Why your marketing performance problem is really a measurement challenge

Figuring out how your company will grow is one of the biggest challenges facing marketers. The playbook is clear: Choose a high-value audience, execute relevant and creative campaigns, and voilà, results and growth for your brand, product or service. But setting your marketing team up for success is tougher than ever. One reason is that, […]

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Figuring out how your company will grow is one of the biggest challenges facing marketers.

The playbook is clear: Choose a high-value audience, execute relevant and creative campaigns, and voilà, results and growth for your brand, product or service.

But setting your marketing team up for success is tougher than ever. One reason is that, at many companies, the individual players aren’t using the same playbook. They choose a lower-value target, or the wrong one altogether, launch campaigns without insight and watch growth and ROI sputter.

Getting on the right track for growth is easier said than done. If you’re not seeing the number of leads, conversions, sales or other key metrics you’re looking for, finding out what’s not working and knowing how to fix it is tough.

The issue may not be your marketing tactics at all. It might actually be how you’re measuring performance. Without accurate measurement that de-duplicates results across customers and gives each touch point the proper credit toward a desired outcome, you really don’t know what’s working and what’s not.

This makes it almost impossible to invest in the channels that are driving results and avoid wasting spend on those that aren’t.

Digital marketing is complex

This is a common problem for today’s marketer. For decades, marketers have used traditional channels such as print, radio, TV, yellow pages and outdoor ads to reach consumers. But the digital revolution has proved disruptive to traditional marketing approaches. TV, radio, print and outdoor now work alongside digital marketing —  search, organic and paid search, email, social and video.

An explosion of digital channels, platforms and tools have made marketing more complex than ever. There are more touch points as consumers take control of the funnel, interacting with brands across multiple devices, niche media outlets and streaming TV.

Being able to reach and engage your best customer as they move along a tangled digital path requires sophisticated understanding of tools and tactics and clear strategy and vision. But the strategies and technologies that marketers have relied on for years to target, analyze and optimize their marketing and advertising campaigns have not evolved fast enough to keep pace with these demands.

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Marketing teams don’t share goals

Another challenge to growth is that it’s common for marketing teams to operate in silos. Most marketing organizations are split between marketing (direct mail, website, mobile, email, SEO, social, PR, events) and media (display, paid social, SEM, affiliate, print, radio, TV).

This split is compounded by multiple layers up and down the org chart: CMO, VPs, and directors, each with a team of managers and specialists under them, executing tactics and managing spend for each channel. Every organization also has multiple agency and vendor relationships.

That’s a lot of people in the pool. This complex structure often leads to individuals or teams working toward independent key performance indicators (KPIs) and incentives, leading to fragmented, ineffective optimization — by channel instead of across channels.

Aligning your organization toward common goals is challenging, especially when the goals change. Organizational silos and the complexities of the digital era have created measurement challenges that make it more difficult to maximize marketing effectiveness.

You may be hurting rather than helping performance

When goals, metrics and incentives align, teams can work together to boost performance and enhance the consumer experience along the entire funnel. But when they don’t, channel managers may unknowingly be working at odds.

Assuming that every part of the organization is doing all they can to feed the funnel and drive results is no longer enough. If your organization sets individual goals and incentives by silo, you may be hurting rather than helping performance.

That’s because each silo has its own metrics. Your Paid Search Manager is optimizing keyword performance while your Email Marketing Manager is tracking opens and click-through rate. How can you be sure they’re looking at the right numbers to achieve company goals?

Aligning metrics to a common goal is key

To truly understand the value of each consumer interaction with your brand, it’s not enough to count impressions or eyeballs or to measure the effectiveness of your marketing using last-touch metrics. You need to know the effectiveness of each marketing touch point in every consumer journey, regardless of where those touch points occur.

No matter which goal you’re focused on, you have to make sure your metrics align so that you’re tracking the right indicators. From a marketing perspective, this is critical. Marketing teams and management need to align on objectives and the KPIs that track progress toward achieving them.

Multi-touch attribution: New measurement for all channels

Many brands are reluctant to use advanced attribution methods that accurately assign fractional credit to marketing and media touch points, yet they’re spending millions of dollars annually measuring performance using last-click metrics they know are flawed.

To be effective, marketing organizations and their agency partners must rely on a data source that offers a holistic picture of performance and makes it possible for everyone to work toward shared goals. At the same time, each team member has different needs for actionable marketing intelligence at a different cadence.

Multi-touch attribution is an approach that makes sure all members of the organization are working together. Multi-touch attribution integrates disparate marketing performance data to establish a single source of truth.

By collecting, consolidating and normalizing performance data into common measures and taxonomy, this methodology supplies the insights your team needs on a consistent, holistic basis. Some multi-touch attribution solutions even integrate third-party behavioral and demographic audience data to provide tactical performance insights by audience segment.

