One of the Biggest New Forms of Online Marketing Exists Within the Data and Information Surrounding Us—How, Then, Can Marketers Use It to Bring In Revenue?
In Other Words: How Can You Convert Your Online Audience Into Paying Customers.
More Data-Driven Marketing Related Content from HVMA:
► The Future Of Personalization in Digital Marketing
► Using Identity Resolution To Create A 360-Degree View Of Your Customers
► Predictive Analytics in the Booming Casino Industry
► Omnichannel Marketing – The Ultimate Marketing Pathway
There’s a commonly referred to the phrase in the world of digital marketing: “consumers don’t hate advertising. They hate bad advertising.” Namely, annoying pop-ups on their web browser, or poorly-timed infomercials during a suspenseful televised show or movie. They could manifest as flashy and obnoxious product ads within email marketing campaigns, or especially as in-app bombardment by third-party brands peddling products while a user struggles fervently to just use the app.
We’re all quite familiar with these and many other stories of modern marketing nightmares from the customer’s side. We, as consumers, whether operating our own brands and companies or even or not, subconsciously carry the same take on our interactions with brands and businesses as any other person—whether we want to admit it or not. This belief is that we are indeed special, should be made to feel important, valued and prioritized and should be provided with a seamless user experience within any customer journey. Why, then, do firms exhaust their resources in putting out tone-deaf, poor-quality ad efforts that miss the mark and cause more bounces than lead conversions?
In giving such disregard to a fundamental ideology that moves the very gears of a business, the most invaluable asset to any company—people—is being foregone just as well. As such, consumers won’t linger and wait for a company to fix their blunder—audiences will leave just as fast as they appear. Modern shoppers only hate one thing more than wasting time, and that’s getting their time wasted by a tone-deaf company!
The key to understanding your unknown consumers, identifying them, uncovering their needs and fulfilling their desires with a robust solution lies in the realm of data-driven marketing and user information analytics. By tailing a customer in their journey through your funnel, taking account of their preferred shopping style or personal preferences, storing this in historical data sets and compounding a 360-Degree view of the customer at hand, you can justifiably gain the clearest understanding of a potential conversion’s audience profile. From there, your marketing team can segment them into buyer profiles and subsequently ascertain how best to address their problems and needs. Over 94% of businesses now view personalization as a key ingredient to marketing success, and in a world where consumers are getting smarter by the day, this holds even more true.
So, what is data-driven marketing? Where can this kind of detailed information even be found and how do you gather it? From there, how can a business leader or CEO create a practical marketing pipeline that can sustainably support large swathes of users while addressing each of their needs? Finally, how can this be directed into ultimately drawing in revenue?
What Is Personalized Marketing, And Why Does It Matter?
Personalized Marketing is defined as the practice of using user data to deliver brand messages that are targeted to a specific person based on developing major buyer profiles through segmentation so brands can gain transparency in understanding their customers. The practice also expounds upon the online/digital channels or analog means by which online audiences are engaging with each other and brands, and the most uniformly accessible way to get through to them.
You must also develop the most appropriate message dependent upon the platform being used, the timing and context of the message and finally, what the customer actually thinks of your offerings. Take note: customers hate irrelevant brand messaging. Today, people desire cohesive and digestible blocks of information that pertain to them and can directly address a need—whether that need has been realized or not. Your job, as the marketer, is to uncover those probable issues that exist beneath the surface and help your client to realize how your proposal can tackle those issues!
As companies begin to realize the sheer importance in placing customers’ interests, tastes and preferences ahead of their functional business goals, immensely profitable results have been procured. Research shows that over 63% of customers reported that they are typically highly annoyed by generic ad blasts and obnoxious advertising. However, many of these people also know what they want. An Epsilon report surveying 1,000 individuals found that 80% of people claimed they would be more inclined to do business with a brand if their experience was carefully personalized. A massive share of the existing user base whose potential is being wasted!
Collect Information – Build Online Audience Profiles/Segmentation
As traditional, analog styles of marketing such as billboards, radio ads, flyers or billboards are a thing of the past, the digitization of marketing and the content that goes with it has blasted the doors open to brand awareness potential. Gone are the days of shooting out random, generic ad blasts at hundreds or thousands of unwitting customers who never even entered the funnel. In particular, these individuals were giant question marks in the companies’ minds, and so product and service development plateaued as a result.
There was also no possible way to understand the customer’s thought process, what steps they took to purchase, if they considered other brands’ options and their behaviorisms and habits. Everything changed with the onset of the Internet, data collection/mining capabilities and the virtual bridges that harmoniously tie them all together.
