Experience is Key, and Other Insights from Merkle Summit 2019

Here’s to another great Merkle Summit, an event for visionary marketers, with actionable takeaways and industry trends that define the modern marketing landscape. Here’s a summary of the key messages and amazing success stories that followed. Hearing f…

Here’s to another great Merkle Summit, an event for visionary marketers, with actionable takeaways and industry trends that define the modern marketing landscape. Here’s a summary of the key messages and amazing success stories that followed. Hearing from some of the best brands in the world was an inspiration to those on the road to delivering people-based marketing.

 It’s no secret that today’s customers need an engaging and personal experience to capture their attention. In fact, as we learned from Antonio Sciuto from Salesforce on Tuesday, the average attention span of Gen Z is 8 seconds. For marketers, that sounds terrifying, right? Maybe so, but as we learned in Craig Dempster’s kick-off session, the way to create competitive advantage is by meeting and exceeding customer’s expectations right out of the gate. In fact, the difference between billions and bankruptcy is by doing just that. The largest companies in the world (Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, for example) are doing it quickly and efficiently by using relevant first-party data, integrated tech, and real identity to create unique, personalized experiences that are relevant to each customer.

Today, brands don’t compete with other brands, rather they compete with culture and how customers use their time. For example, Craig shared that 250 million people are dedicating an average of 6-10 hours per week playing Fortnite. Customer content consumption habits are shifting as well. Thirty-three million US TV viewers have cut the cord, 24% of the US population has installed ad blockers, and 84% of millennials take the time to look through their email. I can vouch for that.

Because of these shifts in attention, customer’s fluctuating expectations and preferences are driving the way that brands innovate. A great example would be Dollar Shave Club and Harry’s who aren’t taking market share from the big guys like Gillette but instead are making a new segment for customers that prefer buying an experience along with the product.

Digital transformation: Working together to succeed

Business today requires that we put customers at the center to fulfill their needs first, not push products on them. For Canon, this meant shifting from a product-centric organization to a data-driven, customer-centric organization. That required ground-up reorganization of the 82-year-old business. We heard from Rita Dubey and Michael Lebron on what that turn around looked like for them. First, they had to develop their ‘north star’ and decide what they wanted to accomplish.

Canon had to define internal roles, build partnership to fill any gaps, and break the silos that existed between IT and the rest of the business. This required a change in their relational mindset from ‘IT vs. business to ‘IT and business’ working together. Digital transformation closes the gap between where you are with business, technology, and what’s possible to deliver the most value to your customers.Canon at Merkle Summit

Sharing is caring: Streamline your team

We also heard an awesome transformation story from Dore Murph from Samsung. Samsung’s services, such as Samsung Pay, Samsung Health, Samsung Bixby and the Galaxy store used to all be managed by separate marketing teams within the company. Along with these siloed teams, external agencies were hired for each service, creating overlap and a lack of shared insights and data. They quickly realized that this was not working, so a centralized marketing team to work across all the services, and decided to partner with one agency, HelloWorld, a Merkle Company to take the lead. The new model was a major success, gaining stakeholder alignment, better team communication, shared assets, and 130% of their revenue goal.

Bringing it all together

In short, David Williams, CEO of Merkle and Chairman of Dentsu Aegis Network, wrapped up Summit by sharing the key themes of people-based marketing today:

  • Identity is the new currency of customer experience. If we can’t identify our customer at scale, we are at a major disadvantage
  • Personalized product and service experiences are at the heart of competitive advantage
  • Customer insights, data, analytics, and AI have become critical ‘path’ skills
  • Tech enablement should be at the heart of our marketing, advertising, and customer experience strategies
  • Integration and organizational effectiveness are now critical constraints of business

This year’s Summit was another great example of why people-based marketing is imperative to reaching today’s customer. Want to learn more? Download our 2019 Marketing Imperatives here.

Thanks for the Insight! Now What? How to Get Unstuck and Improve CX, Conversions, and ROI

Our co-founder Neil Patel wanted to understand where companies were struggling to meet their fullest potential. One set of contrasting data points jumped out at the Crazy Egg team specifically. In his research of over 200 companies ranging in size from…

Our co-founder Neil Patel wanted to understand where companies were struggling to meet their fullest potential. One set of contrasting data points jumped out at the Crazy Egg team specifically. In his research of over 200 companies ranging in size from $1mm in Revenue to $300mm, he uncovered the following: Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is […]

The post Thanks for the Insight! Now What? How to Get Unstuck and Improve CX, Conversions, and ROI appeared first on The Daily Egg.