Five attribution use cases

Here are five ways multi-touch attribution helps make sure your team is looking at the right numbers.

CMO: Budget allocation

It’s budget-planning time. The CMO of a large retailer needs to justify current marketing spend to other C-suite leaders and decide how to allocate budget and coordinate messages and experiences across online and offline channels.

Because they use multi-touch attribution, s/he knows VPs of marketing and media can report on which channels are driving business objectives for each target audience. The CMO uses that information to reallocate budgets to achieve higher top-line growth and better bottom-line efficiency.

VP: Cross-channel interaction

It’s the end of Q2. Last quarter, the brand launched a new multichannel campaign to drive sales of a new product, but the campaign fell short of its performance goals. The VP needs to know how to best allocate spend in order to increase sales by 20 percent in Q3.

Since a business rival is launching a competing product, she knows the marketing messages need to resonate with target customers and compel them to take action. She asks the managers of paid search, display, email and their e-commerce site to use multi-touch attribution to report on cross-channel interactions before deciding how to best allocate her quarterly budget to reach Q3 targets.

Channel manager: Email

It’s Monday, and there are campaigns rolling out on Tuesday and Thursday to different audience segments. The email channel manager needs to boost click-through rates to meet the weekly KPI.

Using multi-touch attribution, he checks the response to last week’s campaigns and sets up A/B tests for the emails going out this week, tweaking creatives for each audience segment to see which raises CTR. He then optimizes the email by segment and pushes those out to generate a higher return.

Channel manager: SEM

At the agency, the SEM channel manager sees via multi-touch attribution that the effectiveness of her Tier 1 campaign has suddenly dropped off because a new competitor has started aggressively bidding on the same keywords with an enticing offer that’s stealing click share.

She directs the SEM specialist to increase max bids by 10 percent and asks for an update on impact to performance in 24 hours. In the meantime, she asks the media analyst to report on which ads in the rotation are driving conversions at the highest rate for that campaign so she can direct her SEM specialist to pause the weaker performing ads.

Media analyst: Dimension analysis

At the agency, the media analyst pulls the numbers gathered via multi-touch attribution from yesterday’s mobile app, digital video, display and paid search ads. He compares creatives, ad sizes, offers, devices, geography and publishers to see which ones are performing well. He notices that last night’s new creative is working well across publishers, but only in the bigger size. He alerts the media buyer to boost ad size across channels.

Getting the marketing performance you deserve

Digital innovation has created a new set of opportunities and challenges for marketers. As a result, many brands today think they have a performance problem. The truth is that they actually have a measurement problem. If they can solve the root of the issue — poor measurement — they’ll get better results.

Multi-touch attribution allows brands in all industries to tackle the daunting task of properly measuring and optimizing the results of their marketing efforts. This makes it a whole lot easier for your organization to work together toward shared goals and grow.

To learn more about how you can be a better marketer in the digital era, download the Nielsen Visual IQ e-book: Crossing the New Digital Divide: Your Guide to Marketing Effectiveness

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Part 2: Our Top Takeaways from Click Summit 2018

Last week, we shared the first of many takeaways from Click Summit 2018, our annual conference for professionals in digital experimentation and personalization. This week, we’re back with more insights from each impactful conversation, inspired by this year’s edition of Clickaways. 1. Manage the three P’s of scaling your testing program: people, process, prioritization. Many companies […]

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Last week, we shared the first of many takeaways from Click Summit 2018, our annual conference for professionals in digital experimentation and personalization. This week, we’re back with more insights from each impactful conversation, inspired by this year’s edition of Clickaways.

1. Manage the three P’s of scaling your testing program: people, process, prioritization.

Many companies have found it more effective to establish a dedicated optimization team rather than having these duties dispersed across the organization. However, if that’s not possible for you, let your Center of Excellence take the lead on defining key processes, training and developing a maturity model to determine when each team is ready to start testing.

Develop a formal process for submitting, presenting, prioritizing and executing new testing ideas. Using various automation technologies can further simplify these steps.

Additionally, agree to one source of truth for your test results across multiple platforms. Companies that have various groups looking at different data sources struggle to establish the necessary credibility to scale their programs. This is one area where a knowledge platform that houses testing results, insights and ideas (like Brooks Bell’s Illuminate platform, or Optimizely’s Program Management) can help.

Finally, growing your experimentation program comes with the expectation of more tests, executed faster. When determining your velocity goals, be sure to consider quality over quantity. Always prioritize running a few, quality tests over many, low-impact tests.

2. Personalization and optimization teams should remain separate functions with connected but distinct goals.

Personalization is a worthwhile investment for any online industry, but it has to be adopted as a company-wide strategy in order to ensure you’re delivering a consistent customer experience.

