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Business Performance Mobile Search Engine Marketing

Your 60 Second Mobile Review

This article is one of a series entitled Digital Marketer+. The series is aimed at marketers working in the digital marketplace and also at others looking for new ways to promote or build their business online.

The intention of the series is to take a second look at what you’re currently doing and approach it from a different perspective. So far we have covered knowing your objectives and fixing your customer experience. Plenty more to come, including tips, best practice and case studies.

Let me know if you’ve any ideas or experiences you’d like to share.

For many companies getting the website right is enough of a task, so something like Mobile just has to wait. Especially as it’s not yet mainstream, right?

Or is it? If you read the press / blogs, it’s very clear that this year is finally the long-promised ‘Year of Mobile’. Smart phone uptake is substantial, Facebook has 150 million active mobile users and more and more companies are making mobile revenue.

Great for them, but your market isn’t quite there yet, is it?

Or is it? I think it’s an easy assumption to make, especially for less ‘glamorous’ industries. But I’ll ask you this, how do you know?

On the clock

This series is about being a better digital marketer and making a personal impact. Well, to do so you have start looking at things differently. This is an easy one, it’ll take just 60 seconds for you to work out if you need to pull your finger out and go mobile now or whether to add it to your list of ‘check back in 6 months’ projects.

It’s simple. You could survey your customers now and ask them if they would use a mobile solution and run the risk of getting a bunch of “sure, probably would, I guess” answers. Or, you could just look to see what they are already doing with mobile.

The answer lies in your analytics.

A mobile case study: Jobsite.co.uk

Before I show you where to look, consider this example. Over at Jobsite.co.uk we have just announced some fantastic stats for our mobile usage. Over the past 19 months, traffic from mobile devices to the website has increased by over 600%. We’re not playing around with impressive sounding percentages on tiny actuals here either, the mobile traffic represents over 5% of our total site traffic – more than double what Yahoo and Bing search engines provide to us combined.

The takeaway from this example however, is that we only discovered the initial mobile traffic growth because inquisitive minds asked the question (“I wonder how much mobile traffic we get?” ). Stunned by the numbers, the data was fed into strategy and product development discussions and a year later Jobsite is now leading the way in mobile recruiting.

We could have waited until the mobile recruiting market was more established, but our customers were telling us otherwise – they wanted a mobile job hunting solution now – so we moved quickly.

What are your customers telling you? And are you listening?

Checking the numbers

So, this is what you need to do (using Google Analytics for this example):

  1. Login to Google Analytics
  2. Select your date range (top right). Recommend at least a year to see a growth pattern.
  3. Open the ‘Visitors’ menu on the left of the page
  4. Click the ‘Mobile’ link to open up the mobile options
  5. Select ‘Mobile Device’
  6. Marvel at the information

So what do your customers say? Is there a need for a mobile friendly version of your offering? If yes, you need to ask – and answer – some important questions.

  • Does your business lend itself well to mobile?
  • Can you improve the customer brand experience via mobile?
  • Should I do something in Mobile right now?
  • Which first – iPhone, Android, Mobile or other?

You can answer these questions soon, but right now you need to spend 60 seconds in your analytics package. You’ll learn something about your business and customers and have an opportunity to influence the future direction of your company’s strategy.

Other posts in this series:

Know your Objective

8 Steps to Fixing your Customer Experience

Over the course of this series, we’ll be looking at a wide range of things for you to try in your marketing, including behavioural re-targeting, smarter customer service, social media monitoring, conversion rate optimisation, mobile marketing, and creating linkbait to boost search performance. Please feel free to add your comments and join the conversation.

Or if you’d like to contribute to the series by writing a guest blog post, please get in touch to share your idea for consideration.

Categories
Business Performance Customer Experience Digital Marketer+

8 Steps to Fixing your Customer Experience

This article is part of a series entitled Digital Marketer+. The series is aimed at marketers already working in the digital marketplace, but also to others looking for new ways to promote or build their business online.

The intention of the series is to take a second look at what you’re currently doing and approach it from a different perspective. It will include tips, best practice, case studies and a fair amount of opinion. Not just my own, I’d love your input too. If you have any great ideas or experience, please do share it, as I’m keen to become a better digital marketer too.

