This isn’t news to anyone: Internet presence holds a whole lot of power. With an unfathomable amount of consumers connected in some way or another to online marketplaces and overly influential social media, building the right image on such platforms feels like conquering the new frontier.
And in some ways, it is. Digital marketing requires a complete transformation of traditional methods. While this seems like a daunting task to the less tech-savvy, solidifying a customer base in this new format means reaching a much larger audience as consumer behavior shifts to increased eCommerce activity.
Of course, you can’t expect to effectively utilize this reigning domain without some idea as to what you want from it. First, you need to nail down some business goals.
The more specific you are in goal setting, the more likely you are to generate measurable goals and actionable ways to achieve them. Goal-setting this way also incorporates practicality into the vision you have. It encourages you to take a hard look at where your business is and where it feasibly can be within a certain period of time.
But don’t let yourself get bogged down in the minutiae and lose sight of the bigger picture. Dreaming big is absolutely vital when considering the ways you’d like to expand your business. It just requires a more detailed, well-defined plan.
While aligning your marketing goals with your business goals is a step in the right direction, they are not necessarily the same thing. Think of your marketing approach as an incredibly handy tool to help you achieve an overarching business goal.
Let’s say you set a specific goal of increasing revenue by 20% from last year’s sales. Not only is this a quantifiable amount to work toward, but it provides a new angle for the marketing mind. It poses the following question: how can the changes we make to our marketing strategies fill a gap of 20% in revenue?
If you’re having trouble identifying actionable marketing goals based on how you’d like to grow your business, you can start with these common marketing objectives:
● Boost sales with new customers
● Increase brand awareness
● Expand market share
● Develop and launch a new product or service
● Improve the customer experience and relations
● Boost profit margins
Fine tune these into your own measurable goals.
Track What’s Working
As with any experiment, tracking performance is a must. If progress remains stagnant after identifying specific goals and applying new strategies, it may be time to move onto the next course of action. While there are countless marketing tools to help you take strides in business growth, there are a few areas to take note of when it comes to digital marketing.
Simply put, a customer journey traces every interaction a user has with your company from engagement to purchase to post-purchase; so yes, first impressions do matter.
Insight into customer journeys provides some important information in describing how your business is perceived from a customer’s point of view.
Customer journey maps are an excellent visual tool to do just that. After you identify your target audience, you can start building personas to cater to.
Interviewing members of your target demographics can play an important role in confirming customer motivations, goals, purchasing habits, and many other considerations when it comes to consumerism. Marketers can put themselves into their customers’ shoes by defining behavioral stages based on a rough customer journey map
For example, a wealth management firm can break down a client’s journey into the following stages:
- Use and Monitor
- Refine and Review
A potential customer may begin by identifying what kind of service would best suit their needs and weighing their options with competing companies. After choosing one, the customer will likely monitor the growth of their investment account and determine if their needs are met, adjusting their approach if necessary.
In order to attract a loyal customer base, it’s vital that companies identify the specific needs and goals of their target demographics. This will help finetune their marketing strategies to secure sales and maintain brand relationships.
While this becomes a lot more complicated in digital formats, it allows more room for a marketer to strategically organize content to align with specific stages in the customer experience. The customer journey is not so much of a city street where your customers move directly from point A to point B. It’s more of a cross-country road trip with rest stops, potholes, missed exits and maybe even a breakdown along the way.
Product consideration, including product comparison, reviews, and purchase justification, can easily be drawn out simply based on the price of a product. When a customer takes a longer route to the sales conversion, look for steps to remove. It’s important we make the journey as effortless as we can.
In regard to a customer’s clickstream path, good digital marketing means repaving the pothole-filled road and giving even the most complicated path a clear destination.
This virtual trail is the best indicator of the complexities of a customer’s journey. In fact, clickstream data goes beyond the simple act of recording clicks, navigation points, and other user engagement to analyze their needs, motives, and interests. Ultimately, businesses can use this information to better their e-commerce marketing results.
Clickstream analytics tells us where our website is nudging potential customers. While it’s important to take note of which web pages are highly frequented, the data that is most valuable to digital marketers is in what order they’re visited.
Ideally, your website should make the conversion path obvious. Depending on where the users are in the customer journey, they might not purchase if options are presented immediately. However, the chances grow after they see useful information they need beforehand.
Cleaning up this virtual path to funnel your customers to a point of purchase quicker is what will actually secure your sale.
Ensuring positive consumer experiences is heavily influenced by your site’s information architecture. This is the process of designing your site’s structure for ease of navigation and readability, with great consideration of aesthetics. After all, website structure is a hugely important factor in determining how people find, understand, and interact with content.
Information architecture is categorized into four major components:
● Organization schemes and structures: how information is structured and categorized
● Labeling systems: how information is represented and defined
● Navigation systems: how users browse and navigate through information
● Search systems: how users look for and find information
One of the greatest examples of useful information architecture can be found on CNN.com. The news platform highlights the newest, most relevant news as the first thing you see, while also categorizing a series of content blocks for users to search for stories based on a specific topic (e.g. business, entertainment, tech).
Despite the amount of content being promoted on CNN’s home screen alone, it is displayed in a clean and logical way. Of course, this is an important digital marketing rule to follow for any kind of website.
Take a moment to consider your own user experiences online. If you’re perusing an online store but spending more time trying to figure out the website as opposed to actually considering the product, what are the chances you’ll opt for the next relevant site on the Google search page?
Know the Importance of Customer Perspective
In essence, the customer experience comes down to convenience. The Internet, though seeming more like a necessity day by day, is a commodity largely based around providing information with ease and speed.
In a digital age, format, accessibility, and presentation mean more and more. These simple, intertwined changes to marketing strategies can make all the difference to a consumer experiencing your brand online in a whole new way–so much that they are compelled to commit to purchase. You can take steps significantly influence the conversion or purchase process.