14 ways to have digital marketing success in 2014

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2013 was a great year for conversion optimization. We saw digital marketers making it their #1 priority, tied with Content Marketing. Conversion Optimization moved up from 34 to 39% of marketers making it their top priority.

Top Priorities for Digital Marketers

Demand for knowledge about “conversion optimization” continues to grow since it emerged in 2007, as shown in Google Trends:

At the same time as “search engine optimization” is declining in popularity:

We’ve seen the industry evolve considerably. In the “early days” of WiderFunnel we spent much of our time educating companies about why conversion optimization was important. A lot of people understand that now.

Today, we get a lot of marketers calling WiderFunnel who are advocating for conversion testing within their companies and need help to get better results.

So, where will we see companies getting the best results in 2014?

Here’s what the most successful digital marketers will have in common in 2014

  1. They understandContent without conversion is just free publishing.”
  2. Mobile is a big player in their plans, and mobile is different in 2014. Screens are bigger and more varied even than today. Successful marketers realize that mobile visitors are the same people as desktop visitors. They’re just standing in a different spot with different needs at the moment. Here’s a primer on mobile conversion optimization. Multi-device CRO is happening now, (yes WiderFunnel does that!) yet true multi-device marketing won’t be widespread until 2015.
  3. They skip “big data” in favour of “smart data.” There’s always been lots of data, but size is less important than how you use it. In fact, there’s good evidence that “big data” is one of the lamest buzzwords of 2013. Don’t misunderstand me—the potential is real and we’re all about using data, but the hype will fizzle.
  4. Yes, testing is a tactic and it’s really just a mechanism that supports better decision-making for marketers. Testing alone is just a feature. To that end, they value all well-planned tests as winners (even the losing ones because they learn from them).
  5. They abandon their website redesign plans. Instead, they use Evolutionary Site Redesign (ESR).
  6. They look at optimizing every layer of their websites: usability, branding and content. Looking at the experience holistically allows for more potential impact.
  7. They move beyond technophilia. Conversion optimization is not a technological challenge – it’s a set of people questions. Tools don’t solve problems. Smart people do.
  8. They align their website goals up to their marketing and business goals using the goals waterfall.
  9. They don’t chase after tips and tricks. Instead, they formulate powerful questions to ask their prospects, which are unique to their business.
  10. Landing page optimization is just one subset of their marketing optimization strategy. They optimize all customer touchpoints throughout their marketing funnel with deep insights into customer segment idiosyncrasies.
  11. They are a strong marketing optimization champion. Your organization needs a marketing optimization champion. Your company needs you to step up and be an influence for marketing testing. Fortunately, being your organization’s champion is very rewarding. Marketing testing is one of the most easily provable strategies, and the rationale for it is unassailable. When you stand as an advocate of the data-driven approach, you’ll reap the rewards in your career. Data advocates inevitably rise to positions of influence.
  12. They tie results to revenue. When you present results, don’t just show the improvement in conversion rate or KPIs. Tie the result to revenue to give real cash impact. Percentages are intangible, but everyone relates to cash. What would you rather get: a X% conversion rate lift, or $Y,000,000 greater profit?
  13. They foster momentum and knowledge sharing throughout the organization. Many of WiderFunnel’s clients have used our results analysis presentations to create an internal event in the organization. The champion invites members from throughout the company to see the results of tests, guess the winners, and discuss what was learned. Their entire marketing team is on a continuous learning curriculum (starting by reading You Should Test That!)
  14. They hire the best marketing optimization experts available (like WiderFunnel!)

What would you add?

What are your tips for digital marketers in 2014?

Add your thoughts below.

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  • While i agree that conversion rate optimization is extremely important it seems that you overlooked the fact that a lot of the reason that search engine optimization is declining is because the term is becoming much more commonly referred to as SEO. If you put SEO into Google trends you will notice that it is increasing at a steady rate until around the end of 2011 and has since remained fairly stagnant with a slight decline. If you then add conversion rate optimization to the same graph it doesn't even show up because its search volume is insignificant in comparison to SEO. That graph can be seen here: http://www.google.com/trends/explore#q=conversion

    • chrisgoward

      Yes, you're right that SEO is a more popular term, Spencer, but it's in decline now too.

      And, yes, the absolute volume for SEO is still vastly greater than CRO. There's still lots of room for growth!

      I don't mean to say that SEO is small or will disappear any time soon. It's just an interesting trend showing that CRO interest is increasing even as other, more popular topics aren't necessarily doing the same.

      Thanks for clarifying, Spencer.

  • From the statistics, I shocked to see that search engine optimization is getting down with the passage of time but good news in conversion optimization as it getting up. There is bright future for digital marketers in 2014 but little bit disappointment for search engine optimization experts. Now its time to get digital marketing for your blogs in order to get high ranking because social media and conversion optimization are the big factors for capturing traffic and still effective in 2014. Thanks!

  • Great article. I have always felt that having great content was the only way to get results from my website. Over the years I've learned that your #1 point is the most important element of digital marketing success. You've got to motivate and capture your visitors otherwise you'll never see them again.

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