Though many often compare the website of a business to a virtual storefront, a great website should actually perform more like a sales force. Beyond displaying your brand, services and products, your website should effectively increase the bottom line. The goal of your website should not only be to attract visitors but also to drive more sales and more revenue.
Traditionally, there are two solutions to an underperforming website:
- Bring more traffic
- Convert more of your traffic into customers or users
People tend to turn to tactics such as A/B testing to find out which version of a page converts best. They test out colors, copy and buttons. Some turn to paid channels to increase traffic but budgets can cause limiting and ineffective results. These methods definitely have value, but there is much more that you can do.
One extremely effective approach is web personalization.
Reach the Right Person with the Right Message at the Right Time
Web personalization involves monitoring the behaviors and actions of those on your site to determine what needs and wants each of them has. Once you have this data, it is used to customize and personalize the messages they see while they are on your site.
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Lead generation is becoming simpler in practical terms—it’s easier than ever before to find and nurture prospective customers. But the forces driving it are complex, including the integration of marketing and sales tools and continued industry consolidation. “Today, all these tools, including marketing automation, CRM and email, are talking to one another,” said Adam Blitzer, VP-b2b marketing automation at ExactTarget’s Pardot. “Because of API management, every channel I use in marketing communicates with each other.” Blitzer said this new world of interconnectivity is particularly important not just for connecting all the marketing operations dots but also because customers prefer to communicate in different ways.
“Say you collect someone’s data from a Web form,” Blitzer said. “Being able to pass that seamlessly to a direct mail or email system is a powerful thing. Or consider when an email recipient clicks on a link. He then will visit a landing page with more engaging information, which in turn can trigger a direct mail piece.”
These capabilities weren’t possible a few years ago, he said.
Over the next two weeks, IDG Connect is serializing commentary from industry experts on marketing 2013 predictions. We feature expert opinion on the key trends in 2013, and regional outlooks on what 2013 holds for marketing around the world.
Marketers have been trying to understand consumer behavior and motivations since the dawn of advertising and propaganda. Technology – from the earliest form of radio broadcasts and then TV – has had a deep impact on how marketing campaigns are strategized and executed. Today’s marketers have resources at their fingertips to get deep consumer insights based on their online and mobile behavior – capabilities that Don Draper and his team would do anything to get their hands on.
Each year, technology gets more precise at targeting the most interested consumers with the highest purchase intents. What trends will we see in 2013?
Mobile ads will grow
I might as well start the predictions off with the most obvious one. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard that mobile advertising is growing at an exponential rate. That’s because it works, and it works because the technology to enable it keeps getting more precise. As companies are able to discern more granular information about mobile users’ behaviors (device, location, etc.) the success of mobile ads will grow.
Reliance on first-party cookies
In the desktop world, marketers had things figured out. By attaching their cookies to popular sites such as NYTimes.com, they could track a user’s behavior, learn more about them and target ads specific to their behaviors. But iOS doesn’t allow third-party cookies, and neither does Android (it’s possible to get around this on Android, but it’s not reliable). But now brands realize the value of mobile ads, and that means they’re ready to do something about it.
What are the most powerful ways B2B lead generation marketers will be using big data in 2013?
1. Some may say attribution – understanding which channels, content, and messaging is working best.
2. Others may claim personalization and engagement scoring – delivering the right message to the right person at the right time.
3. A few may argue sales efficiency and effectiveness – giving the sales department more relevant information at the right time, helping to close more business faster.
4. But ultimately, I believe the most compelling case can be made for closing the loop – from marketing lead to sale and ultimately maximizing true ROI.
To be fair, I introduced these use cases in my last post, “What’s the Big Deal With Big Data.” And I do believe closing the loop is the most compelling, so let’s take a closer look here.
A recent consumer survey by IDGTechNetwork showed that video plays a vital role in the purchasing decisions of today’s electronics and technology consumers. But it’s not just standard video advertising that we are talking about. They look for a variety of content that will help them make a better informed decision and then tend to act on the information that they’ve found. Here’s a quick breakdown of the survey results.
Before I talk about the results I wanted to give you a run down of how the data was collected. It was an online survey aimed at ‘better understanding the demographic profile of the IDGTechNetwork audience.‘ The research was done via online invitations to complete the survey by ‘editorial stakeholders of sites within the IDGTechNetwork.‘ The responses were collected from April 30th to August 24th of this year.
With an audience of 130 million unique visitors and 2,354 respondents we get a margin of error right around 2%. Of course, that’s about half of the US online audience. It’s hard to say what percentage of the online video viewing audience in the US it is though as we don’t know if all 130 million of them watch video online monthly. I haven’t seen IDG on any comScore or Nielsen report as either a publisher (10th place in May was 11.4M video viewers for Nielsen, comScore is much higher) or an online video ad network.