In the current economic climate, online retailers are looking for ways to improve sales. Last year's holiday season was weak for many businesses, and the economy doesn't look like it's getting any better all that quickly. So it's a good idea for marketers to start testing and making changes now to ensure that they will be in prime condition for this year's rapidly approaching peak selling period.
Use direct marketing's three traditional levers -- audience, offer, and creative -- as a guide for testing and assessing your Web site. Here's a checklist to help you take a fresh look at your marketing.
Reexamine your market's demographic traits, psychographic characteristics, and behavioral actions to ensure you reach the largest and best audience for your offering. Determine whether you have overlooked any sizable secondary markets for your products. Ideally, demographics, psychographics, and behavioral traits should all be able to be applied to your media buy and creative. Some things to consider are:
Assess your offer in terms of the traditional 4Ps: product, pricing, placing, and promotion. Together they offer a variety of levers to test and/or adjust:
Include the following five marketing factors: present benefits rather than product features, include a call to action, consider media and format, have multiple response channels, and incorporate your branding. Among the areas to try are:
Test and Measure
When assessing online retailing pages, test what works best for your site. At a minimum, use A/B testing. A multivariate approach is better because you can test multiple variables simultaneously as well as whether there are interactions between the variables. Mark Wachen, Autonomy Optimost managing director, points out that iterative testing will yield improved results. Based on his experience, marketers should be able to achieve double-digit percentage improvements. Of course, results will vary based on product and pricing, as well as how much testing has been done to date.
As a marketer, measure your results to determine your success. Here are some major factors to monitor:
While the current economy makes marketing more challenging than usual, there are still ways to improve your results. Sometimes it helps to step away from the day-to-day marketing process and try to see your Web site as your prospects do. Now is the perfect time to get your Web site tuned up for the upcoming holiday season.
Join us for a one-day Online Marketing Summit in a city near you from May 5, 2009, to July 1, 2009. Choose from one of 16 events designed to help interactive marketers do their jobs more effectively. All sessions are new this year and cover such topics as social media, e-mail marketing, search, and integrated marketing.
Heidi is off today. This column was originally published June 29, 2009 on ClickZ.
Meet Heidi at linkSES Chicago, December 7-9, 2009 at the Hilton Chicago.
Heidi Cohen is the President of Riverside Marketing Strategies, an interactive marketing consultancy. She has over 20 years' experience helping clients increase profitability by developing innovative marketing programs to acquire and retain customers based on solid analytics. Clients include New York Times Digital, AccuWeather.com, CheapTickets, and the UJA. Additionally, Riverside Marketing Strategies has worked with numerous other online content/media companies and e-tailers.
Prior to starting Riverside Marketing Strategies, Heidi held a number of senior-level marketing positions at The Economist, the Bookspan/Doubleday Direct division of Bertelsmann, and Citibank.
Heidi is also a popular speaker on current industry topics.
May 22, 2013
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June 5, 2013
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