Auditing Your Customer Experience for Better Personalization

Most organizations are now familiar with data in some capacity, but extracting customer insights can still be a challenge. Even those who have mastered data analysis can struggle to meaningfully act on the insights they uncover.

From Mass Marketing to Niche Marketing

The modern organization’s struggle with personalization is understandable - The customer experience wasn’t always a hot topic in business and marketing. Before data, everything was marketed in the same way to all people. Often, this simple strategy of tossing out persuasive ads and hoping they were relevant to someone, somewhere, actually worked. The customer experience was more uniform and predictable, and for the most part, marketers didn’t need to care.

In those days of mass marketing, your niche could be broad. A vacuum salesman’s niche was vacuums, plain and simple. Today, it’s a different story. Consumers have access to millions of businesses on the internet – not just the businesses they live near. A quick Google search, YouTube video, or email campaign can bring dozens of new businesses to the forefront of a customer’s mind. How do they choose?

The first key component of personalizing your customer experience is to carve out a more distinct niche so you can reach the right audience. Everyone has preferences, but you’re only concerned with those of your unique customers.

Customer Expectations are Shifting

One of the biggest reasons organizations must personalize the customer experience is consumer habits and expectations. Advancements in technology have drastically changed the way most people experience ads, research products, shop, and make purchase decisions. Social media, mobile devices, email marketing, ecommerce, and other sweeping trends have contributed to a whole new way of experiencing the world – and that absolutely includes the customer experience.

From start to finish, the typical journey of the consumer has been revolutionized. Most importantly, they have more options and more opportunities to get distracted or confused when interacting with any of your touchpoints. For this reason, personalization is a tall order, but one that you can’t afford to ignore.

Understanding Before Personalizing

As touchpoints multiply, it becomes increasingly difficult to understand each facet of your customer experience. That means we must rely on data to reveal the problems our customers are having, what frustrates them, what makes them happy, etc. These insights are nuanced, but with the right data, general trends begin to emerge. These trends will then illuminate next steps for organizations that are hoping to make themselves more efficient.

Whether it’s the checkout process, email newsletters, or landing pages – personalization must be front and center of the design process. When decisions are made from customer behavior insights, the results of your marketing efforts become more predictable.

Conducting a Personalization Audit

Auditing your customer experience requires attention to detail and finding out exactly what your customers want. To do this continuously, you need relevant data.

“By analyzing data like their ‘add to cart’ rate, page views, product views, or the referral channel bringing them to the website, brands get a much richer profile of their customers’ behavior before creating an experience for them.” source

  1. Track the Customer Experience and Identify Touchpoints

No organization can get far without in-depth knowledge of the customer journey, both online and in person. Look at the path customers travel as they get closer to you. This may start with social media or an ad they click. It may end with them becoming a monthly subscriber to your service, or purchasing a product and then unsubscribing. The customer journey that doesn’t end how you’d like is even more important to analyze. 

"Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning." - Bill Gates

  1. Determine the Significance of Each Touchpoint

Data analytics now allows organizations to weigh the impact of each touchpoint. This helps you know what areas of your website, for example, to place the most focus and effort. It also allows you to see weak touchpoints that customers aren’t meaningfully interacting with so you can improve or remove them.

  1. Identify Silos and Work Toward Integration

“If you have signs that, for instance, your ecommerce programs aren’t syncing with your storefront programs through viable integrations, you know you have a problem. Customers, naturally, expect seamless integrations between digital and physical worlds, and it doesn’t always happen.” - Timothy Burke

  1. Look at Existing Feedback and Resources

Sometimes making improvements doesn’t require a ton of analysis. Consider what questions you often receive from customers. Ask experienced team members what problems or complaints they hear from customers the most. Oftentimes a simple conversation can reveal the low hanging fruit – problems you can resolve with a few quick changes.

Personalization Equals Retention

“Customers always have an experience - good, bad, or indifferent.” - Sachin Datta

When customers feel understood, they have a better experience and they’re much more likely to stick around. This is when breakthroughs happen and retention becomes less of a struggle.

Personalizing the customer experience can be simple – learn about your customer preferences and meet those expectations, over and over. When you move from guesses and assumptions to factual observations, things like poor design choices and customer confusion are less likely to occur.


How Slack Is Accelerating Digital Marketing

Since its inception in 2013, Slack has quickly become a staple in many offices and workspaces around the world. As of this year, the platform boasts 10 million users per day, and a whopping 43% of Fortune 100 companies use it in one way or another.

At first glance, a simple instant messaging tool for teams doesn't seem very revolutionary, albeit convenient & lighthearted. (Slack's loading screens greet users with witty banter like, "The Elders of the Internet are contemplating your request..") Slack's interface is impressively clean and simple too, which doesn't sufficiently reveal the vast capabilities hiding within the platform either. But Slack is more than just another tab in your browser or another platform you have to remember a login and password for. If used to its fullest capacity, it's a robust command center for marketers and marketing teams to execute each of their tasks. Let's briefly review some of Slack's capabilities and features.

A Marketer's Dream Command Center

Digital Marketing - Teams can manage entire campaigns from channels within Slack and keep data separate. It can also be integrated with other popular marketing platforms like MailChimp. Manage your editorial calendar, content marketing strategy, analytics, and even finances and invoices. You can also set campaign reminders and get help at any time from your personal assistant, Slackbot.

Statistics - All team members can access performance statistics and share relevant content on the designated channel. You can also monitor social media marketing budgets, respond to customer feedback, and share results from email campaigns. With Slack, teams can pinpoint KPIs and ensure they are met.

Content Sharing - Teams can share links, documents, videos, and screencasts with a simple copy and paste.

So what are the implications of such a diverse, multi-faceted, and widely-used platform?

Email on the Backburner

Image result for email is dead

For several years now, some marketing experts have harped on the idea that email is dead - or will be soon. Yet, many professionals haven't seen a hint of evidence of that. Many still spend their days plowing through emails, trying desperately to organize the influx of information in their inboxes. But for those that still insist the end is near for email, Slack would be just the platform to deliver that final crushing blow. It's a team communication tool that is more direct than email - Simply click the name of the person you want to speak to. It's also more conversational, which saves time by cutting the fluff and formalities you'd often find in an email.

Seamless Integration & Automation

The biggest gamechanger Slack introduces for digital marketers is simple automation. Social media apps many teams are already using like Hubspot and Hootsuite can be integrated with Slack, along with automation tools like Zapier and Marketo. Users can create tasks in Hubspot for every Slack message they need to take action on. Hootsuite users can send specific social media posts to Slack and add comments or solicit feedback from team members. Zapier can help with tasks like automatically sending all Facebook posts to one Slack channel. In this way, teams are virtually limitless in how they can customize Slack to meet their unique marketing needs.