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The customer service department is unlikely to be the first port of call for a marketer looking to improve their performance. However, if you want to make a significant difference to your website’s performance, its worth walking over and saying hello.

Whilst your outbound marketing – TV, display advertising, video, etc. – might be more exciting at first glance, it’s the information collected by Customer Services that is arguably more valuable to your business.

Customer Service is the coal face of your business – the closest your online business comes to your paying customer. Any questions, enquiries, returns or complaints go through these guys. It’s not the easiest job, or the most glamorous and the pay rarely reflects the hassle that comes with it. It’s often neglected or ignored by other parts of the company.

So why should you be interested?

Because there’s gold in there, that’s why. Every record from contact with a customer holds information to make your product better. It’s not always obvious; sometimes you have to look beyond the words the customer uses to identify the real problem. Reviewing the contact records will reveal technical problems with your site (broken pages / processes), inaccurate / outdated information (i.e. pricing), poor site copy / instructions, clumsy user interfaces and new product ideas.

Still wondering what this has got to do with you?

Even if you work in any organisation in which the Marketing department is only responsible for promotional activity, you have to make this your business or at the very least bring it to the attention of someone that can do something about it.

If you want to become a more complete marketer you need to think about the whole business; how you can make it better and how you can improve the brand experience of your customers. That makes customer service your business, even if it doesn’t state it on your job description.

8 Steps to fix it

  1. Speak to your Customer Service reps. What are the common problems / complaints they face? What would they change about the website? (why don’t they get asked this question more often when they face the problems every day??)
  2. Review the customer records yourself. Get a feel for what is wrong and what could be improved. Remember to read between the lines
  3. Draw up a list of all the issues you uncover and identify their potential solutions
  4. Establish the frequency of common complaints / issues. This will aid you in determining priorities later. Add this info to the list
  5. Flag each item as either ‘Technical’ or ‘Non-technical’. Technical items will need IT development work. Non-technical issues could include things like re-writing the on-page instructions, changing button labels, writing help guides or re-examining the positioning and promises in your advertising.
  6. If your list is long you’ll need to prioritise all the items to determine which need to be addressed first. It’s important to be realistic when you request these changes. A very long list may be delayed until sufficient resources are available. Breaking it into smaller chunks will improve the chances of the important things getting done.
  7. If you have a very busy IT department you’ll need to make a case for your changes to be made. The best way – and hardest to argue against – is to put financial figures against them. What are you losing each month due to these problems? What is the revenue opportunity by fixing them? Consider the best metric to use. Do you know the actual financial loss? Or could you use an average basket value? Or lifetime value?
  8. For the non-technical changes, the responsibility probably lies with you / the Marketing department. Think about the best way to fix the issue – will a screencast help? A FAQ? Or do you need to feed the info into the discussions about your next advertising creative?

Whatever solutions you implement make sure you continue to work with the Customer Service department and monitor the impact. Have your changes improved the situation? If not, continue to press on – what else can you do?

Things are rarely perfect in life, so never assume your work is done. Keep monitoring, keeping testing, keep improving.

One benefit you’ll find from fixing some or all of the problems will be the new found friends you’ll make in the Customer Service department. They’ll appreciate you making their life a little easier, which may well come in handy a littler later.

So what’s the outcome of this endeavour? Are you a better marketer?

Without a doubt. You’ve just hit on all Big Three Goals of business. In fixing the problems you increased your customer satisfaction. This lead to an increase in revenue from your happy customers (not forgetting the friends they recommended you to). You also lowered your costs – you now convert and retain more of your visitors, so there is less wastage on your advertising and fewer hours are needed in supporting your product (or at the very least you can put it to better use).

Well done. Not bad work from going to say hello.

Other posts in this series:

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Over the course of this series, we’ll be looking at a wide range of things for you to try in your marketing, including behavioural re-targeting, smarter customer service, social media monitoring, conversion rate optimisation, mobile marketing, and creating linkbait to boost search performance. Please feel free to add your comments and join the conversation.

Or if you’d like to contribute to the series by writing a guest blog post, please get in touch to share your idea for consideration.

Categories
Business Performance Digital Marketer+ Personal Development

Know your Objective

This article is the first in a series entitled Digital Marketer+. The series is aimed at marketers already working in the digital marketplace, but also to others looking for new ways to promote or build their business online.