Companies can track and harvest user data from a variety of places, including major existing touchpoints between brand and customer. Social media channels, online login portals or membership accounts all retain vast amounts of potent information on a customer and their data logs within the company’s domain. Other, more reactive forms of data analytics can stem from tracking the user’s direct interactions such as post or ad clicks, site visitation and online browsing/shopping. Information exists everywhere, and the clever modern marketer must know where to look to find the gold!
There are three main focuses to consider when personalizing your marketing strategy. After all, you’re focusing on your business’s core moneymaker—people.
- The first is knowing your client’s needs. These individuals don’t care for excuses, bad marketing attempts or copy-paste drivel. If your most important resource is a human who operates flexibly depending on what is conducive to their needs fulfillment, you need to treat them as such! Try to think in their shoes and consider their environment circumstances or deciding factors like them, too. Ask yourself, “What does the customer really want? Can I see issues that exist that he/she can’t see yet? How would I react in the same situation, and what kind of offerings would calm my nerves and capture my attention? The best technical methods to elicit responses to such questions lies in surveying, user testing, drawing from historical data or promotional campaigns with free offerings to capture highly accurate responses.
- The second step is to understand who they are, build an accurately identifying buyer profile and then group them together with other such customers who collectively fit within a certain category. This is also known as user segmentation. Whether it be categorization by demographic, personal preferences, method of communication/platform being used or divided up by financial parameters, comprehending their customer history, where they linger and how they operate can yield powerful insights regarding consumers’ relevancy to the company’s offerings and which solutions match the demand of best fit.
- The final step deals with using what you already know to anticipate future customer needs well ahead of time, before even they may know what they want—and taking decisive action accordingly. If you could foretell a customer’s behavioral pattern or decision process with high confidence, those potent personal details and heaps of data can assist you in the power of prediction. Now, companies such as Expedia, Amazon or YouTube don’t stop at providing just one service—they have expanded their offerings into paid-subscription styles, bite-sized, digestible content or free-to-use, browsable listings to tempt and convert unsure online audiences. By harnessing a unified, holistic view of the customer, one can ideally provide the best user experience and offering. This is garnered from extensive trial-and-error testing and by truly understanding the best solution for a specific shopper within an arsenal of offerings.
More Data-Driven Marketing Related Content from HVMA:
► How To Transform Information Into Cash
► How to Convert Your Email List Into Customers
► Predictive Analytics in the Booming Casino Industry
► Omnichannel Marketing – The Ultimate Marketing Pathway
Compose Benefit-Oriented and Captivating CTA
After creating a coherent customer identity, the best way to begin to capture your online audience’s attention efficiently and honestly is by developing the perfect CTA, or call-to-action. This term refers to the button, link or focus point of sorts that drives a sense of urgency within consumers stemming from an unfulfilled need. It occurs when a potential lead is stimulated into reacting off of a marketing offering or advertisement.
Call-to-actions are the foremost method to captivating target online audiences and capturing their brand loyalty, once they realize how perfect your company is for what they need. However, just informing them about all this isn’t enough. They must be propelled into action by catalyzing copy, a spectacular visual spread or some other form of tantalizing emotional pull. According to Small Biz Trends, 70% of small B2B businesses lack a solid call to action. If most digital marketers aren’t hopping on the smart CTA train, that’s the chance for you to strike first! Although developing a robust CTA strategy takes time and careful planning, the results can often be far more than rewarding.
Your CTA must uncover hidden or exposed needs, but also offer some form of benefit to a potential customer. Otherwise, your CTR or click-through rate will take damage. This term refers to the ratio of customers who are confirmed to have opened an email versus the number who actually clicked-through the email into some kind of backlink, purchase button or hyperlink to a matching landing page. Such a robust metric specifically details the effectiveness of email marketing campaigns and their ability to elicit profitable reactions from customers, rather than aimlessly blasting out irrelevant or generic emails at clueless consumers who don’t particularly care for the messaging. If people aren’t really sure what value or exact benefit your product or service offers, they’re not going to click-through, and you miss yet another potential conversion.
Include Bonus Offerings, Trials and Free Downloads
A powerful CTA only gets its utility from an equally as in-depth understanding of the customer being targeted. Parsing through immense amounts of web traffic teeming with online audiences who each have differing tastes, triggers and reactions to unique types of content can be tricky. Therefore, the data collected from the aforementioned capture methods prove useful in obtaining an accurate blueprint for how a customer may react to varying types of CTA copy, “Download Now” or free trial triggers. Regardless of where in the sales funnel and customer journey your target online audience is located at, a unified or omnichannel marketing approach will equip you with the knowledge in tackling their hesitation in, perhaps, clicking through an email marketing campaign or committing to their online cart by creating a user profile—and purchasing!