By learning to navigate Slack using quick keyboard commands, users no longer need to switch between their own email, social media, data platforms, and email marketing platforms as often. All information is gathered in a central hub where every team member has instant access. Not to mention, teams can say goodbye to silos. Something as complex as launching a product can be simplified with custom Slackbot reminders and integration with Google calendar. For data, tools like Statsbot can pull information from Google Analytics right into Slack. Surveys from SurveyMonkey can be brought in as well. For organization, tools your team already uses like Trello and Asana can be integrated. There's no limit to the amount of data teams can review together.

Global Knowledge

1 online geniuses slack

Not only is Slack uniting and simplifying communication on teams, but in entire industries. Marketing professionals worldwide are joining Slack channels like Online Geniuses and Open Strategy, which is where thousands of digital marketers now go to learn, share information, and ask questions. Some channels even interview well-known entrepreneurs and open the floor for questions. These channels serve as hubs of expertise in the latest marketing trends. Startups can also create channels for its userbase or membership to raise questions, report issues, and even celebrate the brand. Channels can be unique in that they invite users into direct, informal communication with the company itself.

 

 

Marketing and data automation is one of the fastest-changing industries thanks to ongoing advancements in technology. Keeping up can be a serious challenge, especially for smaller teams with more limited budgets. In this sense, Slack is leveling the playing field with an accessible, affordable platform that provides access to all the essentials - marketing, data, and collaboration.

Digital marketing can quickly become a monstrous job that takes up too many team members' time and energy. With Slack's help in automating tedious tasks, teams are spared both the mental and digital clutter of doing everything manually. That's more time spent on the important stuff, less time wasted on busywork.

 

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If you'd like to learn more about how you could leverage Slack to maximize the use of data and automation in your marketing flows, feel free to contact us, we just might be able to help!

 


What Are The Top, Most Advanced, Customer Journey Analytics Tools Out There Right Now?

“An organization’s ability to learn, and translate that learning into action rapidly, is the ultimate competitive advantage.” Jack Welch

As we rapidly approach 2019, it is critical that you make customer experience a top priority. In order to better understand these experiences, you must dive deeper into your customers' journey.

When you truly begin to understand your customers' behaviors, you can then develop a more strategic marketing plan. In turn, this will help you not only elevate the customer's experience but also increase your ROI. To assist your efforts, you need to hone in on productive, insightful analytics tools.

6 Customer Journey Advanced Analytics Tools To Consider for Your MarTech Stack

If you have recently made it your mission to map out the "customer journey" associated with your company, then you need to focus your attention on advanced analysis. Only then can you truly uncover the sophisticated behaviors and interests of your customer base.

Here are some of the top customer journey analytics tools available, all which offer their own unique features.

1. Google Analytics 360

Google has been a leader in relation to analytics, showing us that the more you know about your customers, the better equipped you'll be to make beneficial decisions. Google Analytics 360 was developed in order to help you "connect the dots." More specifically, this tool will allow you to link your offline and online information, helping you better understand user behavior.

Regardless of the industry, this analytics tool will provide you with a deeper understanding of your customer journey so that you can provide the best possible customer experience and more importantly, drive results. In fact, Google offers unique machine learning capabilities that will help you discover new insights (i.e. which customers are likely to convert).

The core benefits of Google Analytics 360 include:

  • The ability to see the complete picture, seeing how various channels impact your sites and/or apps. You can also easily connect other systems in order to measure point of sale, CRM, etc.
  • The capability to connect with Google's advertising and publisher products, such as Display & Video 360, AdSense, AdMob, Google Ads, and Ad Manager. You will also be able to share large amounts of data in an instant while using Google's configuration APIs. Google Analytics 360 also supports Javascript libraries, mobile app SDKS, and other collection APIs. Read more about these features here.
  • What we love about Google 360: Endlessly customizable, although it can be overwhelming at first. Natural progression from GA.

2. Heap Analytics

Known as the "new standard in tracking customer data," Heap Analytics automatically captures all interactions. Whether they be mobile, web, or cloud interactions, including events, clicks, emails, and more, you can now effectively and easily analyze your data without having to write any code.

In turn, you will be able to effectively measure the impact of each and every interaction. This is particularly true in regards to customer behavior, as you will be able to analyze and use data to increase conversion rates, better understand your users, and increase your overall revenue.

Overall, the core benefits associated with this tool include:

  • The ability to save time while increasing operational efficiency. Without needing any additional code, you can capture every interaction from your website or mobile app.
  • Access to retroactive data, allowing you to make better decisions. You can also capture on-page data via snapshots, enriching your datasets with ease.
  • The option to enrich data using third-party apps, including but not limited to A/B testing tools, payment processors, marketing automation tools, and CRMs. Cloud apps can also be integrated with just one click, including Stripe, Salesforce, and Shopify.
  • What we love about Heap: It allows for retroactive set-up of events. Mapping of events is extremely easy.

3. Woopra

Trusted by more than 5,000 of the world's most innovative companies, including WordStream and Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Woopra is known for its analytics, supporting marketing, sales, product, and support teams.

The benefits associated with this tool include:

  • Real-time analysis on an individual basis. You will be able to see how is interacting with your site, who is opening emails, who is making payments, and more. Helping you tie all of your data points together, will help you understand the customer journey and customize funnels accordingly.
  • In addition to retention reports, trend reports, journey reports, you will be able to create dynamic segments of users based on the criteria you choose. Woopra's visual interface showcases highly robust segmentation capabilities so that you can better understand various customer groups.
  • What we love about Woopra: CDP + Automations with a big library of integrations out of the box.

4. Yandex Metrica

The goal of Yandex Metrica is to help you better analysis both the intent and behavior of your users. Offering some unique and innovative features, you can take advantage of powerful segmentation and tagging capabilities. These features surrounding customer behavior include:

  • Accurate session replay, which helps you understand why a conversion was lost.
  • Click heat maps, which allow you to see exactly what your customers are clicking on so that you can better examine behavior patterns.
  • Form analytics helps you detect the pain points of your customers. In turn, you can see which form isn't performing as it should within a form-funnel.
  • What we love about Yandex Metrica: Great complement for GA. It allows to zero in on individual user's activity.

5. Indicative

Developed with product managers, marketers, and analysts in mind, Indicative will allow you to understand your customers are people, not as data. Connecting your data sources, this tool delivers a complete view of your customer. Whether you would like to optimize marketing campaigns or customer acquisition, Indicative provides you with the insights you need. Best of all, the standard version is free.

Benefit from:

  • The ability to segment customers in order to learn about different groups (i.e. how they interact with your product(s)). Then, identify behaviors that result in higher conversion rates before analyzing the impact of your A/B tests.
  • The opportunity to identify and eliminate points of friction across various segments. This will allow you to maximize your campaigns, as you're able to "slice" your funnel to compare various paths. Learn more about the unique features offered here.
  • What we love about Indicative: A robust platform for advanced segment analysis.

6. Pendo

As they saw over at Pendo, "we make software lovable." Like the above tools, you will be able to access robust product analytics without coding. There are many features associated with this tool, including funnels and journeys. Surveys and polls, user segmentation, product analytics and more.

