How to use analytics to convince potential clients that they need your help

Analytics are a vital tool for establishing which marketing strategies are successful and which are proving to be a drain on resources. However they can be overwhelming to the untrained eye, which provides the perfect opportunity for you, if you work in business development for an agency, to offer your services and expertise to potential clients. Using analytics enables you to identify issues and shortcomings in their current strategy and recommend solutions, supported by data.  Your initial step must be to establish their existing level of knowledge. It’s essential that you clarify whether they are a novice, or they are just looking for the input of an expert, and whether the use of jargon is appropriate. Making this differentiation early on will not only save you time in your explanation, it will also prevent you inadvertently patronising or over-simplifying to…

How Spotify built a $5 billion business with more than 50 million subscribers

Spotify is a streaming music service originally developed in 2006 in Sweden and launching in 2008. Spotify Ltd. now operates as the parent company in London while Spotify AB manages research and development in Stockholm. This case study about the online music subscription service illustrates how different elements of the mix can be varied online. It also highlights success factors for developing an online marketing strategy. We've included it on Smart Insights for readers of Dave Chaffey's books before the next edition is publishes - it replaces an earlier case study In early 2015, Spotify was valued at more than $5 billion. Investments in the growth of the company have been $1/2 billion in seven rounds of funding from 17 investors. It is currently rumoured to be about to…

How are are companies managing their VOC assessment and follow-up?

It's the fourth year that the Temkin Group has delivered their benchmarking report which has researched 218 companies in the area of the 'Voice of the Customer' (VOC). What is VOC?  'Voice of the Customer is a market research technique that produces a detailed set of customer wants and needs, organized into a hierarchical structure, and then prioritized in terms of relative importance and satisfaction with current alternatives. Voice of the Customer studies typically consist of both qualitative and quantitative research steps. They are generally conducted at the start of any new product, process, or service design initiative in order to better understand the customer's wants and needs, and as the key input for new product definition.' The report highlights that 'Looking ahead, companies plan on focusing less on multiple-choice surveys and more on interaction history and predictive…

Six key findings from the Global Reviews UK Home Insurance Providers Digital Marketing Effectiveness Study Q3 2014:

In Q4 2014, Global Reviews conducted a Digital Sales Effectiveness (DSE) study amongst twelve leading UK home insurance brands including Admiral, Aviva, AXA, Barclays, Churchill, Direct Line, Halifax, Lloyds Bank, LV=, More Th>n, Nationwide and Tesco Bank. The aim of this study, which is part of Global Reviews’ ongoing programme of research, was to find out how consumers are choosing particular home insurance providers online, to understand and measure their digital journeys, and the key influencers in their buying decision. By capturing digital marketing and sales journey insights, underpinned by scientific framework using competitor and customer data for the sector, this research unravels some interesting facts for this insurance industry to answer many of the 'Why Questions'. Over 280 ‘in market’ consumers looking for home insurance in the next 90 days were studied as part…

Did gamification fail to live up to the hype or is there still  untapped potential?

It wasn’t long ago that leading experts were making a big fuss about it. In 2012, Gartner, for instance, predicted that by today the use of gamified services for consumer goods marketing and customer retention would become as important as Facebook. The research house also forecast that more than 70% of Global 2000 organisations would have at least one gamified application by 2015, and that the gamification industry would be worth US$2.8 billion by 2016. Big numbers. Big predictions. But also, as it transpires, a big miscalculation. It’s fair to say that the business world circa 2015 isn’t in thrall to gamification in the way that Gartner predicted, and the research house is now estimating that market penetration is a measly 5-10%. Indeed, an Infosys study into gamification in…

An interview between conversion strategy specialists Hugh Gage and Craig Sullivan

Structured testing to improve website effectiveness has gained a lot of traction among digital marketers in recent years. Its adoption has been helped by success stories of subtle changes such as Google adding $200m in revenue by testing 41 shades of blue on their ad links, or the $300 million button, or even the $500 million button.

These types of 'quick wins' have encouraged more structured programmes moving from simplistic conversion rate optimisation split test to a more compelling realm of driving incremental revenue and profit.

The examples of improvement above are perhaps too tantalising, since they suggest that it's easy to get started and get great results. For many, the real world isn't like that - you have to make the case to colleagues and tests may fail to give these rewards.

As part of writing the Smart Insights…

New consumer insights showing the importance of search in different sectors

When I'm asked by people who are starting new businesses where they should focus their online marketing, search marketing is usually near the top of the recommendation. Of course it depends on the level of consumer intent or demand for the new service, i.e. how many people are searching for products and services. The importance of search marketing today is shown by our new infographic created by JBH Marketing. It shows the importance of search drawing on the latest data from SimilarWeb on the level of consumer demand through searching and including practical advice and analysis from some of the top places to learn about search like Moz, Search Engine Land and Searchmetrics. So, I hope you agree that the infographic presents a compelling case for investing more…

Sharing 9 tips on engaging staff within an organisation to create content

We find there is great enthusiasm for content marketing, but when we talk to marketers at companies and agencies, we find there are two common content marketing management challenges (amongst many). First, how do you make the business case for content marketing and prove its value post campaign and second, how to encourage colleagues with the specialist insights to create great content given limited time or inclination. We are all busy, with our own priorities and responsibilities and it can be difficult to engage colleagues to understand the importance of relevant, interesting and up-to-date information to share with customers, prospects and stakeholders who can influence the sales or company brand. This post was originally based around a discussion on our Digital Marketing Optimization LinkedIn Group.  We still often get this question which we posed. The question was simply...

How do…

How to optimise your online images for search engines

There's an old phrase that says, 'a picture is worth a thousand words'. This may be true for the rest of world but not for Google, Yahoo, Bing and other search engines. When their bots crawl an image, for example my picture, they actually can't see the image and  but they only see the context of the image from its filename and the Alt Text. Google also pick up the context from any captions and links to the page containing the image so it's important to make web editors aware of these factors too. The potential commercial importance of getting image optimisation right is shown by this example where images are shown 'above the fold' and typically get good clickthrough rates. This example shows how, for some queries, Google will trigger a "OneBox" featuring…

New research from 300 online retailers shows the impact of different types of personalized product recommendations on conversion rates and other Ecommerce KPIs

We're all familiar with the Amazon personalized product recommendations after many years of seeing and responding to them, but since this well-known whitepaper from the Amazon team explaining the thinking behind the 'collaborative filtering' aka Product recommendations on Amazon [PDF], it's rare for Amazon to share the impact of product recommendations on their results. Recent research on Personalized Product recommendations from Barilliance sheds light on the impact of personalized recommendations based on an analysis of results from their clients. Barilliance analyzed revenue source data from over 300 eCommerce sites worldwide which use the Barilliance product recommendation engine. Here are some of the main learnings from the research which highlight the potential gains from implementing personalized product recommendations. Hopefully some of these results are useful for benchmarking the relative importance of personalized recommendations with your site: Percentage…

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