Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Customer Personas Is Just A Waste Of Time And Money

There are a lot of talks and hypes about customer personas for marketing and business but personally, I have never been a fan of it because I don’t think it helps to grow a brand and my or any other business.

You spend hell a lot of time, resources and money into market research, customer survey, and focus groups trying to gather data to define these personas. Try adding up the money on this and it’s a real scary bill. Instead of this, why not spend it on creating relevant and mass appeal content that will actually work. Kissmetrics has an article where research shows that the most effective online lead nurturing tactic is creating relevant content. All these segmentation and personas targeting is below the list.

We as individuals are all different with different behaviors and personas. If you really want to group your customers into segments or persona groups, how many of these groups are you going to create? Probably tons of them but perhaps only 4, 5 or 10 just so you think you really know your customers? Think hard about it and put your hand on your heart and ask yourself really??

Remember at the end of the day a brand grows and successful businesses and companies have mastered is to gain more customers via mass marketing. I have written a blog entry about this before and I also want to pull this short summary of how brand grows out from Brand Genetics:

Mass Marketing Works

Moreover, when you look at the evidence, there is no reason to complicate your marketing lives with targeting and segmenting customers, whether based on lifestyle, category usage or brand loyalty.  Positioning brands for particular target segments is as futile as brand positioning by creating a differentiated brand ‘personality’. Successful growth brands have universal appeal, and mass marketing with a reach-optimised single simple message, rather than being a mass mistake, is still the most effective way to drive sales.
Imagine putting this into the offline world. I run a successful small retail business with my wife and if we do go down the path of personas, we probably won’t have time to run the most important part of growing our business – customer service, offer new product range, increase our sales on best sellers etc. and all of these using a mass marketing and customer approach. Instead, I would probably be dissecting my retail business and products into different sections, segments, personas, groups, audience, target markets, and…into a real mess!

Now I want to show you some quantitative data below of a lead generation campaign.
Cost Per Conversion
Personas Campaign
Mass Campaign
28 times more conversions for mass campaign vs personas campaign – You need to work 28 times higher to get to the same mass and the cost per conversion for the personas campaign is 2.6 times higher and to sum it up simply (I am not a statistician or anything near), you need to work 28.4 x 2.6 = 73.84 times harder and most effectively and efficiently in order to get to the same result as a mass campaign will achieve. Translate that into dollars, wow, that’s really something to think about isn’t it?

Just to end this post, here‘s a funny excerpt from The Sales Lion:

Company: Marcus, we are on our way with content marketing. We’ve identified all of our marketing personas!
Me: That’s wonderful. But how much content have you actually produced?
Company: Well, not much, but we’ve identified our marketing personas!
And so it goes

And very true but hard to master:

For the majority of companies around the world, the more complicated you make sales and marketing, the less they’ll actually get done.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Infographic: The 2016 Marketing Technology Landscape

Very cool, impressive but also scary marketing technology landscape!

Marketing Technology Landscape
From http://marketingland.com/infographic-marketing-technology-landscape-113956 

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

How To Bullshit Your Brand!

Oh man, I love this brand bullshit blogpost from Bob Hoffmans' The Ad Contrarian. This is so funny and it is not just bullshit but scientifically true and a hilarious follow up to my previous blog post of how to grow your brand & market share. Read some of the funny excerpts below:

"Okay, just for the record let's state the obvious:
  • Yes, having a strong brand is very valuable.
  • Yes, the highest goal of advertising is to create a strong brand.
Now, let's get to the bullshit
  • No, for the most part consumers are not in love with brands
  • No, consumers do not want want to have a conversation with your brand, or an "authentic relationship" with it, or co-create with it, or engage with it, or dance with it, or take a shower with it.
They want it to work well, taste good, be reasonably priced, and look pretty. End of story."

"I promise you, if Pepsi would disappear tomorrow, most Pepsi "loyalists" would switch over to Coke with very little psychological damage.

Nike devotees would throw on a pair of Adidas without having to enter rehab.

McDonald's faithfuls would cheerfully eat a Whopper without the need for counseling.

In fact, according to Havas Media, “in Europe and the US, people would not care if 92% of brands disappeared.” And, to be perfectly honest here, I would not care if Havas Media disappeared. "

Friday, June 10, 2016

Future of Retail - Free Shipping No. 1 Incentive To Shop Online More

If you are an online retailer, you should definitely download and read this report from WalkerSands Communication's Reinventing Retail: Four Predictions for 2016 and Beyond.

Here I thought are some key points:
  • Nine out of 10 of the survey participants said free shipping was the No. 1 incentive when asked what would make them shop online more often.
  • In addition to free shipping, 69 percent of the consumers listed one-day delivery as an incentive to shop online more, and 68 percent listed free returns and exchanges. Other incentives to shop online more included same-day shipping and in-store returns.
  • Sixty percent of frequent shoppers have purchased products online to pick up in store (click and collect), four times more than the consumers who shop online only a few times a year.

Thursday, June 02, 2016

How Many Times Should I Call To Get The Sale?

An interesting research I found - extract from 'Cold Calling Success -15 Tactics for Getting the Appointment By Victor Antonio'

National Sales Executive Association Survey

  • 2% of sales are made on the 1st call
  • 3% of sales are made on the 2nd call
  • 5% of sales are made on the 3rd call
  • 10% of sales are made on the 4th call
  • 80% of sales are made on the 5th call

If 80% of the sales are made on the 5th call, it begs the question, “How many salespeople actually make that 5th call?”  The study found that:

  • 48% of salespeople quit after the 1st call
  • 25% quit after the 2nd call
  • 12% quit after the 3rd call
  • 5% quit after 4th call
  • 10% made that 5th call or more

In doing some research, I ran across an interesting

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

What are Heat Maps and should you really trust Heat Maps?

