Don’t let Digital Strategy Black Magic fool you…

Black Magic

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Often when I am lecturing for the Irish Times Digital Marketing course or when I’m meeting clients I hear the statement “Black Magic”. For them the whole concept of digital marketing and the creation of a digital strategy seems to be a completely different “field” which only in part touches on their traditional marketing experience.

Because of this inexperience, many Irish businesses tend to “outsource” large parts of the project to seasoned Agencies (Or to those who appear seasoned). The problem with this approach however is the “Black Magic” gap that is created. To illustrate this further let me give you a simple example.

“Company A launched a new product last year and the uptake is very slow so they engage with Agency B to help them promote the product online and have a boost in sales.

The brief is simple and the Agency will approach the client to ask a few simple questions:

What does the product do? Makes getting out of bed easier

Who is your target audience? Young People who have problems getting out of bed

How do you want to represent the brand? Young, Dynamic, Cool, Buzzword, Buzzword, Buzzword

On many occasions your agency will come back with something like this:

We feel that a Facebook Campaign will drive the traffic to the website and we can do a give-away competition with targeted Advertising on Facebook and Google Ad-words that will drive leads to the website”

Now adding a price tag of around 15K Agency Spend and 5K Advertising Budget and you are off. “

The problem with the above approach however is the expectations of the client and that of the Agency which are not aligned. The Agency is there to drive leads where the Client is hoping for an uptake in product sales. Those are two very different things as the leads will start at the beginning of a Conversion Funnel and the completed sales are at the end of the Conversion Funnel.

However at the end of the campaign Company A will receive a fancy report saying something like:

“The Campaign was highly successful and we have driven 1000 leads to the website and increased the number of Likes on the Facebook page to 10.000!”

However when company A looks at their books they notice that sales were up about 15% with a profit around 3k. Even though they had an increase in sales it still means that they are down 17K of their original investment. The worst part is the report of the agency doesn’t tell you what those 1000 leads actually did on the website and why they did or did not convert!

Now let’s rewind and describe the correct approach to be taken.

The brief will remain the same Company A wants an increase in sales of new product. However this time they approach us.

The first thing we want to look at is their current traffic and conversion performance so we get access to their web analytics and their Ad-words account and find out the following figures.

-         How many visitors came to the website

-         How many visitors left the website (Bounce and Exit rates)

-         How many visitors showed intent of buying a product (Add to basket)

-         How many visitors actually bought a product (Paid)

-         What are the drop-offs within the conversion funnel

-         What is the user experience from start to finish

After we have those details we can start drawing a picture of the sales cycle and often enough there are issues that need to be resolved. Some of the more common conversion mistakes are

-         Landing pages are lacking clear call to actions above the fold

-         Buying the product requires registration

-         Checkout process contains forms with too many fields, ask yourself how many fields you require to ship a product and receive payment.

-         Common payment options are missing or checkout page lacks trust indicators

-         Ad-words has not been setup correctly and the “clicks” are not being tracked from Google Ad to Conversion on the website

In our experience the wealth of information we have gathered in our digital strategy and the focusing on known issues without actually creating any campaigns or spending extra on advertising will already be enough to gain that 30% extra profit!

So that my friends, is the black magic in Digital Marketing and it is something you need to demand from your Agency before engaging in anything online which will cost you money.

Photo credit Timothy J Carroll

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