The world’s most famous investor, Warren Buffet, famously said that we should “be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful.”
Of course, Buffet was referring to the stock market, but I think that this investment advice can be easily translated to marketing and where to invest marketing budget in 2019.
What Buffet meant here is that it’s normal for the crowds to flock together. It takes courage to adopt a contrarian mindset, but often this is where the opportunity lies. It can be very easy to sleepwalk into a disaster.
With uncertainty and confusion across the wider political and economical landscape (I won’t say it), there are businesses who will shy away from investing in themselves. And there are others who will control their own destiny by investing into the headwind.
Spring is the perfect time to plant new seeds. Embrace change.
So how does this post help you? When it comes to revenue growth, here are three weapons that you can use to take your marketing to the next level as we approach new budget time this Spring 2019.
Here goes – three suggestions on where to invest your marketing budget this Spring.
1. Invest in your user experience
If your website is generating solid traffic then it pays to give some love to your user experience (UX) using Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) to increase the number of actions taken.
Just a small amount of improvement will compound over time to have massive effect. Consider that converting at 1% from 360,000 visitors each year equals 3,600 sales. Increasing the conversion rate to 1.5% will add 1,800 additional sales to your top line revenue. All of that as a reward for moving the needle just a fraction.
As a byproduct, businesses investing in UX and CRO right now are learning so much about their customers that each experiment becomes less risky and more rewarding.
The best place to start is on your ‘money’ pages. These are typically product pages, product categories, checkout funnel, and your homepage, in most instances.
Dive into your analytics and try to make sense of what is and isn’t working. I recommend mapping this journey out on paper as data on a screen can be quite difficult to piece together. You can end up wasting time going around in circles.
Map the journey that your customer takes when they land on your website. What channels are they potentially arriving from? To what pages?
Once you have this, map out the next steps. How many of those users arriving on your landing page(s) then move on to take the action that you want them to? How long do they take to make that decision?
As you build a picture of your funnels, highlight those areas that stand out as being ripe for improvement. Write down your observations. Is the call to action unclear? Is it hidden down the page?
From here, you can now create your hypotheses. These are simple statements that are structured something like:
Based on my observations of [insert observations here], I expect that [insert hypothesis here] will address [the problem that you’re trying to solve].
From here, it’s time to create your test. There are various tools available to help you split-test ranging from free to expensive. Whilst there are understandably more limitations with the free options, they will allow you to run basic experiments.
Split-testing is the art of designing a variation (the design you think will be better) and pitting this against your control (current design) and sending a percentage of traffic to each. Over the course of time/volume of traffic, you’re looking for a significant result to determine if you keep what you have or if you should implement the variation.
In one experiment, we were able to add 102 additional sales for one of our clients through just one test. Those sales aren’t fixed either and will continue to deliver year after year if everything else stays the same, highlighting the power of CRO as a tool to grow your business.
2. PPC Automation
If you’re not already using Pay Per Click (PPC) to reach your customers, then you’re potentially missing a HUGE growth trick.
PPC enables businesses to reach customers almost instantly, and is 100% measurable from first touch to last, making it one of the most versatile and heavy-hitting marketing channels.
It’s not all plug and play simplicity though. Businesses that loathe PPC normally answer ‘yes’ when we ask them if they managed their own campaigns. The big players such as Google make it very easy for people to start spending their hard-earned cash.
But how to spend less on Google Ads is a topic for another post. I’m going to assume that you are sensible with your marketing budget and that you are using PPC with some success.
And now that Spring has sprung, you want to grow that success rapidly. So let’s do this! 💪
By leveraging logic-based scripts, your business can take its PPC success to the next level. So what is a PPC script? Essentially, it’s a bunch of code that effectively pushes and pulls data from one place to another without the need for human action.
How can this help you?
Imagine that your customers typically purchase from your ecommerce store during lunch hours, from 12pm to 2pm and again, from 6pm-10pm. These are your peak performance hours and you absolutely love them.
In between these times, however, things slow down and conversions drop. In fact it’s not even worth advertising during these hours and you find yourself wishing that you could double-down during peak hours.
And this doesn’t even begin to look at how interactions with devices at various times impacts this. For example, commuters might be browsing your stock on their way to work, but purchasing later in the evening.
To adjust this manually would consume your life…
It would be an offense to productivity if you insisted on someone in your team manually adjusted bids each and every day. Time can be spent so much more wisely on higher level tasks.
Just one script can take away all of this hassle.
Our Hourly Bidder will automatically push and pull data from a dashboard to your PPC account each hour by device.
This gives you ultimate control of your bidding and your team will be able to ratchet down bidding during quiet times, so that you can double-down on your most profitable hours.
This is just one example of how automation can take your PPC budget to the next level, reducing costs and increasing revenue growth at the same time.
Strike up a conversation with us if you’d like to discuss what’s possible through PPC automation.
3. Conversational marketing
Chatbots are changing how your consumers interact with your business, and you should really take note today, if you want to grow your business in 2020.
Type ‘chatbot definition’ into Google, and you’ll get this back; “a computer program designed to simulate conversation with human users, especially over the Internet.”
I would add to this that chatbots do not have to take on the whole conversation, and can route your customer to the correct person based on their interactions.
Chatbots enable your customers to effortlessly navigate their way towards their desired goal, whether that is a purchase or a solution.
Businesses such as airline, KLM, have even customised their bot, ‘BB’, to allow customers to search for flights. BB will even notify you of the weather so that you know whether or not to pack your sunglasses.
Not every business is ready to innovate like KLM, and of course in the SME world there are much tighter budget restrictions to consider too.
Start by considering your customer’s journey from discovering your brand to ultimately purchasing from you, and even beyond the first purchase. Start with some simple questions.
Map your journey out and then start to identify where a chatbot might be able to help you. Taking the same questions, a chatbot could provide the following solutions.
|Where do people experience most friction?||The 15-field form that needs to be filled in on the purchase page||Serve a chatbot to ask the user the 15 questions in a conversational way. Take email first to enable follow-up.|
|What questions are people asking most frequently?||Is shipping free? What is your returns policy?||Deliver common answers by creating a knowledge base and adding to it over time.|
|How are people navigating towards their goal?||Facebook Ad > Product Hero Page > Filter Products > Specific Product Page > Checkout||Could a chatbot point the user in the right direction? If your customer says they’re looking for a blue coat, would it be helpful to send them to a pre-filtered product listings page, showing all blue coats only?|
At Zest, we increased our own conversions by 117% once we launched our chatbot, Oskar.
Not only did Oskar help to qualify leads in or out by asking the right questions, he also routed qualified conversations to our new partnerships team.
This included scheduling calls and adding to our team’s diary automatically. We have also used chatbots to guide users through a tutorial, and to process job applicants too.
So if you haven’t already embraced this technology, now is the time to start building it into your marketing plans so that you can grow your business in 2020.
So there you have it! Three weapons to start using now to propel you into 2020 and beyond. We’re not even half way through the year, but time flies when you’re having fun. And to implement each of these takes time and care to do right.
There is a formula for growth and it’s actually quite simple. Stop guessing, stop writing down weak goals with no quantifiable outcomes, and stop waiting to make a step change.
Head over to our Growth Calculator now to forecast what growth could look like for your business if you were to increase your traffic and conversions this year and beyond.
Take the clear objectives that you’ll get back from the tool and plan your channel marketing accordingly to achieve it.
So there you have it, how to spend marketing budget in 2019 that you should consider as the new Spring budgets approach.
Will you be greedy when others are fearful? The ball is in your court.