Today’s marketers have a lot to keep track of. When I talk to Optimizely customers, I’m humbled by the number of moving parts involved in running marketing campaigns—the messaging, the email cadence, the social media strategy, the paid advertising. And that’s just execution. Once all of these parts are accounted, there’s hardly any bandwidth left for measurement.
They’re so busy thinking about how to get everything out the door that they forget to think about how all of this investment tracks towards added business value. In other words, optimizing these campaigns takes a backseat to getting them done. Through conversations with customers I’ve learned that many marketers operate as if there’s a wall between marketing campaigns and optimization.
This wall results in wasted budgets and sub-optimal results. If marketers want to ensure that they’re getting the most value out of the platforms they’re spending money on to drive traffic to marketing campaigns, then actively testing the web experience connected to all of these channels is essential.
In other words, testing is critical to drive more return on investment from each marketing channel.
How to make marketing campaigns ROI positive
We know that more traffic, more content, more ads is not the answer to ROI because more eyeballs on your brand doesn’t necessarily translate into revenue. Designing web experiences based on intuition doesn’t equate to conversions either. The step between executing a campaign and seeing return on investment from it is creating a high quality website experience where eyeballs become leads, opportunities, and revenue.
In our experience, marketers who prioritize both traffic generation and conversion optimization will see efficiencies and increases in ROI. Traffic generation and CRO can help you build a conversion engine.
The parts of this engine are all of the marketing channels you’re using to drive traffic to your site. Each component is optimizable.
Search engine marketing.
If you’re spending money to bring people to your site, you should be investing in tools to turn those visitors into customers. Your search engine marketing spend is a primary optimizable component of your conversion engine because it’s highly trackable. The insights you discover by A/B testing landing pages targeted to SEM traffic are applicable to other channels of paid advertising as well. Messages, images or page flow that converts well here may result in a win on other channels like social media or display advertising.
Outside of your brand’s main website, customers and prospective customers have many opportunities to engage with you. You should think of channels like your support portal, user community, and social media accounts as optimizable parts of a campaign that lead to ROI. Questions to ask yourself are,how do you get your content to be shared more on social channels? How can you leverage people in your community to refer friends?
The consumer uses a mobile device to research, purchase and compare items from a number of different places ranging from in the store to on the couch. Should the mobile experience be the same for each of those various contexts?
A/B testing mobile experiences will enable brands to understand evolving consumer behavior and profit like they should from this mobile explosion.
Most marketers today see paid search, email marketing, search engine optimization, and social media as crucial elements to their success. The tools that allow them to test and optimize these channels should be the next word on that list. Marketers who understand that making decisions based on data and experimentation, not gut, instinct and opinion will be more successful. And this is a bet I’m willing to test…
For more information on building optimization into every campaign, check out our ebook about how to build a culture of optimization at your company.
Image credit: Katie Thebeau via Flickr
About the Author
Dan Siroker is the Co-Founder & CEO of Optimizely, a dramatically easier way to A/B test your website. The inspiration for Optimizely came from Danb s experience as the Director of Analytics for the Obama Presidential Campaign and Deputy New Media Director for the Presidential Transition. Before Optimizely, Dan co-founded an online math game for kids called CarrotSticks. He was formerly a Product Manager for Google Chrome and AdWords. Dan graduated with Honors from Stanford University with a B.S. in Computer Science.