With too much hype surrounding the digital marketing space, relying on data from reputable sources can save you lots of dollars. As we all know, SMEs can’t afford to base their business and marketing operations on assumptions, because one false assumption can mean the difference between thriving OR drowning!
However, collecting data alone isn’t the only important thing. Another side of the equation is “Interpreting” that data. The more accurate your interpretation, the better the return for your business. The last factor would be “Integrating” the data into your overall business and marketing strategy.
That being said, here are 5 new studies/research that will help you get the most out of your digital marketing efforts!
1- Primary Role of Channel In the Customer Journey
Experian has recently released their annual digital marketer report. The thing I found very interesting is that 50% of marketers surveyed said that they intend to integrate 4 or more channels into their campaigns this year.
Marketers as well as business owners are realizing that isolating channels in silos isn’t working for them. The key is to integrate all the channels into a unified overall marketing strategy that serves a specific purpose which is achieving business objectives.
Click here to read my post: “Social media marketing is an integrated strategy, not the Holy Grail!“.
The thing that shocked me in the study, according to Marketing Charts, is that 75% of those marketers are still operating in silos!
This means that each department is only concerned with their own channel (social, email, advertising…etc) instead of working together towards achieving business objectives. And since every channel works best for a specific phase in the customer journey, not having an overall integrated strategy where people can see the pig picture behind their efforts could result in a huge waste of resources!
The chart above reinforced what I always say on this blog which is that social media is great for generating awareness and interest for your business unlike what many businesses like to think of it as a “Direct Selling Tool“. Email on the other hand is great for nurturing prospects and closing sales.
Click here to read my post: “Why Email Doesn’t Crush Social Media“.
The thing that I wished the chart included is the role of each channel post-sale. We all know that keeping existing customers is as important as getting new ones and I wished this report covered that as well. However, from my experience, I would say that both social and email are great tools for customer retention.
2- Email Marketing Time of Day Performance
Another great Experian study is their 2013 Q4 email benchmark study!
The very interesting finding in this study is that emails sent off-peak hours tend to perform better!
As you can see in the chart above, the lowest volume of emails sent is 3% during 8PM – 11:59PM, yet it has the highest unique open rate, unique click-through-rate, transaction rate and revenue per email.
On the other hand, the biggest percentage of emails sent is between 8AM and 11:59AM. However, these email have the lowest click rate, transaction rate and revenue-per-email!
This may seem common sense, yet 62% of emails are sent between 4AM and 11:59AM which means that probably most businesses send emails on those times.
The more crowded people’s inboxes, the less they will open and read your emails. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t send at those times (because 66% of the transactions happen at those times), but I’m just saying that you shouldn’t take anything for granted in business. You need to test, test again and then test some more
3- A Goldfish Has a Longer Attention Span Than Humans!
You heard that right!!!
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, Goldfish has longer attention spans than humans!
Finally, Goldfish were able to beat us by 1 second!
SHAME ON US
This study proves one thing. That YOU need to get your point through as fast as you can. If your website takes 10 second to load, then by the time it does, people are already browsing another website that takes 3 seconds to load.
There was an article that was published on Fast Company couple of years ago where Amazon calculated that 1 second delay on their website load time could cost them $1.6 billion in sales each year! Google also did a similar study and found that by slowing its search by only four tenths of a second, they could lose 8 million searches per day (imagine how that would impact their ad clicks every day).
There are all kinds of distractions today and people are becoming increasingly impatient. Whether you’re writing an email, a blog post or a sales letter, you need to get to the point fast. Also, when people land on your website, make sure there aren’t many distractions. The reason why squeeze pages/optin pages convert way better than website or blog pages in terms of lead generation is simply because there are way less distractions in a squeeze page (no sidebar, no menu, no links…etc). I’ve seen some squeeze pages that convert as much as 50% of the traffic while normal blog pages are stuck with 2-5%.
So remember that people are impatient and act accordingly (whether it’s a checkout process, customer service issue, outreach campaign…etc)!
4- US Consumers Biggest Purchase Influencers
A recent Deloitte survey has proven again that recommendations from friends, family or a known acquaintance is the biggest influencer when it comes to purchasing decisions!
As you can see, recommendation lies in the very top of the survey. This is another reason for all businesses to start investing more resources into delighting existing customers and turning them into promoters because believe me, it’s way cheaper than trying to target those referrals directly.
With social media and email on your side now, you can easily execute a social referral program that will get you more new customers without you having to spend a dime on marketing.
According to Smart Planet, SquareTrade (sells extended warranties for consumer electronics devices) was able to generate 60,000 shares via Facebook, Twitter and email + 500 new customers using Extole (Referral Marketing Platform).
However, there is one condition to getting more recommendations whether you’re a B2B or B2C business. You need to provide an exceptional service first and then ask for the referral!
5- The Power of Video For Small Business
Another great survey that was published by Animoto is the importance of video when it comes to purchasing decisions.
There are many interesting stats in this survey, but the one that caught my attention was that 73% of respondents reported that they are more likely to purchase something when they see a video showcasing or explaining the product!
There have been literally hundreds of tests conducted in the area of video marketing and as far as I’m concerned, video always converts better.
I know that as a small business owner, you might say that video is expensive, but it doesn’t have to be!
You don’t have to hire the guys who made TRANSFORMERS, right?
All you have to do is showcase your product or service in the simplest way possible. I’m sure that there are lots of talented people online or offline in your area that can help you produce great videos for a fraction of the cost. If you operate an online store, then just showcase the products you sell and mention their benefits. If you’re a real estate investor, then just film a video showcasing the houses you’re selling. If you’re in the consulting business, then make a video showing how it’s like working with you and your company. It could be a video where you record yourself talking OR just a presentation walking prospects throughout your services.
For more interesting video stats, check out the complete Infographic here!
Here is a great guide from Peep Laja showing how you can use video to increase your conversions.
So there you have it! 5 new studies that I believe will have a major impact on your business. Let me know what you think in your comment bellow!
Image Credit: hberends