This tool can help you:

  • Segment users for targeted messaging, allowing for more personalized engagement.
  • Benefit from a wide range of integrations, including everything from Wordpress to BigQuery.
  • What we love about Pendo: Incredibly dynamic tool for the analysis and execution of insights.

Better understand who users engage with your product(s). Whether you want to know which features drive engagement or view historical trends, all of this becomes possible -- and much more


Get to Know Your Next Customer with Predictive Analytics

You ready yourself for an oncoming storm because predictive analytics advised you it was approaching.

 

You stand at bat against a pitcher and swing at a certain area of the strike zone because predictive analytics advised you that’s where they’re most likely to throw.

 

You defend a basketball player and force them to drive left because predictive analytics advised you that’s where they’re weaker.

 

Predictive analytics are integral to providing a company, an athlete, or a storm-prepper with crucial info to get a forewarning. You use them "to identify the likelihood of future outcomes based on historical data." Without them, you're preparing with the storm on the horizon or guessing your way through at-bats and defensive possessions.

 

They're a necessity in a digital marketing, where success is contingent on analyzing data, before, during, and after a campaign.

 

All data analysis begins with predictive analytics; targeting groups based on variables, predicting customer behavior, and recommending certain products and services they’d be most prone to buying.

 

This is the most important segment of the analytical stage. It’s how and where you find your audience. You can have the Ernest Hemingway of copy and the Basquiat of graphic design on content. It won’t produce nearly the same results without segmenting, predicting, and filtering beforehand.

 

Utilizing predictive analytics is where retail giants like Amazon and eBay excel. They target groups based on numerous variables, including behavioral clustering, product-based clustering and brand-based clustering.

 

From there, they evolve from the segmenting phase to the prediction phase, utilizing propensity models. This is where customer behavior is predicted; variables such as engagement likelihood, and their propensity to unsubscribe, convert, or buy.

 

Then begins the filtering phase. This is where eBay and Amazon earns their notoriety. They’re always seem to know just what you want to buy and when you need it. They know this because of your past buying behavior. It allows those retail giants to predict what you’re likely to buy next will be in the same vein.

 

And it works.

 

It comes down to understanding people:

 

“Knowing the customer type or behavior you want to replicate, the predictive modeling starts with a sample of the consumers you want more of, otherwise known as seed. The predictive model is then able to create an audience that is tailor-made to your business and objectives.”

 

To reach the point of understanding your customer’s behavior, your predictive model must first identify “consumers based on who they are rather than exclusively focusing on a recent behavioral signal, thus exponentially expanding your pool of potential prospects”, based on the predictive model.

 

Furthermore, “predictive modeling evaluates all available data to classify the relative importance of each point in identifying your target audience. The resulting formula pinpoints which consumers to target, allowing you to capitalize on both scale and precision.”

 

The underlying current of predictive analytics is tracking the online behavior that takes them from point A to B. It’s focused on pinpointing who’s most likely to buy, when they are at their most willing to buy, what product or service they’re most likely to buy, and what’s going to prompt them to buy.

 

Even more important, however, is differentiating between high-value customers and those you might suspect of just browsing. Again, predictive analytics can aid in qualifying and prioritizing leads based on their likelihood to take action.

 

This is possible by “identifying and acquiring prospects with attributes similar to existing customers”. If your online patterns and behaviors are similar to the majority of customers on that website, you’ll be treated as a high-priority lead.

 

Here’s an example from Marketing Land on how this works:

 

“Applying predictive and analytics on a range of digital and offline data sets, we were able to identify just how valuable different online behaviors were to an offline, in-store transaction and activation later in the purchase cycle.

The data told a story with many elements we might have expected: Add-to-cart actions and beginning a checkout process were indeed predictive of an impending offline purchase, and locating a nearby store also showed up as an action predictive of purchasing intent. But browsing device galleries and using the chat feature were among the more valuable actions, and the single most important factor in purchase intent was interacting with the current special offers.”

 

Sounds like a science experiment, right? You lay out a couple of variables that act as triggers for your candidates and then wait for the results to play out. From this particular experiment, it was clear that offers were the trigger that turned the most potential customers into actual customers.

 

Notice how many variables were weighed as well. It goes so much further beyond whether or not a potential customer clicks through your ad. It comes down to what type of ad they’re clicking on, what they’re leaving behind in their cart, how far they went out in the checkout process, what they were browsing, and if they were using the chat feature.

 

The analysts went as far as tracking if their candidates were searching for stores nearby.

 

Ushering your potential customer is a delicate process that requires extremely precise timing, a task which links back to customer segmentation and leads to personalized messaging.

 

Predictive analytics also greatly assists in the fact that "73% of consumers prefer to do business with brands that use personal information to make their shopping experiences more relevant." So not only are you helping yourself in the long run, you're also assisting in directly getting sales through re-targeting efforts.

 

In fact, personalization overall greatly assists in drumming up more sales:

 

  • "86% of consumers say personalization plays a role in their purchasing decisions"
  • "45% of online shoppers are more likely to shop on a site that offers personalized recommendations"
  • "40% of consumers buy more from retailers who personalize the shopping experience across channels"
  • "80% of consumers like when retailers emails contain recommended products based on previous purchases"

 

This shouldn't be surprising. At every juncture of an Amazon transaction, the website is listing 'Top Picks for You' or 'Recommendations for You' or 'Customers who bought this also bought...'". All of these tactics are naturally going to elicit more orders. Your interest is already piqued in your purchase and you're likely excited about it, too.

 

It's kind of like a checkout line at a grocery store. You think you got everything, but don't you need some gum once you finish eating? And how about one of those magazines with the big headlines to relax with after?

 

Those weren't put there by accident. Stores analyze their customers' buying habits to see what they were buying at the end of a checkout line. Just like Amazon and eBay places certain recommendations before, during, and after your transactions, it's all based on using predictive analytics to forecast what you're most likely to buy along with that item.

 

In the same vein as any marketing agency's work, predictive analytics is utilized to get that extra sale that would have never been found without discovering who your customer is and how they behave beforehand.


Marketing Automation and Big Data: A Perfect Match

In an age where digital data is not only valuable but ubiquitous, organization and automation becomes a marketing agency's pillars of time management and financial advantage.

 

More needs to be done to understand the motivations of a consumer. Content creation and targeting are only the tip of this iceberg and the start of a deep dive to converting a customer into a lead or sale. It's data that educates a marketer on what makes an individual tick. Through data, they'll be able to establish what exactly triggers them and the most efficient way to do so.

 

To do so, you need to build a customer profile:

 

"Through marketing automation systems, we should be able to build better-rounded customer profiles through variable data field capture during different communication touch points."

 

Using big data can gain a marketing agency advantages when it comes to developing relevant content and messages, collecting and analyzing data on how customers interact, and delivering a more consistent, positive customer experience across devices.

 

Digital advertising isn't just posting an ad online and hoping for the best. Leveraging automation enables agencies to determine what type of content is best at attracting leads, how they find you, and why they chose to connect with you. It can help figure out how, when and where customers tend to interact with you, as well as what platforms and devices they're reaching you on.