To get the most out of your investment, establish a separate personalization team to run your program rather than looking to your existing experimentation team. Here are a few reasons for this: First, personalization is a longer-term strategy and “wins” occur at a much slower rate. Additionally, while there are similarities between A/B testing and personalization technologies, the questions you ask and the answers you get are very different.

Finally, running split tests is inherently easier and faster than implementing personalization. So long as your team is overseeing both functions, they’re likely to focus more on testing than personalization.

3. Focus on organizational outputs and customer insights, not just test outcomes.



Oftentimes, experimentation professionals find themselves nearest to the customer. Sure, you may not speak with them directly, but your work can have a direct effect on your customers’ experience and brand perception. That’s a lot of power, but also a lot of opportunity.

So here’s the challenge: Go beyond simple tests like button color or check out features and consider the bigger picture. Use testing to seek out insights that would be useful for other departments within your organization.

Here at Brooks Bell, we have our own framework for doing this (and we’d be happy to tell you about it). In lieu of our services, we’d encourage you to take a step back from test outcomes, spot trends and use these to develop testable customer theories.

Developing a customer theory requires you to conduct a deeper interpretation of your results–so don’t do it alone. Look to your working team to brainstorm customer theories and additional tests to validate or invalidate those. Bring in additional data sources like NPS, VOC or qualitative research to paint a more detailed picture of your customers.

Doing this can have huge implications for your customers, your experimentation program and your brand overall.

4. Build a program that strikes the perfect balance of innovation and ROI.

In order for creativity to flourish within your experimentation program, you have to establish clear goals. These are used as a framework within which your team can look for opportunities to innovate.

Develop a process for brainstorming test ideas that encourages participation and creative thinking, like using Post-It notes.



Finally, demonstrate a willingness to take calculated risks in order to make room for creativity in your optimization strategy. There is always something to be learned from negative or flat results.

Like the information in this post? Download this year’s Clickaways to access more tips, tricks and ideas from Click Summit 2018.

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Part 1: Our Top Takeaways from Click Summit 2018

Another year, another epically productive Click Summit. In the weeks since Click Summit 2018, we’ve spent some time reflecting on the event and even our heads are still reeling from the depth and quality of each conversation. This event isn’t your run-of-the-mill marketing conference. We strive to create an intimate and super-productive experience in our […]

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Another year, another epically productive Click Summit. In the weeks since Click Summit 2018, we’ve spent some time reflecting on the event and even our heads are still reeling from the depth and quality of each conversation.

This event isn’t your run-of-the-mill marketing conference. We strive to create an intimate and super-productive experience in our small group conversations. Of course, the true credit goes to our attendees and moderators for their candid participation. It takes a certain level of vulnerability to look to others for feedback and direction. Those types of conversations are where the true insights come to light.

Had to sit out Click Summit this year? You’re in luck. We’ve compiled the key takeaways from each of the 22 thought-provoking conversations into an easy-to-read, downloadable resource.

Here’s our summary of some of the insights you’ll find in this year’s Clickaways

1. Relationships are key to creating buy-in for experimentation. Get to the right meetings and make the right connections. Target influential leaders to gain traction and credibility for your program. Build working partnerships with other teams, taking time to understand their goals. Work with them to make testing and personalization part of the solution.



Finally, know that proving people wrong doesn’t create buy-in. Rather, invite other departments to participate in your program and frame your tests as an opportunity to learn together. Hold monthly or bi-weekly meetings with direct and indirect stakeholders to review test wins, brainstorm new tests and discuss any resulting customer insights.

2. Instill testing in your company culture through establishing a credible team and program. Trust is easily lost, so you really need to take steps to ensure your team is positioned as a source of truth for the business, rather than one that’s encroaching on other departments. Your team should not only be experts in optimization and behavioral economics, but also experts in your customers–know their behaviors online, what motivates them and what truly makes them tick.

Hold training sessions on best practices for testing, personalization and customer insights. Regularly communicate test results and any subsequent insights to the entire company. And when sharing results, consider your audience. It may be worth creating different reporting formats for different stakeholders

3. If you want to build an army of optimization evangelists, you’ve gotta get everyone on the same page first. So long as end-to-end optimization requires working across multiple teams, it’s important that you establish clear processes and governance. Develop a common language for testing terminology; abandon jargon in favor of words that are easy to understand and don’t have multiple contexts.

Set clear rules of engagement and expectations between all teams involved in optimization. This includes engineering, IT, analytics, marketing, creative and others. Make sure communication and reporting processes are defined and any associated technologies are being used consistently.Finally, take into account how success is measured for all these other stakeholders. Not all teams are incentivized with revenue targets or conversion goals. Connect your test strategy to their objectives to ensure a unified vision.

