Alex Abell

John Rambo or James Bond: What kind of marketing action hero are you?

November 24th, 2014

While you may never have to battle gangs of ninjas, jump from flaming helicopters, or defeat eye-patch-laden villains in bloody shootouts, an entirely different type of action is required of today’s marketer.

If you’re facing opposition in the form of endless reporting that never seems to make a difference, it might be time to find the hero within and add some action to your everyday work life. Are you ready to act strategically, rally supporters and face the adventure of changing your organization for the better?

Every week, our sister publication MarketingSherpaanalytics-action-hero-cover holds a free book giveaway featuring volumes that help marketers reach more customers, navigate the workplace, or just generally do their jobs more effectively.

This week’s book is Web Analytics Action Hero: Using Analysis to Gain Insight and Optimize Your Business by Brent Dykes, Evangelist for Customer Analytics, Adobe.

Editor’s Note: This contest has concluded, but be sure to check back on the MarketingSherpa Book Giveaway page for a new contest every week. You can also get notified of new contests from the Best of the Month Newsletter.

You’re probably wondering, “How can a Web analytics book help me discover my inner Lara Croft or Indiana Jones?” Brent has worked with industry leaders such as Microsoft, Sony, EA, Dell, Comcast and Nike. He also blogs for Adobe and has presented at more than 20 Web analytics conferences around the world.

He is a seasoned expert in using data to transform the way we do business. If anyone can tell you how to start driving actionable, data-driven change and defeat the organizational villains we all face, it’s Brent.

His book keeps an entertaining tone while being packed with informative models and examples of how to drive fact-based marketing decisions. It is essentially a how-to for becoming an action hero of science-based marketing and analysis.

The book did a great job reinforcing some of the things I’ve learned on the job as a MECLABS Optimization Analyst, planning strategy and experiments that fuel the content we produce at MarketingSherpa and MarketingExperiments.

analytics-action-hero-chart

 

Brent speaks to real-life work situations, and since reading his book, I’ve been able to deliver actionable analyses more effectively and use his models to become better at my job in Web optimization.

I had a chance to speak with the Web Analytics Action Hero himself to pick his brain on what it takes to be the Han Solo of the office.

 

 

MarketingExperiments: Who does data-driven analysis apply to, and why should they read your book?

Brent Dykes: Well, I think being data driven and using analysis is really important. The hype around big data has obviously created more of an interest in using and understanding data. I come from a marketing background, and I’ve worked in marketing long enough to remember those days where the vast majority of marketing decisions were being made on intuition—not data.

The digital channel has revolutionized the way we market today. It has ushered in new measurement opportunities that weren’t possible before. In general, it is easier to track digital media than traditional media, and you can get more granular detail as well. With all of the new metrics at the disposal of marketers, the data is susceptible to being misused.

It can’t be, “Hey, I wonder what metrics will make my campaign look good.” Being data-driven isn’t just about using data; it’s about using the right data in the right ways.

I think more people, not just analysts, are realizing they need to understand the data a little bit better.

I haven’t seen it 100% yet, but I think their managers are holding them more accountable to the numbers. So, I think everybody needs to embrace data-driven marketing, and that’s executives all the way down to the interns. Everybody needs to learn.

Read more…

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Jessica Lorenz

Co-creation: The next realization of value-based marketing

November 17th, 2014

“If I am your ideal customer, why should I purchase your product rather than any other product?” – Flint McGlaughlin, Managing Director, MECLABS (parent company of MarketingExperiments)

At MarketingExperiments, researchers have used this question to develop value propositions over the past 20 years.

Many things have changed over the past couple decades, which has now, more than ever, left room for the customer to answer the value prop question.

Recently, Professor Wouter Van Rossum, a leading expert on value proposition and product development, held an Academic Lecture Series at MECLABS headquarters in Jacksonville, Fla., where he discussed the evolution of a value proposition in a post-Twitter world.

“Companies don’t want to hear [feedback],” Van Rossum explained, “They don’t like to hear it.”

But, in an era where customers can ask questions and interact with not only the company, but fellow dissatisfied customers online and demand a more and more personalized experience, it “more or less forces companies into co-creation.”

 

Defining co-creation

Co-creation implies a situation where both parties profit in terms of exchange value.

threadless-shirt-contest

 

A “perfect example of co-creation,” according to Van Rossum is Threadless, a company that allows designers to submit art for T-shirts, among other commodities. Customers then vote on designs they want to purchase.

If the design is picked up by Threadless, the designers earn a portion of the profits from T-shirts sold and this creates an exchange of value.

Co-creation of exchange value, according to Van Rossum, implies that the company should determine a value proposition that will account for the customer’s contribution and result in a win-win situation for both the customer and the business.

In the case of Threadless: The company queues up designs that they know will be popular and purchased. The designer earns not only monetary rewards but also has work to add to their portfolio. Both parties benefit from the relationship and business model.