Ok, we (I mean all digital/online marketers at the very least) all know what Heat maps are and what it is used for. If you don’t, very simply Heat Maps shows you EXACTLY (really?) where people are (or not) clicking on your website. With this information, you can then:
·         find the best position for your form fields or buttons
·         move your Call-to-actions (CTAs) to make them more visible
·         see which banners or sales ads are clicked more often, etc

In case you don’t know, there are basically 3 types of Heatmaps (Source: Hotjar):
1. Click Maps - helps you determine where your visitors are clicking or tapping (if they are on a mobile/tablet). These heatmaps help you quickly uncover issues with your page - for example, are visitors clicking your links? Or are they clicking areas that aren't links?
2. Move/Attention Heatmaps - show where visitors have moved their mouse on the screen.
3. Scroll Heatmaps - used to show you how far down your visitors scroll.

The next big question that comes is: Should we really trust Heat Maps? How do we know if it is really accurate? People might be looking at things that they don’t hover over or maybe they are just hovering over things that are not important? Conversionxl has an article as to why accuracy of mouse movement heatmaps is questionable.

Click Maps on the other hand is probably more useful where you can see when people click on things that aren’t links. If you discover something (an image, sentence, or whatever) that people want to click on, but isn’t a link, then either make it into a link, or don’t make it look like a link.

Scroll maps are also useful where it shows you where users tend to drop off, and can be very useful (helps with prioritising content as well).

Attention maps help you see which parts of the websites are most visible to all users, across all browsers and devices. They help you decide where to put your value prop and other important elements.

User session replays
This isn’t really a ‘heat map’ per se, but is the most valuable bit in most tools that offer heat maps.
Use session replays allow you to record video sessions of people going through your site. It’s kind of like user testing, but has no script and no audio. But people are risking with their actual money – so it can be more insightful.

This is more qualitative data. You’re trying to detect bottlenecks and usability issues. Where are people not able to complete actions? Where do they give up?. One of the best use cases for session replays is watching how people fill out forms. Though you could configure event tracking for Google Analytics, it wouldn’t provide the level of insight as user session replays. Also, if you have a page that is performing badly, and you don’t know why, then you can watch user session replays to figure out possible problems. You can also see how fast they read, scroll down the page, etc. Analysing them is, of course, timely. User session replays are irreplaceable tools in your arsenal.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Search Marketing Attribution – % Of Non-Brand Keywords Drive Branded Keywords Conversions/Sales?

Over the years, there have been tons of articles or research regarding marketing attribution. The most common talked about are first click/interaction and last click/interaction. Some other attribution modeling includes ‘time decay’, ‘linear’ and ‘position based’. Google analytics list some of these examples:

In the “Last Interaction” attribution model, the last touch point -- in this case the Email channel -- would receive 100% of the credit for the sale.

In the “First Interaction” attribution model, the first touch point -- in this case the Paid Advertising channel -- would receive 100% of the credit for the sale.

In the “Linear” attribution model, each touch point in the conversion path -- in this case the Paid Advertising, Social Network, and Email channels - share equal credit (33.3% each) for the sale.

In the “Time Decay” attribution model, the touch points closest in time to the sale or conversion get most of the credit. In this particular sale, the Email and Social Network channels would receive the most credit because the customer interacted with them on the day of the conversion. Since the Paid Advertising interaction occurred one week earlier, this channel would receive significantly less credit.

In the “Position Based” attribution model, 40% credit is assigned to the first interaction, 20% credit is assigned to the middle interactions, and 40% credit is assigned to the last interaction. The Paid and Email channels would each receive 40% credit, while the Social Network would receive 20% credit.

Definition of Attribution

So first of all, what is exactly marketing attribution? To explain this simply, attribution is about understanding which of your marketing channels or advertising contributed to a sale or conversion on your website. Using a soccer analogy, last click/interaction would be like attributing the goal (conversion) to Lionel Messi (striker), the goal scorer. With first click/interaction, the goal would be attributed from the assist provided by Xavi (midfielder), where his assist was made possible by Carles Puyol (defender) who broke up an attack from the opposition and launched a counter attack. If you a basketball fan instead of a soccer fan, below is a YouTube video that uses the basketball example:

Below we also have an image that illustrates how attribution funnels work from Zappos:

Many of the discussions and research I have seen are how first click influences or contributes to last click conversions example using the soccer analogy above. Or how other ‘first click’ marketing or advertising efforts such as display or social media drives conversions on the last click which could be from paid search, etc.

However, so far I have not seen much information in regards to how non-brand paid search advertising contributes to branded conversions. To answer this question, I had a looked at 10 retail clients/websites’ conversion funnels over a 30-day period and with 12 months worth of data (if available). The average percentage (%) of branded conversions came via non-branded keywords as a first click was between 1.21% (lowest) to 7.86% (highest). One of the trends I did noticed was that the percentage gets higher with more well-known brands as compared to lesser-known brands.

Therefore, with this data, one of the question to ask is when we measure branded performance, should we also be adding these percentages to the total branded performance as well?