Like the information in this post? Stay tuned for part two next week. Until then, download this year’s Clickaways to access more tips, tricks and ideas from Click Summit 2018.

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Testing Your App Listing in the Google Play Store

Recently, while attending a native app session at our annual conference, Click Summit, it was brought to my attention that not many people know about the ability to run A/B tests on their Google Play Store app listing.   Testing your store listing can be an untapped area for gaining key insights about your customers and […]

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Recently, while attending a native app session at our annual conference, Click Summit, it was brought to my attention that not many people know about the ability to run A/B tests on their Google Play Store app listing.  

Testing your store listing can be an untapped area for gaining key insights about your customers and increasing app installs. Additionally, the insights you gain by testing your Google Play Store listings could be transferable to your Apple App Store listing as well.

Within the Google Play Console, there’s a little known tool that will allow you to A/B test your app listing called “store listing experiments.” This can be found under the “store presence” menu item.  

There is no need for a technical resources or technical knowledge as the technology is built right into the Google Play Console. The Store Listing Experiments feature allows you to A/B Test six different attributes of the store listing: Hi-res icon, Feature Graphic, Screenshots, Promo Video, Short Description and Long Description. Tests can include all of these in combination or individually. You can run tests globally (graphics only) or localized (text and graphics). Note that you are limited to 3 variations in a test.

The analytics and reporting is all housed within the Google Play Console and unfortunately, cannot be exported. Three metrics area automatically tracked: Installs on active devices, installs by user, uninstalls by user. Results are measured at a 90% confidence interval.

For more details, check out Google’s step by step documentation.

When it comes to experimentation, Brooks Bell is happy to lend our expertise to help your optimization program expand its reach, capabilities, and impact. This can include testing store listings, to landing pages, to check out experiences and more. If you’re interested in learning more about Brooks Bell and how we can help optimize your web experiences, contact us today.

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Who’s Hiring in May?

Interested in optimization, personalization and testing?  There are a variety of positions to choose from, whether you have coding experience or love analyzing everything in this world! Here are our picks: QA Engineer/Senior QA Engineer – American Express is looking for a “QA Engineer to work on mobile applications that will be used by tens of millions […]

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Interested in optimization, personalization and testing?  There are a variety of positions to choose from, whether you have coding experience or love analyzing everything in this world!

Here are our picks:

QA Engineer/Senior QA Engineer – American Express is looking for a “QA Engineer to work on mobile applications that will be used by tens of millions of cardholders around the world” in New York.

Manager of Testing and Optimization – Join GoDaddy’s teams in Kirkland, Washington or Tempe, Arizona in “translating performance and customer data into insights and ultimately business strategy, working with business teams to find data-driven optimization opportunities and being a driving force in developing a playbook for test driven business improvement.”

Ultra Mobile is looking for an a number of amazing people to join their ecommerce team in Costa Mesa California!
Ecommerce Analyst – Contribute to “ecommerce analysis and optimization efforts by finding and sharing insights in web data.”
Senior Software Engineer, Ecommerce – Looking for someone with front-end and back-end development skills to “contribute to software design and delivery for current and future products.”
Software Engineer, Ecommerce – Working in a dynamic start-up environment in front-end and back-end development.
CRO Developer – Seeking a candidate to “work within Ultra Mobile’s testing tool to develop winning customer experiences and tests that matches customer experience goals and provides a best-practice online experience.”

Software Developer, Experimentation Platform – Hulu’s Experimentation Services and Platform team is seeking a “Software Developer who will contribute to building internal products that enable and promote test driven product development” in Seattle, Washington.

Analyst, User Experience – UX Designer – MasterCard is “seeking a UX designer to join their Experience Design team” in New York. “Working with fellow designers, you’ll design, improve, and develop products and experiences for desktop and mobile devices.”

Digital & eCommerce Insights Manager – Join Autodesk in San Francisco as part of the Digital and eCommerce Analytics team, being “responsible for reporting, analytics and insights for the Digital and eCommerce (DEC) organization at Autodesk to help connect the dots across the various digital customer touch points.”

Web Personalization Manager – Help Bed, Bath & Beyond “drive their personalization efforts in the areas of product recommendations, content and offer personalization and be the subject matter expert for personalization on all company sites” in Union, New Jersey.

Have a job opening in the optimization space?  Get in touch and we’ll post it next month!

The Brooks Bell Team

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Attention + intensity: Tips for navigating the new age of media strategy

Contributor Mark Williams says marketers must evolve the metrics they monitor to keep up with the changing media-consumption environment.

The post Attention + intensity: Tips for navigating the new age of media strategy appeared first on Marketing Land.

As marketers and brands have seen, the prevalence of digital video has transformed how consumers access media and content.