Why Modern B2B Marketers Must Connect Professional and Personal

For B-to-B marketers, a frequent barrier to unlocking the value of data is the divide between B-to-B and B2C data dimensions. The disconnect between these two halves of a person’s life makes it difficult for even the most data savvy brands to bring to …

For B-to-B marketers, a frequent barrier to unlocking the value of data is the divide between B-to-B and B2C data dimensions. The disconnect between these two halves of a person’s life makes it difficult for even the most data savvy brands to bring to life the full promise of personalized addressable marketing.

The business of behavioral change

Peter Drucker, the arguable founder of modern business management, once said, “the purpose of business is to create and keep…Read blog postabout:The business of behavioral change
The post The business of behavioral change appeared first on WiderFunne…

Peter Drucker, the arguable founder of modern business management, once said, “the purpose of business is to create and keep...Read blog postabout:The business of behavioral change

The post The business of behavioral change appeared first on WiderFunnel Conversion Optimization.

A/B Testing: How and Where to Start

One misstep we often see companies make: Investing in a massive website redesign without validating the changes they’re making by looking at their customer data first.   The downside of this mistake is massive; wasted time and money, to be sure, but al…

How To AB Test

One misstep we often see companies make: Investing in a massive website redesign without validating the changes they’re making by looking at their customer data first.   The downside of this mistake is massive; wasted time and money, to be sure, but also, this is a huge missed opportunity for making positive and impactful website […]

The post A/B Testing: How and Where to Start appeared first on The Daily Egg.

How an Instagram CRO Experiment Lifted Sales by Double Digits for One eCommerce Website

In this case study, we’re explaining how adding user generated content (UGC) in strategic places on an eCommerce site can increase your conversion rate.

We know from working with hundreds of eCommerce brands that they are always looking for the best ways to utilize user generated content (UGC). In this case study, we are sharing a few tests we ran for Mountain Housean eCommerce business that sells freeze-dried foods for hikers, hunters, and camping enthusiastsshowing how adding UGC in strategic places on an eCommerce site can increase the conversion rate.  

Specifically, we curated and displayed photos on the main category pages, which lead to a conversion rate lift of 13%.

In this post, we are sharing what we learned in the process including:

  • The psychology of why this worked.
  • How to leverage UGC content and social media to improve conversion rates.
  • How you can apply these learnings in your eCommerce business.

To see your best possible conversion rate, you need an advanced strategy designed for your specific audience, and we can help. If you’d like our CRO experts to see what conversion best practices can be applied to your eCommerce site, contact us here.

About the Mountain House Instagram Contest CRO Test

An important part of having UGC work for increasing conversion rate is the quality of the photos. eCommerce brands should think of their user generated content strategy similar to their own product photography. High-quality photos will increase desire for the product and likely, the conversion rate.

So for Mountain House, instead of pulling random UGC photos, we chose stunning images that capture customers’ attention from a contest that Mountain House ran on their Instagram profile.

Mountain House has cultivated a loyal and large brand following with more than 45,000 followers on Instagram. They ran a contest collecting UGC photos from loyal customers and Instagrammers in the summer of 2017. This conceptalong with the AB test we ranput the best content on the category pages and exceeded all expectations.

Original:

Variation: 13% lift  

Specifically, we curated and added awesome contest photos to category pages as a value add to drive home that people buy and love these products (as shown above).

We used ReadyPulse to curate and pull in these images dynamically. We did it by category and specifically pulled out our favorite ones for this test. We looked for unique places and customers doing cool things, and not just your typical “I’m holding the product in front of a door photo.” That’s not engaging.

Because Mountain House has a diverse customer base comprised of camping and hiking enthusiasts, outdoor adventure seekers and preppers, this contest helped to reinforce the brand perception of one of their key customer segments: everyday people who go hiking and hunting on the weekendsand how they love consuming these products.  

And, the customers who got their photos featured feel special. They feel like the brand recognizes them, which builds more brand loyalty, and then they are more likely to keep buying the products.

How to Incentivize Your Customers to Create Compelling UGC Content

UGC content works well when you tap into your most engaged customers on social channels, and then give them a reason to get excited to share content with you.

You need to incentivize them by empathizing with them and understanding their motivations.  

In this example, we needed to be able to give credit to them in a way that gets them the “notoriety” that they’re looking for. This means having a prize that motivates people to want to engage. In this case, it was a year’s supply of freeze-dried food.

Location of UGC Matters: Don’t Just Test UGC in One Place and Declare It a Success or Failure  

Since the homepage is the page that almost everybody lands on, and probably gets the most traffic, it is a natural place to run CRO tests for the first time.

However, we often see brands quick to call something a success or failure after only testing it on the homepage for a short time. That’s not always going to be the spot with the most significant impact.

Our CRO tests with Mountain House prove that. We first did a test on their homepage. This was the original test. It was less impactful, and it only resulted in a small lift.

Then, we tested it further down the funnel. We added it on every single category page. The category pages are where it resonated with visitors. No matter where people navigated to, they saw it.