 

Even though we're online, you still have to imagine a face and personality behind that screen.

 

Online marketing may have muddied the border between buyer and seller, but it hasn't completely eroded it. The intimacy of conversation may get down to bare bones quicker, but getting to know one another, in order to build up a level of trust from the seller's side and understanding from the buyer's side, has not been completely lost.

 

Now instead of asking questions, you're simply provided with profiles through those variable data fields we just mentioned. You get to know their behaviors, tendencies, and interests, while marketing automation and big data work "together to create an effective way to collect, sort and gain insight from thousands of data points about customers, campaigns and products or services."

 

This can partly be done by the miracle of predictive analytics, which can predict the future by mining the past. Consider Amazon; they gather past purchase data, wish lists, similar purchases and customer ratings to predict future shopping patterns. They simply acquire all the data they need to build up an accurate enough profile that will efficiently usher you from point A to point B:

 

"With the increased accuracy of self-learning algorithms, marketers will be able to better deconstruct big data to create incredibly targeted and optimally timed user experiences."

 

Getting a customer from each of those points requires a meld of data and automation; the data working as the blueprint, and automation working as the tools, delivering quickness, accuracy, and an improved user experience, one that puts the user in the driver's seat:

 

"They can access the exact information they want, how and when they want it. But every potential customer isn't necessarily going to want exactly the same information. With automation, you can also create multiple paths, so each person can have a different experience, based on their own needs and interests."

 

When "80% of your sales come from only 20% of your customers", automation is a necessity to pinpoint just what type of customers will react and how. For example, say you're running an email marketing campaign and you're trying to deliver the best possible user experience, you might monitor:

 

  • When your customer open emails
  • When they engage with content
  • What content they engage with
  • The frequency with which they choose to engage
  • Conversions that take place

 

Platforms like AutoPilot can deliver a tailored experience that accommodates each and every one of your leads as a unique individual, rather than just another part of the catch-all. Sure they might share similarities by way of being interested in what you're selling, but they all have different triggers and ways of going about things.

 

On the other end, the Zapier platform can help gather that data and turn it into data you can use to create a more efficient workflow and finish routine tasks quicker.

 

These platforms and tools will not only help you get better organized, but they'll help you draw in more leads. You can't treat your audience as a monolith. They might all like your product or service, but they all arrived there differently, are using different devices, react to different content, and come from different areas where the product or service might serve a different purpose.

 

You may not see them, and that disconnect and widening gulf isn't helping, but there's still a person behind the screen and the only way to turn them into a sale or lead is treating them like one.


7 Mobile Application KPIs You Need to Pay Attention to for Better Results

First and foremost, no mobile application metric or KPI is going to be more important than the star rating. Before we can delve into the crowded world of digital marketing statistics, let's just get it out of the way: the star rating's superficiality is what will enable many users to decide whether an app is downloadable or not.

 

A star-rating is so important that it could even deter users from downloading the app of a brand they like. When you see low stars, what immediately comes to mind? Probably crashes, long load times, misleading features; an app that doesn't deliver what it promises.

 

So to reach the point where an app's star rating is high, developers and whoever else is in charge of production, execution, strategy, etc. needs to focus on the numbers that will facilitate optimized performance and relevant, helpful, and engaging content.

 

Only through optimization and delivering a polished, quality product can you expect people to download the app and, most importantly, to continue using it.

 

It's natural to assume downloads would be the key metric. After all, that's how developers make some of their money back if they did in fact create an app that charges for use. However....

 

"'The number [downloads] means nothing without context. Downloads only enable an app to succeed, they do not indicate actual success,'says Brant DeBow, EVP of technology at BiTE Interactive. Too many brands are still concerned with eyeballs, treating apps as if they were a TV ad.

 

The best ads have stickiness and offer something inherently valuable to users.'"

 

That term stickiness is going to show up frequently here. What Brant says makes perfect sense. You can't simply create an app just for it to be downloaded. It needs to offer a "clear solution to a problem their users face with success affirmed by users visiting the app repeatedly."

 

It needs to have Lifetime Value (LTV), which is "the value of a mobile user as compared to a non-mobile user - if your mobile user is more loyal, spends more, and/or evangelizes more than your regular consumer, your mobile strategy is working."

 

Is someone going to recommend an app or give it a five-star rating simply because they downloaded it? Or are they going to give it that premier rating because of the features within the app? Getting an app downloaded is just good marketing. Retention within the app is the key KPI to measuring success:

 

"Retention is one of the biggest challenges of mobile apps today, as 65% people stop using them three months after install,' says Cezary Pietrzak, director of marketing at Appboy...Anyone can download an app, but it takes a special kind of app to compel people to use it with regularity. Your monthly active users (MAU) or daily active users (DAU) are your key users."

 

Now the question is how do you retain users? To start off, you need to consider the app you're marketing and which KPIs are more applicable and significant to that type of app:

 

"For games where ARPU (Average Revenue Per User) is naturally very low per individual user yet there may be many active users, a good KPI may be focused on keeping users engaging as long as possible. For a SaaS (Software as a Service) app where most users are freemium users, the best KPI is most likely focused on how well you can convince free users to become paid users."

Here's a few KPIs that every app should consider:

 

  • LTV
    • "How you quantify value depends on your vertical...The point is that knowing the value of various consumers means you can compare users and identify key segments of successful users as well as cohorts that need improvement, says Cipolla."

 

  • Session Time
      • "Just like page views versus time spent on the web, session length on an can help mobile strategists quantify the depth of a person's relationship with an app, says Pietrzak. You want a sticky, compelling app; stickiness lends an app toward longer sessions."

     

    • "Measured as the time period between app open and close. It indicates how much time your users are spending in your app per individual season. The more engaged they are, the longer their session length."

 

  • In-App Purchases

 

Basically what this means, and let's use a game as an example, is delivering the most basic tenets of the app, but holding out the best stuff for those that either play the game long enough (Retention!) or cave in and buy those extra incentives.

 

Take for instance a free Poker app I've become accustomed with. Now I can play hand after hand, day after day to reach a certain chip count so I can play with the high rollers, or I can shell out $10 or so and reach that point in a single transaction.

 

Or, as another example, the extremely popular The Simpsons Tapout game where you get to build your own version of Springfield. I can spend day after day giving characters tasks to complete so that I can have the money and XP to buy certain items. Or I could just spend $20 and get those items with a click.

 

These are the hallmarks of an effective gaming app. The games are addictive, entertaining, and free, at least to start off. It's not until you play for so long, however, that you're almost required to pay if you want to keep playing. You're left with the choice of either trudging your way through task after task or game after game, just paying to move up a level, or quitting that highly-addictive game.

 

  • Number of screens/pages visited

 

This KPI speaks not only to how engaging the content is on the app, but how high-quality the app's performance is as well. A user should be able to seamlessly launch the app, load new pages, make purchases, play the game, or whatever it is the app promises, without thinking, "What's taking so long?"

