For many companies, it’s that time of year again: travel expense reports include peppermint mochas instead of pumpkin spice lattes, employees scramble to get enormous amounts of unused PTO on the books, and amidst this activity, CTOs buckle down to take a good, hard look at next year’s budget. (Yes, I realize not all fiscal years align with calendar ones. But read on with your own EOFY in mind.)
If your budget is like most others, it includes the essentials. Operating costs, media buys, fresh collateral, events, analyst/public relations and so on. Maybe a few other bells and whistles. But here’s what separates the savvy from the standard: funds allocated specifically for content testing and optimization. This isn’t “whipped cream on the cocoa”. it’s a core necessity for anyone who hopes to fully understand their audience and drive truly delicious ROI.
“Why so essential?”
Typically, marketers invest over 60% of their online spend in search, social media, and mobile marketing.
But according to a recent eConsultancy report, for every $92 spent attracting potential customers across those channels, only $1 is spent trying to convert them.
That’s absurd. What’s the point of blasting your brand out into Consumer Land if no one pays attention to you and your stuff?
This is where testing and optimization plays a key role. You might know that people aren’t engaging with your digital content as much as you’d like, but in order to understand why –and to do something about the whole unpleasant situation—you must test visitors’ interaction with content variables.
“But I’m already using clickstream analytics to study my online audience.”
Great! That’s an essential part of your marketing plan, too. But the reality is that only testing and optimization can help you understand and address the behavior uncovered by clickstream analytics.
Optimization and clickstream actually work together quite well. They can be easily integrated for deeper insights through an analytics engine like HP’s Digital Marketing Hub. Optimization through testing, however, answers a slightly different business question than clickstream analytics. HP Optimost, for example, is specifically attuned to uncover insights around marketing KPIs. Need to monitor where people drop off in your purchase funnel? That’s clickstream. Need to find out the best way to retool that purchase funnel to increase conversion? That’s testing and optimization. Separate but complimentary.
”Is it REALLY that big of a deal?”
Not yet convinced?
Or already convinced but looking for some inspiration to get started? Take a look at what these HP Optimost customers are doing:
The Financial Times saw a 93% increase in premium subscriptions, 13% increase in click throughs, and a 13% increase in video views. They also save R&D time and resources, making sure they release products their audience will actually like.
With ROI like this, I doubt any marketer will have a tough time justifying a testing and optimization budget.
By the way, if you’re not sure what constitutes “testing and optimization,” you’re welcome to read our introduction on the topic here. In short, A/B and multivariate testing (MVT) enables marketers to identify the best content to present to the right audience at the right time. It’s the only way to get design and implementation decisions based on data-driven insights (not vague hunches) that drive superior, targeted customer experiences across all touch-points.