Computing breakthroughs deliver new affordable ways to infer what to send every website visitor.
Most online companies typically spend a small fortune to drive visitors to their websites. Most of that money is wasted. With paltry sales conversion rates of 2% to 4%, the majority of website visitors simply leave without buying. These same companies typically do an inadequate job identifying and remarketing to non-buyers.
Up to now, the cost to develop the necessary data warehouse and marketing IT infrastructure to improve online sales conversion has been prohibitive. That is changing.
New affordable distributed computing and cloud based integration techniques now enable mid-market companies to infer what to say to each website visitor based on what you know or don’t know about them. As a MENG member you can begin to apply these insights before they go mainstream.
An example of what we’re talking about are those recommendation tools that suggest other books to you based on what you’ve purchased or what “people who buy like you” have purchased.
Inference based remarketing programs can:
- Uncover who those lost website visitors are (before or after they enter the website).
- Identify their preferences, previous visits, transaction history, and browsing history.
- Dynamically determine their place in the sales cycle — and quickly.
- Remarket to them one-to-one with a right message-right time-right channel offer or program.
What kinds of behavior and knowledge drive these programs and infer interest?
- A click on an email link topic.
- A public or website search engine word or phrase entry.
- Time spent on a website page or series of website pages.
- Participation in social media campaigns on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.
- Topics or choices stored in your website preference center.
- Previous visits to your website.
How is this possible? These six steps enable mid-market companies to transform massive amounts of online and offline data into higher sales conversion rates:
- Enable session tracking on your website, at an individual level.
- Store that information on cloud servers.
- Identify who visitors are by…
- passing customer information in email links
- linking anonymous website visits to previous visits when you knew who they were.
- knowing who they are when they log into the website.
- or asking them who they are by providing an incentive
- Join the right customer, prospect and transaction data in the same cloud servers to deliver a
- “super view” of the marketing opportunity.
- 5. Run predefined business rules to generate inference based content and remarketing offers.
- 6. Send it back to the visitor while they are still on the website or later in a remarketing program.
Sophisticated remarketing programs that used to take months to create with six figure project budgets can now be done in weeks for as little as four figures.
Most mid-market companies lack the staff, time, marketing infrastructure, and budget to birth these capabilities. The service delivery integration model is flexible so if you have an email service provider or use some web analytics software; that’s OK. It all integrates.
Technically speaking, all of this has been possible for the last fifteen years by tapping into website logs and merging the contact history into a massive database. Or more recently by purchasing enterprise class software and professional services that do the job for you — all very expensive and very time consuming.
Using a service delivery integration model, your marketing experts can now afford to deploy inference-based re-marketing programs that will drive incremental sales, increase revenue and improve customer value.
Let the race to the top begin.
Businessweek recently published two articles that describe the excitement and opportunity of these new developments. Links are below:
Bloomberg Businessweek 9/7/11: Getting a Handle on Big Data with Hadoop
Bloomberg Businessweek: 9/12/11: Data Analytics: Crunching the Future
Guest Author: Paul Keiser
Paul Keiser is the managing partner of Sales Conversion Group Inc. (www.salesconversiongroup.com). The group improves the sales conversion rate of online marketing programs. He can be reached at [email protected] or 630-717-1703 and looks forward to your comments.