Optimisation and the blind sales man

blindmanA man walks in to his favourite clothing store to purchase a new bow-tie. As he approaches the tie rack a newly hired sales assistance approaches, extends a hand and says to the man,

“Welcome sir, today is your lucky day! We have a special on ladies dress shoes that would be perfect for you! Since you are new to the store I can sign you up to our mail list for free but only if you buy the shoes now.”

With that he shoves a pair of $700 Jimmy Choos into the customers hands. The would be customer is agitated at the misdirected interrupting sales assailant and promptly leaves.

“I’ll even throw in a free tiara!” calls the sales assistant.

If you were the manager of the clothing store you’d question the effectiveness of your new sales member. In fact you’d probably consider him to be a natural Sales Zero and consider sending him for an eye test.

Now imagine that same man returned to the store again in and cautiously approaches the bow tie rack. An experienced sales assistant approaches and recognises the man as a regular. He extends his hand and says “welcome back sir, I can see you are looking for a bow-tie, we have a special on silk polka dots today and as a returning customer if you purchase a tie I can offer $20 off a matching shirt.” – a true Sales Hero effort.

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.

How many times in the past 24 hours have you browsed one of your favourite web sites and had to scroll over several, articles or promotions or click around a few links to find what YOU wanted or something that interested YOU? Web sites are terrifically uninterested in you as an individual. They mostly exist to serve the masses. They don’t care that you don’t want free shipping. They’re not interested in your gender, your age. They certainly don’t care about the weather.

Digital Optimisation 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.

Optimisation should be key to any business conducting online marketing. An integrated continuous optimisation program allows businesses to utilise hard data to understand how visitors (prospects!), on a one to one level, react to different marketing campaigns, promotions and experiences and utilise that data to deliver targeted and meaningful content.

This optimised 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.

Optimisation can provide unprecedented insight into users behaviour. 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 optimisation program’s can provide valuable and sometimes surprising information about your customers purchasing behaviours. 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.

Business who run even basic optimisation program’s enjoy 10-30+% gains in online sales activity and digital expenditure. The data and insight can be utilised 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 prioritisation creating strategic, effective long and short term tactical programs for all digital marketing efforts.

A robust web site optimisation tool such as Adobe Target powered by a strategic optimsiation program can return many times on investment across a businesses entire online marketing expenditure and turn blind sales zero web sites into the #1 Sales Hero and trusted business advisor.

It’s no wonder then Digital optimisation is fast becoming an focus area of many businesses. Everyone from SMB to corporate enterprises are embracing or exploring optimisation at some level.

Digital Optimisation is a practice which spans many disciplines including business analysis, data insights, campaign strategisation, user experience and interface design and technological development.

But digital optimisation can be mastered by using agile, cross-functional teams, and implementing some simple business processes.

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