Marketers are always interested in demystifying the mysterious route consumers take to purchase. What did they look at? Why? What did it say?
Melted down to a science, it's called attributing conversions in the sales funnel. And two marketing professionals believe they understand it and can explain it to marketers.
This advice comes courtesy of Lon Safko, a Phoenix-based social media marketing consultant and co-author of "The Social Media Bible," and Patrizio Spagnoletto, Yahoo's vice president of business-to-business marketing:
1. Go wide
Spagnoletto says: "The most basic thing that you have to do is you have to make sure that across your entire media mix and, specifically, the online media mix you are fully tagged. You have full exposure on all the parts that you've bought, so you can track them. So if you have sponsored search, if you have a media banner, if you have an e-mail, if you're doing social networking—across all of them, you have to make sure that you're tagging them, because that's the top of the funnel, if you will. ... That will tell you which of these media mixes is driving the most clicks, which I know is not a conversion. But it's, again, the top of the funnel, right? You have to know who's driving ... the highest volume of leads."
2. Go deep
"Go deep ... within your conversion funnel," Spagnoletto continues. "For example, at Yahoo, in sponsored search, we have seven or so pages, from beginning to confirmation page. ... Track every single page so that you know if and where people are dropping off. So as an example, in our sign-up flow, we saw that we had the highest percentage of dropoff on step two, which happened to be collecting personal information. So through a variety of testing, what we did was we moved that towards the end. And the result there was a material increase in our conversion rate, because what we did is we let people come in and play with the sign-up form by choosing the keywords and doing all of the things that they need to do to sign up with us and really get them engaged—that's the key—before we start asking for their personal information, let alone their credit card."