Digital marketing: it’s all about conversions

By Pr. Mohammed QMICHCHOU ©

In digital marketing, conversion is a journey, not a destination

In digital marketing, remarketing is used to correct the situation

Finding potential customers and converting them into real customers and then retaining them is the challenge of any company aiming to lay the foundations for sustainable competitiveness. By opening up many channels of interaction with their various partners, the Internet today offers companies unlimited possibilities to prospect, sell and develop the relationship with their customers. It also offers countless tools for connecting with other players in their ecosystem.

Conversion or conversions?

In digital marketing, there is not “a conversion” but “conversions”; it is a term that should be used under its plural form. It is a gradual process which should allow the company to deploy a range of marketing techniques and tools to progress towards its final objective, that of converting a “potential buyer” into a “loyal customer” or even into a “prescribing customer”. This evolution should be carried out in an interactive, even conversational, and methodical manner: It must be part of a conversion funnel and be steered through the use of relevant “KPIs”.

However, the global or ultimate conversion, that of transforming a potential buyer into a loyal customer, must be thought of as a process that takes place in several stages or micro-stages. These moments of interaction take place online or offline and allow an intermediate objective to be achieved at each stage, making it possible to ensure “relational evolution”. The Internet is offering an endless choice of tools and techniques corresponding to each of the said stages/moments. These “digital moments” are gaining momentum and further enhance the digitization and efficiency of these processes.

Piloting is also done progressively, using the relevant KPIs developed from the permanently collected Data. Thus, analytics occupies a central place in the process. This is the case, for example, of opening a prospecting email, interacting with a post on social media, watching a commercial video, filling out a form, etc.

Conversion funnel and remarketing

The customer relationship cannot be reduced to the moment of the transaction. Rather, it is a process that is initiated well in advance and extends beyond the transaction. By breaking with the “one-shot” logic, marketing registers the relationship over time and aims to delight the client by allowing him/her to live a unique, rewarding and memorable experience. This relational construction is operationalized by means of a conversion funnel. This is the methodological tool allowing to progressively reach the intermediate objectives. Those consisting of converting skeptical into prospects, then into customers, then into loyal customers and finally into “prescribing customers”. Each of these stages is divided into micro-stages with more specific objectives. Thus, in prospecting for example, the opening and reading of an e-mail correspond to two complementary objectives which realization is measured via two separate KPIs.

Unable to reach 100% of their objectives, companies must seek to improve their performance. It is the spirit of the “Test & Learn” approach that should guide the marketing process in the digital age and in which analytics tools are of an important decisive value. This improvement should target “abandoners” by “remarketing” campaigns and “similar audiences” by “retargeting” campaigns.

Remarketing consists of looking for ways to “remedy the situation” and make the necessary improvements, in terms of content or marketing tools, to adapt them to the expectations of the target. The classic example is cart abandonment on an e-commerce website. A remarketing campaign will first try to understand the reasons for the abandonment before sending, for example, an email with a promotional offer. These operations can be carried out automatically (marketing automation). These are features integrated into digital marketing tools put on the market by solution providers.

Another way to do this is to look for new targets, which is the technique of similar audiences. This technique, initiated by the giant Amazon, consists of implementing a predictive marketing approach. The technique of similar audiences is based on “Big Data” and “Machine Learning” to broaden the company’s audience and improve its conversion rates by eliminating the random side of prospecting. This involves targeting customers who have characteristics in common with the main target which would predict their buying behavior. This is the case for “site visitors” or “users who have converted”, for example.

Digital marketing cannot be improvised; it is becoming more of an “exact science” which strings are drawn via the mastery of Data Sciences and the permanent conversation with the direct and indirect targets of the company. A strict methodology must be followed by setting up a conversion funnel allowing it to progressively achieve the objectives associated with each of the many stages of this conversion process. Remarketing campaigns must be launched and steered to continuously improve it.

A series of articles on #digital #marketing published in “Libre Enterprise” magazine by Pr. Mohammed QMICHCHOU