Travels with Paula – LETT me tell you about NEMOA and GOOGLE!

by Paula Jeske • April 17, 2018

Direct marketers are resilient, and not even the 3rd in a string of nor’easters could keep the majority of attendees from Boston, March 14 – 16 for the National Etailing and Mailing Organization of America, otherwise known as NEMOA! When I reviewed my notes, it was surprising to me that there was more discussion surrounding content and experience than data. It’s not that data isn’t important; it’s the concept that data-driven marketing is a process, and big data is like the weather – everyone talks about it but does little about it. If your focus is tilted too far towards just the data, you are missing the chance to hone in on your unique brand and communicating it to your customers, both existing and new.

Particular areas marketers are adding/shifting spend to include; mobile, social and video, as these are adding the strongest results for conversion (mobile) and engagement which leads to acquisition. Although there is talk of shift in spend, surveys show mailers expect to keep circulation on par with last year. However, there is a common theme I am hearing from many progressive marketers when asked how they know where to spend. The new reality is that you must be in as many channels as are relevant to your target market. There a chain of events that turns into a purchase, the Customer Journey. Programs can always be up & down. You need to take a wholistic view across digital and print. Set your plan and don’t add or change everything at once; you can see at end of the month what the effect is as you move one piece up or down. After all, isn’t the end goal to get more out of your customers? Your whole team has to work together to get more value out of your customer file. Don’t ignore attribution but put a stake in the ground, keep the rules the same & do 10% better next year.

We were fortunate to have Google deliver a keynote on consumer behavior. Life is now measured in moments, and you have to be where those moments happen. A 2016 study showed 87% of mobile phone users turn to Search to get answers now. Here’s how consumers have changed:

  1. More Curious – Google noticed every time a global event happened, Search spiked. Searches are becoming much more specific, so you have to understand this & accommodate your customer to find the item.
  2. More Demanding – They want results straight to their phone. Location-based services on site are getting better conversions.
  3. More Impatient – They want to find things FAST!! 53% of site searches were abandoned in 3 seconds if it didn’t download. Conversion drops 12%. In other words…no tolerance for waiting.

This is the age of the research-obsessed customer. Google noted a sharp spike in morning searches; it’s like running an errand on your way to work and you want it next day. As for time spent…one woman spent 3 hours researching a plant she wanted to buy, a $35 item…this is why content is SO important- it’s how you present the answers to that searching customer.

So how do you capture their attention? Google shared some myth-busters:

Myth #1:  

Consumer attention spans are getting shorter.

Fact:

People are less tolerant of time wasters. If people actually have an interest, they will watch it. 81% of video viewing sessions capture people’s attention.

Myth #2:  

People pay equal attention to all screens.

Fact:   

Have to earn their attention. We view content in two very different modes:

  • Lean forward – typically done on computer or mobile, “active”
  • Lean back – TV, watching something – “kicking back”

Myth #3

Even if people pay attention, they tune out ads.

Fact:    

Ads that are relevant to the viewer or feature people like them get 3x the attention. Take into account Fact #2, you’re more likely to get someone’s attention through online video versus TV.

How about ads on Facebook, Instagram, etc.? People go to social vs. Google for different reasons. Tweak your creative based on channel – geared toward why they go there. Can serve hyper-focused personalized content at scale w/social.

What’s next? Google sees all these changes accelerating. Focus on how to:

  1. Become smarter with your data.
  2. Perfect mobile – make it easy. Mobile isn’t an option, it’s a prerequisite.
  3. Embrace omnichannel assistance in the path to purchase. There’s really no channel anymore. Consumers don’t think about it; it has to be seamless.

On the heels of NEMOA’s completion, we were invited to participate in Google Partners training in Ann Arbor. The focus of the workshop I attended was on profit-driven marketing for AdWords – a topic near and dear to Lett Direct! We subscribe to Google’s Avinash Kaushik’s statement that “Revenue = Good. Economic value is important but what truly matters is Profit!” Digital marketing should not be seen as a “sunk” cost. Our objective is to grow our clients’ profits via AdWords, balancing volume with efficiency. Google encourages a move to non-last click attribution, so every touch-point is given proper credit for driving profit. We also discussed how different parts of the funnel should have different goals.

In a Q3 survey of top-100 US brand execs, 40% said they do not share sales data with agencies while 48% acknowledged not giving agencies meaningful KPIs to help them be successful. We find our clients to be much more forthcoming with the metrics required to do an outstanding job, and we thank each and every one of you for the opportunity to serve you.

Paula Jeske has over 20 years of direct marketing experience from both the client and supplier side, digital and print. With a background in print, web, email, data/CRM & video, she has passion and knowledge for cross-channel marketing, and now heads up Lett Direct’s business development activity. Paula is always available for a direct marketing conversation – or topics on music, dogs, wine, or boats. Reach out to her at paula@lettdirect.com.