In an article last week in the Minneapolis Star Tribune (home base of Target, Best Buy and ShoppeSimple) – Target executives said “they no longer see their stores, website and mobile platforms as separate entities. A SALE IS A SALE.”
In another Star Tribune article in the same week, Jodi Davis, a Best Buy executive said “It’s an interesting time at Best Buy right now. We’re finding more ways to communicate with customers. We want them to interact with us no matter where they are (store, website, social and mobile) and no matter what device they use.”
Here are two of the biggest multi-channel retailers in the US getting channel agnostic and confirming what I have been saying for months…A SALE IS A SALE.
Hearing the daily tough economic news, shouldn’t your business just be happy to make a bank deposit regardless of channel? Isn’t internal fighting over traditional vs. new social channels getting credit for the order something that needs to be kicked overboard when you are facing economic times like these?
As I was preparing for a recent WebEx presentation around Changing Innovation, I got to wonder about social monetization of online channels. I chose to speak about Google Adwords. Yes, Adwords and not my normal social world. It was a great departure for me.
During the WebEx we discussed Google’s Adwords and how Google has changed the online marketing landscape with its Adwords innovation. I personally started using Adwords when I was building and running the HarrietCarters.com website in the early 2000’s. In fact, Google launched AdWords in October 2000 with 350 clients and Harriet was one of the first companies to use it for our marketing. Yes, you would expect me to be an early adopter of technical innovation and what I loved then and still do about Adwords is the fact that Google provided an innovation for marketers to move away from impression-based banner buys to a more targeted and a relevant consumer’s choice ad model. This was a vast departure from the DoubleClick (where I also worked in the late 90’s) banner-serving model which was based on an enhanced cookie CPM model.
As you may know Adwords is run by consumers searching for Keyword using Google’s search engine. Adwords is a “bid and ask” pricing model where the highest bid ads are placed at the top and side on the Google’s search page. They are featured in the yellow boxes. Spending is only charged to the advertiser when a consumer clicks on a headline ad link and then the price per click fee negotiated is charged. Adwords is not a revenue share program because it is up to the merchant, on its own dime, to convert the sale. Adwords is basically a traffic driver to the merchant site.
Unlocking your Social Keyword Strategy
Over the summer of 2011, ShoppeSimple has been analyzing the PPC arena and also working with merchants and partnerships to identify how to improve PPC results. We have also been suggesting to merchants ways to grow their social channels through the use of new Social PPC/Adwords marketing. Now that we have released our SSN4.0 software, we have been analyzing Social PPC marketing that is driven by testing socializing and monetizing keywords, which emanate from conversations that you are having with your consumers on your Facebook Wall and on Twitter and/or through your search query streams along with other pathways.
You should be also be doing this in your PPC program. Start looking for new social keywords in your search query reports. Additionally, have you considered using PPC as a way to capture more Likes and Twitter followers using special exclusive social channel offers/coupons/free shipping or gifts and then using a unique and socialized landing page for this PPC effort? But as I said before, stay away from using Sweepstakes to drive Like growth.
From one of our partners:
“By including the social search phrase into a unique landing page a conversion rate increase of up to 20 percent is possible. Shoppers will see this, which immediately confirms they are in the right place by emphasizing the phrase they used in their searches.” Tony Tellijohn – Ackmann & Dickenson
You may be thinking, well Jeff we can do all of that so what is special about ShoppeSimple’s Social Keyword approach? Well that is our secret sauce…. Ahh…you believe you are doing this….well you will see what I mean…simply read on…
Are your Keywords Locked…Here’s why and how?
What I just shared is an ideal PPC program scenario. The reality unfortunately is both interesting and sometimes really ugly. What do I mean? Well as a business using PPC, you pay a ton of up front marketing dollars (based on consumer clicks) to Google Adwords and then from my seat, I question why you would allow your user relevancy and consumer conversation to get so bruised because many of you are frankly blowing it on the PPC backend.
Here is what I found in three Keyword cases. And believe me, I didn’t go out of my way to find these examples. I won’t name names but the examples are all from the top paid PPC link for the Keyword on Google. You can easily replicate these experiences for yourselves.
The first search case: I typed Ammo into Google Search. I clicked on the paid link and got to a website landing page which had ammo choices but why am I also being forced to look at 25 product choices 5 of them not being ammo at all (knifes/guns and shooting accessories). From my perspective, the time to show me related search items is deeper in the selling process, not on the PPC landing page. How relevant is this page for me with 20% of the products not being close to what I want?
Search case number two: I typed in Petite Suits. After selecting from among the top PPC links, I found myself on one of the most well known multi-channel merchant sites in the US. Their landing page showed 100 items on the first page (yes 100) and 7 more pages of fashion. All of this made the buying choices overwhelming by any standard. By the way, most of these items were Petites but not Suits. Is this what consumers expected when they typed in Petite Suits?
Search case number three: And with this last case I thought heck I want to search on something very specific, something that I am about to buy. So I did a Google search on “Adidas sneakers originals Samba”. In fact, this is a pair of sneakers I am prepared to buy from one of the Internet Top 50 Internet Retailers. I have these shoes already in my shopping cart on their site but instead I thought I would try testing the shopping process using Adwords. However this time from the flip side of the user experience.
Unfortunately…The result was a total failure for this retailer and the consumer (ME). So what did my search show? For the search “Adidas sneakers originals Samba” a results page from the very same merchant (from whom I have the item in my cart) left me with 12 products on their website landing page. Worse yet…ONLY ONE of these products was Adidas and none of them being Samba the shoe I want to buy. Is there something I’m missing?
Additionally, where is the obvious social conversation in any of these three examples? None of the results pages had any social conversational tools on them. Does social have to be just about Facebook, Twitter and Mobile to be considered social? From my seat, heck no!
At the core of multi-channel marketing is consumer engagement and this is channel agnostic. Just like we heard from Target and Best Buy this week A SALES IS A SALE!
If you are like most of the merchants we speak with, PPC is probably in the top 3 performing channels for your ecommerce business and if your PPC experience looks anything like the above just imagine how much money you are wasting in this channel. And on the flip side, imagine how ShoppeSimple can help you drive down acquisition cost, increase your conversions and deliver new customers.
All you have to do to experience this in your business and in time for the Holidays is test us. If you don’t get results you don’t pay so you have no downside risk!
Now taking this Social Keywords discussion further, where is the social monetization on any of these merchant keyword results pages? Look for them? Absolutely nowhere. My research findings also suggest that virtually none of these Top Internet 100 merchants (and maybe you) in their PPC programs are including social sharing like Facebook, Twitter and mobile sharing icons on the PPC results pages. What a miss.
At ShoppeSimple we make it easier for you to create and monetize your PPC/Adwords program and do it without any implementation costs. We also guarantee that our program will dramatically increase your conversion rate and drive down your order acquisition costs.
One of our customers, generating $8 Million in sales (annualized) or around 10% of their online sales, has renewed with us twice. Another customer just renewed after seeing great matchback results with a rebuy rate lift of 38% and an Average Order Value lift of 32%. Still another recent renewal increased their frequency from 1 order per year to 2X+ on their active customer group.
With ShoppeSimple you can achieve results like this too by making your Adwords program relevant to your consumers as you remember A SALES IS A SALE.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Just send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to start our conversation!
PS. Please feel free to forward this to a friend or colleague.