 

That momentary delay in seamless transitions can disrupt an entire experience. It's like reading a good article and stumbling across a grammatical error. It just throws you off. Even worse, it makes you want to experience something that isn't buggy and filled with problems that should have been worked out before.

 

  • Grant Permission
    • "A surprising yet important engagement-based KPI is when users grant permission for the app to access personal information. This KPI is important because it signifies a bond of trust between the user and the app which isn't inherently given to every app."

 

  • Performance
    • App crashes, app load per period, network errors, etc.

 

The number one reason an app gets deleted is because of technical issues.

 

This is where the editing and fine-tuning process play a critical role. It doesn't matter how much you strategize, how quality the content is, how addictive the game is, or how engaging the material is, your app will be deleted if it does not work, is laden with errors, or crashes upon opening.

 

  • Retention Rate
    • Highlights your most engaged -- and valuable -- users, creating better targeting opportunities and personalization of the app experience.

 

This, no matter the type of app you choose, is the most valuable KPI to build off of. It's how you know users are satisfied with the app because they'll keep coming back. Your app's accessibility, navigability, performance, content, and longevity have all passed the test if that's the case.


YouTube Demonetization and Why It Should Worry You

Sometimes what's good on paper doesn't mean it's good in practice. Sometimes it veils something far more nefarious in its intentions.

 

Take YouTube and their recent controversy. In order to combat their definition of 'extremist content', the worldwide video-sharing platform responded to threat of a mass advertising boycott by "implementing 'broader demonetization policies' around 'content that is harassing or attacking people based on their race, religion, gender or similar categories'".

 

Honestly, it's tough to blame them for this approach when "analysts are predicting that Google will lose roughly $750 million as a result of an international ad boycott that kicked off last month, when marketers discovered that their campaigns were running against extremist videos on YouTube."

 

"The latest companies to pull their ads from the video platform include Pepsi, Walmart, Starbucks, FX, General Motors, Dish, JP Morgan, Johnson & Johnson, and Lyft, Variety reports. They join AT&T, Verizon, GSK, and Enterprise Holdings, which pulled their ads earlier this week, citing the same concerns."

 

Sounds great, right? While YouTube is headquartered in America, the hub of equal and free speech, it still exists as a private company, meaning it can ultimately decide which content it wants on its platform. So if they find a video that promotes harassment and just blind hatred, they have the right to 'demonetize' those videos or flat-out remove them.

 

Demonetization is the process of decreasing the money a channel can make off a video once it reaches a certain view count threshold:

 

"While creators can get revenue from ads, individual views don't account for much money until they reach the hundreds of thousands. Making sure your videos can reliably have ads matched with them is essential for creators being able to have long-term revenue."

 

Here's a list of things that may result in demonetization, according to YouTube's new policy:

 

  1. Sexually suggestive content, including partial nudity and sexual humor
  2. Violence, including display of serious injury and events related to violent extremism
  3. Inappropriate language, including harassment, swearing and vulgar language
  4. Promotion of drugs and regulated substances, including selling, use, and abuse of such items
  5. Controversial or sensitive subjects and events, including subjects related to war, political conflicts, natural disasters and tragedies, even if graphic imagery is not shown.

 

How idealistic. Unfortunately, I, as you should as well, have two major issues with this. For one, most of it is completely subjective, and two, it's vague. The fifth point, in fact, is absurd in how broad it's defined:

 

"Guidelines that contain something as broad as 'subjects related to political conflicts' do not provide creators with useful information. It makes it sound as if YouTube is no longer going to monetize channels that cover current events, which of course is not the case."

 

And in the case of subjectivity, who is ultimately deciding what constitutes as hate speech, especially in this day and age where something as simple as challenging a different opinion can be defined as such. If I'm a conservative with millions of subscribers and I have thoughts on illegal immigration, what's to stop enough people with different beliefs and a large following to report me enough times to have my video demonetized.

 

Take for instance the YouTube Heroes program rolled out last September; perhaps one of the greatest attacks on free speech based on subjectivity you'll ever witness on a social media platform:

 

"YouTube heroes gives users the option to flag a video for being inappropriate, and as a result you can get your video demonetized by it becoming age restricted or removed completely, which will add a strike to your channel and possibly lead to it being deleted."

 

 

Oh, but it gets better. And by better, I mean much, much worse. Here's the five-step process:

 

  1. Become a hero
  2. Learn more in seminars
  3. Unlock super tools that allow you to mass flag videos
  4. Get behind the scenes access, contact YouTube staff directly, and try new products first
  5. Top hero perks, basically become a full-time unpaid Google employee.

 

Imagine my shock when I saw comments were disabled on the official video, which currently sits with a Like/Dislike ratio of 30,722:956,895.

 

This is where a huge problem lies. A video can get demonetized simply because it offended the wrong person or people. What offends some may not offend others. This isn't as simple as a hardcore racist saying "I believe Race X is better than Race Y and Race Z is worse than all of them!".  A vast majority of the time it comes down to innocuous beliefs that other people simply don't agree with.

 

But again it isn't as simple as that, either. What it appears to be is an outright attack on YouTube content creators with good intentions. Because this demonetization process isn't just attacking the likes of virulent racists like David Duke. It's going after creators like H3H3 Productions, Philip DeFranco and even Jenna Marbles, who "have all had hundreds of videos no longer qualify for advertising revenue, and other YouTubers are claiming they didn't have a chance to appeal to their demonetization."

 

 

 

"It isn't just large channels that are being affected by these changes -- YouTuber Tim TV, who has been a fulltime YouTuber for about six months, told Kotaku that he saw that his revenue was, 'tanking faster than ever before,' and that he found the changes 'terrifying'".

 

Here's a little background from H3H3's Ethan Klein on just how out of line and lacking in transparency YouTube can be when it rolls out these vague stipulations:

 

 

You heard that right. Even tagging things like 'Suicide', 'Rape', and 'Drugs' can get your video demonetized, not taking any of the context whatsoever into mind. That means someone who tagged 'Suicide' because they wanted to give advice on suicide prevention, or a rape survivor who wanted to tell their story and tagged 'Rape', or a doctor who wanted to give medical advice and tags 'Drugs' would have had their videos demonetized.

 

And the worst part of it all? YouTube didn't even warn the creators. Just read how lacking in foresight this approach was:

 

"In 2012, YouTube began demonetizing videos based on new advertising-friendly guidelines. This was not done by people, but by an algorithm that looked at metadata of videos and other factors to decide whether it was likely to be something as an advertiser wouldn't want to be associated with."

 

But don't worry, because everything is better now, right? Well..

 

"Google currently uses a mixture of automated screening and human moderation to police its video sharing platform and to ensure that ads are only placed against appropriate content."

 

Look, we get it. YouTube is a massive platform with billions of videos from all over the world. Sometimes automation is the only way to keep some things in check that a human can't reach. However, this is a significant issue when YouTubers like Matan Uziel is no longer getting ad revenue on their videos dealing with "women about hardship, including sex trafficking, abuse and racism."

 

Why did it get pulled? Isn't it obvious? One of those automated screeners saw "sexually suggestive content", maybe some "violence", and "controversial or sensitive subjects and events", and was programmed to demonetize the video of a creator with obvious good intentions.

 

But they're not alone:

 

"Dr. Aaron Carroll runs a channel dedicated to healthcare policy and research and discovered this week that 27 of his videos were demonetized and had been for months. It seems likely that the algorithm regularly flagged a program discussing prescription drug costs, the opioid epidemic, and treatments for diabetes because it thought those videos were celebrating illegal drug use."

 

How is that for a precedent set by YouTube? If you dare used your large following to discuss the evils of addictive drugs or tell the stories of abused victims, no ad revenue for you. Oh, and like Ethan explained in the video, they wouldn't tell you about it, either. You wouldn't get notified and your video wouldn't even become age restricted. Your video would just be demonetized.

 

Fortunately, this policy changed last fall. YouTube now:

 

  1. Lets you know when a video has been demonetized
  2. Shows a notice next to demonetized videos
  3. Allows you to request a manual review of demonetized videos
  4. Re-monetizes videos that the review finds to be not in violation of YouTube's ad-friendly policy.

 

It's a great gesture sure. But why did it take four years to correct, and why were channels not even notified in the first place?

 

It was a shoot first, ask questions second policy. By thinking they're doing the right thing and acquiescing to the demands of their advertisers (Not surprising considering YouTube operates at a loss), they negatively affect innocent YouTube content creators who treat the platform as a full-time job and livelihood.

 

As YouTuber Arin 'Egoraptor' Hanson' said, "he wanted YouTube to 'be more clear about what advertisers are opposed to having their ads displayed on. What can creators do specifically to make their content more advertiser friendly?'"

 

But to really get into the meat of YouTube and its advertisers' intentions with subjective censorship and constant threats of demonetization for ThoughtCrime, I don't think we can go anywhere until we explore what I have dubbed The PewDiePie Situation.

 

For those who don't know, PewDiePie is basically the face of YouTube. He has over 54 million subscribers, and his videos are basically him talking into a webcam talking about one thing or another. His audience is mostly made up of the younger generation, mainly middle and high school kids.

 

But about a month ago, PewDiePie was attacked, seemingly at random, by the Wall Street Journal who took some out-of-context jokes and videos and decided to go on a character assassination spree.

 

"According to the Journal's analysis, over the last six months the YouTuber posted nine videos that included either anti-semitic jokes or Nazi imagery, including one, posted on January 11th, that featured two men holding a banner that stated: 'Death to All Jews'. Another video, posted January 22nd, featured a man dressed as Jesus saying, "Hitler did absolutely nothing wrong."

 

The entire premise was based on Fiverr, a company that asks buyers to pay just $5 to do absurd things, like having two people dressed in traditional native garb to hold up a sign that says 'Death to All Jews', or having a man dress as Jesus and saying "Hitler did absolutely nothing wrong." PewDiePie was convinced they wouldn't do it because of how insane the statements were, but they actually did it.

 

Out-of-touch, narrative-driven journalists who worked for traditional outlets discovered the videos and went on a crusade to take down the evil PewDiePie empire. They went through his videos, chopped up more out of context clips in his videos, and said, "See! See! Look how evil he is! How can parents let their children watch this?"

 

PewDiePie was not contacted by the WSJ to defend himself for their first hit piece.

 

As a result of this attack, PewDiePie actually lost out on a partnership with Disney's Maker Studios. Also as a result of this attack, PewDiePie's 50 million+ subscribers realized traditional media outlets are using out of context video clips to defame the character of a YouTuber who had exhibited zero anti-semitic or racist tendencies in the past.

 

The Wall Street Journal, worth noting, has 2.1 million subscribers. It was also voted as one of the least cool brands by 18-24 year olds.

 

And isn't it just ironic that the author of the original hit piece of PewDiePie was written by Ben Fritz, who composed a tweet in 2009 stating: "Just attended my first chanukah party. Had no idea jews were so adept at frying." Here's another in 2015 talking about having a "hard on purely for the Nazis" and one more stating "well obviously I'm not counting jokes about black people. Those are just funny."

 

So what's the meaning of this? Why is the Wall Street Journal of all publications going after YouTube's most popular YouTuber? Well, I did some research into the WSJ and have a theory, but let me preface it with this response from PewDiePie on the whole ordeal:

 

"Old-school media does not like internet personalities because they are scared of us. We have so much influence and such a large voice, and I don't think they understand that. The story was an attack towards me by the media to try and discredit me, decrease my influence."

 

While I would like to personally cite and specifically quote the Wall Street Journal's findings and rebuttals, I can't because I need to pay for a subscription. It's exemplary of how a bitter, dying, and desperate publication from the old guard is lashing out and attacking the new; latching onto a statement or joke that could be misconstrued as racist or anti-semitic, which is basically a death sentence to someone working in the public eye, and selling that to uninformed users.

 

In perfect media collaboration, the Washington Post, Vox (who had the slimy audacity to, once again, use an out of context clip of PewDiePie raising his arm and equating it to a Nazi salute as their cover image for the article), Wired, and Salon were all quick to jump on the "Is PewDiePie a Nazi/Alt-Righter/Racist?" bandwagon.

 

YouTube content creators, people like PewDiePie, H3H3, and Philip DeFranco, are independent and don't answer to anyone other than what appeals to their subscribers. They don't answer to advertisers, high-profile donors, boards of directors, executives, or producers. These are people armed simply with a webcam, a microphone, and a platform reaching tens of millions.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1BBmu_kFHrs

 

To the traditional media, this isn't just terrifying, it's a threat to their information monopoly.

 

Independent media, courtesy of the unbridled internet and social media platforms like Twitter and YouTube, have been on the rise and have shaken traditional media to its core. Distrust in these institutions is sewn as more and more people realize they're not getting the full story, while independent media, free of influence, is providing a perspective that's never discussed.

 

How do you attack these independents when they don't have a higher power that they answer to? It's simple. You hit them where it really hurts: Their ad revenue, their character through out-of-context clips, enlisting critics with opposing beliefs, employing other mainstream outlets to join your crusade, broad and extremely vague definitions of 'extremism', and using the platform they post on to crackdown on them.

 

But this isn't just an attack on popular YouTubers. It's an attack on counter-narratives and content creators not shackled by the constraining chains of producers, boards of directors, and advertisers.

 

So it's only natural that these dying publications in their death throes, like a cornered animal, are lashing out at its threats. Like YouTubers with over 50 million subscribers, or simply any YouTuber who is developing a following strong enough to take eyes off traditional outlets that are pushing a narrative delivered from on high.

 

Remember: "Whoever controls the media, controls the mind." There is nothing more integral to controlling the whims of the masses than the control of information. There should be nothing surprising that in the age of "fake news" a popular YouTuber is getting randomly attacked, advertisers are threatening boycotts, and traditional media outlets are doing their best to defame independent sources of info.

 

The only question that remains now is, just how long do the traditional media outlets think they have left?


Generate More Sales and Acquire More Leads with Programmatic Advertising

Creating a narrower, personalized buying experience for online shoppers has become one of the most imperative methods to securing conversions and generating leads in a campaign.

 

There are simply too many voices speaking at the same time to make a lasting impression on someone. Social media platforms are inundating users with ads that are making the overall online experience less appealing.

 

Spam emails may be on the decline, but that hasn't stopped advertisers from encroaching platforms in new ways; whether it's a promoted tweet on your Twitter stream, a sponsored ad on your Facebook timeline, or an unskippable 30-second ad on the YouTube video you want to watch.

 

So rather than painting potential targets with a broad stroke, the idea now is to narrow the audience to those most receptive and likely to buy. This approach limits dilution of the advertisement, costs less money, wastes less resources, and displays your advertisement to audience members that may actually purchase.

 

This is where programmatic advertising steps in, and why it's become so popular among marketers:

 

"Programmatic is all about delivering the right message to the right audience at the right time. It will give your creative team the data they need to improve branding message and make them more personally relevant. Using audience, contextual and environmental signals, you can create highly impactful dynamic creative that performs to each audience segment."

 

As any advertiser knows by now, "successful advertising all comes down to how well you know your customers -- not guessing or assuming their behaviors, activities, or intent. In the telecommunications industry, for example, the use of CRM data resulted in online campaigns that were 39 times more effective, according to Neustar."

 

The art of storytelling and investing in perfecting the buyer's journey and experience is becoming a consensus view:

 

"The general theme coming from thought leaders throughout the marketplace is to build a better experience for the consumer through great content and creative, innovative advertising. The power dynamic has shifted in consumers' favor, which means that marketers and advertisers will only engage target audiences and generate new business if they stop talking at audiences and start creating relationships with them instead."

 

As we'll soon learn, there are plenty of resources available for marketers to gain a deeper understanding of their audience, thanks in part to programmatic ad buying's capabilities.

 

Programmatic ad buying is at the forefront of this movement, and growing in popularity, because it "allows brands to pinpoint the audiences that they want to reach. This ensures they deliver the perfect message, in the perfect location, at the perfect time."

 

This is the most effective approach to targeting while still optimizing. Here's the process and why you'll soon see how it became so popular:

 

"Programmatic systems can analyze online profiles to determine if the potential customer is the decision maker, and deliver ads and content that can be customized for each step of the buying process. This help to ensure that decision makers see the ads or content, and it allows companies to guide potential buyers through the buying process."

 

But how does it do it?

 

"When a potential customer reads a white paper, visits a company's website, views a webinar, or reads a blog article; the programmatic system detects the behavior and display ads and content that are relevant to the potential customer. This can expand a company's existing lead base, generate interest, and establishes a company's authority on the subject."

 

There is no guessing or assuming. What you will possess, as a result of the metrics provided by programmatic, will be indicative stats of what works and what doesn't. Although skepticism in data-driven marketing spiked with Facebook's overestimations, it certainly hasn't deterred marketers from realizing numbers reliance is the future:

 

"The recent industry-wide drive toward data-driven marketing has set the stage for a creative renaissance, one rooted in and informed by a deeper, more precise foundation of consumer profiling facilitated by technology.

 

We now have the ability to apply data to discern the actual moment that people are planning vacations so we can serve them relevant and compelling messages about beach clothing, or to know when they are researching cars to serve them auto ads."

 

Is this not the overall endgame with any approach to marketing? The greatest challenge and responsibility of marketers is perspective; putting yourself in the shoes of your audience and finding out how they get from point A (wanting to buy something) to point B (buying that something from you).

 

Advertisers, more prominently before digital marketing's advent but even still practicing it to this day, employed every method you can think of to get a better idea of their audience's behavior and tendencies. Focus groups, phone and in-person surveys, and man-on-the-street interviews were all employed. But this only represented a small sample size, based mainly on anecdotal accounts.

 

Now you can narrow your audience and also collect vital info for future marketing efforts. This certainly isn't as personal as talking to someone one-on-one, but it is far less time-consuming and more resources can be devoted to the creative side of things:

 

"Customer data, also referred to as first-party data, paints a valuable picture and enables SMBs with the ability to draw meaningful conclusions about consumers from multiple channels....

 

Once data is collected, marketers are now able to unlock the full potential of their first-party data by uploading offline data (such as audience segments in a CRM system) to the online environment -- a process called data onboarding or CRM matching. Once there, it can be matched with digital data and activated for a variety of purposes within a Data Management Platform."

 

Through a lead generation campaign, you can have "names, addresses, emails, lifecycle stages, demographics, purchase histories, and even triggers of your existing customers and most qualified leads."

 

These are the keys to generating leads and sales. Once you have the metrics at your disposal, you can adjust your creative strategy to their preferences.

 

The entire process is fluid, as well. If you were to create an ad that wasn't performing well, "programmatic marketing enables the company to make changes to campaigns in real-time without extra expenditures. This means that companies can further refine their campaigns to change which content or ads are displayed to different target markets during the buying process, without starting new campaigns from scratch."

 

It shouldn't be a surprise then that "According to eMarketer, 83% of all ad buying activity will be programmatic by 2017."

 

One of the more effective, and most popular, personalization techniques is remarketing. Not every interested buyer is going to pull the trigger upon first glance of your website. They might want to buy something, but for any bevy of reasons they want to delay it. As an example, I have three items sitting in my Amazon cart. This doesn't mean I don't want the products. It just means now is not the right time.

 

Rather than rely on the user to make their way back to close the sale, you send hints in the form of retargeting ads. In the case of Amazon, it's not uncommon to see ads on the side of my Facebook of those very same items in my cart. If you had recently looked into flight information to a specific city, you'd likely find ads relating to hotels and popular destinations around that city.

 

 

It all leads back to one constant: You have to know your audience if you want to make sales and generate leads. And programmatic marketing is especially adept at this.


How Hotjar Provides Landing Page Insights Metrics Can’t

Understanding audience tendencies is imperative to facilitating success, no matter the cause.

 

In digital marketing terms, it is especially important when creating a landing page or website that serves your audience. It must create enough convenience that the user easily finds everything they were looking for.

 

As important as metrics are, they can only tell us so much. Sure they can tell us how many times a button was pushed, but can it show us the user’s behavior beforehand? Can it show us where they had to scroll to find it? How far down they are scrolling to find what they need before giving up?

 

Hotjar, which considers itself “a new and easy way to truly understand your web and mobile site visitors”, specializes and excels in measuring this type of audience behavior.

 

Our team of analytical experts heavily utilize two key features to improve landing pages and websites:

 

  • Heatmaps
    • “Understand what users want, care about and interact with on your site by visually representing their clicks, taps and scrolling behavior

 

three-1

 

  • Recordings
    • Identify usability issues by watching recordings of real visitors on your site as the click, tap, move their cursor, type and navigate across pages

 

recordings-0-plus

 

These features provide us with the advantage of seeing exactly how our audience behaves on a specific website we are monitoring.

 

When finding out just how much it helps, I asked Emira Oliveros, One Twelfth Performance Ninja (her words, not mine), to provide a specific example.

 

I got two.

 

She regaled me in a pair of success stories that centered on a recently constructed website for a new client; one about the placement of a ‘Learn More’ button, the other about the lack thereof.

 

The subscription service being offered on the website wasn’t receiving as many clicks as it should have. A lot of visitors were also leaving way too early, especially on mobile.

 

When she looked at the mobile website on Hotjar, she noticed the ‘Learn More’ button was well below the fold. With the main CTA being so low on the mobile site, users gave up and left. Considering the importance of mobile optimization, the inefficient design was practically turning away conversions.

 

It wasn’t until we recommended placing the button higher that subscriptions via mobile began to pour in. Users also stayed on the site longer.

 

The other case is something we’ve all dealt with at one point. You go to a website, see the product information on the top image, and assume this is where you click to access the products.

 

Instead, users were met with a dead end. The image wasn’t clickable, no matter how many times the user clicked. We were able to see this thanks to the Recordings feature, which allowed us to see sporadic clicking from numerous users on the website’s main image.

 

Our recommendation was to create a ‘Learn More’ button overlying the main image that directs users where exactly to click. Suddenly, the random clicking around stopped and memberships started to roll in.

 

The main learning was to include as much relevant info and a direct CTA above the fold that would require little scrolling.

 

While you who made the page may understand where everything is, you have to put yourself in the shoes of your audience and assume they know nothing. Do everything you can to help them out by placing all the key info and CTA’s they need to convert right in front of them.

 

People want everything provided to them instantaneously. Make it as convenient as possible to ensure as little critical thought is necessary and that they don’t need to go on a scavenger hunt.

 

Where Hotjar really came through was the fact that this was a new business that was only just starting to gain traction. Sample sizes were going to be too small to appreciate a collective outlook, so we had to take an individualized approach.

 

Our client being a new business actually helped our cause because it allowed us to set the foundation for our audience’s behavior. Since we were able to understand where people clicked and what drove them away, it set a precedent for the future of this website and any other pages that may follow.

 

Measurement tools like Hotjar stand out because they offer marketers a different take on indicating marketing success. It should be in the best interest of every marketing professional to utilize every resource necessary. Hotjar obviously won't help you figure out the best strategies for your website, but it can help you create a fully optimized, easily navigable website.

 

Have you ever used Hotjar? Leave a comment on our Facebook and let us know what you thought of it!


What Stops People From Converting (And How to Make Them)

"The more they pass their heart around, the more jaded that they become."

 

I never thought I'd reference a Drake lyric when discussing conversions, but it's actually appropriate for the topic we're about to dive into. I'm talking of course about the buyer's journey.

 

Allow me to explain.

 

First, let's examine the lyric. What Drake is making reference to is how women can become more suspicious of a person's motives with every break of their heart. The more they try to love, the more suspicious they become of perfidy and that they may get hurt again.

 

drakehotlinebling-2

We've all been guilty of putting our trust into someone that turned out to be deceitful. You learn from your mistakes and take that newfound experience with you, but you also become dubious of a person's intentions. As a result, you sometimes paint with a broad brush, rather than tacking it up as a singular event.

 

Now, let's apply this to a potential buyer on your website and why they're cautious about buying. We'll conveniently ignore any financial issues and assume that the buyer is well-off, but remains hesitant about pulling the trigger on a purchase.

 

There are several reasons for this, and one of them is they don't want to get burned and garner the loathsome feeling of buyer's remorse again. This, too, we've all been guilty of. We've all seen a shiny new product and allowed a salesman to smile in our face and convince us that "You absolutely need this!", and "How much it will change your life!", and "How life will be so much simpler and easier!"

 

Then we bring it home and realize it does nothing that was promised. Not only are you out however much money you spent on it, you also feel bamboozled. You always believed that you'd never be the one to make a poor purchase, yet here you are now with five three-packs of Shamwow's when you could have just bought ordinary paper towels for more than half the price.

 

You just might require counseling if you let people know about your purchase and become a source of mockery as the 'Shamwow Guy'.

 

Naturally, you become more guarded. Your arms become shorter when you reach into your pockets and you catastrophize every future buy. You don't want to lose out on anymore money and you certainly don't want to feel like you were bested, so you question each purchase more and more.

 

Now you're looking at the purchase button with a cart full of books, just to use an example, and are hesitant to buy. Because some books you've bought in the past haven't been as resourceful and helpful as you thought, however, maybe you reconsider this haul.

 

You question it, and the more you question it the less likely you are to buy. So you decide to wait another day when you have more money, or if you could find it online for free, or if you even really need them anyway.

 

The full cart is now left in purgatory, overflowing with books that will never be read by their prospective buyer.

 

It's up to the marketer to navigate the buyer through this process and prevent them from abandoning for one reason or another. There needs to be a level of trust between the buyer and seller that promises the buyer they are going to receive exactly what they're expecting.

 

Transparency is an effective way of bridging this gap between seller and buyer. If you're selling a book, why not allow the buyer to get a small sample of what they'll be buying by offering them a chance to read a few pages first.

 

Amazon and eBay excel at transparency because they provide access into the seller's habits. There's a star rating, a counter of how many sales they've made, access to their full online store, a description of the product and reviews of the product from other buyers. In my experience, the first thing I do when buying a product on Amazon is look for the seller with the most customers and highest star ratings.

 

Let's say you're a traditional seller, though, and don't rely on individual sellers to set up camp on your website and sell their products. I liked this suggestion from Copyblogger:

 

"Everything on your site needs to show you can be trusted: Real contact information. Your photograph. Thorough responses to FAQs. Clear, reasonable calls to action."

 

Putting a face to your product shows potential buyers that they're not dealing with some faceless corporation that could care less if you're satisfied or not following your experience. When a seller puts their face and name to their product, they're plunging into precarious waters because they're putting something as important as money on the line: Their reputation.

 

A person only has one name and one face. If they're deceitful, it will follow them everywhere because they staked their reputation on it. If John Smith sells a lemon of a product, it would only take me one Google search of John Smith to know not to trust him, especially since his face will be accompanying him in those searches.

 

Everything you do when selling a product needs to revolve around creating a trustworthy environment for your buyers. The product is an extension of yourself and your identity. It's your idea come to life, so treat it as such. If you thought it was a good enough idea to turn it into something tangible, then you need to be honest with your potential customers.

 

Trust is difficult to cultivate, especially with someone you just met, mainly because of their past experiences. Your buyer's jaded and you need to lay it all out there that you're different. The only way to break through someone's tough exterior is to make yourself vulnerable first by genuinely letting buyers know who you are and what your product does.

 

Once the customer is satisfied with their experience, the all-important foundation of trust has been laid.