5 Mistakes Your Business Should Avoid When Understanding the Customer Journey

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5 Mistakes Your Business Should Avoid When Understanding the Customer Journey.

If you’re not thinking about your customer’s journey you risk a sub-optimal customer experience. This translates into risking your bottom line.

Did you know that an Amazon meeting always has at least 1 empty chair? Be it three, five or 15 people, no matter what size the meeting is, every Amazon event has one extra seat. Who is that empty chair reserved for? You guessed it, the CUSTOMER.

Customer journey mapping is all about understanding how people interact with your business from the CUSTOMER’S PERSPECTIVE.

Here are the five most common mistakes businesses make when understanding the customer journey:

Mistake #1: Boiling the ocean

Don’t try targeting everyone, that’s like trying to boil the ocean. There are multiple perspectives.
To give an example, remember in high school the jocks, goths, and geeks. The jocks are into sports, goths into black clothing, and the nerds into computers.
You need to identify the customer type you want to serve. Each message and campaign should speak to just one customer type.

Mistake #2: Using the companies take on the customer journey

So you know exactly what the customer needs to do? That’s mistake number 2. You should be mapping what customers actually do, not what you want them to do.
Don’t engineer a customer journey based on what you want customers to do. It’s comparable to herding cats… you can’t herd cats – it’s not in their nature to be herded. You need to understand the journey from the customer’s perspective.

Mistake #3: Using a model instead of reality

This mistake is about not using real data. Your assumptions are always wrong. Validate ideas with online data. Do you have your customer journey being measured in a dashboard? Collecting facts about the customer and their behavior and dispersing that information to your team will give you the data to improve the journey and experience.

Mistake #4:First contact is the first touchpoint

Think outside the box – meaning the box of your products and services. Keep in mind that the journey begins well BEFORE the (potential) customer reaches your site or uses your product. Your challenge is to understand the process that brings a customer to you. The decision-making process does not start when they arrive. Customers have already done their homework and read reviews.

Mistake #5: Failing to plan

Failing to plan is planning to fail. This is a crucial element of your customer journey. Plan the processes to measure the customer journey. Plan to capture relevant data. Make sure inputs are good and revise your assumptions. Your plan should focus on getting real data on the journey to improve the customer experience and reach your goals.

Delight your customer. Happy customers pay more, more often. Learn how Customer Journey by Opentracker can help boost sales!

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Getting started

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Guide to getting started

Hi and welcome to Opentracker!

This is our quick 1 minute guide to getting started with Opentracker.net.

Opentracker.net is an advanced – easy to use – surgical analytics tool for businesses that value their data.

We focus on collecting data, providing consultancy and generating insights so that businesses can make informed decisions.

To get start using our services simply surf to Opentracker.net, choose the getting started menu option and provide us with all your business details.

After submitting the signup form, you’ll be sent an email detailing you instructions on how to install the script that collects your data.

Experts will be shown the script on screen. You can copy paste this script into your site’s CMS. Contact us if you can’t find details on your CMS’s site on how to install a javascript.

Following the instructions to installing the script is your first step in collecting valuable data. If you have any questions, simply navigate to our support section of the site, open a support ticket, and we’ll be happy to help.

Happy Analytics!

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How Does Deeply Understanding Your Customer’s Journey Unlock Revenue?

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How does deeply understanding your customer’s journey unlock revenue?

You’re in the business of satisfying your customer with a great experience. But how do you know if you’re delivering?
 

Businesses are spending more on promotions than ever before, but most struggle to know what actions to take and where to focus their efforts.

When customers don’t buy, do you know why? Can you improve the buying experience? The marketing? Differentiate the product? Without an idea of what your customers are feeling or how they are engaging, it’s hard to make informed decisions.

Privacy laws are making it clear that it is important to collect your own data related to your own customers. Trusting third parties like Facebook or Google to give you these insights is now a significant risk. More and more businesses are choosing first party solutions.

Getting sales is great, but how many sales are you losing because you are not seeing bottlenecks in the customer journey? Knowing what delights and discourages your customers is next to impossible without controlling your own data.

Customers have 5 touchpoints, sometimes spanning days or weeks, before making a purchase and you following up. Are you measuring these touchpoints to increase conversions?

Moving The Needle And Driving Revenue

Not tracking your customer’s journey is like tossing money out the front door.
For any business, tracking the customer journey is essential. As Peter Drucker said “If you don’t measure it, you will not improve it”. All too often, you’re forced to guess how your customers will buy. You don’t know what’s working and what’s not. Consequently, you have no idea what to optimize. You’re wasting money.

You should guide customers through their journey. Provide support when they get stuck. Learn what makes them leave and why you can’t close the deal. Don’t rely on just Google’s or Meta’s report.

Track The Customer Journey. Own Your E-Commerce Dashboard.

Customer Journey by Opentracker makes it easy to control the customer’s journey. We help you get a clear picture of how you can improve what you’re doing – and where you need to make adjustments. The result? You get more sales.

Our platform helps track customer behavior and delivers essential insights. Whether it’s tracking new leads and acquisition or understanding retention and the factors that drive repeat purchases. Customer Journey provides clarity and actionable insights that boosts your ROI.

With Customer Journey, you will get the data insights you need faster, more reliably, and at a fraction of the cost. Our team is dedicated and knows how to work with e-commerce businesses. Our consultants will be there to make sense of your metrics so that you can make data-driven decisions.

Delight your customer. Happy customers pay more, more often.

Learn how Customer Journey by Opentracker can help boost your sales!

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How can understanding Customer Journey VS Buyer Journey affect your bottom line?

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How can understanding Customer Journey VS Buyer Journey affect your bottom line

The difference between Customer Journey vs. Buyer Journey can best be summed up as: The difference between Attraction and Retention.

The Buyer Journey is all about the steps a person takes before making a purchase.

The Customer Journey is about developing a relationship or customer experience with a person after purchase.

The word ‘journey’ is relevant for both customers and buyers.

The Customer’s Journey starts when the Buyer’s Journey ends.

A good analogy might be a race track. You run a race and you win a buyer. Now you running around the same track, win another race and sell something more to that customer.

Can it hurt your bottom line to not understand the difference? Of course. The big secret is that it costs more to gain a new customers (CPA – cost-per-acquisition) than to keep existing clients, both in terms of money and effort.

Heck, if you do your math right, you can even make a loss with your first sale to acquire a customer.

Think of it as running another lap around the track just one more time, instead of learning a whole new sport.

The point is that we are always on the lookout for the next campaign or promotion. Looking for new customers. It is tempting to keep thinking of new hooks and pain points.

Looking for new customers and keeping existing buyers engaged should both keep happening. But keep in mind that they are different funnels and require different strategies (call to action, offers, pricing, etc.).

Bottom line: approach these two types of engagement differently, be aware that they exist and require different hats.

Want to know how to differentiate the buyer journey from the customer journey? Click below to book a complimentary strategy session.

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Why do some video advertisements perform better than others?

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Why do some video advertisements perform better than others?

Video marketing is a great tool for promoting your brand or business. In fact, 87% of video marketers agree that video gives them a positive ROI. However, this isn’t true for all video ads.  Some don’t hit the mark and brands end up costing money, instead of generating it.

So why do some video ads perform better than others? Video ads usually involve a lot of planning and preparation. They also use a range of tools and methods for boosting their views and engagement.

But before we discuss these tools, let’s dive into the core of video marketing: quality content.

What makes a good video ad?

Video is a unique marketing tool with unique features.

It allows you to engage with an audience without pages of text.

Good video ads will also help you to create an effective digital marketing funnel so you can generate more traffic and convert views into sales.

To create a good video ad, you should ask yourself the following questions.

  • What is the video for? This is crucial for establishing what to include in the video. Think about the problem you’re trying to solve for your audience. For example, if you have an umbrella that can withstand heavy winds, then show this solution in the video.
  • What platform is the video for? Good video ads are always tailored towards the video platform they are on. For example, Instagram and Tiktok have different video aspect ratios. As you can see below, Instagram needs square or portrait videos, while YouTube works best with landscape videos.

Source: Instagram

  • What tone does your video need? Base your tone on your company branding and target audience. A SaaS brand will use a different tone compared to a clothing brand, and millennials and Baby Boomers speak differently. 
  • How can you stand out in a crowded market? Aside from learning about the recent video marketing trends, identify what is unique about your product, service, or company. Then make sure this comes across in the video. Also, think about how your video can stand out. Humor always works. You could also use a celebrity or influencer that no one is using. Pepsi has done this with an advert that features Cardi B.

5 tips for creating fantastic video advertisements

So you have your ideas and talent ready to create a video ad.

But you still need to know a few things to make that video ad successful. 

Follow these tips and tricks to ensure your ad gets as many views and conversions as possible.

1. Get your audience’s attention inside the first 5 seconds.

If you want to interact with your audience, then first you need them to listen to what you have to say. And this isn’t easy when 65% of viewers skip online video ads as soon as possible. 

 

So try to be succinct. The skip button usually kicks in around 5 seconds, so you need to capture attention within that time. Because of this, some ads don’t even bother making their ads longer than 10 seconds.  

Check out this ad for Hefty Party Cups. It is exactly 6 seconds and uses humor to draw in potential customers. 

Source: Hefty Party Cups

This shows that you can summarise a product or service within the first 5 seconds of a video. You just need to find a creative way to achieve that goal.

2. Work with influencers

Influencers are everywhere. They’re in all the restaurants, fashion shows, and tourist destinations. There might even be one hiding behind your sofa – not saying there’s one, but it might be worth checking. Wherever and whoever they are, influencers are everywhere, and you can work with them to promote your brand.

You can now partner with the most successful YouTubers to market your online ecommerce platforms. They can show how your products work and recommend them to their audience. And some YouTubers have millions of followers. So you could end up reaching huge numbers of customers from all over the world with one video alone.

Popular YouTuber, Zoella, partners with brands for her videos. Below she is demonstrating some products for her followers. The video has received over 400,000 views and comes with her personal recommendation, too.

Source: Zoella YouTube

This is why 9 out of 10 marketers think influencer marketing is an effective form of marketing.

Research which influencers will work best for your brand based on their audience. Then pitch some products and marketing ideas to them.

3. Highlight the benefits to customers

Focus on all the benefits you can provide for your customers with your product or service.

If you’re advertising a product, then make sure you show all the unique features. Use close-ups to show them in action.

Gilette’s video for their Heated Razor does this by using close-up shots and clear copy. The product is the focus of the video and is set against a black backdrop to make it stand out.

If your video ad is for a service, then try using customer testimonials to highlight the benefits.

This adds authenticity as people can hear real-life stories from previous customers.

4. Include a call-to-action

A call to action within a video gets 380% more clicks than regular sidebar CTAs.

And this is great because more clicks mean more sales, subscribers, or website views. 

It’s best to have as many different calls to action as possible, like the video below. It has a spoken call to action for people who are watching, plus a subscribe button embedded in the video itself.

Source: Eva zu Beck YouTube

A call to action can also lead people back to your website. And you can convert this interest in your website into sales or engagement.

If this is what you’re doing, then try these landing page examples to improve your conversion rates.

5. Continue to test

Things don’t always go right on the first go. So keep testing to learn from your mistakes.

Research the tools that will help you measure your video marketing performance.

Look at why different videos are performing better than others. Then identify how you can make improvements.

Only through trial and error can you learn what to do to make improvements.

There are three reasons why video advertising doesn’t work.

1. Poor ad targeting

You must ensure your ad targeting is right as this will determine who sees your ad.

You don’t want products aimed at teenagers marketed to men over the age of 65. And vice versa. It will be a waste of your time and marketing budget.

Google’s video marketing tools allow you to target specific groups of people. You can choose them based on their age, location, and interests. Although there are also many other options to choose from.

Source: Google

Research your product and target audience first, so you know who to target. You can base this on your existing customer base or the customers of your competition. Either way, you need to stick at it. Keep optimizing your videos to ensure they’re reaching their full potential.

2. Incorrect video type 

People don’t watch all videos in the same way. For example, people watch 85% of Facebook videos without sound, which means you might need to add subtitles to them. On the other hand, most YouTube users watch videos with the sound turned on. 

However, this doesn’t mean you cannot use the same video for multiple platforms. You just need to ensure that the format you use is suitable for the platforms where you intend to publish video ads. 

3. Narrative defects 

Some of the best adverts involve stories.

They’re a great way to draw in customers and forge an emotional bond with your brand. And it seems to work, as 35% of people prefer to engage with short narrative stories most often.

But make sure your story is consistent and makes sense. Narrative defects are easily noticeable and will not look great for your brand.

For example, Skype has a story about a long-distance friendship between two girls. It has a clear beginning, middle, and end. And it builds an emotional connection within only a few seconds.

Source: Skype YouTube

Try creating your own story to show how your product or service can help people. Weave the business solution into the narrative. And use emotions to keep people watching. 

Wrapping Up

Video marketing can seem tricky at first and it’s not always easy to get right.

But, you should now be able to identify why certain videos perform better than others.

Use this information to create your own successful videos.

The key thing is planning and preparation. Think about the platform you’ll be using and the audience you’ll be targeting.

In time you’ll get the hang of it and your videos will be stronger than ever.

Bio

Jimmy Rodriguez is the COO of Shift4Shop, a completely free, enterprise-grade ecommerce solution. He’s dedicated to helping internet retailers succeed online by developing digital marketing strategies and optimized shopping experiences that drive conversions and improve business performance.

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How to Run Google Ads

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How To Run Google Ads

CONTENTS

  1. Vocabulary
  2. What are Google Ads
  3. Setting Up Your Ad

VOCABULARY

  1. Objective – What you want the ad to accomplish
  2. Keyword – a google search that is related to your product (what a customer might type to find your product)
  3. CTR (Click-through-rate) – the percentage of people that click on your ad after seeing it

WHAT ARE GOOGLE ADS?

Google Ads, formerly known as Google Adwords, is an online advertising platform. Google ads can work for any product or service because people search Google for almost any and everything.

One strong suit of Google Ads is that the system is centered around showing your ads to people who are ALREADY looking for a solution that your product or something similar will offer, as opposed to a lot of other forms of advertisement that may show it to people way outside your target audience.

The pricing system is pay-per-click (PPC). This means that you do not pay except the ad actually gets people to click on it and get to your chosen landing page/website. You can set your maximum bid for each click (Google Ads pricing works with a bidding system) and Google Ads will not spend more than that from your account. Payment could be CPC cost-per-click, CPM (cost-per-mille i.e. cost per 1000 impressions) or CPE (cost-per-engagement).

Google Ads, generally, averages an 8% click-through rate. With almost 250 million  different visitors and about 700 million dollars return on investment from the 2.3 million searches that Google gets every second, you can be sure that there are a lot of potential customers on the platform for your brand or business. The exception is that Google Ads does not support ads for products or services that are:

  • Dangerous e.g. weapons, recreational drugs
  • Inappropriate or offensive e.g. bullying and racial discrimination
  • Advocative of dishonest practices e.g. hacking software, fake documents

Types of Google Ads

There are five different types (also called campaigns) of google-ads namely: 

1. Search: These are the types, in text form, you see at the top of the result page when you make a google search. Ads can also be created to appear in Google Maps.

2. Display: These show up on Gmail and other websites that are a part of the GDN (Google Display Network) like youtube, gmail. etc. alongside relevant content, Google Display Networks have 180 million impressions per month. 

3. Shopping campaigns: These can show off your products with images and include links to your business page.

Source: Search Engine Land

4. Video: Ads shown on YouTube by the side bar and also placed when playing videos.


5. App: These promote your app on Google Search, YouTube, Google Play and other platforms to advertise to the right people.


 

Objectives of Google Ads

You can choose the goal you want to accomplish for your brand from the list of laid out objectives that will be shown to you in the process of setting up your ad. This list is comprised of the following:

  1. Sales
  2. Leads
  3. Website Traffic
  4. Product and Brand Consideration
  5. Brand Awareness
  6. App Promotion

 

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SETTING UP YOUR ADs

There are 3 stages to setting up your Google Ads Ad:

  • Create Campaign
  • Create Ad group
  • Create Ad in Ad Group

Before you start creating your campaign, it’s best you do some research on the most effective keywords for your niche.

There is a tool in Google Adwords that can help you do this, but you must have created your first campaign to have access to it. It’s called ’Google Ads Keywords’.

You can create a campaign, use the Keyword Planner and then edit your keywords for that ad. However, sites like keywords.io, ahref can help you with this before your first campaign is created.

  1. You must have a Gmail address to run a Google Ad.
  2. Go to Google Ads.com and click ‘Start Now’ at the top right corner of the page.
  3. At the bottom middle, click on “Switch to Expert Mode”

i. You’ll see an outline of different objectives. Select the one that is most relevant to you. For This example, ”Website Traffic”

a. Select web-site traffic.
b. Select the type of ad you want to run e.g. ‘search-based’
c. Input your website
d. Click continue.

e.Create your campaign

    1. Name your campaign (this won’t show on the ad)
    2. Deselect ‘search-network’ and ‘display-network’ if you don’t want your ad shown on the sidebar of other websites outside Google. Since Google seems to be more effective than its search partners, unchecking this box should save you some money.
    3. Set your start-date and end-date. If you don’t set an end-date, the ad will continue to run and you will continue to be charged.
    4. Select the location(s) where you want people to see your ad e.g. your country. (the more specific you are, the more the ad might cost you).

Instead of typing in a specific location, you can also set the ad to run within a specific-mile radius from a particular point e.g. a 30-mile radius from your store.

    1. Select the language you want your ad displayed in.
    2. Set your budget. You can start small and see how effective the ad is.  
      A very low budget like 1USD per day might not give you an accurate representation of how effective Google Ads is for your business because it is likely to afford you just a couple clicks.

You can set a maximum CPC. You can also experiment with this and see how it works .

Choosing accelerated means Google will spend your budget as quickly as possible, Standard means your budget will be spread over the course of your ad’s lifespan.

In additional settings, you can do things like set a time schedule for your ad to run, if you want it to run for specific periods during the day. You can also add more business information and your prices to your ad, amongst other things.

  1. Click ‘Save and Continue’.

f. Create an Ad Group

    1. Name your ad group (this won’t show up on the ad itself)
    2. Enter the phrases/keywords you want to trigger your ad. Once you have set up your account (which we’re doing right now), you’ll have access to Google Keyword Planner which will help subsequently in helping you choose the most precise and profitable keywords for your product or service.

There are also other tools that you can use to take the guesswork out of the game, even for your first attempt e.g. keywords.io

In inserting your keywords, you can type it in 4 different formats for 4 different effects, these effects are called ‘matches’.

      • Broad match: If you enter your keywords in this format: dresses for babies, it will give a broad match to those words and anything related e.g. baby clothes, baby things.
      • Modified broad match: In this format, you put the plus sign before words that you want to be in the Google search mandatorily e.g. +baby clothes (if someone searches ‘infant clothes’, the ad won’t show up) or baby +clothes (if the user types in ‘baby apparel’, the ad will not come up.
      • Phrase match: If you enter the keyword in quotation marks like so “dresses for babies”, it’ll give a narrower match to google searches that contain that exact phrase e.g. if someone searches ‘dresses for baby’, your ad won’t show up but if someone typed ‘colorful dresses for babies’ or ‘dresses for babies discount’, your ad will be displayed.
      • Exact match: Entering your keyword in square brackets allows a match with the exact phrase and no other additional word. It has been modified to include searches with synonyms or reordered phrases e.g. if your keyword is [dresses for babies], it will match with searches that say ‘dresses for babies’, ‘dresses for infants’, ‘babies for dresses’.

Each keyword can be entered in multiple formats in one ad, if you so wish, for any reason.

A column on the side will show you an estimate of how many clicks you could get with those keywords and how much it would cost you.

    1. Click ‘Save and Continue’.

g. Create Ad

      1. You can use split-testing and split your budget between multiple ads under one ad group so you can see which one works best and continue to use that one in the future.

Tip: Make sure to assign tangible amounts of money to each ad so you can get an accurate reflection of its effectiveness.

      1. Insert your 2 headlines. Try something catchy, maybe add a

discount to the second headline.

      1. Insert your descriptions.
      2. Save and Continue.
      3. Insert payment info and if you have a promo code, insert that also.
      4. Submit.

Congratulations! You just created your first campaign.

Tools to optimize your Google Ad:

      1. Now that you’ve set up an ad, you can make use of the Google Keywords Planner Tool to optimize your ads.

Click on explore your campaign.

To create a new campaign, go to All Campaigns” and click on the plus sign.

      1. Monitor the insights that Google Ads gives you on how well ads are doing. This will help you understand what’s working and what’s not so you can further optimize your ads in the future and gain more bang for your buck.
      2. Negative keywords: These stop your ad from being shown in search results if someone uses certain words along with your keywords e.g. discount or babies if you don’t give discounts or sell clothes only for adults. It also stops Google from bidding your set price/budget against the advertisers that want to use that/those keywords.
        • Click on keywords
        • Add negative keywords
        • Save

You can also create a negative keywords list to use in the future by clicking ‘Explore Campaign’, then ‘Tools and settings’ then Negative keywords list. When you’ve named it and created the list (it can be one or two words long), click on it, then click on “Apply to Campaigns’ to apply it to all or some of your campaigns.

Tip: You can use Ubersuggest.io to find negative keywords for your brand

      1. Google keyword planner:
        • Click Explore Campaign
        • Click on tools and settings at the top-right corner of your screen
        • Click Keyword Planner. Two bars will come up.

-You can use the first to find new keywords, see how much each will cost you, how much competition each keyword has (you want to pick the ones with low competition but relatively high searches; compared to others on the list).
-The second bar will help you see potentially how well your ad might do -this will help you ‘discover new keywords’ that you can use and see how well existing keywords do for other ads e.g. the CPM (cost per 1000 impressions).

      1. When you click on a particular campaign, you can change certain settings like what types of devices your ads are shown on by clicking the tab that says ‘devices’ on the lower left portion of the screen. Selecting the most likely option for your business removes the risk of your budget being used to show your ad on devices that are irrelevant to your business.

THINGS TO NOTE:

      1. You can choose to pause or even stop your ad at any point in time you so wish. You can even adjust your budget after it starts running.
      2. One campaign can have more than one ad group and one ad group can have more than one ad in it
      3. The more clicks you get, the less your CPC becomes.
      4. if you will be creating a large number of campaigns, you can use an app/tool called ‘Google Adwords Editor’ to help you out with managing them.
      5. If you’re managing multiple accounts for multiple clients, you need to first create a managers account.

You can then create your clients’ accounts under that and start from there. You can use one email for both the manager s account and up to 20 client accounts.

      1. To track conversions, you need to define what a conversion is to you: leads, sales, signups, phone calls from your settings. This will help you know which ad is working and which is not, know what time of day your ads are most effective etc.

Conclusion.

Remember Google shows your ad to who is looking for you. You have the ability to advertise to individuals that want to find you. This step-by-step guide covered the necessary knowledge you need to have before, during and after creating your first google ad. From Knowing the types of google ads, creating your campaign account, drafting your ad, picking a suitable keyword to tracking and measuring your first google ads.

 
 
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Marketing Campaigns: Creating Highly Effective Promotions

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Marketing campaigns: Creating highly effective promotions

This is the ultimate guide to crafting online marketing campaigns that converts traffic to clients. This article is written to get you high ROI from organic and paid marketing.

Do you want a highly effective marketing campaign that delivers quality traffic that converts to paying customers? This article is for online businesses who want to attract prospects & qualified traffic that converts to happy customers.

1. What you will learn in this article

In this article we address marketing campaigns. For starters we provide the definition of a marketing campaign. We provide some background history. We outline developments in internet advertising which set the playing field. There is a list of ten steps to plan a perfect marketing campaign. We discuss the challenges marketeers face; what makes it difficult to launch a successful marketing campaign. We discuss options specific to LinkedInGoogle, and Facebook.

To give value, we provide tools for improving your chances of launching a successful marketing campaign and seeing a return on your investment. Learn more by watching this video.

Table of contents:

  1. What you will learn in this article
  2. Definition of a marketing campaign
  3. Best way to plan a marketing campaign
  4. Problem (issue) the difficulty of launching a campaign in today’s environment
  5. Potential solution – use measurement for data-driven campaign planning and execution
  6. Recent developments in the history of marketing campaigns
  7. The current landscape – challenges facing marketers – better targeting
  8. Avoid spend without ROI
  9. Measure and Increase Chances of Measurable Success
  10. Conclusion

2. definition of a marketing campaign

The definition of a marketing campaign is an effort to publicize new or existing products and services through established channels using advertising and marketing materials. A typical combination of media might include email, social media, pay-per-click, and print, television or radio advertising.
dictionary for marketing campaign

The main goals of a marketing campaign should be to drive traffic, improve brand awareness, and increase market share through additional sales.

3. best way to plan a marketing campaign

This list of ten modern Best Practice will help you create an exceptional data-driven marketing campaign.

Ten steps: the best way to plan and run a successful marketing campaign. The process from campaign launch to leads.

  1. define your marketing campaign goals
  2. define measurement metrics for your marketing campaign goals
  3. build your call-to-action – what do you want people to do
  4. plan the work flow – where will visitors land – build and test your landing page(s)
  5. outline campaign goals: define success – the minimum numbers needed for ROI
  6. determine your marketing campaign budget
  7. asset production: prepare your message and offers
  8. identify marketing campaign channels
  9. identify target personas
  10. measure results: monitor conversion closely once the campaign is launched

4. The difficulty of launching a successful marketing campaign in today’s environment

On the face of it, this should not be so complicated. At the moment however, many people are losing money on marketing campaigns. It’s become increasingly difficult to guarantee success or even positive ROI outcome in today’s landscape. The point of a marketing campaign should be to: use a formula to put in Spend and get out Desired Outcome. At the moment however, we see people spending money and losing it.

Question: what is the current problem with launching marketing campaigns?
Answer: the complications and uncertainty involved in predicting success, or even break-even outcome

5. Potential solution – use measurement for data-driven campaign planning and execution

Question: what is the solution?

Answer: social web and mobile analytic data now available for measuring marketing efforts allows you to deliver data-driven campaigns. This increases the chances of a successful outcome. Identify your ideal target buyer personas and use data to target them. Marketing can target them with content. Once they are engaged, leads can be passed on to Sales. Use metrics to manage and improve the process.

As with many strategic business decisions, fail to plan = plan to fail. Here is a list of campaign components you will need to plan:

Options (channels, platforms)
Audience (target buyer persona)
Workflow (call-to-action)
Plan (budget and objectives)
Mechanisms to track and monitor success (test, deploy, monitor, adjust, repeat)

Uncle Sam's marketing campaign

6. Recent developments in the history of marketing campaigns

Ten years ago, it was relatively easy to launch a marketing campaign. Instead of becoming easier, things have become more complicated. The current landscape is a moving target. It is very hard to guarantee ROI. There are many unknowns; targeting has become both standard and increasingly expensive, to the point of being cost-prohibitive. An additional challenge is designing measurement correctly so you can both pivot and measure conversion. In other words plan for and define the desired outcome.

Some historical background

Advertising and Marketing is an ancient and noble art. A bronze plate advertising a needle shop during the Song dynasty in China a thousand years ago is considered our first advertising medium. Trademarks have been around for up to 4,000 years, in the form of marks and seals. The first advertising agency in the U.S. was founded in Philadelphia in 1840. Think of campaigns such as ‘Uncle Sam wants you’ and ‘Got Milk?’ which have become part of our cultural lexicon. [insert image – Uncle Sam Wants you / Got Milk?]

7. The current landscape – challenges facing marketers – better targeting

Fast forward to the 1990s and the introduction of search engines which allowed for targeting based on search queries. Today, the problem situation is:

  1. the major players are Google Facebook, and LinkedIn
  2. the marketplace for launching campaigns is a shifting landscape
  3. this is further complicated by the fact that lead generation involves several delicate steps
  4. Google and LinkedIn are no longer for testing – they are expensive
  5. You need to be an expert in many fields – ie LinkedIn / Facebook / Adwords certified in order to compete. It takes many months – even a year, to become an expert – which costs money (or hire an agency due to complexity)

Context: a few years ago, Facebook started by copying Google, in allowing you to target ads. Six months ago, for example, you could not target niches on LinkedIn.

Now, Facebook is copying LinkedIn, allowing you to target professions/ professionals using lead ads. Meanwhile, LinkedIn offers targeting via firmographic demographics.

8. Avoid spend without ROI

This may sound like a lot of opportunity, but many people try and fail, because a) prices have become so high and b) linking the technologies together is tricky. In other words, the outcome is a (high) cost without the desired outcome. It is necessary to configure attribution, conversion, and success in order to measure and repeat results. A structured plan will increase the chances of generating a positive ROI outcome because it will allow you to verify results, both good and bad.

9. Measure and Increase Chances of Measurable Success

In spite of uncertainty, by looking at these basics we can help you increase chance that ROI outcome is successful. You can minimise risk through planning. Using the

  • i. point 3. above: Ten steps to plan a Marketing Campaign
  • ii. planning how to measure and
  • iii. using metrics to update campaign elements and increase chances of successful outcome

10. Conclusion

Learn more by watching this video.

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AWS Power Outage – how to stay up when an EC2 datacenter goes down

AWS Power Outage – how to stay up when an EC2 datacenter goes down

Opentracker distributed databases not affected by AWS power outages

Summary

Server issues impact our ability to provide services. Our work to safeguard against catastrophic events has led us to build the distributed data-driven architecture described below. The result is the failsafe qualities which are needed to drive best-of-breed solutions.

Over the past months, there have been several outages at AWS (Amazonʼs web services) the largest cloud service in the world. (http://venturebeat.com/2012/06/29/amazon-outage-netflix-instagram-pinter…)

Amazon has been actively preaching the “design for failure” model. Under the “design for failure” model, things should always work even in the event of a massive, datacenter-wide outage. (http://storagezilla.typepad.com/storagezilla/2011/04/traditional-vs-desi…)

Google

Amongst others, Google has also propagated its architecture to work in the event of failure. All of Googleʼs software – Maps, Apps, Analytics, GMail – etc, are based on this architecture. You could even argue that this has been Googleʼs competitive advantage this past decade, dwarfing its rivals by providing reliable software.

In Googleʼs infrastructure, identical chunks of data are spread across several datacenters, so when one computer, server-rack or datacenter fails, things get routed to nodes that are still working. Application developers donʼt need to really worry about the fail-safe infrastructure; they just need to abide to certain rules. If they do this, it just always works; this helps Google develop reliable things quickly.

The Holy Grail for internet companies is creating awesome applications used by millions of users. Growing Internet companies eventually need to worry about the infrastructure failing and the people needed to maintain it.

Databases

Surprisingly when it comes to common databases, this is a hard thing to achieve. Common databases like MySQL are based on the data residing on a hard-drive, and given Murphyʼs Law, these hard-drives will eventually fail.

To counteract this, database administrators make backups, set up master- slave replication servers, and monitor everything 24/7. These are the ingredients for recovering from a disaster.

Ironically the more successful you become, the more servers you have, the more failures youʼll likely get, and coping with downtime becomes a sought after skill when reviewing applicant resumes.

Getting things back to normal when something fails takes a disproportionate amount of human effort and skills.

Opentracker

Our challenge at Opentracker, as the provider of SaaS (Software-as-a- Service) is to host and generate traffic data reports for our clients. When there are server issues, this impacts both our ability to store data and generate traffic reports.

Over the years we have experimented with various ways of safe-guarding against catastrophic events.

Regarding database management, this has led us to move our development in a new direction, towards a distributed data-driven reporting engine. Our new model involves storage distributed across multiple datacenters. Different physical locations hold identical data, and automatically copy new data to several locations.

What does this mean?

In practice, this means that 2 data centers can go down without anyone noticing, as long as at least one datacenter remains up. If one data center is down, there is no extra pressure to get things working, no need to get a team of engineers awake at 4 a.m.

Furthermore there is no need for our application developers to worry about failures or balancing data.

Conclusion

The fact that we stayed up and running while a whole datacenter was down confirmed that we made the correct choices. We have learned that our distributed database exhibits “failsafe” qualities when compared to MySQL. Our cluster, spread over multiple locations, was able to continue both recording and generating reports without interruption, and was able to repair itself automatically after the fact.

 

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Visitor profiles enhanced with LinkedIn company info

Visitor profiles enhanced with LinkedIn company info

Profile of visitor, enriched with linkedin data

When information is detected, we are able to enhance visitor profiles in order to bring you a more complete picture of who is visiting your website.Specifically, we are able to provide key details about the companies from which you are receiving traffic.

Some interesting metrics that we can provide include:

  1. website url
  2. number of employees
  3. industry category of the company

In this example you can see that we are presenting information about a visitor from UPS – United Parcel Service.

You can access this information and have it enrich your visitor profile data by enabling the LinkedIn option in your account when you are logged in.

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Guide to UTM Tags Definition and How-to

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UTM tags, Implement UTM Code with ease

Using UTM Codes To Measure Your Marketing Efforts with Opentracker.

In this how-to you will learn what UTM tags are and the industry standards on how to use them. The most successful marketers are able to specifically measure how they’re hitting their goals; for example they know that tweets from their company account are what’s driving traffic and leads to their website. In other words, these marketeers are aware that they are not just getting traffic from Twitter, but how traffic from that specific source performs.

Effective marketers are able to answer questions about their audience by using UTM codes. In this guide we are going to teach you exactly what UTM codes are, also called UTM tags, and how you can use them effectively in your marketing efforts. You’ll start noticing UTM tags everywhere online.

An example utm tag in a browsers url box.
Once you know where to look, utm tags are everywhere

UTM refers to an Urchin Tracking Module. Google Analytics used to be called Urchin before Google bought the technology. UTM tags pass on specific click info; source, medium, campaign. As a marketer you can use UTM tags in a wide range of online marketing products, so its an important skill to master.

UTM codes are little pieces of codes that you add to the end of your website’s URL when you share them on another (advertising) platform or network. In other words, when someone clicks on that URL – you have added a UTM code and can figure out how people are getting to your site.

To create a UTM code you need four main tags –

  1. First you need a UTM campaign – in this example a blogpost – this groups together all of the content from one campaign:

 https://www.opentracker.net?utm_campaign=blogpost&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook&utm_content=headerlink

  1. Next you need a UTM medium this tells you the type of marketing mediums that the link is featured on, here we use the word social, to signify our efforts are using social media:

 https://www.opentracker.net?utm_campaign=blogpost&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook&utm_content=headerlink

3. Then you need the UTM source this tells you which specific website is sending you traffic:

 https://www.opentracker.net?utm_campaign=blogpost&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook&utm_content=headerlink

  1. Finally, you need the UTM content if you have two or more URLs on the same page leading to the same URL (landing page):

https://www.opentracker.net?utm_campaign=blogpost&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook&utm_content=headerlink

For paid search, you can add utm_term. You can use Google’s URL builder to build your own UTM tag:

https://ga-dev-tools.appspot.com/campaign-url-builder/

Utm tags – our take home message

UTM content tells you which campaigns people are actually clicking on, so that you know what is driving your traffic. You can name these tags whatever you want, but be sure to use the same terminology across your entire campaign.

Thats it, so get publishing; your analytics will keep track of these UTMs!