Brain Vibe

marketing muses to stay engaged

Death of a Landing Page

Let’s talk landing page optimization.  At it’s essence you optimize for the acquisition – lead capture, purchase.  Why does a landing page only have to be optimized for bottom of the funnel results?

That’s what I’ve been toying with of late for our b2b marketing efforts.  When I’ve bounced this off my fellow marketers they either look at me like I’m crazy, or nod their heads pretending to agree but, they think I’m crazy.

I’m looking at ways to engage the market along their buying process, not my sales engagement model.  Sometimes, people that gather information just aren’t ready to speak with a telemarketer or sales person. Why ruin the beginnings of a great relationship with a hard sell?

So, now I’m looking at our online marketing efforts (ppc and display) and thinking about killing landing pages.  Not in all cases, they are still useful for those that are ready to talk.  But, for campaigns that are aimed as top of the funnel engagement, why bother?

Here is my thinking, if I’m working a campaign that is top of the funnel, why not leverage a portal page design within my company’s website that are content rich with lots of interaction points, including bottom of the funnel captures.  How about designing the entry point to my products, solutions, and services areas so that they have landing page qualities positioning content options based on the visitor need – education, evaluation, community.  I should be doing this anyway, so why not leverage within the context of my online advertising efforts?

If done right,

  • visitors have options to engage with my company to build and deepen the relationship with us, increasing the chances they remain a customer or eventually buy our solutions and services
  • retargeting efforts for bottom of the funnel investment should improve in effectiveness and efficiency
  • I can track visitor behavior and improve my lead scoring providing higher quality leads to sales

The other reason I’m considering moving forward with this is that it provides a more integrated and consistent approach to communicating and interacting with the market.  It forces online advertising to better assimilate and integrate with marketing campaigns, improving overall effectiveness.  It also creates a seamlessness between online ads, social media, and the website.

The biggest push back I’m getting is from inside sales who think I’m going to dry up their lead queue.  I think that is nonsense.  If anything, it should not only increase the quality that is passed, but by building relationships vs. going in for the kill we have the opportunity not to loose leads in our process.  By thinking about the buying process overall, online advertising becomes richer in its ability to attract and interact across a wider audience increasing lead volume and producing a larger and more long term pool of customers for near and long term sales.

Have you tried this out in your b2b online marketing strategy?  Did it work?  Or, am I really crazy?


Filed under: Lead management, marketing/advertising, social media, , , , ,

Web Analytics: Caught Up In the Click

When I talk to my fellow search and online display marketers about web analytics, they look at me like I have two heads and crossed eyes.  They focus on optimizations made at the conversion – its the old marketing funnel. I care about who is converting and who is not.  Internet marketers say, “Who cares if you hit your target conversion volume at the right price when they could be the people that will leave you in a heart beat rather than be real customers with ongoing revenue?  Customer satisfaction, customer retention, that’s the job for Customer Service.”  Well, you should care.

Internet marketers need to think like their program marketers.  They need to be asking the same questions and align to their organizational goals.  The way to do this is through analysis of converter profiles and behavior analysis.  This way you do what we all say we should do:  target the right people, at the right time, with the right message/offer.  It isn’t enough to drive volume, you want to drive quality in that volume.  It is much more expensive to acquire new unfamiliar customers than it is to convert those that are already considering you or are you customers.  This is true whether it is internet marketing or offline marketing.  Why convert customers that will make a small purchase, then dump you later when you can convert a customer that is interested in your products now and later on?  Keep the short-timers in the mix at an optimal rate to maintain revenue, but it’s the long term customer that will be profitable in over time.

Think about your over arching marketing plan.  A key component is who your ideal customer is and how do you bring them in, keep them, and grow their value.  Somehow this is getting lost when you put in your big ad spends on paid search and display advertising.  In the tactic, the measure is at the ad group, placement, key word, creative, offer/call-to-action.  It is all about optimizing increases in conversion volume to site at the lowest cost.  We need to flip this over and go back to also looking at if we are converting the right people.

