Scott King, Digital Optimisation Consultant, Adobe APAC – LinkedIn
For most businesses these days their website is a primary and significant sales tool responsible for a large percentage of business revenue. It is the online digital sales person of the business and it interacts with more customers each day then the best human sales person could ever hope.
Yet the vast majority of businesses operate with an online sales tool that is completely oblivious when it comes to this interaction – making it the biggest Sales Zero in the business!
Digital Optimisation is the practice of turning your businesses’ most critical sales channel – your website – from a sales zero to visionary sales hero. It does this by infusing sophisticated artificial intelligence and leveraging hard data and insights to respond to an individual users’ characteristics. Businesses that run even basic optimisation programs enjoy 10-30+% gains in online sales activity and digital expenditure. The data and insight can be utilized to measure lift and return in investment from online expenditure in real world dollar amounts.
Optimisation spans two distinct yet intimately related disciplines: testing and targeting. Testing is the process of understanding user behavior. This is achieved by monitoring the performance of different variations of content against different groups of users. By quantifying just how well a variation of the ‘default’ experience performs, you begin to answer the fundamental yet critical business questions: How effective is my digital marketing at a granular level? What is the return on investment from the digital marketing expenditure on this particular campaign or channel? What are the most valuable user groups or ‘segments’, what are the least valuable, and how can we close the gap between them? Most importantly, how can we create a better experience for our customers?
There is no such thing as bad test. Thomas Edison, the inventor of the light globe famously said when he was testing different versions of his light globe, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Even negative lift or underperforming experiences teach us something: they teach us what not to do. I always say that this is just as important, if not more so, then undertaking what actually works.
Targeting is the process of responding to that understanding; to deliver the right content, promotions, and experiences to the right segments at the right time. It is about connecting the user with the content he or she wants to consume, when they want to consume it.
Optimisation should be key to any business conducting online marketing. An integrated continuous optimisation program allows businesses to utilise hard data to understand how visitors (prospects!) react to different marketing campaigns, promotions and experiences and use that data to deliver targeted and meaningful content.
This optimised visitor experience vastly increases the likelihood of a visitor performing an action that is valuable to a business such as a sale, a sign-up or a lead generation.
Optimisation can provide unprecedented insight into user behavior. Different users and groups will respond completely differently to one promotion then another. Some people like green. Some people prefer blue. Some people want to research your product before they purchase. Some just want to buy and then go to lunch early.
The data provided by optimisation programs can provide valuable and sometimes surprising information about your customers purchasing behaviors. This new-found understanding can provide a wealth of information about which campaigns are effective, which products are popular with who, and which clients are interested in certain services.
Smart optimisation organisations can make informed decisions about digital marketing budget allocation and campaign prioritization creating strategic, effective long and short term tactical programs for all digital marketing efforts.