The intention of the series is to take a second look at what you’re currently doing and approach it from a different perspective. It will include tips, best practice, case studies and a fair amount of opinion. Not just my own, I’d love your input too. If you have any great ideas or experience, please do share it, as I’m keen to become a better digital marketer too.

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Know your objective

There are probably far more exciting things to talk about to kick-off this series, but it’s important we start here, with Objectives. We need to know where we’re going, before we can work out how to get there.

Ask yourself this – do you know why you’re crafting that email newsletter today? Or why your display adverts are using that creative? Why that particular wording in the press release? Or why you’re monitoring mentions of your brand in Twitter?

If you don’t knowwhy are you doing it?

How much of what you’re doing today, is because you did it yesterday, and last week and because the person who trained you said you should do it that way?

The key to being a better digital marketer – or any marketer or business person for that matter – is to know what you’re trying to achieve and why. Only then can you unleash the creative beast inside you and deliver the outstanding results you want.

Tip: As toddlers we drive our parents mad, asking them “Why? Why? Why?” to everything. It’s a habit we grow out of as we get older. Try it again today, question others, and question yourself. But don’t just blunder on regardless.

There are three areas I’d recommend you consider:

Business Objectives

What are the objectives of your business? This is crucial to know. Each employee, each department, will have their own objectives, but they should all serve the objectives of the business.

Jim Sterne, in his book ‘Social Media Metrics’, says there are only three true business goals:

  1. Raise Revenue
  2. Lower Costs
  3. Increase Customer Satisfaction

According to Sterne, “If the work you do does not result in an improvement to one or more of these Big Three Goals, then you are wasting your time, wasting money, spinning your wheels, alienating your customers and not helping the organization”.

If you’re not sure of your company’s goals go ask your boss. If he/she is not sure either, maybe you need to go find a new boss too.

Project Objectives

Moving to a more tactical level, let’s look at what you’re trying to achieve from your own work, using a few examples:

  • Customer email newsletter: what is its purpose? It’s notoriously difficult to achieve high open rates on B2B newsletters, mainly because most are full of promotions to get the customer to spend more money. But is that your objective? Should it be? Or should it be about providing additional value to the customer and developing a longer term, more profitable relationship?
  • Campaign landing page: You have all your campaign ducks in a row…display ads, pay-per-click (PPC), email, facebook ads, video pre-rolls…all pushing potential customers through to your landing page(s). What do you want them to do when they get there? Purchase? Register? Vote? Follow? If you have a clear objective in mind, you’ll know what goes on the landing page – and what doesn’t. Just getting traffic to come in and dumping them on your homepage, hoping they’ll do something positive is not really a viable – or successful – strategy.
  • Social media monitoring: you’re ahead of the curve; you’re monitoring mentions of your brand in social media. Great. Why are you doing it? Watching out for negative comments is the most likely answer; protecting your company’s reputation. There are so many opportunities here, its important to be clear on what you want to get out of it. Yes, there is reputation management, but consider customer service, ideas for new product development, relationship building, sentiment on advertising campaigns and yes, in the right situation, a revenue opportunity.

Whatever the project, start by asking what do I want to achieve, swiftly followed by how will I measure it. Key to your objectives will be knowing when you’ve achieved them.

Personal Objectives

It’s not all about the company (unless you happen to own it). Think about your own objectives too. What do you want to get out of your work? Is this the best company and the right position for you to achieve what you want to do?

I consider myself fortunate that I work for company that has a culture of innovation and experimentation. It enables me to be creative, to test new products and ideas and recognises there is no harm in failing a few times along the path to success.

This works nicely for me. I deliver results for the company, while building my skills and experiencee, which in turn makes me more valuable to my current employer (and those in the future).

Have a think and write down what it is you want to be doing now in your role and again the same for 5 years time. Then think about how you’re going to get there. Will working for your current employer enable you to do that? If so, what do you need to learn and what experience do you want to gain?

And if its not the right company, well, even in this climate there are other jobs available that may suit you better. Follow this series and hopefully you’ll pick up some ideas that will boost your current performance and give you something to help you stand out from the crowd at your next interview.

So there you go, the beginning of your journey to becoming a better digital marketer. It all starts with the objectives. You have some thinking to do now. You’re at Point A and need to work out what Point B looks like. Then comes the fun part of making the journey.

Other posts in this series: