I was asked to address this question not long ago: A large part of our business is in consumer packaged goods sold through mass-channel outlets such as Wal-Mart. We’d like some insights into how we can use analytics to help us understand the marketing-driven revenue on the retail end. Is there a way we can link POS revenue back to our digital marketing efforts?
Response: Expert Exchange with Greg Bonsib
THE BIG IDEAS
- Capitalize on in-store promotional events
- What drives digital sales likely drives retails sales too
- Hire a lead agency that is strong strategically and analytically
CAPITALIZE ON IN-STORE PROMOTIONAL EVENTS
Coordinate the digital marketing with in-store promotional events. Provide end caps or other kinds of displays with a certain product, which will have its unique SKU. You can use the SKU to isolate the point of sale and the sales for the product.
- You need to establish the base line for sales when there are no special promotions or marketing in the mix.
- Discount for sales lift due to approaching holidays, when sales would increase anyhow.
- You can assume that anything you see in sales above the base line is because of marketing.
WHAT DRIVES DIGITAL SALES LIKELY DRIVES RETAIL SALES TOO
You can use analytics on the online sales to help you understand which of your marketing tactics are working better than others. That is, which are driving sales at particular online retailers, such as walmart.com. Most likely, the tactics that work best for online sales will also work best for the retail outlets too.
- You can look at the halo effect that occurred with the rest of the product line that wasn’t being promoted. Did sales increase for the other products? The more halo effect, the better.
- Planograms are useful tools when you have a history of sales over many different sales channels for similar products. You can compare and contrast the sales at the different retailers. Planograms can help you analyze whether a promotional event in one sales channel increased sales in others, or whether an impact at one retailer echoes an impact at a competitive retailer.
- Use heat mapping to understand the impact of regionality and other variables.
HIRE A LEAD AGENCY THAT IS STRONG STRATEGICALLY AND ANALYTICALLY
Most big companies use many agencies, each with a specific focus, which means that you receive masses of data that is in different forms that is difficult to use.
- Use a lead agency into which every other agency feeds its tracking, analytics, and other data. Icreon Tech is highly recommended.
- This agency aggregates the data. It manages the data wrangling, normalization, and warehousing.
- As a central repository you can dictate how the data is organized. For example, we’ve created three buckets: commerce (revenue), behavior (what people do on the sites), and engagement (click-through rates, and so on).
How can you build on these ideas? Let me know!
Marc Howard lives and breathes digital growth strategies and shows other digital entrepreneurs and small-medium sized business owners how to grow their online business, generate more traffic and turn visitors into leads. He shares the strategy and the mindset at http://whenyouliveinthenow.com. He published this insightful post about a year ago but it remains timeless.
Do you consider yourself to be one of those in-the-know digital marketers? Are you just starting as a freelancer or entrepreneur that’s looking for a bit of insight or do you consider yourself already an expert?
Well some of the facts below may be a major awakening. No matter what your area of expertise you may be amazed by some of the stats below.
The one thing that you will notice however in each of these facts is that they are full of opportunity to either improve your existing marketing strategy or seek out a new channel (hint: using a video to promote your product or service is on the rise this year like never before).
The Power of Video for Content Marketing
- The average human attention span is 8 seconds. The average attention span of a goldfish is 9 seconds. Source: Wikipedia
- Our brains process images 60x faster than text. Change-up your text-to-image ratios and choose images that tell your story. Source:3M Corporation
- 80% of your online visitors will watch a video while 20% will actually read content. Source: Digital Sherpa
- 75% Of Users Visit The Marketer’s Website After Viewing A Video. Source: Digital Sherpa
- 45% Of Viewers Will Stop Watching A Video After 1 Minute & 60% By 2 Minutes. Source: Insivia
- Videos Increase People’s Understanding Of Your Product Or Service by 74%. Source: Digital Sherpa
- Using video on landing pages can increase conversions by 86%. Source: Unbounce.com
- Up to 60% of all email recipients regularly turn off images. Source: MarketingLand.com
- Your Website Is 50 Times More Likely To Appear On The First Page Of A Search Engine Results Page If It Includes Video. Source: Digital Sherpa
- Adding video to your email campaigns can increase click rate by 300%. Host your video online and create a thumbnail play button for your email. Source: Wistia
- Website visitors are 64% more likely to buy a product on an online retail site after watching a video. Source: Digital Sherpa
How To Leverage Social Media
- Facebook post with photos get 53% more likes, 104% more comments, and 84% more click-throughs. Source: KISSMetrics
- Facebook posts with questions get 100% more comments. Source: KISSMetrics
- Tweets that specifically ask followers to “retweet” receive 12x more retweet rates than those who do not. Source: BufferApp
- 16% of marketers plan to increase efforts on Pinterest in 2015. Source: Business2Community.com
- Twitter users follow a median of 6 brands on Twitter, looking for things like interesting and fun content, news and updates, discounts and promos and more. Source: BufferApp
- Content that is greater than 1500 words on average receives 68.1% more tweets. Source: QuickSprout
- By using just 3 hashtags, brands can gain a 110% increase in likes on their Instagram posts. Source: Pigora
- By using just 3 hashtags, brands can gain a 180% increase in likes on their Instagram posts. Source: Pigora
A Blog Is No Longer a “Nice to Have”
- Blogs give sites 434% more indexed pages and 97% more indexed links. Source: NewsCred.com
- Companies that blog 15+ times per month get 5x more traffic than companies that don’t blog. Source: Hubspot
- Companies with an active blog report 97% more leads. Source: Content+
- 70% of consumers prefer getting to know a company via articles over ads. Source: Content+
- Articles with images get 94% more views than those without.Source: Content+
- 57% of companies have acquired customers via their blog. Source: Content+
- Content creation ranked as the single most effective SEO tactic by 53%. Source: MarketingSherpa
- 33% of email recipients open email based on subject line alone. Source: convinceandconvert.com
If You’re Not Doing Mobile You Will Be Left Behind
- 71% of global users access social media through mobile devices. Source: Search Engine Journal
- 92% of mobile shopping app users want to be alerted if retailers are having sales. Source: Latitude Research
- About 60 percent of all Internet activity in the U.S. originates from mobile devices, and about half of total Internet traffic flows through mobile apps. Source: Internet Marketing Association
- Mobile revenue is projected to reach $700 billion by 2017, increasing by more than 300%. Source: VentureBeat
- By 2017, mobile devices will make up 87 percent of the total sales of Internet-enabled technology. Source: LanderApp
It Pays to Do Email Marketing–Literally
- The average open rate for welcome emails is a whopping 50% making them 86% more effective than email newsletters. (An automated welcome is a no brainer.) Source: Marketing Sherpa
- 51% of email is opened on a mobile device. (Design for the smallest screen first then you responsive design templates to ensure emails look great on any screen size.) Source: Litmus
- Nurtured leads make 47% more purchases than non-nurtured leads. (Create an automated series that delivers content to your subscriber over time and it will pay off.) Source: The Annuitas Group
- 58% of adults check email first thing in the morning. (Try sending your emails early in the day–you might see an uptick of opens). Source: Ezanga
- People check their email up to 150x a day. Make sure your call-to-action is clear. Source: kpcb.com
- Eye tracking data shows that viewers look to the same part of the screen where images of people are looking. That’s exactly where to want to put your call-to-action. Source: The Brain Lady Blog
- Email is nearly 40x better than Facebook or Twitter at acquiring customers. Source: McKinsey & Company
- You have just 3-4 seconds to grab your reader’s attention and interest them enough to open and read your email. Source: Litmus
- 64% of decision makers read emails via mobile device. Source: EmailExpert.org
- Using marketing automation can increase conversion rates by up to 50%. Source: Aberdeen Group
- If an email doesn’t display correctly, 71.2% will delete it immediately.Source: BlueHornet
Now That We “Google” Everything Search Engine Marketing Is Taking Over
- In 2015, search engine marketing (SEM) will continue to capture the largest share of online spend at 47%, or about 14% of the firm’s total marketing budget 2014. Source: Business2Community.com
- Mobile search ads will be $12.85 billion in 2015, over 50% of the search market. Source: Heidi Cohen
- 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine. Source: Imforza
- Search is the No. 1 driver of traffic to content sites, beating social media by more than 300 percent. Source: Search Engine Journal
- The average content length for a web page that ranks in the top 10 results for any keyword on Google has at least 2,000 words. The higher up you go on the search listings page, the more content each web page has. Source: QuickSprout
- 60% of all organic clicks go to the organic top 3 search results. Source: Business2Community.com
- 50% of all mobile searches are conducted in hopes of finding local results, and 61% of those searches result in a purchase. Source: Search Engine Watch
Of the tips above which one stood out the most and how might you tweak your digital marketing strategy based on it? Or do you have one even more mind blowing?
Building materials are not bought as often as shampoo or other FMCG products. Especially big-ticket items like roofing, siding and windows.
As a result, there’s little brand preference and sense by consumers that a lot of research needs to be done to learn about choices and options before the first dime is spent. Most of that research is done on the internet.
Google even wrote a book about it, calling this online decision-making moment the Zero Moment of Truth — or simply ZMOT. (Follow this link to download both the ZMOT eBook and handbook from Google.)
You can use content marketing to give consumers a rich education in your product category and build brand preference despite a lack of familiarity with the project.
Use content marketing to stand out and gain preference by helping consumers become educated and knowledgeable about your category
But with complex projects – like designing, buying and installing a new closet system – consumers wanted a lot more information about what would be involved to build out a closet that matched their needs or dreams.
A few years ago, Rubbermaid did not have a presence on the web for its closet or garage product lines beyond showing the individual products available. Research showed, however, that consumers found organizing closets to be overwhelming and they had identified the web as a key resource for finding information about closets systems and how-to project advice to gain the confidence to select and purchase.
7 simple steps to building a ZMOT strategy like Rubbermaid did
- Create a micro-site for each key product segment. That will allow you to highlight the features & benefits of your product systems, show project photos and answer common questions.
- Develop an online product selection configurator or design tool for each product segment to make product selection and design simple. Make sure it provides a SKU specific shopping list for consumers to take with them to the store.
- Maximize “findability” with SEO and key words search terms through search engines and utilize elements, especially video, that could be used on YouTube and other sites to generate additional traffic.
- Create a “where to buy” function to allow customers to find the closest retailer or installing dealer.
- Build content rich pages for all of your online key online retailers. Repurpose all the content you have generated for yourself for their websites.
- Create a blog and prominently feature your core product lines in it.
Use partnerships and guest blogs from industry pros or key trade organizations to build added credibility.
- Finally, promote your blog and rich content extensively on social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, etc.).
Content marketing is a key way of building your brand preference by helping consumers become educated and knowledgeable about your category
Using a content marketing strategy will not only draw more consumers to your website, but you will be arming them with project information instead of product specs simply by utilizing the web as your call to action in ads, PR and merchandising.
The end result will be consumers spent more time with your brand, more confidence in the project and, most importantly, more product sales through online and in-store retailers.
Photo credit: Patrick Gensel/Flick
Active Search Results (ASR) is an independent Internet Search Engine using a proprietary page ranking technology with Millions of popular Web sites indexed.