Essentially, video is not the future, it’s the “now”.

According to Cisco, global IP video traffic will represent 82 percent of all consumer internet traffic by 2021, up from 73 percent in 2016. Consumers no longer want to read about a brand  — they want to visualize it.

In 2018 and beyond, we’ll see a big shift from before, when advertisers were looking to buy reach and frequency with traditional media, to now, where advertisers will want to capitalize on intensity through the maximum amount of reach and frequency. In a post-pivot-to-video world, it’s time to change your video and media strategy, especially how you measure it.

To tackle all of the changes and innovations in media and digital marketing within the past few years, and especially to gear you up for the further integration of video, here are three tips for navigating the new age of media strategy.

1. Measure your audience with intensity

Rethink your approach to measurement. It’s not just about clicks and views. Viewability and reach are no longer the main indicators of success because they don’t measure how an audience is connecting with the content.

Instead, track deeper actions. Update your key performance indicators (KPIs) with different engagement metrics, such as watch time, engagements, earned metrics and follower acquisition, to track whether or not your intended audience actually viewed your message and reacted to it.

Watch time is one of the most valuable metrics to track in order to gauge whether or not audiences are actually watching your content. It’s also the most important factor for platform algorithms. If you track minutes watched, retention rate and the average percentage of those who watched through, you’ll have a better idea of how you are captivating the audience’s attention, and at what level of intensity.

Tracking engagements (e.g., likes, shares and comments) is also a key indicator of your strategy’s performance. Engagements and engagement rates indicate that fans are making a decision beyond simply watching your content. If they’re sharing, starting up a conversation, or compelled by a call to action from the content, you can measure the intensity with which your audience is consuming the material.

Also, be sure to watch your follower/subscriber acquisition. Growing a fan base is essential to the marketing efforts of advertisers, and it is important to identify what content brings in new followers so that you can focus your content strategy to consider these insights.

2. Rethink content strategy: Transform ads + make content relevant

Given the prevalence of ad blockers, it’s clear that interruptive advertising doesn’t work anymore. Instead, we’re seeing high performance through integrated brand messages. To do this, make your content relevant to your consumer.

Embed your campaign initiatives into publisher sites through partnerships to make for a smoother and natural integration of your advertising.

Consider integrating with influencers. Research conducted by Fullscreen (my employer) and MediaScience found that the percentage of viewers who would recommend a brand after watching a branded video from an influencer was 13 percent higher than the percentage for a TV ad.

Test different content strategies to see what resonates best with your audience, and for a more specific segmented analysis, A/B test different interest sets and demographics to inform your marketing plan.

3. Tailor by platform

To keep your marketing strategy specific and efficient, optimize content and advertising to reflect the platform. Utilize metadata by making campaigns that align with proper titling and tagging across all of your platforms. Keep your branding design consistent to ensure that your content is distinguishable. Ensure that your creative is designed for the specific tech specs of the platform where it will live.

Gone are the days of the one-size-fits-all approach. Facebook creative must be treated differently from Snapchat and so on. Perhaps most importantly, the creative must feel endemic to the platform — which explains why repurposed television commercials have some of the lowest engagement metrics.

Identify and maintain a consistent publishing schedule that is tailored to times when platforms reach the highest number of eyes, not only to maximize viewership and engagement but also to help consumers know when to expect your content.

Further, aim to promote circular traffic: Utilize the platforms through their available interactive elements so that you can cross-promote across all channels.

When tailoring your content for specific platforms, you also want to pay attention to how the platform is accessed.

Take a look at the platform functions, according to recent data from each platform and Statista, YouTube is accessed 50 percent of the time on mobile, whereas Facebook is at 95.1 percent and Instagram is at 100 percent.

This means that when creating content for YouTube, you should pay equal attention to mobile and desktop access, whereas Facebook and Instagram should lean more heavily toward mobile usage.

In closing

You’ll want to keep these three tips at the forefront of your digital marketing and content strategy so that you quickly adapt your brand to the changing video and media environments of today.

Remember, the overarching difference in paid media targeting online versus traditional targeting is the more refined, specific targeting of individuals, which ultimately leads to higher attention and intensity, as well as greater returns.

With all of these advancements, online media has many new metrics which you absolutely must utilize to expand your reach and retention far beyond that of traditional paid media.

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Walmart is the Latest Retailer to Offer a Personalized Online Shopping Experience

Big news for Walmart – and no, it doesn’t have anything to do with yodeling. Last week, the retail giant announced a major redesign of their website. The new Walmart.com, which is slated to roll out in early May, will feature a cleaner, more modern design, a new color palette, icons, fonts and many other […]

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Big news for Walmart – and no, it doesn’t have anything to do with yodeling.

