It’s certainly true that many “PPC pros” who work like (much inferior to the real thing) robots will find themselves looking for work. The high value providers who maintain deeper relationships, integrate across multiple complex objectives, and persistently work to overcome challenges to test, improve, interpret, and achieve uncommon results will be the ones that clients find useful.
Andrew did a great job at describing the high-value parts of the PPC advertising agency equation, but that is not the part of PPC management where data-driven decisions excel. There are some things that data-driven computer analysis excels at and others that it doesn’t. Look at the technology stack that is available today to help PPC marketers and advertisers and you will see where some of this technology is headed. In many cases it already is, and in others it will be more capable of handling the majority of tasks that are required to maintain and optimize PPC accounts.
The fact is, unlike many other parts of marketing, PPC advertising when set up properly should be analmost completely data-driven effort.
A Nucleus Research study shows that an incremental 241 percent ROI can be generated by applying data to business decisions. And 91 percent of CMOs believe that successful brands make data-driven decisions, as per Columbia Business School.
A recent CEB study of nearly 800 marketers at Fortune 1000 companies found the vast majority of marketers still rely too much on intuition – marketers depend on data for just 11 percent of all decisions.
MODERN MARKETING & MEDIA
Friction on your lead generation landing pages is bad, because it reduces conversions.
Except that is not always a bad thing. Hear me out for a moment …
As we teach in the MarketingExperiments Landing Page Optimization Online Course, you’re certainly not looking to eliminate friction. When it comes to lead generation, you’re not even always looking to reduce friction … what you’re looking for is the right balance that ultimately makes your company more profitable.
This might seem counterintuitive at first, especially if you work in a marketing department that has a relentless focus on only one number – the amount of lead generated.
However, high-quality leads will likely result in less dead ends for the sales force. Thus, Sales will invest more of its time on leads more apt to close, which should make everyone happier at the end of the day.
Use the lead gen dials to flexibly optimize your page
But you don’t have to be locked into only one approach. The great thing about the lead gen dial approach (shown in the image above) is that it can help you flexibly adapt to your company’s needs:
- If your sales force is simply starved for leads, you can reduce friction to increase the number of leads they receive.
- If your sales force has a long list of leads they still haven’t contacted, you can dial up friction to reduce the overall number of leads, but acquire higher-quality leads that go straight to Sales with a clear priority attached in them.
Of course, if you work in the marketing department, these changes shouldn’t happen in a vacuum. You should create a flexible universal lead definition with Sales that can adapt and scale as the company’s needs change.
Friction in lead generation forms
One of the most impactful places to adjust friction is in the lead gen form itself. Here are three places you can adjust friction, and then test to see which combination is most profitable for your company:
- Make some form fields optional. If you use this technique, very motivated leads can choose to give more information, but you hypothetically wouldn’t lose any less motivated leads, since they wouldn’t have to fill out those form fields.
A word of caution, though — a long form presents a large amount of perceived friction. Let’s face it, even with optional fields, a long form just looks time-consuming in the split second a prospect decides whether to act or not.
- Use a two-step process. You can capture basic information, and then ask for more in-depth information in a second step. You can test offering an incentive for completion of the more time-consuming second step, or just clearly communicate the benefit to the prospect (for example, that they will receive more relevant information from your company).
For leads that don’t complete the second step, you can follow up and try to gain more information at a later date (when they might be further along in the buying cycle, and, therefore, more motivated to provide that information).
- Simply remove form fields. Take a good hard look at your form and sit down with every person or department that has an interest in that form. For example, does Job Title or Budget really help Sales? If so, it might be worth keeping.
If not, it may be like the appendix, a vestigial form field that had a good purpose in a previous era, but no one currently at the company remembers why exactly they needed that information. Leer más “Lead Gen Form Optimization: Why a lower conversion rate can be a good thing”
Three keys to keep in mind when testing your lead generation process:
Choose the right time to add more friction. Think of your lead generation process as a personal introduction to someone. The moment you meet someone you don’t ask for a lot of personal information. If you do, you scare people away. The same concept applies here. For example, in a recent experiment, we tested moving the phone number field from the first step to the second step. Lead generation rate increased by 68% and the conversion rate remained stable.
Prioritize your requests properly. Think carefully about what information you ask first, second, and so on. It is important to keep a natural flow as you add and subtract friction elements. A good way to check for this with your pages and processes is to review every step and consider two questions: 1) Do we need this information? 2) Do we need it at this stage?
Pay close attention to your final conversion rate. We tested a three-step process against a four-step process. As expected, the three-step process had a higher lead generation rate. However, once the sales team got the leads and started following up on them, they found that leads from the four-step process were more qualified and easier to close. Bottom line: the four-step process had a lower lead generation rate, but ultimately a higher final conversion rate (sales).
If you’ve got a B2B website, you’re always looking for ways to generate more leads online. But while recent research shows 71% of B2B marketers view their site as one of the most important marketing tools, only 31% said their site is “highly effective” at generating leads.
Conversion rate is the final metric that decides whether or not your online process/funnel is working. In contrast, lead generation only tells you a portion of the story. The leads you generate are really the start of a long process of qualification steps, both online and offline. If you don’t pay attention to each step, you will never be able to get the best out of this process.
How to use friction to your advantage
Think of the process of optimizing for lead generation as two interconnected dials. Each dial represents a step in your online process. One dial increases volume of leads by reducing friction. The second dial increases quality of the lead by increasing friction.
You can increase friction in several ways, such as adding more form fields or steps in the funnel process. Or, you can reduce it by subtracting various page elements or process steps. To adjust your lead flow, turn the dials: more friction will yield higher lead quality; less friction will increase lead volume.
Too much friction can make your visitors quit, but not enough friction will fill your pipeline with leads of a lower quality. So you need to test different approaches to determine what balance works best for your lead generation process. Leer más “Lead Generation Optimization: Finding the right amount of friction”
“Advertising hasn’t changed since the 1960s,” says Rosenblum, 40, the cofounder of a 50-person agency called Questus that specializes in digital media and just won anAgency of the Year award from iMedia, a publication that tracks the online marketing industry. “But we’re on the verge of a revolution. People are starting to realize that there are more effective ways to build a brand than through advertising.”
Rosenblum is so passionate about this that he’s even made a documentary film, The Naked Brand, in which he bashes his own industry. “My father looked at it and said, `So what’s your master plan here? Because it looks like you’re going to get hoisted with your own petard,’” Rosenblum says. But the son disagrees: he thinks the revolution is coming whether people like it or not, so he might as well become part of the destruction.
In his film, he argues that companies for decades have behaved abominably and then used advertising to cover up their behavior. The Internet, by giving consumers a voice, has rendered that strategy useless because consumers can now sink a brand with a blitz of online complaints. His advice to big brands: instead of pumping millions of dollars into advertising, why not invest that money into actually fixing your company? Don’t just say you’re great—actually try to be great. Once you’ve done that, you can use social media to spread the word.