Web Marketing has evolved greatly from when a website was established as a separate entity and a marketing department would use it as another means of promotion, gathering visitor analytics through google and other means to report progress.
Today websites are empowered with customer engagement and relationship management, offering a very personalized experience to users. Rich content based on an elaborate set of user criteria can be pushed to desktop or mobile devices via email, webpages and apps in real-time.
Furthermore the marrying of existing profiles (Open ID, Facebook Connect etc.) to business websites gives marketers the opportunity to socialize with users and build in-depth profile data.
Unless you have disabled browser cookies the chances are you've already become a profile somewhere in the web engagement world.
In this blog I will be covering some of the common online marketing techniques used by some of the state of the art content marketing platforms such as EPiServer and Sitecore.
The marketing power which was once only available to the likes of Amazon and larger websites is becoming accessible and affordable to businesses. Learning to embrace your customers unique requirements and providing tailor made online experiences is key to many digital marketing strategies.
Content Personalization, Visitor Grouping or Segmentation
It is important that the right content is shown to the right user at the appropriate time.
Modern web marketing systems allow the definition of market segments based on criteria, personalized content can then be pushed to specific visitor groups.
Below is an example by EPiServer of web content personalization on a web page:
Some of the analytic criteria to segment users includes such aspects as:
- Number of Visits
- User Profile
- Pages Visited
- Files Downloaded
- Forms Filled Out
- IP Address (where applicable with reverse lookup for registered business or entity name as well as type; government, business, non-profit etc.)
- Internet Provider
Time and Place Criteria
- Geographic Coordinate
- Geographic Location
- Time of Day and Date (localization)
- Landing Page
- Referral History
- Search Keywords
- Browser Type
- Browser History
- Client Bandwidth
- Screen Resolutions
- Operating System
- Location (requires locations services enabled by user)
- Device Type
- Facebook Profile (requires acceptance of Facebook Connection)
- Sales History
- Products Purchased
- Order Values
Once a user registers an online profile with your business you can create a range of customizable profile fields such as birthday, gender, age, address that provide even more definition. Furthermore existing backoffice customer relationship information can be linked with the online profile providing for example such aspects as; business category, annual turnover, business name.
Having all these criteria to segment users and personalize the delivery of content and functions makes for an extremely powerful marketing environment online.
This is a marketing method of assigning points to users based on actions or responses they carry out. Based on the point value the lead can be considered actively engaged in a process if there value for instance is high. This is an excellent method for web marketers to see how far down the sales cycle their potential customers are.
For instance a web based scenario could be:
- 5 points allocated when the website products page is visited
- 5 points allocated when a product brochure is downloaded
- 20 points allocated when a demonstration request form is filled out
- 10 points allocated when a visitor registers for a mailing list
If for instance 80% of your visitors have a total points value of 10 or lower you can see that your online product sales strategy needs refinement.
A/B Testing, Landing Page Optimization (LPO), Multivariate Testing
Why have one page or web element when you can server a number to customers and have the website automatically change to what is most effective. A/B Testing allows for variations to be created and tested with users, the goal being to serve what is most effective.
Below: EPiServer Landing Page Optimization test results:
For instance you could test a scenario on whether having a button marked "BUY NOW" or a variation called "Add To Cart" works best. You could also have two web pages with different styled promotions, the best conversion through to sale would become the final copy.
Below is a quick overview of EPiServer CMO with Landing Page Optimization:
Multivariate Testing in Sitecore:
Campaign and Conversion Management
The principles of personalization can be taken to the next level by structuring campaigns which report conversion rates. The ROI (return on investment) using various functions and services can be qualified to a high degree with marketers obtaining vital data quickly.
Below is an example of Sitecore Campaign Management:
The final word... privacy
Tracking users and profiling their interaction with your business may bring a number of privacy and security issues that need careful planning.
Keeping users profiles safe and conforming to privacy laws with the information you request and use should play a vital part of any web engagement strategy.
For further insights to web engagement please contact the Glenfield Digital Group.
Author: Richard Sojka
, Managing Director, Glenfield Digital Group
Date: 22 Aug 2011