Brain Vibe

marketing muses to stay engaged

Social Media Insight to Optimize Paid Search and Display

What if you could target your search engine marketing (SEM) efforts in paid search and display the way you target your direct marketing efforts?  Analysis of your b2b social media networks may give you that edge.

In my quest to get more out of social media than just followers and a soapbox platform, I am looking at what content my network follows, reads, and shares more closely.  In my last post I talked about the analysis of hashtags in tweets, and how that could help me better understand the personas of my network.

Now I am looking at what else I can gather and what I could do with this.  In particular, I am interested in the content being shared: blogs, web pages, video, etc.  The titles tags, description meta tags, and urls all have keywords that tell a lot about interest areas and build a richer persona.  This step got me thinking, could I tighten alignment to my network by optimizing…?

  • My paid search to reflect keyword tendencies in shared content
  • My display placement based on sites aligned to my market offers
  • The SEO on my own website

Right now, SEM allows anonymity which creates challenges when you want to focus digital marketing efforts on existing customers or known prospects.  My paid search and media plans look at broad behavior, demographics, and firmographics but specifics on their web patters at the individual level is sketchy.  However, if I align my followers to my customer list and profile their specific personas compared to the broader market, I get much closer to a targeted campaign.  This makes my digital efforts more closely resemble my direct marketing efforts – smaller targets, highly relevant content shared, higher conversion.

Another reason to think about  b2b social media beyond influence marketing and make it work to drive revenue and customer relationships.


Filed under: b2b, blogging, customer relationship, social media marketing, Web Analytics, , , ,

Understanding the Real Social Media Persona in B2B

Buyer Persona and ProcessWhat do you really know about your social media followers, friends, and network?

Interestingly, most marketers only have a high level understanding of the real persona those connected to them through social media.  Relegated to a PR mesurement, anonymity is the norm; influence (Klout) and perception are the KPIs.  And, to be honest, I wonder if a high level understanding of the social media persona is really understood – let alone connected to a B2B marketers prime target audience.

If you are like many, the most you get to show for your social media effort is a warm and fuzzy around your brand.  To be honest, the B2B CEO doesn’t care about overall brand perception in the market, he or she cares about the targeted set of buyers that connect with your value proposition.  If that is 10% of the market, then you better have 8% – 10% market share, 80% footprint with the customer, and a net promotor score of highly likely with over 60% of your customer base.  That is the goal in the mind of the B2B CEO, realistic or not.  At a minimum, it is what resonates and is understandable in the corner office.

For B2B marketing, brand awareness and perception just isn’t good enough.  On top of that, those metrics you track in social media don’t connect to the demand creation activities.  Corporate communications and demand creation remain silos within the marketing organization as they always have.  ROI of corporate communications remains a perceived high cost factor in the marketing budget with little connection to revenue generation, except anecdotally.

The reality is that the majority of your followers, friends, and network overall are silent.  Any social media measurement means nothing when assessing your influence on your marketing buying processes.  Structured around influence and reach, the only thing today’s current measurements really tell you are who can you leverage to SHOUT OUT your message?  The only ones that care about this are your PR agency as this is what they are paid to do.  Your marketing department is responsible for generating revenue directly and indirectly.

It is time we get better at understanding of the Social Media Buyer Persona of our customers, not the Shouters.  The reality is that many times in B2B the social media influencers are the vendors and consultants, not the buyers.  If we really want to know our buyers we need to understand what they read, what they share, and what they do to step into engagement.  It is more than the tag on the link to the blog or marketing campaign landing page.  We need to extend beyond our controlled digital environment and link to the digital environment that our customers interact with to understand.  We aren’t there yet.

The buying process is currently beyond what we track today.  It is time to think about how to connect the anonymous social media and digital environment to our B2B marketing waterfall.

Filed under: b2b, crm, customer relationship, Decision Cycle, social media, social media marketing, Web Analytics, , , ,

Web Analytics Is Not Just A Campaign Optimization Tool

Web analytics is as much about customer and market intelligence as it is about marketing performance.  Too much focus on the tactic and the marketing funnel and you begin to loose sight of who you are marketing to and why you want to.  This is a trap that many companies fall into and why web analytics is relegated to back room technical types and not at the forefront of helping to define strategies and drive business objectives along side strategy, market research, and customer intelligence.

The anonymous web is not so anonymous.  In fact, there is more known about a customer through web analytics than what you will learn in CRM systems.  Even if you don’t have a name, email, or phone number, there is a lot to be learned about how to engage and convert the right customers because customers explicitly tell you what they like, dislike, and what makes them tick by what they click, comment on, search, and purchase.  So, why are we only using web analytics to measure the marketing funnel?

Customer segmentation is a recognized cornerstone in marketing.  Market research and customer analysis has always provided a rich segmentation of our market and customers but failed because behavior and personas never matched into clean distinctions from a demographic perspective.  Direct marketing and sales organizations require age, income, size of company, industry, location, etc. to filter and pinpoint communications.  Without this data, web analytics is left with the behavior and persona.  That incremental business that was elusive through traditional efforts is now attainable through web marketing and measurable through web analytics specifically because these efforts take into account behavior and personas.

Today, web marketing is still founded and modeled on the fundamentals of direct marketing efforts.  The problem with this is that the rich information of behavior and personas is only lightly touched upon in a keyword or offer copy.  This surface level perspective is only followed up on in acquisition efforts during optimization, thus a simplification of a simplified approach.  A broader categorization and management of targeting and behavioral data needs to be created in order to not only improve conversion, but to also better understand our customers.  Through categorization we have the means to segment on behavior and persona just as we had created segments in market research of our markets.  The benefit here is that the connection is made, you truly do know your customer, and this information can be pushed back up into the overall marketing strategy addressing message, position, offers, as well as targeting.

As companies shift their marketing dollars to online tactics and in turn driving more business through these online efforts, web analytics can no long be about campaign optimization and performance alone.  There are significant customer and market insights that can be gained augmenting and improving marketing strategy to do more than keeping status quo, it can help you gain incremental business by better positioning to your market.

Filed under: Buisness Intelligence, market intelligence, performance management, Web Analytics, , , ,

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



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