Spending less on optimization impacts conversion rates

As marketing budgets are increasing, there is less money for marketing optimization, says the Adobe 2013 Digital Marketing Survey. The survey was published April 26th. Some 53 percent of the digital marketers surveyed from around the world say they devote less than 5 percent of their budget to optimization activities. Last year 48 percent of the marketers said this. Only 6 percent of respondents are allocating more than one-quarter of their budgets to these activities, relatively unchanged from last year’s 7 percent. And that is strange, because through optimization companies can reduce the costs of their marketing operations. By calculating the ROI for the optimization projects it can become apparent that the reason not to, is actually the reason to do it; saving budget.

Eye-openers

Adobe conducted this survey amongst 1800 marketers from around the World. “Some of the findings are eye-opening”, says John Cristofano, PR-Manager at  Adobe, “like data showing a majority of the companies surveyed spend 5 percent or less of their marketing budget on optimization activities. Five percent or less, even though it’s also clear from the data that companies investing more get more in return. For example, companies allocating more than 25 percent of marketing budgets to optimization are twice as likely to see high conversion rates.”

With these kinds of results, it’s only logical to ask why there are not more companies are investing in optimization. According to the survey there are two major challenges. Budget and resources are the two most important things, that hold marketers back says almost half of the respondents.

While companies are starting to invest and advance in digital marketing optimization, there still is much to be done, as indicated by data showing more than half of respondents are unaware of the impact of site search techniques beyond the baseline functionality of keyword matching. Nearly half do not optimize their recommendation strategies and rely significantly on manual updates, with only 18 percent using an automated approach.

Testing, as one would expect, appears to have an influence on conversion rates. Among respondents who don’t test or who have not testing process, just 12percent achieved an average website conversion rate higher than 5 percent, versus 33 percent of those respondents who said they have multiple departments contributing to testing process.
Part of the problem its seems, is the lack of ingrained testing culture within organizations. This year, 49 percent said that testing is not a priority in their company yet. While that’s a slight decrease from 52 percent who responded that way last year, there was also a 3 percent point decline in the proportion of respondents who say they have adopted testing as a form of decision-making, down from 14 percent in last year’s survey to just 11 percent this year.

Testing

The problem (at least part of the problem) seems to be a lack of ingrained testing culture within the organization. This year, 49 percent said that testing is not a priority in their company yet. While that’s a slight decrease from 52 percent who responded that way last year, there was also a 3 percent point decline in the proportion of respondents who say they have adopted testing as a form of decision-making, down from 14 percent in last year’s survey to just 11 percent this year.

This year’s responses indi­cate that while com­pa­nies are start­ing to invest and advance in dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing opti­miza­tion, there is still plenty of work to do. “It’s never been eas­ier for busi­nesses to adopt opti­miza­tion tech­nol­ogy for test­ing, tai­lor­ing, and deliv­er­ing a mean­ing­ful dig­i­tal expe­ri­ence to their cus­tomers”, adobe concludes. “Whether you are just get­ting started, or plan­ning your next steps in your dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing efforts, there are a few insights you have to keep in mind.”

  • Opti­mized tar­get­ing breeds cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion and con­ver­sion. Lever­ag­ing con­sumer data such as stated pref­er­ences, past and cur­rent onsite behav­ior, social graphs, and loca­tion can assist in tai­lor­ing con­tent that res­onates with vis­i­tors and pulls them to interact.
  • Site search is an untapped oppor­tu­nity for opti­miza­tion; nav­i­ga­tion works best when it offers spe­cific routes to con­tent. By test­ing and tai­lor­ing site search tac­tics includ­ing key­word match­ing, pro­mo­tion of high con­vert­ing items, and user pro­file tar­geted results, you can unveil the opti­mal expe­ri­ence to deliver a vis­i­tor to max­i­mize con­ver­sion and revenue.
  • Auto­mated rec­om­men­da­tions are not just for dig­i­tal com­merce; all indus­tries can real­ize the ben­e­fits of this nat­ural per­son­al­iza­tion strat­egy. Pow­er­ing rel­e­vant sug­ges­tions across all dig­i­tal chan­nels is a proven way to increase con­sumer engage­ment, con­fi­dence, and loy­alty with a brand.
  • Nearly every con­sumer is a mobile consumer—is your mobile pres­ence opti­mized? Deter­mine the goal of your mobile ini­tia­tives; look at your ana­lyt­ics, then decide which mobile tac­tics best address your busi­nesses needs now and in the future.
  • Don’t fly blind when it comes to social. Use mod­er­a­tion and mea­sure­ment tools to guide con­ver­sa­tions toward a pos­i­tive impact for your business.

See the full survey at the Adobe Blog

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