You can also test adding UGC on product pages. For example, if you’ve got only a handful of products or you’ve got a huge Instagram base, putting it on the product page is definitely something worth trying.

We wouldn’t recommend adding it on ‘add to cart’ and ‘checkout’ pages though, because you don’t want to push people to your Instagram page and further away from completing a purchase.

This UGC strategy can work well with any brand that has visually captivating products and a large concentration of social influencers. For example, this could also work well if you sell juicing products.  

Leveraging Social Proof to Generate More Sales

The underlying reason why this worked so well is that it shows real people using their products in real life. This may seem obvious, but few eCommerce businesses leverage this social proof effectively.

In addition, it is easy to underestimate the power of social media platforms. Everybody thinks of social media as something that people interact with, but only some companies understand how it can affect their conversion rate. This clearly proves that this kind of content from social media can be used strategically on your site to achieve the latter.

If you have a strong brand and a social following with engaged users, you can use UGC content like Instagram posts to increase your conversion rate.

Don’t throw social media channels to the wayside just because you think it’s only for GenZ and millennials and won’t ultimately influence purchasing decisions.

Conclusion  

While this UGC campaign worked well for Mountain House, every site is different. It’s helpful to benchmark your results against the best in class sites.

Every year, our CRO experts evaluate 25 top sites through our 154-point matrix, which breaks down the most important eCommerce features.  

If you’d like our CRO experts to see what conversion best practices can be applied to your eCommerce site, contact us here.

Merkle’s Executive Summit Kicks Off Today: Hear from brands like L’Oréal, Adobe, Samsung, and Facebook

Today kicks off our 16th annual Executive Summit at The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain in Marana Arizona. Attendees from across the industry are coming together to learn from our thought leaders as well as clients and prospects to hear how people-based ma…

Today kicks off our 16th annual Executive Summit at The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain in Marana Arizona. Attendees from across the industry are coming together to learn from our thought leaders as well as clients and prospects to hear how people-based marketing has changed their business. Speakers this year are from world-class brands such as Salesforce, Canon, Citizens Access, L’Oréal, Under Armour, Adobe, Facebook, Pega, Samsung, and more.

“It was worth it 10 times over,” says MyWallSt, a mobile app for personal finance

MyWallSt (formerly Rubicoin) is an award-winning financial investment app that transforms individuals into investors, through education and guidance. A short video interview with the client A transcript of the video “Working with Conversion Rate Expert…

MyWallSt (formerly Rubicoin) is an award-winning financial investment app that transforms individuals into investors, through education and guidance. A short video interview with the client A transcript of the video “Working with Conversion Rate Experts has been an absolute joy. The ideas that they gave us and approached have already been implemented. And we’re seeing […]

Why Text Buttons Hurt Mobile Usability

The usability standards for buttons are higher for mobile apps than desktop apps. With a smaller screen and finger navigation, mobile buttons must be easy to tap and read.

The usability standards for buttons are higher for mobile apps than desktop apps. With a smaller screen and finger navigation, mobile buttons must be easy to tap and read. Most solid buttons meet this standard, but text buttons rarely do. Before you use text buttons on your mobile app, here’s what you should know.

Text Buttons Are Harder to Tap

A finger is larger than a mouse cursor. Placing it over a smaller target feels awkward for users. Their finger covers the button’s text with no visible border to confirm if their action was executed. If the text label is long enough, users have a small visual cue but still not enough of one to assure users their action registered.

text-buttons-cues

The small target size of text buttons forces users to move their finger with precision to hit the target. More precision requires more effort from users. They have to keep their eye on their finger and the target to make sure they tap it.

The lack of straight edges makes the borders harder to distinguish and the button harder to target. Solid buttons don’t present this problem because the target is larger and has straight edges.

All Caps Text Buttons Are Harder to Read

To combat the tapping problem of text buttons, some designers style their text buttons in all uppercase. Google’s Material design system promotes this button style. All caps give the text straighter edges and make the target larger to tap. But this isn’t much better because the target is only slightly larger and the text style reduces readability.

all-caps-edges

All caps text buttons are harder to read, especially for dyslexic users. Users rely on the shape of letters to identify words. Uppercase letters don’t have contrasting ascenders and descenders, making words harder to recognize.

all-caps-shape

What to Use Instead of Text Buttons

Many use text buttons for their secondary action to show that the button is the lower priority one. But there are better ways to do this that won’t hurt usability.

Button Outline

One way is to place an outline around the text label. This makes the border of the button visible for easier tapping. Users will see the target their finger is hitting, giving them a better feel when they tap it.

