As Australian consumers increasingly look online to conduct all aspects of their life, the question many businesses, organisations and individuals in the online world are asking, is how do you capture their attention effectively?
While the business case for an online presence is understood and organisations are doing a lot of things well such as investing in their digital channels, spending more on online advertising, undertaking search engine optimisation, paid search and testing banner advertising, these tactics are still a 1.0 or ‘push’ approach in a web 2.0 world where the focus is on engagement and building a conversation.
Analysts Forrester say that two thirds of email marketers test subject lines, about 90% of paid search advertisers test headlines and 75% of banner advertisers run at least simple A/B tests. While this investment in optimising marketing efforts is commendable, only 26% of marketers test content on their site – the key area a business engages with their consumers.
Without testing content, Australian organisations are not realising the potential of their website as a key forum to engage and build substantive relationships with consumers and potential advocates. Few organisations realise every time a customer interacts with their online store they indicate what they are interested in, their habits, background and what they are looking for. Taking advantage of this data can enable organisations to build a profile of their customer base and really listen to what their customers are asking for.
By collecting and analysing this data alongside other available information such as demographic and ethnographic profiles, companies can identify customers with similar traits and group them together in segments. These segments can then be targeted with information that is relevant to them, and as further information is gathered, for example members of this group make a specific purchase or re-order; segments can be separated again and made more distinct. The ultimate goal is to build a series of segments that allows the website to target each consumer with personalised and specific content – the online equivalent of 1:1 marketing.
Consumers are more likely to make a purchase or take an action if a brand treats them as an individual, and delivers content that is relevant. They are equally likely to end a relationship if the content is irrelevant, making the brand seen as an imposition.
With the silly season just around the corner, a cool example that myer.com.au are running at the moment is an ‘ask an angel’ gift guide service where site visitors can seek gift advice online for those hard-to-buy-for friends and family. Using the social networking engines of Facebook, Twitter and Disqus, customers can ask angels for gift advice in a truly personal and catered online service…..
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This post was written by Mark Allison. Mark is the Director of Webtrends Australia and a regular contributor to ABC’s Tech Blog – Ed.