In the SiriusDecisions 2016 Digital Advertising study, we found that 80 percent of organizations were, or would be, using digital advertising (display, search, social) in the next 12 months. Given the vast amount of ad inventory available, the number of ads an individual sees on a daily basis and the amount of money organizations are investing in digital marketing, this comes as no surprise. Optimizing these ads should be a primary focus, but what happens AFTER that elusive click? The gateway between those two areas is the Web site, and it needs to be optimized as well.
In that same study, 62 percent of respondents said they were measuring digital advertising performance based on conversions. However, less than 45 percent of respondents indicated they were measuring performance based on Web metrics such as visits (39 percent), time on site (26 percent) or bounce rate (43 percent). Conversions are a great metric – along with upstream advertising data such as impressions and clicks, and downstream Demand Waterfall® performance.
Many organizations are testing content and layout on their landing pages, or within their forms via length adjustments and/or progressive profiling, but it's time to get more personal with not only our own digital properties, but also our buyers. For years, personalization, or the ability to interact with an individual on a one-to-one level, has been a buzzword that wasn't quite achievable outside large consumer companies like Amazon. As Amazon-like personalized experiences grew in popularity, so did the desire from buyers for personalized experiences. These personalized experiences help drive a buyer throughout their journey from digital ad to conversion and beyond into the Demand Waterfall. While this wasn't technically, or economically, possible previously, significant changes have been made in the last few years. Today, many Web personalization platforms exist.
Web personalization platforms give organizations the ability to personalize beyond the referring source. Most platforms personalize based on behavioral attributes, such as content interacted with, pages visited, time on page or site, or previous activity in the marketing automation platforms. Furthermore, some platforms can personalize an experience using an organization's own first-party data, or third-party data that is accessible within the platform itself or through an integration with a data provider. Personalization could be as basic as by name or account, or more advanced such as by industry or even persona. Web personalization platforms also typically allow for A/B or multivariate testing, and some platforms generate predictive recommendations for the best-performing content and actions.
If you're running digital advertising and are not measuring beyond the click, you could potentially be leaving a lot of money on the table in the form of missed conversions. Measuring beyond the click is the only true way to measure the success of your digital advertising. If you are measuring beyond the click and looking to optimize your Web performance to drive deeper experiences with your buyers beyond the initial click, Web personalization might be for you. Visit the SiriusDecisions Marketplace to explore some Web personalization vendors, or speak with a SiriusDecisions analyst to help you get personal with your digital advertising and, more importantly, with your buyers.