One of the main initiatives to provide resources that are invaluable in the eyes of the customer and that cost little to nothing for a company to implement comes in the form of free trials or “action buttons”. Neil Patel, esteemed marketing guru, claims he focuses solely on offering instant gratification benefits in CTA through action buttons. As the web has grown, the virtual space has slowly also made it harder for consumers to just trust any or every brand. Some offers make great promises, inflate the hype and ultimately underdeliver. According to Traffic Maven, “today’s consumers are becoming increasingly accustomed to instant gratification,” or an immediate reward. Taking an example from his company Quicksprout, he claims to offer clients “doubling their traffic within a month.” His CTA? An orange button detailing “Yes, Let’s Start the FREE Course”. An extremely effective way of offering direct product value to an unsure consumer while leaving the vibe open, and not forcing any kind of commitment right out the gate.
These few words in a simple design appeal to people’s emotions and gently persuade them to opt into higher levels of brand commitment. Statistics show that asking customers to buy or commit after their first encounter with your brand can lead to 84% of these people bouncing off your site. Offering a free trial, however, rockets conversions upwards of 328%. Yes, you read that right. If customers have questions about your potential offering and want to take your solution for a test drive, balance their needs and objections by offering bonus e-books, free software trials such as SalesForce (a leader in SaaS, or Software-as-a-Service) or downloadable, bite-sized content packs that they can immediately draw value from!
Optimize Your Channels and Outlets of Communication
It doesn’t matter how well you may understand your customer and their needs if you can’t get through to them, or they can’t perceive your brand correctly online. Initiating a complex infrastructure overhaul by implementing data-driven marketing stacks and personalization campaigns involve proper planning and execution. It starts by determining the goals of your social media presence, and the corresponding objectives. Are you trying to drive raw sales numbers or sales volume? Is your goal to attract more customers, boost brand recognition or to just enhance your overall customer service chain? After understanding who your target online audience may be, develop a content strategy that covers your key messages, the kinds of content that appeal to your target online audience, and a list of keywords that both describe your business and double as fuel for SEO, or Search Engine Optimization.
Of course, even after you know your brand, your client, and your message, just throwing content out there won’t do much good. A powerful social media outlay depends on an equally powerful website—one that is seamless to jump into, easy to maneuver around, and on point with your brand messaging. A clean and attractive site with meaningful copy and compelling visual elements can be the defining characteristic that either drives conversions for social-savvy customers or bounces them away in confusion. Minimize the number of clicks and scrolling a person needs to do to travel through a standard customer pipeline, and feature your contact information, key brand details, special offerings and clear CTAs front and center on your webpages. Remember—you’re trying to make it as easy as possible for the modern customer, who is already laden with trillions of bytes of data being thrown at them every day to discover your brand, realize it solves the problem(s) they may have, and light a fire underneath them compelling them to sign on with you now!
As important as a website is within a great marketing stack, it all boils down to the landing page. Conversions ultimately teeter on this major tool in a marketing arsenal, as all fingers end up pointing here. Whether it’s a Facebook marketing ad for Nike, a promotional email alerting you of your fresh weekly Netflix show roster or a text message with discounted NBA or NFL tickets, the moment a customer receives that message with a link…there better be a spectacular, aesthetically-pleasing webpage to greet them on the other side! That’s what we all hope for after all, right? A great landing page can help unify your message, provide a flexible environment that centers around your customer, and provides them with exactly what they need without wasting time or resources. To truly gain your customer’s trust, consolidate brand elements across all channels and outlets—even detailing elements such as graphics, copy, subtext, color palette and testimonials from previous clients who can provide firsthand praise for you!
Start driving conversions and help grow your (audience) business today by arming yourself with the data-driven marketing approach. By realizing the immense potential in data analytics and a customer-centric strategy, companies have developed an infrastructure that imbues unity within the overall message, resonates on a personal level and delivers the customer everything they need to know before they jump in with a great call to action. Or…they may decide to hold back, peruse online, and take their time—a perfect opportunity. Now, the silent but effective marketer may observe from the sidelines as they track their customer’s footprint, gather intel on their behaviors, needs or unspoken problems requiring solutions—and work diligently with profoundly meaningful messaging to gently nudge their visitor toward the final, virtual handshake!