Read more…

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Josh Wilson

Customer Anxiety: One element of the MECLABS Conversion Heuristic explained

November 13th, 2014

If you have participated in a MECLABS, MarketingExperiments or MarketingSherpa event or education program, you may have been exposed to the patented Conversion Heuristic.

It looks like this:

C = 4m + 3v + 2(i – f) – 2a

If you haven’t seen this before, it can be explained in minutes. However, it can take decades to master.

My hope is this MarketingExperiments Blog post will help you gain a basic understanding of the Conversion Heuristic, and specifically, understand the anxiety element in the heuristic.

Each letter in the Conversion Heuristic represents a psychological, emotional or physical element affecting a prospect’s choice to say “yes” or “no” to your offer.

Each number represents the weight or importance each element carries in guiding the prospect to your offer, or away from your offer.

The element “C” represents the probability of conversion. A conversion in this instance describes the event when a prospect becomes a customer.

This event is the foundation of business; without conversion, a business ceases to exist. To increase the probability of conversion, it is important to understand the elements within the Conversion Heuristic. In this post, I will highlight the “anxiety” element present in every conversion process.

Here is the Conversion Heuristic again: C = 4m + 3v + 2(i – f) – 2a

C = Probability of conversion

m = Motivation of the customer

v = Force of your value proposition

i = Incentive

f = Friction

a = Anxiety

 

Customer anxiety

It is very important to remember that your prospects are people. They have thoughts, feelings, needs and desires. When there is product or service being offered to a prospect, that prospect may have questions or concerns.

This psychological concern occurs within the prospect’s mind.

Anxiety is a real concern that the prospect may have regarding your offer. The prospect may not even be aware that it is happening, but when corrected or addressed, there can be some significant lifts in your conversion rate.

Here are some examples of anxieties that people may have when making purchases online.

 

Is my credit card information safe?

billing-information

  Read more…

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Daniel Burstein

How to Improve Conversion of Your Online Ads

November 10th, 2014

From pay-per-click advertising to display ads, all online advertising is a micro-yes, a step in the process to the ultimate conversion.

To help you improve conversion of this micro-yes, Flint McGlaughlin, Managing Director, MECLABS, created the MECLABS Online Ad Sequence based on online advertising experimentation for both B2B and consumer marketers.

How can you improve conversion of your online ads? Focus on the three factors identified in the sequence:

 online-ads-conversion

 

Let me explain the elements in the sequence in a little further detail.

 

Effectiveness of the ad

This isn’t an equation to be solved. This is a heuristic, or thought tool (kind of like checklist) to guide your thinking as you look to optimize your online advertising.

The more you improve the elements to the right of the equation side, the more you will be able to increase the effectiveness of your ad.

  Read more…

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David Kirkpatrick

Testing and Optimization: 4 inspirational examples of experimentation and success

November 6th, 2014

At our sister publication, MarketingSherpa, we publish four case study beats – B2B, B2C, Email and Inbound – with stories covering actual marketing efforts from your peers each week. Not every case study features a testing and optimization element, but many do.

For this MarketingExperiments Blog post, I wanted to share a quick summary of several of these case studies, along with links to the entire article (including creative samples) in case any pique your interest and you want to dig into the entire campaign.

So, without further ado, read on for four MarketingSherpa case studies that feature testing and optimization of various digital marketing channels, strategies and tactics.

 

Case Study #1. 91% conversion lift from new copy and layout

This case study features AwayFind, a company that provides mobile email alerts, and covers an effort to test, and hopefully improve, its homepage performance.

Brian Smith, Director of Marketing, AwayFind, said, “Our primary driver of traffic is our PR efforts. Our homepage is effectively our primary landing page, and we need to convert that traffic into premium users.”

The testing included both changing copy and layout elements. The main copy change was instead of focusing on features, the treatment copy focused on benefits, and layout tweaks included a shortened headline, the remaining copy was split between a subhead and a smaller block of text, and the color of the subhead text was also modified.

In this test, the treatment achieved:

  • 42% increase in clicks to the sign-up page
  • 91% increase in registrations for the trial

  Read more…

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Joey Taravella

Value Proposition: Between perception and reality

November 3rd, 2014

I recently posted this observation on FlintsNotes, Flint McGlaughlin’s blog designed to showcase his day-to-day work, and I felt that this idea could be elaborated on more:

The challenge for many companies is misunderstood. It is not finding prospects that need what it has to offer, but rather finding prospects who know that they need what it has to offer.

Managers flounder in the gap between perception and reality. They are trained to think about data, facts and rules. This strength obscures a corresponding weakness: They fail to account for the difference between ‘what is’ and ‘what the prospect believes is.’ The latter initiates the experience of the former and thus takes initial precedence.

-Flint McGlaughlin, Managing Director, MECLABS

 

The difference between reality and perception

Fint talks about how managers (marketers) tend to get lost in the blurred line of perception and reality, failing to recognize the difference between “what is” (reality) and “what the prospect believes is” (perception).

He points out that the latter (perception) initiates the experience of the former (reality), thus taking initial precedence.

Read more…

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