Internet Special Report - Re-Learning the Basics of Marketing (
These are the tough questions. Not only must Web marketers learn the answers to questions like these, but they also must act on this knowledge—and acting on knowledge often is tougher than it may appear. If you spent $700,000 on a colorful new site overhaul, and another $350,000 on software to learn from consumers, would you be willing to throw out the site if consumer response data suggested that plain black text on a white background outperformed?
Further, would you be able to act right now, and then change again if you learned something else tomorrow? Would you be able to learn—and apply your learning—in real-time and to every new consumer? Each time a consumer transacts (or doesn't transact) with you, there's something to be learned, and if you can't use that knowledge to your advantage in real-time, you lose a tremendous opportunity.
For the companies with which we work, testing is mantra. Consumers tell through their actions what combination of offer and creative motivates them to respond, and we take that knowledge to improve every subsequent interaction with future consumers.
This means, for example, that the scroll length of a Web page that serves to generate mortgage refinance leads for a major financial institution will change during the course of a few days. It also means that the free gift we offer on a Web site dedicated to selling a magazine subscription for a major publisher will be different on the weekends than on weekdays.
Using dynamic serving tied to real-time feedback and analysis, we've improved conversion rates by 200 percent to 300 percent on average, and in some cases by as much as 800 percent.
The News: Good & Bad
The bad news is that if you're a Web marketer, you'll have to be prepared to change. The good news is that it's not too late.