Projecting an account’s trajectory is a vital skill for every account team. You can’t escape it. It comes up when performance is great and it comes up when performance is poor.
Despite the demand for these skills and insights, it can be one of the scarier tasks. The uncertainty of accounting for everything makes it easy to doubt any method.
While there is no perfect method, we don’t have to completely guess either. If you, at least partially, surrender to the uncertainty you’ll realize how you can utilize certain methods to make better decisions and steer your account in the right direction.
This is a big topic! While there is not nearly enough space to go into full depth for each point you should be able to come away from this article with a few pointers, ideas, and at least knowing where to look when you need it.
Forecasting the immediate impact
Data tables are a great way to examine the effect of changing metrics and the impact on goals. Data tables are an Excel feature that take a formula and build the results for multiple inputs. This saves you the hassle of updating a formula for every combination of inputs.
For example, you could take for formula for ROAS, profit, or total value. All of these are made up of a variety of inputs from CTR, impression volume, conversion rates, AOV, and so on. Data tables save you time by taking a defined formula and letting you choose a range of inputs. You can choose one or two inputs per table.
Here is an example for a one-way table with click through rate.
Here is an example of a two-way table with ROAS by different average order values and conversion rates.
Excel Solver/Optimization Methods
Solver is the tool to use when you know the metric you’d like to maximize or minimize, such as conversions, and have a set of constraints, such as budgets.
By defining a few formulas, such as total conversion volume by budget, you can set up a list on constraints. These could include spend by platform, spend by market, total available impressions, or max CPCs. Your formula will depend on your needs.
The tool will take those limits and attempt to find a solution to the formula that satisfy each requirement. The most common use case is budget. You would ask a question such as “What would performance look like if I could maximize by budget at $50,000/month?”
Forecasting Long Term Impact
Basic projections can be as easy as applying the average of the last x days to the next 30 days to get an estimate of next month’s performance.
By taking a slice of past performance, you can estimate future performance. This slice will vary depending on accounts. Seven day is a good standard. If you go shorter than a week you may end up over projecting, especially if weekends are particularly slow in your account.
If you’d like to forecast further than the next month, you could try examining a moving average over time. Rather than using a static number, you’d estimate then your metric of choice, such as conversion rate, increases by 2% on average very month. You would then take a basic projection and apply this weighting to it over each period.
This does take some guessing and rough estimates though as you can’t expect something like conversion rate to increase every period and you’ll hit some maximum sooner rather than later.
Regression can be challenging in PPC due to the general noise in the data. Nonetheless is can work well if you set the problem up correctly.
Imagine a scatter plot of your data. Regression places the best fit line among the data to minimize the distance from each point to the line . You choose an output variable and an input variable. This could be revenue and spend or conversion and spend. Running the regression would place a line with a minimal the distance between the points on the graph.
If you just want to view the relation, you can plot a regression line on an Excel plot through the graph settings. Here is an example of from a set of app install campaigns.
Regression itself is a large topic. If you’d like to dig deeper, Emma Franks has a great tutorial on running regression analysis for PPC in Excel.
Holt-Winters, or exponential smoothing, is an accessible method for adjusting projections for seasonality. This method is more involved than the basic projections but accounts for the regular ebb and flow of performance. For illustrative purposes, performance can be decomposed into the trend, which way performance is moving, seasonality, the regular cycle of performance, and noise.
For example, we can see the ebbs and flows of performance for an education account. Using this method, we can project forward and take those into account as we check out a potential future.
If you have experience with Python or R, or if you are just feeling adventurous, you can also check out Facebooks Prophet library. This approaches the same problem but via a different method and requires some coding. You can find and example below.
We’ve covered quite a few approaches today, each worthy of multiple posts. If one of them interests you, you are only a few google searches away.
Facebook can be a very powerful tool for people, companies, and advertisers. It allows us to connect with one another instantaneously across the entire globe. As advertisers, Facebook’s targeting features allows us to target users not possible just 10 years ago. From geographic targeting to age, behavioral, interests, lookalikes, retargeting, and even life events we have a plethora of ways to get our brand in front of potential customers. However, with all these options one must ask the question. At what point do we need to be asking if Facebook is being responsible enough with all the data it keeps on its users?
Facebook has made news recently for its advertising platform, and not in a good way. We have seen the company come under fire for allowing Russian influence over the presidential election by advertisements being bought by the foreign entity in an effort to sway people’s opinions. Fake news sites were being created, fake news stories were being written, and those stories were then being advertised to select people with certain political opinions in an effort to sway their opinion. All of this was slipping past Facebook’s review process and may very well have influenced the election to some degree.
Despite all the flak they have been receiving in the media, Facebook is adamant that they can rise to the expectations. They have a firm belief that their system is a great tool for connecting businesses with their customers. They further stated that even with the powerful tool they have created they absolutely do not sell personal information like names, emails, and phone numbers.
In an effort to be more transparent with the digital community Facebook, and more specifically Rob Goldman the VP of Ad Products, wanted to highlight to the public what their advertising principles are. Below are what Facebook has said are the principles that guide them:
These principles weren’t created in response to the media backlash Facebook has been receiving. They have been a part of the social network site for some time. So while they made an effort to bring these principles to light for the general public to be aware of, it will be interesting to see if they can abide by these principles more closely in the future. As we all know the digital space is an ever-changing place. One week something is viral and the next its forgotten. The same goes for advertising. One month a certain targeting method is effective and then two months later we must adjust. I can’t imagine how difficult it must be for large advertising platforms like Facebook to get it right 100% of the time. Yet as advertisers we must educate ourselves on the tools we are using. It is important to point out flaws in our tools so we can work to make them more effective, efficient, and ethical.