The lack of a solid color prevents it from competing with the main call to action. Keep the button outline light yet visible so it doesn’t compete with the text label.

text-button-outline

Light Button Shape

Another alternative to text buttons is to put the text label on a light button shape. A light button shape distinguishes the button borders and background without competing with the main call to action. Light button shapes should almost blend into the background but still maintain enough contrast for visibility.

text-button-shape

When Text Buttons Make Sense

There are cases when text buttons make sense. Instead of using them for secondary actions, use them for tertiary actions. Tertiary actions don’t get as many taps and don’t need as much prominence. Primary and secondary actions are more important, so make sure they have more visual weight.

tertiary-action-button

Another case when text buttons make sense is when you’re helping users. Providing users with contextual information helps them choose the best option. But you don’t want users to perceive the help button as a call to action. A text button works well here to offer help without competing with other actions.

contextual-help-actions

Don’t Abuse Text Buttons

Sometimes there are certain buttons you don’t want to draw too much attention to. You may think it’s best to use text buttons to achieve this, but you’re making your buttons harder to tap and read. Don’t abuse text buttons. Make your buttons look like buttons, not text.

Are revenue optimization teams the answer to alignment issues between sales and marketing?

It is more critical than ever that sales and marketing collaborate in the full sales process.

The post Are revenue optimization teams the answer to alignment issues between sales and marketing? appeared first on Marketing Land.

Challenges between sales and marketing, stemming from broader organizational issues, are not uncommon. From miscommunication to mismatched data, there are plenty of frustrating problems that hinder alignment across siloed teams. A recent report (registration required) from Aragon Research found that customer revenue optimization helps organizations increase sales volume, improve win rates and deal sizes while delivering increased customer value. The research also showed that marketers tend to grade their relationship with sales higher than their counterparts on the sales team — indicative of just how disconnected these teams can be.

Co-founder and executive vice president of enterprise software firm Altify, Áine Denn, recognized these challenges when she co-founded the firm in 2005. “Sales and marketing aren’t speaking the same language,” said Denn. “Buyers have elevated expectations, but many brands’ sales and marketing teams are disconnected.”

Revenue optimization teams can reframe conversations

As businesses increasingly shift toward subscription-based models, brands apply an account-based marketing strategy to support the sales process. According to Altify’s chief marketing officer Patrick Morrisey, it’s time for a fundamental shift in our sales and marketing efforts, and even our larger organizational structures. “We need to shift the conversation from ‘what are we trying to sell’ to ‘what problems are we trying to solve?'”, said Morrisey. “That’s where the revenue optimization team comes in.”  He also noted that by creating a revenue optimization team, brands can increase transparency into sales campaigns and provide better insights into their digital marketing efforts.

“As marketers, our roles are changing as the buying cycle continues to shift,” said Allie Hughes, founder of Hughes & Co., a digital marketing agency with a strategic focus on profitability and revenue generation. “We need a better picture of the sales process to get better at what we do.”

One step towards solving the challenges of accessibility, insights and transparency across teams is to establish deal review meetings with the internal stakeholders involved in an account’s sales process. “It’s not the ‘old-world’, tech-driven center of excellence,” says Morrisey. “It’s establishing cross-functional resources grounded in account plans and driven by processes and metrics bringing internal stakeholders to the table.”

Cross-functional teams can lead to more effective campaigns

By establishing a cross-functional revenue optimization team and involving stakeholders from across sales and marketing in the process from beginning to end, digital marketers can set the tone for the entire sales process. Building rapport with your counterparts in sales — from business development to customer success managers — will provide valuable insights your team can act on to drive conversions. Partnering with the product marketing team and involving them in the process is also critical for ensuring that sales is well-equipped to manage customers’ expectations and solve challenges.

“Buyers can be extremely well-informed. Sales need to be equipped with accurate information from business development, product marketing team to deliver the right message — and solutions — to the customer during the sales process,” said Morrisey. “The tangible value that marketers are delivering to customers is actually equipping the sales team to understand the customer and products that will best solve the customer’s problems.”

Alignment can lead to competitive advantage

The view into accounts that marketing receives from sales generally doesn’t extend much further than the information put in the organizations’ CRM. This makes it challenging for marketers to understand the customer’s expectations and needs. “Sales very inadequately supports marketing with the information and insights that they need to understand how to shift marketing campaigns,” said Denn.

“Marketing is a sales-enabling activity, with more access to information about the entire sales process our efforts are more informed, our data-based decision making has a stronger foundation and ultimately our marketing efforts and products will scale up in quality as these teams are implemented in companies,” said Hughes. “We see clients shifting in this direction and our capacity to help generate strong ROI is improving.”

The importance of alignment cannot be understated; our sales and marketing teams should be as well-informed as the customers we are trying to reach.

The post Are revenue optimization teams the answer to alignment issues between sales and marketing? appeared first on Marketing Land.