I recently caught up on the newest Merkle Digital Marketing Report. One data point stood above the rest as the media relayed the report’s findings:
Google paid search spend went up 23% in Q2 2017.
This shows that CMOs are heavily investing in paid search with the goal of driving traffic to their websites. This isn’t surprising. Marketing leaders and teams were setting aside dollars for paid search in the beginning of the year as budgets were determined.
Typically, when visitors are brought in by paid search and do not convert, marketing teams leverage display ad retargeting to drive conversion. Let’s take a look at another stat from AdRoll’s annual State of Performance Marketing Report:
Between 25% and 50% of digital marketing spend is on retargeting.
Just about every organization is interested in driving traffic to their sites. But, while the investment in paid search and display ads is driving clicks, it’s not necessarily driving conversions.
More than 90% of first-time visitors to a website don’t make a purchase. And, most of those visitors leave the website without providing any information about themselves, coming and going anonymously.
A marketing team can spend as much as they want on paid search and digital display ad retargeting. However, if web visitors aren’t converting, that’s money down the drain.
Let’s dive into three approaches to ensure your marketing dollars are optimized and driving results.
1. Don’t Be Afraid To Redeploy Spend
You’ve got a holistic view of where your marketing dollars are being spent, but what’s that spend doing for your business?
When you’re spending money on paid search and digital display ad retargeting, you should be seeing results in customer acquisition, conversions and revenue. If not, it’s time to reevaluate and redeploy your marketing spend. This will help you find marketing performance trends from Q1 to Q3, so you can respond and readjust now. The result: Redeployed marketing spend that sets your organization up for a successful holiday season in Q4.
2. Think Beyond A Single Channel
The Merkle report draws attention to a big issue in marketing: A single channel performing well does not mean revenue will increase. AdRoll echoes the same sentiment: A single remarketing strategy deployed does not ensure you’ll hit your numbers for the year.
Marketing leaders need to look at the entire sales funnel to properly interpret results. Rather than individually evaluating channel performance, CMOs need to review the entire customer journey to drive conversions.
3. Bust Through Silos
It’s not uncommon for me to work with clients that have segregated marketing departments with both traditional and digital teams. Generally, data, spending and execution are siloed within each team, leading to inconsistencies in analytics, tactics and results.
For example, let’s say your paid search efforts are paying off with an elevated level of traffic, but none of the visitors are converting, so you target display ads to those visitors. That means you’re throwing more dollars into the same channel and a similar technique that wasn’t delivering ROI in the first place.
What if you sent a direct mail piece — customized and personalized — to non-converting web visitors? With the latest technologies, your organization can cross channels with a consistent message, effectively engaging new prospects across digital and traditional media in a data-driven conversation.
These approaches are what drive conversions. Paid search and remarketing are highly powerful tools that will be included in a marketer’s toolbox for years to come. But like any tool, they have to be used correctly in order to work. You must have a data-driven interpretation of your website visitors inclusive of the ability to connect with them in a meaningful way in addition to a retargeting strategy that doesn’t rely solely on digital communication.
Andrew Fegley is the President of Remarketable, an ALC smart data solutions company. He has decades of experience driving digital transformation at global corporations and brands. He was a co-founder of Empathy Lab, an ALC partner company and leading digital agency that was successfully acquired by EPAM in 2012.
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