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Optimizing Website Real Estate & Customer Experience

Lena Siara Huang

Lena started out by intimating that 2012 is really going to be focused on the customer experience.  Considering the numbers of consumer touch points, mining the data rich environments available has become critical to understanding and learning from customer insights.

On site optimization has become more important as well, with content management, on site behavioral targeting and tag management growing in importance.

1 in 5 US consumers indicate a bad experience will cause them to switch brands.

Customer Engagement – Fully engaged consumers can show a 23% premium in wallet share and relationship.

Full engagement is driven by experience based differentiation:  From functionality, to accessibility, to emotional connection with your brand.

Customers perceive value based on: Benefit, Effort, Risk, Price, Treatment.

However, customer engagement cannot be measured in terms of customer satisfaction.  Emotionally satisfied customers have more value to a brand than rationally satisfied customers.  Emotional satisfaction leads to true full brand engagement.

Rational satisfaction is likely based on benefit and value.  Emotional satisfaction touches on pride and passion.  30% of consumer actions are based on Rational, whereas as 2/3rds are based on Emotional triggers.

One key tool in CX is Customer Journey Mapping.  This includes fully understanding each step in the customer buying process/decision making process during their interactions with you.

Lena offered several websites to look at that she believes do an exceptional job in engaging customers, such as Fanta andDisneyland.  She showed category landing pages from Home Depot, and emphasized how each of these pages included trust building elements (free in store pick up, etc).

Lena also went through the REI website (one of her favorite sites, and mine as well) and pointed out their sharp use of navigation and space to engage customers.  She pointed out the 100% satisfaction guarantee and its prominence.  She showed the Most Popular items, which are featured on each category lander, and reviews and ratings.  REI also dynamically builds breadcrumb trails based on customer input for product variations.

Jared Saunders - How To Monitor and Interpret Trends & Metrics

Jared, the affiliate program manager at Jenson USA discussed the importance of measurement and analytics, even in the cycling world.

Perfect, Recruit, Revive, Serve, Police: The 5 Pillars of Program Management

Jared tapped into the growth goals and break even points, and how small, medium and large businesses differ in their ability to understand them, and work within them, in the context of increasing sales. Sometimes at the cost of increasing sales.

The real importance in program monitoring is VISION. Without focusing on a long term goal, and over focusing on what’s immediately on the path in front of you, you will miss the end goal. You’ll never set your eyes on it.

Jared shared (available for download at ) some Excel spreadsheets he uses to monitor his program. He indicates that only through study and focusing on a long term strategy can we avoid doing “knee jerk marketing”, or panicking into bad business and marketing decisions.

If you don’t have baseline metrics, you’ll be unable to notice increases or decreases in click volumes, and exposure. Look at trends, and look specifically at spikes or lulls that work against your trend to determine opportunities.

Look for conversion rate spikes in your affiliate program. It could be an indicator that an affiliate is either reaching a key audience very well, OR it’s possible he/she is violating your trademark terms, etc.

Jared showed how reading the peaks and valleys in your trending can help you build a promotional calendar that protects your marketing dollars, and engages you deeper with affiliates by always keeping relevant links and promo materials in front of them.

Todd Crawford - Impact Radius

The Importance of Attribution Data for Performance Marketing

Live Blog of Todd Crawford’s Session at Affiliate Management Days San Francisco

Todd of course has a tremendous pedigree in affiliate marketing. From co-founding Commission Junction, to his work with Digital River, and now at Impact Radius, Todd has pioneered many of the measurements we use to understand performance marketing campaigns.

Todd started talking about the EPC metric, and how it was one of the quintessential measurements at the turn of the century, and where we’ve come since then. Of note were the lack of impression metrics for key super affiliates, since they server their own ads for the most part.

He then hoped that more affiliate managers were looking at new sales versus returning sales, and what types of affiliates were really key in new customer acquisition. Todd indicated that commission levels should be thought of around that metric. Are you going to give a better rate to an affiliate retuning previous buyers? Or should you offer a higher commission to those that are sending a higher percentage of new customers.

Defining Attribution

Simplified: How many ads did a buyer see, where did they occur, how did they influence the conversion (ad content), what was the total, actual cost.

He adds that correct attribution is inevitable. Your channel may not be looking at it, but others around you are. Compares it to the birth and growth of site-side analytics. Early adopters are on it, soon EVERYONE will be on it, so learn it now.

What are the attribution channels that you should measure? There are channels within channels, and the more granular you can get, the better. In the affiliate space, it’s a segregation in the types of affiliates.

You need to determine how far back in time you want to go before the outcome in determining influence. Compare it to your average sales cycle, perhaps, and attribute outcome weight based on time and sequence.

The channel roles can be Initiator, Contributor, Closer, etc. Build your attribution model around these groups. Internally, look at affiliate value differently than you look at actual commission values paid out. It will be different, and can be used to set long term commission rates.

Attribution Misconceptions

It’s not objective data. It is subjective. As a team, work to make it objective.
Real Time Data is attributable. Attribution actually happens over time, not immediately.
We Understand Attribution for Us. You don’t. It changes over time. The web is dynamic.

Looking at Affiliates

Your most “valuable” affiliate is the one that has conversions that don’t touch ALL your conversion attribution channels. If the customer isn’t seeing your display ads, isn’t clicking your PPC ads… then that affiliate has a customer pool that you don’t otherwise have access to. Value them.