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Decoding The Path To Purchase & Everywhere Marketing [Marty Note]

Slides taken from Toby Desforges "Decoding The Path To Purchase" workshop at the Path To Purchase Summit in Sydney, February 24th 2012
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

"Everywhere Marketing"

I'm not going to pay Forrester the $500 they want for their Fragmented Path To Purchase Demands Everywhere Marketing report, but I bet I can guess what it says. 

When I was a Director of Ecommerce 2 years ago it drove me crazy that customers would leave our shopping cart looking for deals on The solution was to reduce the friction and make it easy to find our coupons on our website. 

Life was QUIET then compared to now. Social shopping is great when it is working in your favor, when friends and friends of friends are acting as a Greek Chorus and helping you move visitors into customers. 

The shifting sands of social media and real time marketing (see Expion panel from 2 days ago: for more on real time marketing) mean your brands are only as strong as their weakest point. 

What Forrester calls "everywhere marketing" I think of as "Tapestry Marketing" - the idea that the more tapestry you weave the more fish you catch (to mix a metaphor). The elements of Internet marketing play best TOGETHER so you are only as strong as your weakest link and your brand, messaging and campaigns need to be everywhere. 

Here's the rub, YOU can't get anything everywhere. The only way to achieve the spread you need, something marketing teams used to just BUY, is to create advocacy, to have a supportive tribe willing to carry your message across their social nets. 

The even trickier part is you can't pay for true advocacy. Advocacy, for all but the 30% of mercenaries you can buy, is an issue of intrinsic not extrinsic motivation. Your tribe will help you because they LOVE you and are willing to sacrifice to help. 

Wow, if that felt like your marketing just got CHANGED you are getting the idea. No matter WHAT you sell from the dry cleaner on the corner to an Internet only B2C play generating millions you depend on the kindness of strangers ( ). 

This slide deck provides good "everywhere marketing" supporting facts. If you can't sell social media to your C level, drop back and see if you can pass Everywhere Marketing by them.  


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Don't Follow GoofyStupid Or Truly Clueless On Social Media ROI [Marty Note]

Don't Follow GoofyStupid Or Truly Clueless On Social Media ROI [Marty Note] | Curation Revolution |

Marty Note
A Forester analyst has kicked up quite a storm with a study showing:

"Contrary to popular belief, it doesn't look like social networks do a whole lot to drive sales, according to a recent report by Sucharita Mulpuru at Forrester Research.

Less than 1 percent of the online transactions she tracked could be traced to a social media post, Mulpuru told us. With those kind of numbers, it seems like a waste to invest in selling products via social media."

The GoofyStupids
What if we called social media marketing customer service. Does that change your feeling about it? Do you answer your phone and emails in a timely way? Do you engage in friendly conversations with customers and other stakeholders? Yes right, so social media marketing isn't so different than what you are already doing just uses new tools.

The Truly Clueless
How can Forrester, or anyone, know what can't be known? We know social signals are in Google's algorithm. We can assume more social is better than less social (I've seen examples where Facebook likes can lift SEO for one example). How would Forrester or anyone be able to calculate the impact of SEO gains leading to traffic gains leading to conversons? Answer: They can't.

The truth is everything is SOUP now. Try and remove elements of the soup and it doesn't taste the same. Want to really test Forrester's assertion, an assertion being bullhorned around the world, then TURN YOUR SOCIAL OFF. Want to be really daring and prove Forrester's point then TURN YOUR SOCIAL OFF AT CHRISTMAS.

Here is the difference between me and Forrester. First I've made $30M online fighting in the trenches daily and I wouldn't turn off social on a bet. Second I don't pretend to be able to understand what is being used by who to do what.

No matter how good your quants are they aren't inside Google and if they get inside Google they won't live long enough to tell that story, so turn off your social this Christmas and report back. Here are a few metrics you want to be sure to watch:

* Unique Visitors (traffic).
* Repeat Visitors (Visits / Visitors = Average Visits per Visitor or repeat visits).
* Engagement (Time On Site, Pages Viewed, Bounce Rate).

* Conversion Rate. 

Turn social off and I predict uniques soften. Repeat visits may decline too. Repeat goes down because the traffic net is smaller so some erosion across the base could happen. Repeat is about how many people love your website enough to come back. Since repeat visits is a ratio it could stay constant even as traffic weakens. 

Typically weakness in the flow of traffic can deteriorate some metrics that wouldn't seem like they should erode. Think of a fire hose vs. a garden hose. The fire hose creates so much force it makes up for a lot (lol). The garden hose doesn't have the volume so you sacrifice reach and elongate the time needed to water.

Engagement and conversions deteriorate too despite the fact that it wouldn't seem like they should. The reason engagement and conversions erode may surprise you - no social signal, no counters to confirm a buying decision.

Bet Forrester didn't think about the impct of those little counters in their study :). I used to be an Ecommerce Director and there is NOTHING more powerful than social signals to increase conversion (video runs a close 2nd). Here are examples of social signals that help e-commerce conversion:

* Reviews (good luck selling anything without them).
* Likes and Shares (smart retailers tell me which of MY friends liked something).

* The number of Likes and Shares, from whom and how fast they trend. 
* Testimonials (reviews of the company, need some negative in here to be believed).
* Review the Reviewer - this feature keeps the reviews honest.

So let's think about a typical and important ecommerce action. A user comes on your site and writes a review. Since there are no social signals, no Tweets or Likes, they leave and DON'T SHARE their review with anyone.

Tell me Forrester How did you calculate the lost sales? A: Forrester didn't and couldn't. Forrester looked at a multi-dimensional problem with linear one way glasses. Internet marketing is highly relevant and I mean that in a E=MC2 way. Since modeling actions NOT taken for reasons Forrester clearly doesn't understand is impossible, the Forrester SMM ROI study is clueless. 

I could go on but my blood pressure would go up 10 points and it isn't worth it. Don't follow either the goofystupids or the truly clueless. Social matters, creates ROI and should be a channel in your marketing mix (full stop :). 

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