice cookies from the communal kitchen cookie jar.
Digital Optimization is the practice of turning your businesses most critical salesman, your web site, from a blind sales zero to a visionary sales hero. It does this by infusion sophisticated artificial intelligence and leverage hard data and insights to respond to an individual users traits.
Optimization spans two distinct yet intimately related disciplines. Testing and Targeting. Testing is the process of understanding user behavior. This is achieved by monitoring the performance of different variations of content against different groups of users. By quantifying just how well a variation of the “default” experience performs, you begin to answer the fundamental yet critical business questions. How effective is my digital marketing at a granular level? What is the return on investment from the digital marketing expenditure on this particular campaign or channel? What are the most valuable groups or “segments” of user, which are the least and what can we do to improve. How can we create a better experience for our customers?
There is no such thing as bad test. Thomas Edison, the inventor of the light globe famously said when he was testing different versions of his light globe. “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Even negative lift or under-performing experiences teach us something. They teach us what not to do. I always say that this is just as, if not more so important then undertaking what actually works.
Targeting is the process of responding to that understanding. to delivering the right content, promotions, experiences to the right segments at the right time. It is putting the content the user wants to consume, in front of the user. It’s about delivering relevant promotions, advertisement, products and services.
Optimization should be key to any business conducting online marketing. An integrated continuous optimization program allows businesses to utilize hard data to understand how visitors (prospects!), on a one to one level, react to different marketing campaigns, promotions and experiences and utilize that data to deliver targeted and meaningful content.
This optimized visitor experience vastly increase the likelihood of a visitor performing an action that s valuable to a business such as a sale, a sign-up or a lead generation.
Optimization can provide unprecedented insight into users behavior. Different users and groups of users, will respond completely differently to one promotion then another. Some people like green. Some people prefer blue. Some people want to research your product before they purchase. Some just want to buy and go to an early lunch.
The data provided by optimization programs can provide valuable and sometimes surprising information about your customers purchasing behaviors. This new found understanding can provide a wealth of information about which campaigns are effective, which products are popular with who, which clients are interested in certain services.
Businesses who run even basic optimization program’s enjoy 10-30+% gains in online sales activity and digital expenditure. The data and insight can be utilized to measure lift and return in investment from online expenditure in real world dollar amounts.
Armed with this data, businesses can make informed decisions about digital marketing budget allocation and campaign prioritization creating strategic, effective long and short term tactical programs for all digital marketing efforts.