It’s not every day that I come across a mind-blowing marketing communications statistic. I found one on Kiss Metrics’ site that I must share with you.
Approximately 96% of visitors that come to your website are not ready to buy.
Thanks, But I’m Just Browsing
The funnel is the backbone for good marketing planning. And a decent marketer not only has a funnel, they have customised the steps in that funnel to their own specific customers. They have measured the steps and conversion rates from stage to stage and compared these numbers to their competitors. And – if they are really good – they have a very solid dashboard featuring all of this, thus enabling the team to monitor what is and isn’t changing as they pull the brand’s tactical leavers.
I like his call for a dashboard. Yet, may I ask how many of your clients are working from a dashboard and using it to inform creative directions and decisions?
I know a brilliant person who is an expert at creating these data-rich real-time dashboards. I have pitched them to my clients in the past, unsuccessfully. How about you?
Your Future Customer Is A Pinball Wizard
The problem with any linear approach to customer acquisition is people don’t naturally line up like cattle. People are free to wander around, shop the competition, read some reviews, talk to a friend or colleague, and maybe one lucky day “pinball” back to you and your company’s highly appealing and perfectly packaged offers.
Here’s a question: Why do marketers insist on using a formula from the late 19th century in today’s media-rich marketplace?
I think we all enjoy an easy to visualize framework that supports our desire to convert shoppers into customers. Dealing with the reality of a customer’s pinballing her way through her own individualized customer journey—rather than opting for a smooth glide down a provided slide—is the first big step to reconfiguring our thinking around the role of a company’s website.
Ask yourself, is the company’s website offering visitors what they actually want, versus what you think they want? We often assume that visitors to our website want more information on our products or services. When you run a pizza joint, it’s a good assumption. When you run a software as a service (SaaS) company, or a marketing services provider, the customer’s journey is much more layered, nuanced, and lengthy.
To move people toward your company’s larger offers, I suggest a steady routine of content snacks as a prelude to richer meals like white papers or case studies. There is a reason to deploy landing pages and A-B testing of multiple offers, but let’s confront the boogeyman in the room. We too often assume that people are ready for a deep dive into our materials, but that’s more wishful thinking in many cases.
A blog post that’s 800 words or less is a content snack. Social media updates are content snacks. When used successfully, a trail of snacks will lead people to want a complete meal from you. Thus, a successful website will be front-loaded with content snacks and back-loaded with content meals.
Where In the Funnel?
May I talk Marcom for a minute? When you’re a marketer, it’s your job to help guide the customers’ journey and discovery process. That’s why there are top-of-the-funnel, mid-funnel, and end-of-funnel approaches to messaging. In other words, the messaging that entices at the top of the funnel is not the same messaging that helps convert at the end of the customer journey.
Here’s a question: Where in the funnel is a subscriber to your company’s newsletter?
A subscriber has converted—they’re in the fold. But they may not have purchased. To use Ritson’s language it’s necessary to “juggle funnels.” Subscribers have converted once. What will turn them from a subscriber into a customer? Whatever the answer, it won’t be the same things that attracted them in the first place.
We talk about customer journeys and then forget to honor that the prospect or customer is moving through phases. Nothing stays the same for long. A happy customer can quickly become an unhappy customer, funnel, or no funnel. The truth is every person is an individual with their own wants and needs. We can group them into persona camps and assign attributes to them, but until we recognize that individuals often veer from the script we’re not truly seeing the problem for what it is.
My Funnel-Like Things
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