Today, marketers are driving the lion’s share of a company’s digital efforts and budget with a shockingly small slice of the information they need to maximize their effectiveness.
If you’re wondering why this is, it’s simply that there is a division in the world of data-driven decision making, specifically in regards to the data that marketers have readily available to them vs. the data analysts and site optimizers have available to them. I say “readily,” because the data is there, but it’s not being used for various reasons.
Why? Because people have incredible difficulty collaborating when it comes to bringing data from different systems into a fast-paced decision environment. Especially when the tools don’t support it and the decisions are micro vs. macro in nature (like bid optimization, vs. home page redesign).
Feel familiar? Now, pair that with this little gem:
The ratio of dollars spent on marketing a web site to dollars spent on improving the conversion of that web site is over 90:1.
Digital marketing channels are optimized on an infinitesimal fraction of the data that conversion performance is optimized on, and the two are most often done as completely separate initiatives.
Put them together and what do you have?
The people managing your display, search, email, and other marketing channels use tools that typically have just one piece of site-side data: conversions. Your analysts, on the other hand, have thousands of dimensions of data. And sadly, your marketers have a significant issue receiving and consuming the data that the analysts have in a repeatable and efficient way, because the tools and processes they use day in and day out aren’t built for it.
So today, businesses are putting 90 times more money into marketing programs driven by tools that don’t have and can’t get the information they need to do their job at a higher level of sophistication. And in many cases, these tools and marketers are missing some of their most valuable customers because the data just isn’t in their view.
An Example: Social Amplification
You buy a paid search ad for “Missile Launch alarm clock.” Each click costs you around $0.50, and sends that user to a landing page with information about your product.
So, here’s the question: which visitor is valuable?
**A) The visitor who buys this thing
B) The visitor who adds this thing to their shopping cart
C) The visitor who shares this on facebook and twitter
Today, the visitors who do B and C are not a factor to the marketing manager running this campaign. Why? Because today, almost zero ecommerce web sites track cart adds and social sharing as conversions in their bid optimization tool(s). The web analytics team knows all about these things, but the data never gets to the person sitting in IgnitionOne, Marin, AdWords, or whatever cockpit they’re driving the campaign from within. It’s not “readily available.”
I’d actually argue (and every economist and statistician in the world would agree) that C is the most valuable. Why? Because we are willing to pay $0.50 for a single click, based on that keyword’s historical performance. And when that user shares on facebook, we will likely get 5x, 10x, or 100x the clicks for that one $0.50 expense. Statistically speaking, we know with absolute certainty that what we get from a share amplifies the reach of our paid click, therefore it’s worth more. Also, we may get not only one sale, but several sales. But today, C is not counted as a conversion, and the marketer can’t see any of the sales driven by the share, either. Today, C is equal to a bounce. C is called “waste.”
Satellite for Marketers
For Search Discovery’s clients, however, getting this data is ridiculously simple. A marketer can simply browse any of the existing rules in Satellite, which are a buffet of measurement touchpoints. That marketer simply needs to marry IgnitionOne, Marin, AdWords, Bing, DART Search, or whatever platform they’re using to each rule they care about:
- Sale Completed
- Product Social Share – Facebook
- Product Social Share – Twitter
- Product Social Share – Pinterest
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- Add item to Wishlist
- User dials 800-number from mobile
Rules in Satellite are user and behavior-centric, not tag centric. So marketers can easily leverage rules the analytics team has set up to collect the same type of data in their own systems, and even create indices and aggregates to simplify the consumption of that data. With a few clicks, the marketer who used to only see hard conversions is now also seeing several other interactions that are as valuable, if not more valuable than a sale. Now, when that marketer goes to optimize a campaign, they’ll take virality and amplification into consideration, as well as other types of soft conversions that still signal a valuable customer.
Optimizing your marketing campaigns shouldn’t have to be a black and white proposition where the user is either immensely valuable (a sale) or worthless (not a sale). Your visitors come in all flavors, and some are in the early phases of their purchase process, researching and comparing your offering in order to make their final decision. If you didn’t want these customers, why are you buying keywords that are high funnel in the first place? So, in these “high funnel” scenarios, doesn’t it make more sense to measure that user to their actual intents, rather than only a sale that is almost completely unlikely to happen at that exact moment in time? If a user searches for “digital camera reviews” and reads 10 product reviews on your camera store’s site, is that user useless to you? Absolutely not. But that’s how marketers largely optimize that spend today.
Assists and attribution can help you tell part of the story, but don’t give you insight into why things are the way they are. They only give you hope for high-assist, low conversion keywords or other media by crediting sales back up the bloodline. But what are those users actually doing earlier in their process? And the ones who never convert, what did they do? Do you think when Seth Godin goes to a page on Amazon, copies a link to a book, and puts that link in his blog post without buying anything, that Seth’s visit is worthless to Amazon or that author? I sure hope you don’t think that.
If you’re interested in adding a whole new level of sophistication to your marketing measurement and optimization, that’s what we’re here for.
Satellite is not about “tag management.” That’s a basic, nerd-centric concept. We’re about your business, your sophistication, and having the tools to do things you couldn’t or wouldn’t do before. That’s why Satellite is the future of your marketing efforts. We want to help you see more clearly so you can act and engage in new, smarter and better ways. Let us know when you’re ready to take things to the next level.
About Search Discovery
Search Discovery is a digital intelligence company that empowers organizations to make better, dynamic and transformative business decisions. We're focused on delivering results for our clients through digital analytics, SEO, digital media, and technology.
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