Your Marketing Needs a Plan: Don’t Miss these 4 Critical Steps

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By Sue Brady

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Know where to put your snow

Marketing doesn’t just happen. It takes thoughtful planning.

As you embark on your next successful year, be sure to remember a few basics as you formulate your plans:

  • Set clear goals

What do you want your marketing to accomplish: Sales, brand awareness, positive social media coverage, award-winning recognition?

All might be valid goals for you, and all would have different approaches. Understanding your goals is perhaps the most important element to spell out in advance of launching any new marketing program. And don’t forget that goals have nuances. If your goal is sales, it makes a difference if you are after a one-time sale or if your product is a subscription or requires repeat sales throughout the customer life. Knowing the difference will determine how you segment your acquisition file, how you message your campaign, and how you communicate with the customer post-sale.

  • Define what success looks like

While sales might be a goal, success metrics go further. Metrics could be gross revenue per new customer, % business from existing customers, mobile app downloads, Return on Investment (ROI)* above a defined amount, Cost per Orders (CPOs)* lower than a certain level. All are valid. The key is to know what you’re after.

  • Identify your target market

And it can’t be everyone. Get specific. What type of person needs your product? How much money do they make? Are they college educated? Do they live in urban areas? Are they in their 20s? Do they tend to use Facebook? Knowing who your customer is will make finding them easier.

  • Design a campaign that will meet your goals

If your goal is say 500 mobile app downloads, you might want to run a campaign targeting your audience on their mobile phones. If you also know that they are Facebook users in a certain age group with certain interests, you can run a highly targeted campaign on Facebook.

As with every post I write about marketing, if you aren’t testing every time you go into market, you are missing out on an opportunity to learn. Whatever campaign you choose to run, there’s almost always room for testing. Testing will make your next campaign better. Test the most important things first: offer, audience, creative. Use what you learn as you create your next campaign.

Check back for future posts expanding on some of these concepts!

* CPOs are calculated by looking at the total cost to generate an order, and dividing that by the total number of orders received. Total cost typically does not include creative development, because creative can be used well beyond the campaign it’s first designed to support. Think of some of the well-known marketing campaigns out there. Take Flo from Progressive Insurance. If the folks that created that campaign took all of the campaign development costs against the orders for that first campaign, it most likely wouldn’t have been considered successful because of the high CPO. Flo has been used for years now, and so the cost of developing that initial campaign has benefited many campaigns that came later.

ROI can be a trickier metric. ROI is calculated by looking at how much revenue is generated vs how much it cost to generate that revenue. Higher ROI is obviously better. But how you calculate that ROI can vary. True ROI should look over the life of each customer generated off of that specific campaign spend, and also take into account other business generated from the campaign. For instance, TV ads often drive consumers to search on the web, or to respond to a direct mail or email campaign that arrives at the same time. This gets into the importance of attribution. You can read a post about that here.

‘Must Knows’ on Mobile, Apps and eCommerce

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By Sue Brady

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It’s common knowledge that mobile is playing a bigger role than ever in eCommerce, and it’s important to understand why.

Mobile

I found some interesting stats from Criteo.com that show that consumers are using multiple devices and that a larger and larger number of those consumers are completing their transactions on a mobile device. They studied over 1.4 billion transactions and found that:

  • A full 31% of all transactions happened on a mobile device in 2015
  • 35% who used more than one device ultimately purchased using their mobile
  • More than one device is used in 4 of 10 Internet transactions
  • And, those that have multiple devices are 20% more likely (than the average user) to complete their transaction on their mobile device
  • Mobile share of eCommerce transactions has grown from 27% in Q4, 2014, to 44% in Q3, 2015
  • For mobile purchases, Smartphones outpace tablets (56% smartphone vs 44% tablet).

And all that only serves to highlight that if you take transactions on your website, your mobile site needs to be consumer friendly and mobile appropriate. And mobile appropriate doesn’t mean responsive. In fact, given this data, you should ensure that your mobile website makes it easy for a user to get to, and check out from, the shopping cart. That’s not always easy to do using responsive design so look into other approaches (like Adaptive Design for instance). Here’s a post I wrote a couple of years ago on why I favor adaptive design…and I still do!

Also, your website must load quickly. 40% of users will bail if your site takes more than 3 seconds to load. And each second over that sees an exponential increase in that bounce rate (source: getresponse.com).

Apps

In addition to mobile sites being of greater and greater importance, apps are gaining ground in mobile commerce. Again, more interesting data from Criteo: Of retailers that have over 25% of their transactions coming from mobile, their apps generate 58% of that mobile revenue. Their apps are converting at 3.7% times the rate than their mobile sites. And, order values were higher when a customer ordered via the app – higher than mobile browser and desktop buyers.

There are a number of online sources that give advice on designing mobile apps, and here’s a good one that covers the basics.

Email

If you use email to sell, it’s important to know that 53% of emails are opened on a mobile phone or tablet (source: emailmonday.com). If you don’t have a mobile friendly view, almost everyone who opens your email will bail immediately. And if they open and click thru and land on a non-mobile friendly website, almost 60% will bounce!

Let this year be the year you focus on all things mobile.

New Year