Last week, the retail giant announced a major redesign of their website. The new Walmart.com, which is slated to roll out in early May, will feature a cleaner, more modern design, a new color palette, icons, fonts and many other visual changes.

However, the most significant change comes from within: Walmart’s new site will offer a more personalized shopping experience for its customers.

Personalization is the practice of optimizing your online experience based on a customer’s individual behaviors, needs, likes and dislikes. It requires applying behavioral psychology, statistical models and machine learning to thousands of data points. Thanks to new personalization technologies like Dynamic Yield and Evergage (among others), more and more enterprise companies are looking to personalization to increase conversions and drive a better brand experience.

For Walmart, the new site will recommend new, best selling or seasonal products based on the categories a customer has been buying or browsing. It’ll use geo-targeting to show items that are trending in a user’s location. Additionally, customers will be able to see what services or special promotions are available in their specific location.

In rolling out this new experience, Walmart joins the ranks of other online retailers using personalization to drive sales—among them Amazon.com, and niche players like Stitch Fix, Wayfair and Best Buy.

But personalization is not just for retail. In fact, for any enterprise company facing plateauing-results despite already optimizing their digital experiences, personalization can offer a means of winning more business by delivering a hyper-targeted customer experience.

At Brooks Bell, we’re helping enterprise-level companies (including Barnes and Noble, Chick-fil-A, Microsoft and more) improve the performance of their website, and deepen their understanding of their customers.

Our Personalization Jumpstart program enables our clients to build and scale their own personalization strategies, using a unique process that can be implemented in its entirety or a la carte. 

5 Steps to a Personalized Web Experience with Brooks Bell

  1. Align: Brooks Bell’s consultants evaluate the objectives of your users in the context of your company’s goals, success metrics, structure and existing technologies. Then, we develop customized growth plan with advice for execution and implementation.
  2. Discover: Our team of analysts reviews your data resources and identifies gaps in how you collect, store, merge and surface information. Then we develop statistical models, either in-house or by utilizing the tools and technologies you already have.
  3. Build: Personalized experiences built from statistical models only work if they target the right type of customer–and avoid the wrong ones. Once we identify your optimal users and their needs, we work to profile their attributes to gain a true understanding of the people behind your data, and build strategies based on those insights.
  4. Validate: At this stage, we bring in our full-service optimization team to ideate, build, launch, analyze your personalization experience. Our company is rooted in experimentation and our ability to validate our work— whether they are experiences, algorithms or a combination of both—is second to none.
  5. Launch: Finally, we work to scale your personalization efforts, measuring the impact of each test to confirm that as an experience changes, so does the desired outcome from that user interaction.  By doing so, we identify the most simplistic and manageable set of experiences that optimize your return on investment.

If you’re interested in learning more about Personalization Jumpstart or any other Brooks Bell service, contact us today.

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How to increase B2B form submissions through conversion testing

Contributor Abraham Nord looks at four tests that illustrate how improving the online experience can lead to dramatic increases in conversion rate and lead results.

The post How to increase B2B form submissions through conversion testing appeared first on Marketing Land.

Nearly all business-to-business (B2B) marketers are focused on increasing leads, improving lead quality and improving return on investment (ROI).

Conversion testing plays a key role in all three of these objectives. Let’s look at four tests that illustrate how improving the online experience can lead to dramatic increases in conversion rates and lead results.

We will also analyze why the tests worked so you have a better understanding of how to apply the same principles to your own unique circumstances.

Test #1: Form position and orientation

Test variations:

Hypothesis: By centering the registration form and moving it higher on the page, visitors’ eyes will more easily flow from the call-to-action (CTA) statement to the form. The benefit bullet points and asset imagery will now serve as secondary, supporting content.

Results: Variation 1 won with a 34.47 percent higher conversion rate at 92.04 percent confidence.

Conclusion: Many visitors were ready to get the downloadable asset without needing additional information. The registration process was more seamless and apparent with Variation 1, thus increasing form submissions.

Test #2: ‘Instant download’ badge

Test variations:


Hypothesis: Visitors do not like waiting for an asset to be emailed to them, especially since they often have to check their junk folder to find/receive the asset. By adding a badge indicating the asset is an “instant download,” we will eliminate this pain point, thus increasing form submissions.

Results: Variation 1 won with a 31.93 percent higher conversion rate at 91.61 percent confidence.

Conclusion: Visitors did, in fact, appreciate the straightforward and transparent approach of giving them the asset immediately. There was also no significant difference between variations in terms of the quality of emails provided.

Test #3: Tabbed content

Test variations (desktop):


Test Variations (Mobile):

Hypothesis: By including additional information about the company and organizing that content in tabs, visitors will more easily see how the downloadable asset is relevant and beneficial to them, and thus, more visitors will complete the form and convert.

