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How to Become a Pro at Marketing Optimization

Nathan Cenovski
Sep 10, 2017
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Marketing Optimization is the process of analyzing marketing metrics and response data to improve marketing plans and investments. Unlike traditional media vehicles, such as out-of-home, broadcast media, and print, digital media marketing campaigns can generally be measured fairly accurately and scientifically.

When marketers track every aspect of digital media marketing, they typically try to optimize results through A/B, A/B/C, or multivariate testing. For example, a marketer may test different landing page headlines and or buttons to analyze which copy is most effective. This is why marketers looking to enhance their brand’s digital footprint will choose web tracking software and analytical CRM systems to help aid with these efforts.

marketing optimization

Marketing Optimization Process

In order to be successful with marketing optimization, several things need to be taken into consideration. First, the most important step in the optimization process requires is that you track EVERYTHING you do in marketing. This entails using proper tracking tools and techniques, and carefully documenting spending for any form of paid digital marketing.

In fact, once you start tracking campaigns, you’ll have all kinds of data to evaluate. How many impressions did you get? How many leads? Which channel worked best? Then you have creative considerations. Which images, call-to-actions, and words were most effective? Then finally, you’ll want to analyze WHO clicked. Did the people who converted have a history with your brand? Who are they, and what are their demographic and psychographic traits?

The list of data points and variables seem endless. Nevertheless, you can choose the ones that are most relevant to your business, and then build more sophisticated models as you go along. The important thing to remember is that you must be sure to track everything, test everything, and keep tinkering until you get the results you want. If you track and test in a sustained and systematic fashion, you will begin to move your efforts closer and closer to a state of “near-perfect” optimization.

Now obviously, perfection is not realistic, but we can still shoot for “well-optimized.” A quote from the great football coach Vince Lombardi illustrates this distinction. “Along the path of chasing the impossible dream of perfection, we will achieve greatness.”

“Along the path of chasing the impossible dream of perfection, we will achieve greatness.”

Greatness in Marketing Optimization

Greatness in digital marketing generally starts with tracking response rates to content, campaigns, and creative assets. If you constantly make improvements to nudge conversions higher at every point throughout the sales and marketing “funnel”, you will start to see results. In the awareness-building, top-of-funnel phase, you will probably be maximizing exposure to people who are hunting for your types of products and services. Then, you will probably analyze the subsequent steps: lead qualification, consumer education, and overall lead nurturing until your conversion rates increase to a well-optimized place.

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Why Marketing Optimization Matters

While this may seem obvious (but isn’t always obvious), minor campaign adjustments and improvements can lead to great results. For example, if you increase a conversion rate by just a few percentage points, it can make a dramatic difference in revenue. For example, if you increase a conversion from 9% to 11%, and you have 50,000 leads in a funnel, 5,500 people could become customers instead of 4,500. If each of these (1,000) customers has a lifetime value of $50,000, your income would increase by fifty million dollars!

While this example may seem extreme, it’s important to recognize that every percentage point matters. Regardless of your precise business model, this example illustrates how increasing your number of qualified potential customers can ubiquitously be considered a business advantage. After all, no company is complaining about having too much business (unless “humbly” bragging to irk the competition). We all want more money, more clients and more growth, but often the levers to drive this are not necessarily the massive transformations that dominate the headlines (these are rare cases). Often the real way to drive growth is incremental improvement, which entails leveraging every marketing interaction, kaizen, or whatever you want to call it. It’s the little things you can improve and optimize (dare I say?) that drives a business higher.

How to Optimize Marketing Optimization

To improve your marketing efforts, a few valuable tools are needed. First, you will want a website tracking tool as your website is often the face of your company. This can help you identify friction points (where someone “bounces” off the page) and interest points (where web visitors click deeper). Then you’ll want to integrate your website tracking tool with other customer acquisition platforms and channels like landing pages and mass email applications. This will help you visualize a purchase cycle at the individual level, and perhaps at the segment and even total category level.

contact interaction

Then, once you have tracking installed across all digital marketing channels, you’ll want to measure sales and or human interactions. If your company is B2B targeted, you’ll definitely need a world-class CRM - preferably one with data enrichment capabilities. This modern type of CRM can help identify unknown website visitors and track several other marketing interactions throughout the sales cycle. By knowing who visits your site, you can learn more about leads and find out who may need a little nudge. You can also keep an eye on prospects who have gone dark or went with competitors. After all, poking around your site indicates some interest or even buyer’s remorse, and you can utilize this data to make an intelligent phone call.

Aside from identifying website visitors, data enrichment also has the benefit of turning a little bit of info into a lot of valuable data - including fellow employees in a lead’s circle of influence. Data appending can also help you remove “barriers” of required information each time a lead makes a contact inquiry. Dropping the number of required fields on a form to no more than five can increase lead captures by as much as 30%. What would you pay for a 30% lead increase? If you maintain the same conversion rate of acquiring new customers, imagine the financial impact. That’s why data enrichment has become a popular feature of CRM; it helps fill the blanks prior to your first prospect meeting - without having to ask.

Since sales and marketing interactions can be tracked in the same world-class CRM, you will begin to see how sales and marketing work in concert. Before you make big changes to your marketing investments, you’ll want to carefully log all your marketing expenditures to establish your baseline cost per conversion. It’s also important that sales reps frequently enter notes to keep your data as accurate as possible. You’ll probably find that sales reps can add insight that digital marketing can’t detect, such as meetings that took place at a trade show. Without this type of information, some of your marketing investments won’t get credit, so the more info your sales team enters, the better.

While some companies start off with spreadsheets, which is a rite of passage for startups, it’s important to understand what is possible. When everyone has transparent insight into the whole sales and marketing process, you can see how leads are assigned and how they progress throughout the sales and marketing funnel. As soon as you have identified a modicum of success, it is time to get serious with a proper CRM and the tools you need to move forward. To learn about how sales and marketing can be integrated in your CRM, contact us for a quick tour of the process. Or if you’d like to dive in and see for yourself, contact us to set up a no-obligation free trial. No credit card required.

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