Converter Analysis

Take your campaign analysis down one more level.  Look at who is making a purchase on your site and what they are purchasing.  Are the purchaser profiles aligned to your broader targeting strategy?  If you were going after 30-something new mothers in affluent metros, were a high proportion of those purchases in this group, or were they 50-something grandparents in retirement communities?  The first may offer repeat purchases as new mothers will continue to purchase items over the growing years of their babies.  Grandparents or relatives may only complete a one-time purchase for the baby-shower.  You’ve already done the research to say where to get the most opportunity short term and long term, make sure your internet marketing effort supporting this.

Behavioral Analysis

Now that you know what your converted customer looks like, move upstream to their internet behavior.  Analyze your ad groups and key word searches and compare customer segments.  Recognizing attribution as it pertains to segment targeting will allow you to optimize more surgically.  On the surface particular tactics may appear to be driving the greatest conversion.  But, this may not be the case as it pertains to who you want to attract.  Through behavioral analysis you’ll better position your ad spend for behavioral targeting and optimize your online display dollars.

Becoming a better internet marketer is as much about effectiveness as it is about efficiency.  Effectiveness comes not only from volume of conversions but having the right volume of quality conversions.  Optimize not only to the volume.  Optimize to the segment you wanted to reach in the first place.

Filed under: business intelligence, Lead management, metrics, Web Analytics

B2B Lead Nurturing is Not Linear

Lead Nurturing Lead PassIt is much easier and cheaper to work with people that know you than it is to build a new realm.  That is what many marketers and companies are realizing as they shift marketing investment.  Lead nurturing is now more important than ever.  Yet, if you analyze your database, what does lead nurturing look like?  When is a lead qualified to truly enter into the sales cycle?

Demand and lead generation steps have typically progressed from response to lead pass without adequate filtering or analysis that a lead is ready to engage in the sales process.  This has hurt marketing’s credibility in generating real value to the pipeline.  It has put the work on sales to ‘clean’ the database and have them focus energy on leads that aren’t interested or ready for personal connection and may be of lower value than cold calling.  Additionally, some companies try to alleviate this by adding a telemarketing stage prior to a lead pass to personally assess and qualify a lead for the pass.  This can be a costly investment for marketing if again, it is putting leads into this step of the process before leads are fully baked.  Yet, that doesn’t have to be the case.  Properly analyzing and defining leads or groups of leads by their activity within an account can offer sales insight that puts them closer to the opportunity.  This is where lead nurturing can be a strategic effort rather than a tactical process.

Traditional lead tracking reports show a linear funnel from response to disposition within a campaign or program which mimics the linear aspect of the lead process.  In reality, leads have most likely been associated across campaigns, social media marketing interactions, organic web visitations, and even events or interactions with sales and other organizations.  How leads interact, where they go, the frequency, and topic concentration tells you a lot about how ready they are to enter a sales engagement process.  Additionally, compared and correlated to other leads within the same organization, you get a good picture of account readiness and opportunity.

This analysis in many cases is conducted to create target segments as launch pads for new campaigns.  Leveraged within a lead nurturing process, it can be the used as the decision point for when it is best to pass a lead to sales.  It becomes what qualifies the lead to move on vs. relying solely on a single response point on its own or in a linear context.  In fact, analyzed properly, reports and dashboards can be provided to sales that provide a picture of high opportunity areas within their accounts that they may not have seen.  For instance, an up-tic in white paper readership and participating or scanning of social media marketing content on products within an account might provide account managers early warnings that companies are assessing new solutions.  By having a report that provides context on the customer relationship provides sales a greater ability to pick up on the lead nurturing process without having to wait for marketing to pass the lead themselves.

Today, leads are classified as meeting minimum requirements of responding to a campaign and having check boxes of information filled out.  Lead nurturing is really about understanding interactions with your customers and how those interactions are indicators for next steps in the relationship.  Analyzing and recognizing patterns within your contact and account databases is more than identifying segments for targeting new messages and offers.  Used strategically it can be a transition point in your lead pass process improving your ability to generate business and reduce resources and budget through better focus.

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Filed under: business intelligence, crm, Lead management, , , , , , , , , , , ,



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