Optimization is a word used quite frequently in the marketing industry, especially in the context of search engine optimization, web page optimization, social media optimization and content optimization. However, not many people focus on “marketing optimization” as a way to successfully navigate the Marketing Lifecycle.
Dissecting Marketing Optimization
Marketing optimization is the act of gathering data, analyzing it and applying your findings to ongoing marketing efforts and workflow. The idea is to find aspects of your process that need improvement or require removal. Pretty straightforward, right? It’s basically optimizing the whole marketing pie rather than one slice. Once you’ve identified the areas that are and aren’t working, you can begin strengthening the weaknesses in your marketing tactics and removing the ones that don’t contribute to your company’s success.
While marketing relies on psychological and creative aspects, the growth and importance of the web has created an ever-increasing reliance on data to drive marketing decisions. Thanks to the massive variety and reliability of information available today, data is one of your best marketing tools.
The practice of marketing optimization relies on a number of different data sources which are based on key metrics, namely:
- Website visits
- Page bounce rates
- Visit duration
- Email open rates
- Email click through rates
- Conversion rates
- Geographic data
- Referral traffic
There are a million different metrics used in marketing optimization and they all work towards the same goal; improving marketing results to drive greater profits and revenue. Most of the data used to optimize is gathered with tools such as Google Analytics, SEO software services and CRM programs.
The marketing optimization process begins with a clearly defined, measurable goal, such as increasing website traffic, generating more leads or even improving the performance of your social media ads.
Once you’ve defined your optimization goals you need to start collecting data and experimenting. In this stage of the marketing optimization process, you need to decide where you want your company to be, based on where the data indicates you are currently. If your email campaign conversion rates are currently 0.75% and only 7% of your contacts are opening your emails, shoot for a conversion rate of 1.25% using a highly targeted offer, and open rates of approximately 18% based on subject line A/B testing.
With your goals in place and your data by your side, you can begin utilizing marketing optimization techniques. Your efforts may take a substantial amount of time to begin showing results. For example, changing the focus of your SEO keyword strategy can take up to 3 months before changes are realized.
The Whole Optimization Pie
If you’re going to optimize you can’t just optimize one or two elements, you need to optimize the entire marketing experience, hence the reason it’s called marketing optimization.
The 5 Main Areas of Marketing Optimization:
- Search engine optimization – SEO, as it’s commonly referred to, is your main way of organically attracting visitors to your website.
- Content optimization – Content includes blog posts, brochures, videos, product descriptions and everything else that your company produces to attract your target audience.
- Social media optimization – No matter what social platforms your brand lives on there’s always a way to improve the way to deliver messages, content and branding.
- Email optimization – Everything from subject lines to open rates and CTAs can make or break your email campaigns.
- Website optimization – Building a stellar user experience is at the heart of website optimization. You want each and every qualified visitor to take the next steps towards becoming a customer.
It Comes Back to Data
Marketing optimization requires not only time but also smart decision making. You and your team will need to make a series of choices based on your analysis; continue testing, stop testing or alter the testing. Underperforming aspects of your optimization process will naturally need to be removed from the process or depreciated over time so you can focus on the elements providing the greatest success.
It’s important to base your decisions on data that’s backed by research and analysis. If you can’t say why you’re making a specific change you need to do more research.
Every phase of the marketing lifecycle can be optimized. From email copywriting and web design to conversion tracking and social media campaigns. If you’re not happy with your marketing results there’s always a path to achieving successful results.