Search marketing is rightly seen at the moment as the golden child of online marketing. However, as agencies and clients get better at managing their search budgets it’s time to start focusing on the wider issue of conversion marketing.
A prospect could glimpse a tagline on an outdoor ad on their way to work, type it into Google and click on a paid search ad but decide to take it no further. Days later, they may go directly to the website, sign up for the newsletter but again decide to leave it. It might be a week before an email prompt finally encourages them to make a purchase. So the question is: which media drove this sale?
The answer is of course: they all did! Brands must realise the need for a user journey design, mapping a customer’s navigation from first interest to the final sale. It is no longer just about driving traffic to a site and assuming it will immediately convert to a sale. Rather, brands should consider all the processes a consumer will go through before making the crucial decision to buy. I define this as ‘conversion marketing’.
To implement conversion marketing properly, clients and agencies need to understand how to integrate the site with all other channels that could be driving traffic. It is vital that online marketers appreciate consumers are at varying stages within their own conversion cycles. Conversion rates can be significantly increased by integrating landing pages from various media and paid search campaigns, and improving site navigation. Activity will depend on where the consumer is in the cycle. If they have searched specifically for your brand they are potentially more likely to buy than if they have just entered a generic search term. Encouraging each consumer to ‘buy now’ every time may not necessarily be the most profitable approach.
Successful conversion marketing relies on an effective way to track sales and consumers, not just the last media click but also all other media and site interactions that played a role. Only by pulling together all of this information from the diverse tracking systems can marketers really discover which media channel did what. It is this detail that will decide the most effective on-site user journey.
Revolution Magazine January 2008
Digital Direct Column by
Gavin Sinden of EM2 Digital