Back in January, we published a post on “digital marketing trends for 2017“.
In it, WiderFunnel experts and industry influencers shared predictions for top marketing trends in 2017, like mobile web optimization, the rise of artificial intelligence, and “slow marketing”.
Throughout the year, we have tackled many of these topics right here on this blog. We’ve analyzed new trends. We’ve written comprehensive guides. We’ve researched effective strategies for marketing leaders everywhere.
And we have created a library of actionable content and resources.
In our final post of 2017, we wanted to look back at that content library and highlight the pieces that all of you found most useful. Below, you’ll find our top performing posts from this year.
You’ll find some of these posts are seasonal. Some of these posts have a lasting influence. All of these posts deserve a revisit.
So, without further ado, here are our top 7 blog posts of 2017:
7. The top reference post
As thought-leaders in the experimentation space, we get asked a lot of questions. Questions come from everybody: marketers who are new to experimentation and marketing optimization specialists, alike.
In this post, we compiled 30 of our most frequently asked questions, like:
“What do you see as the most common mistake people make that has a negative effect on website conversion?” Or: “How do you get buy-in from major stakeholders, like your CEO, to go with a conversion optimization strategy?”
And then we asked top industry experts and thought leaders to answer them, including:
- Author, keynote speaker, and optimization pioneer, Chris Goward
- WiderFunnel Director of Strategy, Nick So
- WebArts CEO and thought-leader, André Morys
- Conversionista! Chief Conversionista, John Ekman
- Hotjar Founder & CEO, David Darmanin
- Optimizely Senior Strategy Consultant, Hudson Arnold
The result is a go-to post for anyone responsible for growth and experimentation. Bookmark this one!
6. The top ‘how-to’ post
In the Fall, most marketers are preparing for the biggest sale season of the year: Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the Holidays. Just in time, we wanted to give marketers the tools to transform their browsers into buyers. So, we released a research-packed post on pricing psychology.
WiderFunnel Strategists, Michael St. Laurent and James Flory, had tested two pricing tactics to optimize two different e-commerce sites. The tactics were inspired by Nick Kolenda’s round-up of psychological tactics and Jonah Berger’s “The Rule of 100”.
The experiment results proved, again, that psychology is a key component of any marketing strategy. It attracted the readership of conversion copywriters like Joanna Wiebe and became one of the top articles on GrowthHackers.
The post now ranks as one of our best … ever.
5. The top technical post
Server-side experimentation is getting a ton of attention these days. And for good reason. It is allowing many organizations to take their experimentation to the next level, embedding it within product workflows and the entire customer journey.
We wanted to break down server-side experimentation in a way that marketers, product managers, and web developers could understand and use.
In this post, Senior WiderFunnel Developer, Thomas Davis and Marketing Manager, Natasha Wahid, tackle the topic of server-side experimentation on single-page applications. The technical post, geared toward both practitioners and marketing leaders, is broken down in plain language.
It is sure to be an evergreen favorite, as more leaders make experimentation a part of their organizational culture.
Want more on server-side?
We just did a webinar with our partners at Optimizely called “Getting started with server-side testing“. It’s both technical and strategic, presented by Thomas and WiderFunnel Strategist, Dennis Pavlina. You should check out the recording!
4. The top customer-centric post
Emotion in marketing isn’t a new tactic. Chris Goward discusses the concept in his book, You Should Test That!. And we have written about how people make emotional buying decisions on this blog several times.
But today, with more revelations from researchers and behavioral economists like Richard Thaler, emotion has new relevance in your marketing strategies. Brands need to create emotionally relevant marketing experiences across the numerous touchpoints they have with their customers.
In this post, we explore cutting-edge research around why people buy, what drives a person to take an action (hint: it’s emotions!), and how business leaders can act on their customers’ unconscious motivators to create better marketing experiences.
We also dive into the emotional motivations of customers using the Limbic® Model. Developed by German research group, Gruppe Nymphenburg, over the past 20 years, the Limbic Model is based on the latest findings across a variety of disciplines that include neuroanatomy, evolutionary biology, neurochemistry, and psychology.
The post is still being actively shared among marketing leaders on social media.
3. The top digital experience post
What happened when our Marketing Manager, Natasha Wahid, had an aggravating experience trying to order Thai food using a company’s mobile website? She wrote a blog post about it, of course.
More and more people are finding what they need and want through on-the-spot searches using their smartphones. On Black Friday, mobile sales broke records with 61% of visits to e-commerce sites coming from a mobile device.
If you suspect you may be neglecting the experience of your mobile users, start with this comprehensive guide. Natasha broke down the key components of an optimized mobile experience, so marketing leaders can take action.
Don’t have time to read the 4,000+ word post right now? Get the PDF download and dig into it later over a cup of coffee!
She even asked WiderFunnel’s Strategy team to do a LIFT analysis on the website’s cart. You can see how the different conversion factors of relevance, anxiety, urgency and distraction affected Natasha’s experience.
Overall, this mobile website optimization guide is one of the best resources on the topic. And it’s free!
2. The top marketing trend post
I don’t know about you, but nothing piques my curiosity like a good old buzzword.
At the end of November, after seeing post upon post about “artificial intelligence”, we decided to explore what the term actually means for marketers today.
We read through a TON of sources to weed out fact from hype. We interviewed academics and digital marketing experts, to get their thoughts on the state of the technology.
One of our experts was Andrew Stephen, Associate Dean of Research & L’Oréal Professor of Marketing at the University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School. He was pretty happy with the final post:
Wow, what a great piece! I’m going to make this mandatory reading for all our students when they take Marketing here at Oxford. This pulls together so much great info and thinking into a really useful and interesting read.– Andrew Stephen, via email to the WiderFunnel team
We also talked to Joshua Gans, Professor of Strategic Management at the Rotman School of Management and co-author of Prediction Machines.
The result was a 5,500+ word subject guide that proved to be a real conversation starter.
On GrowthHackers, the post became a must-read article in the #analytics #contentmarketing and #optimization channels. On Twitter, we had top digital marketing and conversion optimization experts weighing on the hype around AI.
1. The top post of 2017
Along with “artificial intelligence”, “personalization” has been a hot topic among marketers and business leaders all year. And it should be: personalization done properly can deliver really powerful results.
But, as with any marketing trend, people tend jump on board without the knowledge and know-how to create an effective strategy.
In this post co-produced with our partners at Optimizely, Chris Goward, outlines a 4-step roadmap to a revenue-boosting personalization strategy. He also breaks down some of the common misconceptions about personalization that stand between the marketer and their success.
The four steps are:
- Step 1: Defining personalization
- Step 2: Is a personalization strategy right for you?
- Step 3: Personalization ideation
- Step 4: Personalization prioritization
If you’re looking for a simple but expert guide on how to implement personalization in your marketing strategy, this is it.
And WiderFunnel readers agree. Which is why it is our most-viewed post of the year.
A final note. Thank you for a wonderful 2017. Thank you for reading our posts and providing feedback. We look forward to an even better, content-filled 2018!
What marketing trends or topics do you want us to explore in 2018? We’d love to hear your thoughts. Just leave ’em in the comments section below!
Grab your complete copy of the new “State of Experimentation Maturity 2018” research report
What makes some organizations so successful when it comes to experimentation? This new 45-page report provides benchmarks for stages of experimentation maturity at leading North American brands.Get Report