Cus­tomer engage­ment and con­ver­sion – the two words every dig­i­tal mar­keter likes to hear. (Ok, tech­ni­cally that is three words but who’s count­ing?)

Engag­ing cus­tomers online and opti­miz­ing their dig­i­tal expe­ri­ence across chan­nels can mean mil­lions in rev­enue for com­pa­nies. How­ever, while dig­i­tal mar­keters are talk­ing about opti­miza­tion, are they imple­ment­ing it suc­cess­fully to max­i­mize the investment?

This is what Adobe aimed to find out in its 2013 Dig­i­tal Mar­ket­ing Opti­miza­tion Sur­vey and the results are in. Over 1,800 responses from around the world– includ­ing North Amer­ica, Europe, and Asia – proved that com­pre­hen­sive opti­miza­tion and tar­get­ing pro­grams directly drive increased con­ver­sion. Here’s what we learned:

Opti­miza­tion still isn’t con­sid­ered a mar­ket­ing priority

  • A major­ity of com­pa­nies sur­veyed spend 5% or less of their mar­ket­ing bud­get on opti­miza­tion activities

How­ever, the com­pa­nies that do invest more, reap the benefits

  • Com­pa­nies spend­ing more than 25% of their mar­ket­ing bud­gets towards opti­miza­tion are twice as likely to enjoy high con­ver­sion rates.


What is hold­ing com­pa­nies back?

  • For almost half the sur­vey respon­dents, test­ing isnot a pri­or­ity at their com­pany (yet)
  • Bud­get and resources remain the two biggest chal­lenges to testing

A cross-departmental approach can improve chances of higher con­ver­sion rates

  • A third of com­pa­nies in which mul­ti­ple depart­ments have input test­ing processes say con­ver­sion rates are 5% or higher

Per­son­al­ized con­tent is a key to success

  • Our analy­sis shows com­pa­nies whose cus­tomers react “very pos­i­tively” to tar­get­ing efforts have higher con­ver­sa­tion rates and invest more of their mar­ket­ing bud­get than others.
  • 55% of dig­i­tal mar­keters sur­veyed said per­son­al­iza­tion is “very” or “some­what” impor­tant to the long-term goals of their organization.
Here’s how our respondents answered when asked how their customers reacted to targeting or personalization efforts

How our respon­dents answered when asked how their cus­tomers reacted to tar­get­ing or per­son­al­iza­tion efforts


Site search is still an untapped opportunity

  • Site search is a fun­da­men­tal aspect of find­abil­ity that includes tac­tics such as key­word match­ing; dis­play­ing products/content based on rat­ings, high­est con­ver­sions, or pro­mo­tions; and tar­get­ing results based on vis­i­tor profile.
  • Yet, more than half of the respon­dents are unaware of the impact of site search tech­niques beyond the base­line func­tion­al­ity of key­word match­ing. The major­ity of those who use site search opti­miza­tion tac­tics find them to be effective.

Auto­mated rec­om­men­da­tions are a hid­den gem

  • A product/content rec­om­men­da­tion is a nat­ural per­son­al­iza­tion tac­tic that dra­mat­i­cally improves engage­ment and con­ver­sion goals.
  • Media and Finan­cial Ser­vices com­pa­nies finally rec­og­nize these ben­e­fits and plan to deploy rec­om­men­da­tions this year.
  • Mean­while, 38% of dig­i­tal mar­keters still aren’t tak­ing advan­tage of this yet.
  • Nearly half do not opti­mize their rec­om­men­da­tion strate­gies and rely heav­ily on man­ual updates. Only 18% are using an auto­mated approach.

Don’t for­get their mobile devices!

  •  Last year, Adobe Ana­lyt­ics saw a dou­bling of traf­fic from mobile devices but less than half of the sur­vey respon­dents said they have a mobile-optimized site or mobile app.
  • Com­pa­nies with mobile-optimized sites triple their chances of increas­ing mobile con­ver­sion rate to 5% or above.

Social plays an impor­tant role but needs measurement

  • Social shar­ing increases con­ver­sion rates; with 2 in 5 com­pa­nies respond­ing that it is “very effective”.
  • How­ever, most com­pa­nies still fly blind when it comes to mea­sur­ing suc­cess – only 47% use social media ana­lyt­ics today.
  • Only 6% use attri­bu­tion mod­el­ing, which can assist in under­stand­ing the inter­ac­tions between social and other chan­nels in their mix.

This year’s responses indi­cate that while com­pa­nies are start­ing to invest and advance in dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing opti­miza­tion, there is still plenty of work to do. It’s never been eas­ier for busi­nesses to adopt opti­miza­tion tech­nol­ogy for test­ing, tai­lor­ing, and deliv­er­ing a mean­ing­ful dig­i­tal expe­ri­ence to their cus­tomers. Whether you are just get­ting started, or plan­ning your next steps in your dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing efforts, keep these insights in mind:

  • Test­ing is the core of any per­son­al­iza­tion and opti­miza­tion pro­gram. Start with small wins, and expand efforts from there; failed tests are just as impact­ful in lessons learned.
  • Opti­mized tar­get­ing breeds cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion and con­ver­sion. Lever­ag­ing con­sumer data such as stated pref­er­ences, past and cur­rent onsite behav­ior, social graphs, and loca­tion can assist in tai­lor­ing con­tent that res­onates with vis­i­tors and pulls them to interact.
  • Site search is an untapped oppor­tu­nity for opti­miza­tion; nav­i­ga­tion works best when it offers spe­cific routes to con­tent. By test­ing and tai­lor­ing site search tac­tics includ­ing key­word match­ing, pro­mo­tion of high con­vert­ing items, and user pro­file tar­geted results, you can unveil the opti­mal expe­ri­ence to deliver a vis­i­tor to max­i­mize con­ver­sion and revenue.
  • Auto­mated rec­om­men­da­tions are not just for dig­i­tal com­merce; all indus­tries can real­ize the ben­e­fits of this nat­ural per­son­al­iza­tion strat­egy. Pow­er­ing rel­e­vant sug­ges­tions across all dig­i­tal chan­nels is a proven way to increase con­sumer engage­ment, con­fi­dence, and loy­alty with a brand.
  •  Nearly every con­sumer is a mobile consumer—is your mobile pres­ence opti­mized? Deter­mine the goal of your mobile ini­tia­tives; look at your ana­lyt­ics, then decide which mobile tac­tics best address your busi­nesses needs now and in the future.
  • Don’t fly blind when it comes to social. Use mod­er­a­tion and mea­sure­ment tools to guide con­ver­sa­tions toward a pos­i­tive impact for your business.

So how do you stack up against your dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing peers? See what they are doing to get ahead—from basic opti­miza­tion prac­tices to robust strate­gies designed to max­i­mize con­ver­sion. Visit Adobe​.com and down­load the com­plete Adobe 2013 Dig­i­tal Mar­ket­ing Opti­miza­tion Sur­vey: http://​adobe​.ly/​1​4​N​Y​kio