Three Tactics for Better Online Marketing
There’s so much to learn in online marketing -- where do you begin? Speakers at the Annual Catalog Conference held in Orlando last week offered up a few ideas you can put to use:
1. Address information overload: Stephen Spencer, founder/president of search engine optimization firm Netconcepts, said during the “Meet the Speakers” brunch that information overload “threatens our very existence,” and that marketers should be concerned about consumers being overloaded. “These days, you can’t just go online, see e-mail, get a little information and be off,” he said. “People have to find a way to get beyond that data smog, and you must help customers cut through it to get information as painlessly as possible.”
2. Keep up with retailers and manufacturers: Another panelist Ken Burke, president/CEO of e-commerce solutions provider MarketLive, advised catalogers to be concerned about retailers and product manufacturers learning their trade faster than catalogers are learning the retail and manufacturing trades.”Retailers and brand marketers [are learning] direct marketing faster than catalogers get their business,” he said. “The catalog market is changing, and now more people are eating away from that direct marketing share. Look at what retailers and brand manufacturers are doing. They’re jumping on and connecting their physical stores online.”
3. Focus on online conversion rates: Marketers get enough traffic to their sites, said Amy Africa, president of consulting firm Creative Results. “But on entry pages, marketers lose 80 to 90 percent of people right away. They lose others in shopping carts. This is something catalogers should focus on, because conversion is what makes a difference,” she noted.
Heather Lloyd-Martin, director of search strategies for Internet marketing solutions provider WebSourced, suggested that catalogers build hybrid sites. For instance, if you sell digital cameras, steer consumers to an article written in-house that compares different kinds of digital cameras. Such sites, she noted, can be built to provide customers with information that eventually could lead to orders.
“You can have ads on different pages of your site point to the article,” Lloyd-Martin suggested to the roomful of catalogers during an SEM session. “So by the time customers are ready to buy, they’ll say, ‘I remember going to that catalog site, and I learned a lot. I trust them, and I’ll buy from them.’ A hybrid site can provide a different way to draw in customers that on the print side isn’t as easy to do,” she said.