Results: Mobile: Variation 1 won with a 160.28 percent higher conversion rate at 98.75 percent confidence. Desktop: Control won with a 31.13 percent higher conversion rate at 86.28 percent confidence.

Conclusion: For desktop visitors, the tabbed information was less meaningful than immediately seeing testimonials and partners (as social proof) at a glance. However, mobile visitors appreciated the additional content presented in an easy-to-digest tabbed format on the smaller screen.

Test #4: Overall look and feel

Test variations:

Hypothesis: By testing a different page layout/look, we can make the largest gains in conversion rates in the shortest amount of time. The increased visual prominence of the asset and form area will draw visitors’ eyes to the area where we want the most engagement.

Results: Variation 1 won with a 44.73 percent higher conversion rate at 88.41 percent confidence.

Conclusion: The more prominent form section and front-on view of the asset were the largest factors in Variation 1 winning. Visitors could more easily see the asset they would be receiving and more immediately understand how to get the guide. After finding a winning overall layout/look, we can test additional iterations of this page.

Improve your lead resulting via testing

These four landing page tests represent a small sampling of possible conversion rate optimization (CRO) tests available to B2B marketers. The examples showcase the importance of page layout, registration form placement and format and the information/images associated with downloadable assets.

And as Test #3 reinforced, make sure you are looking at different device types and experiences separately so you can customize and optimize the conversion rate for all of your visitors, regardless of how they come to your site.

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Who’s Hiring in April?

Here’s some of our picks: Personalization, Testing and Optimization Manager – Webster Bank in Waterbury, Connecticut is looking for someone to join as “a member of the Digital Marketing Team to lead the strategy, design and implementation of personalization and testing that will drive new account growth and deepening of existing relationships.” Full stack Web Development […]

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Careers in Testing image

Here’s some of our picks:

Personalization, Testing and Optimization Manager – Webster Bank in Waterbury, Connecticut is looking for someone to join as “a member of the Digital Marketing Team to lead the strategy, design and implementation of personalization and testing that will drive new account growth and deepening of existing relationships.”

Full stack Web Development Engineer – Join American Express in Phoenix, Arizona and “play a key role in the understanding of product owner strategy and collaborate with his/her peers, technology partners, and product owners to translate complex user stories into successful product releases.”

Web Personalization Manager – Located in Union, New Jersey, Bed Bath & Beyond is looking for “a talented and experienced manager who can contribute to the success of our web analytics initiatives.”

JavaScript Developer – Brooks Bell is looking for a JavaScript Developer to work closely with the execution and consulting teams in Raleigh, North Carolina.  You will be responsible for efficiently coding test variations on complex sites along with interacting directly with clients.

Sr. Website Optimization Manager / Analytics Engineer Testing & Optimization – LuckyVitamin is looking for a “senior manager will utilize their 10+ years of e-commerce and site analytics experience to craft testing and optimization plans that target the most impactful website KPIs, in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania.

Data Scientist – Advanced Auto Parts is looking for a candidate to analyze data sources and transaction to help improve business goals.  Responsibilities include finding interpreting information and building predictive models to help identify actionable insights and customer behavior.

Senior Manager, Digital Analytics and Optimization – Per Kohl’s, “Own the methodology, strategy, and execution for digital data collection, analysis and site testing. Lead team that provides data driven recommendations that solve for key pain points and experience optimization.”

Manager, Marketing & Web Analytics – New York & Company is looking for a candidate in New York to “understand customer behavior to influence business decisions and support business strategies.  This includes analyzing the health of the customer file, identifying customer segments to target with specific content or offers, understanding email performance, and uncovering data driven insights overall in an effort to better retain and reactivate buyers.”

Manager of Digital Testing & Optimization, Analytics – In Reynoldsburg, Ohio, L Brands is looking for a someone to “champion the advancement of their testing and optimization capabilities and be viewed as the optimization evangelist for their different brand partners.”

Have a job opening in the optimization space?  Get in touch and we’ll post it next month!

The Brooks Bell Team

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Tips for measuring marketing impact to prove ROI

Contributor Kristie Colby explains how to align your systems so that you can track prospects’ interactions all the way to the sale and beyond.

The post Tips for measuring marketing impact to prove ROI appeared first on Marketing Land.

Marketers can struggle to prove the value of their programs when there isn’t always a direct response or purchase. This is especially true for B2B marketers focused on lead generation programs with long, complex sales cycles. So, how does a marketer faced with such a challenge assess the impact of their marketing efforts, prove contribution to revenue and demonstrate ROI?

Understand marketing objectives

Most marketers have several different goals that drive their strategies and programs. Typically, we are allocating resources across multiple programs and channels to meet the following objectives:

  • Brand awareness and market positioning.
  • Lead generation.
  • Lead nurture and sales enablement.
  • Target account acquisition (via Account Based Marketing).
  • Customer loyalty and growth.

