Remarkable Research on What Really Works in Online Marketing

What's really stopping your results from flowing?

Adobe has just released a report that shows very clearly what works in online marketing. Rather tellingly, 86% of online marketers aren’t doing it.

The Adobe 2013 Digital Marketing Optimization Survey presents compelling evidence of what marketers and online businesses need to do in order to succeed.

Incredibly, and rather damningly it also reveals that most of them aren’t doing what’s needed and have no plans to do so.

The secret to great and effective marketing of course is conversion rate optimisation and the related testing discipline that goes with it.

Unfortunately it has a low or even non-existent priority with most online marketers and businesses.

As the report reveals 86% of companies spend less than 15% on optimising their marketing, and of those 53% spend less than 5%.

conversion rate optimisation budget percentageWhat’s really telling is that those companies that spend little or nothing on maximising their marketing performance have the lowest conversion rates: Under 1% for most of them.

Conversely the small numbers of companies (3%) that spend more than half their marketing budgets on optimisation have the highest conversion rates.

The report presents a number of tables that show very clearly that the more you invest in conversion rate optimisation, the greater your business results.

Average conversion rates

What’s more worrying though, is that for almost half the companies surveyed testing and optimisation was not a company priority.

testing priority

So Why Aren’t More Companies doing it?

The report did ask this question and gives the typical response of budgets and resources challenges.

Quite frankly that is total BS. You only have to look at the billions being spent on online advertising to see that there is plenty of money available in the online marketing space.

However, very little of it gets directed to conversion rate optimisation. As I’ve said in previous posts only $1 out of every $100 spent on online advertising is spent on customer optimisation.

It’s simply a matter of brains, priorities and guts.

That is having the brains to see what actually works, reset your priorities and then the guts to tell your suppliers your new strategy.

Imagine if you will the scene when you tell your online advertising department or agency that 50% of their budget will be taken away from them and diverted to conversion rate optimisation.

Or dare I even suggest it; take some of it away from social media.

There will be such an explosion of internal and external turf wars plus corporate politicking as various departments and consultants fight to keep their budgets.

This is why conversion rate optimisation has never really taken off. It’s too much of a threat to other entrenched online marketing practices.

Which means the only chance conversion ate optimisation ever has of becoming properly adopted in an organisation is if it is implemented from the top down. IE the CEO has to “get it” and then direct their staff to do it.

It’s certainly not going to be championed by the online advertising industry.

As the report states:

If each department runs small tests with different agendas and optimization goals—mainly to validate their own investment decisions instead of making a real difference—the result will likely be an inefficient use of resources.

What this Means for Australian Businesses

As we know, many Australian businesses have been slow to embrace the online market, so the Adobe report is timely. It means Australian business owners and marketers have an opportunity to reflect on what really works in online business.

In so doing they can become more effective and efficient with the allocation of their online budgets and resources.

The report also gives them some independent advice outside of what their online vendors and suppliers may be telling them.

That is, instead of being told to buy this or that service, they can study the report and say: “No, this is what we really need to do.”

This isn't the only report to reach similar conclusions. The evidence has been mounting for over a decade, so it's a mystery as to why so many marketers and busiensses continue to ignore what works.

You can download the report here...The Adobe 2013 Digital Marketing Optimization Survey - 2013

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