Each of these efforts will involve multiple touch points that have varying levels of impact on a prospect or customer’s decision-making process. But what is their ultimate value to the organization?

Critical success factors to measure marketing impact

Here are some of the items that need to be addressed in order to assess the value and contribution of marketing programs:

• Acquiring customer data. Marketers must have the technology and infrastructure in place to record meaningful information about various touch points that contribute to lead generation and customer acquisition. These systems do not rely solely on what the prospect might provide. For example, online registration forms might capture name, email, company name and phone number. In most cases, a marketing automation platform is used to supplement prospect-provided data.

TIP: Most marketing automation systems provide cookie data that can be appended to lead records automatically. Then, when that lead takes a specific action that is important to the marketing program, the engagement can be recognized and possibly addressed with proactive campaigns and programs.

• Ensure consistent parameters. The entire organization must utilize the same parameters and field values to record information related to lead/customer acquisition. They must be categorized with meaningful and actionable values that can be captured by the technology and systems in place. Most companies use a combination of UTM parameters that can be captured by hidden fields on forms and lead source details that can be programmed into a form or labeled within their own parameter.

TIP: Two parameters that must be consistently used by sales and marketing across all programs are utm_medium=[insert medium] and utm_source=[insert source name]. This allows proper channel grouping for the medium (marketing medium of the tagged URL — paid search, social, email, for example) and aligned source values (where the visitor clicked on the tagged URL — for example, Google, Facebook, newsletter).

Often, organizations don’t have total alignment on how to use and populate these parameters, and this can cause data errors and inconsistencies. Taking time to map all lead fields with values that can be used consistently is essential to evaluating marketing programs and their impact on revenue.

• Fully integrate systems. In order to maintain data integrity, sales and marketing systems must be aligned to share all of the data being acquired over time. Specifically, marketing automation and CRM systems must utilize the same fields, populate those fields with common values and pass these details back and forth as data is acquired. Data in these systems must sync as leads move through the sales cycle.

Furthermore, this integration allows marketers to personalize the experience they are creating for each prospect and measure the impact of individual touch points. One example of this type of data integration and how it effectively enables a personalized experience is for leads that have been qualified and sent to sales.

TIP:  The ability to understand the marketing touch points a prospect previously engaged with will help sales reps set the proper tone and context for their initial sales discussion. The prospect’s specific challenges and requirements can be addressed with helpful, relevant content throughout the nurturing process and tackled head-on in sales discussions.

Later, when (hopefully) that prospect becomes a customer, the marketing automation system will route the record to a customer list and begin customized programs focused on loyalty and retention.

Now, with these three critical infrastructure items nailed down, marketers can focus on developing different types of reports to measure and analyze the impact of their programs.

Analysis and insights

With more data comes the power to analyze and assess marketing programs in multiple ways. As leads move through the funnel, I recommend that marketers consider and analyze their results based on these three views:

  • Acquisition (initial lead source).
  • Attribution (across channels and touch points).
  • ABM (target account engagement).

By analyzing marketing data in these three ways, a marketer can start to:

  • Understand the relative impact of various marketing programs.
  • Allocate resources based on the efficient acquisition of qualified leads.
  • Determine the best approach to attribution modeling.
  • Quantify marketing’s contribution to pipeline value and revenue.

Why is this important? These insights allow marketers to better allocate resources, reduce waste and further accelerate sales.

Here is an example of how a marketer might utilize these insights to better focus their resources and drive sales. Let’s assume their organization has a long, complex sales cycle and therefore, had determined they wanted to take an ABM approach to a segment of their marketing programs. Beyond creating the target account list, the marketer will want to understand and measure engagement with multiple stakeholders within that target account.

It is likely that several different contacts within the account will participate in the process and engage with marketing programs over time. A clear understanding of which decision-makers are engaging, when, and how, will be much more insightful, when viewed in aggregate from the ABM perspective with attribution, than if each contact were viewed as an individual, independent lead and not treated as part of the whole. This ABM view will allow sales and marketing to communicate more effectively and efficiently with prospects based on all of the observed behaviors of the group of target account stakeholders.

Prove marketing ROI

Today’s marketers must demonstrate a clear, measurable contribution to the bottom line. This means you must be able to track and measure impact (in an integrated fashion across all sales and marketing systems), and you must be able to analyze all of this data holistically to draw insights, properly allocate budget and demonstrate ROI. This data-driven approach is critical to the success of any marketing team.

The ability to validate programs and confirm impact might seem like the unattainable holy grail for some marketers, but with this data and reporting in place, the holy grail is within your reach.

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