It is safe to say we know what is on every marketers holiday wish list – more budget. The problem is, marketing is usually the first line item in an overall budget when overall performance is down or the marketers aren’t able to show the right numbers to get their wish granted.
In this new live webinar, Kristin Vick from Hanapin Marketing and Jeff Sauer from Jeffalytics discuss how marketers can ensure they have the budget they need to be effective with online advertising and get the right tools to make that argument.
In the webinar you will learn:
As a sales development representative, I am rejected on daily basis. Some leads are kinder than others and let me down easy. Others are short and direct in their response. Now, I get it, we have all experienced the unannounced sales call, interrupting our daily routing to sell us products we neither want nor need, thus making it easier to empathize with the frustration asserted by the voice on the other side of the phone line.
But when it comes to turning a few of those “no’s” into a “tell me more,” there are a few tricks that I have learned that other sales representatives can adopt to turn their luck around.
In this blog, I’ll give you three tips to create sales personalization at scale to help you move from rejected to connected.
Make the Sale Personal
As sales representatives in today’s day and age, we are fortunate enough to have a wealth of information at our disposal thanks to the internet. From individual prospect information to company/industry updates, there is almost no limit to the amount of personalization ammunition we can use at our disposal. But when it comes to delivering this level of individualized communication scale, via either telephone or email, we must be strategic.
Most organizations use sales enablement tools to equip their sales team to deliver mass and quick communication. But, before pressing send on those pre-constructed, vanilla emails, use this opportunity to add a little spice to the mix. Quickly adding a dash of personalization to your email can go a long way to increase their response rate. Looking for ways to personalize? Think industry specific news, noting their expressed interest in your product, or even a commonality about their professional career make-up.
By adding even a tiny bit of personalization to a specific campaign can drastically increase your outreach efforts and show that you have actually taken the time to learn about your prospect, and have earned the time to speak with them. Don’t jeopardize hurting your brand by sending mass, insincere, sales campaigns that not only waste your time but annoy your prospects, pushing them farther away.
Know Your Audience
Knowing your audience is key when you convince a prospect to buy or even consider buying your product. When it comes to selling the pleasure of your product, versus selling to pain, John Barrows clearly defines our problem as “the main reason most of us are stuck in the world of selling pain is because, unfortunately, most of us get stuck selling to people below the ‘power line,’ or non-decision-makers.” Selling to pain can have its benefits, by focusing on the time-consuming, menial processes that are eliminated by the implementation of the product. Showing empathy for daily frustrations and offering tangible solutions creates a level of desire for the product.
Yet, when it comes to selling to those who are outside of your product’s daily sphere of interaction, that is where you sell the hopes and dreams of grander marketing opportunities. Especially when you are looking to convince a company to invest a significate amount of capital in your product, showing them tangible and meaningful impact your product can have on their growth and long-term success, outside of feature/functionality, is going to be the ultimate decision maker.
Strike When the Iron is Hot
Staying top of mind is key for sales representatives to be successful in their space. With so many companies competing for an individual’s attention at any given moment, waiting too long to connect with an interested individual could mean losing their attention altogether. Now, I am not so much referencing the leads that are hot, reaching out to you to buy your product. That is a given fast-mover. I am more so suggesting the leads that are engaging with your brand, yet need a little nurturing, and a little push, to get them qualified to be a sales-ready lead. By being able to understand how a prospect is engaging with your brand in real time, you can leverage their attention to push that conversation and meet them half-way through their solution search. A timely interaction could just make the difference between, now and never.
When it comes to sales, there is no magic formula or secret sauce that makes a prospect reply to your outreach. Even a poetic and personalized email cadence can still land in the deleted folder, and a prospect who regularly visits your website could declare themselves uninterested in a purchasing conversation. Certain tricks work for some representatives, while others are left with negative returns. That is why the real secret to sales is that if at first, you don’t succeed, try again—but maybe this time with a different subject line.
With these three tips, you’ll move from rejected to connected in no time. Tell me about your tips and tricks to stay top of mind as a sales development representative. I’d love to hear your experiences in the comments.
The post Three Tips to Create Sales Personalization at Scale appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog - Best Practices and Thought Leadership.
Of the 50+ search and social conferences you can choose from, we’re here to show you why Hero Conf is a can’t miss event for busy digital marketers like you.
Want to find out more about the largest all-PPC conference in the industry? Read more now»
A unique selling point (USP) defines your company, highlights the advantages of doing business with you and sets you apart from the competition. It also gives your company focus, because you won’t try to be everything to everyone. To reap the best business benefits, you need to fulfill your own unique USP.
Today’s business landscape is oversaturated in nearly every industry. For example, if you sell web hosting services, you have a lot of competition, and there are only so many ways to differentiate yourself. The best thing to do is to survey your competition. What is the USP for each of those businesses? How can you stand out from the crowd, provide something unique? Your USP can be anything from the best customer service around to a specific specialty area.
In this blog, I’ll explain five ways to show off your USP to gain conversions and stand out from the crowd.
1. Solve a Problem
One of the best ways to differentiate yourself from the competition is to solve a problem for the consumer. For example, if you run a blog about jewelry, what is one issue that people who buy or own jewelry have? Perhaps it is figuring out what their jewelry is worth and you can offer an online estimate tool.
Figuring out a problem to solve is as easy as polling your current customers. Ask them what questions they have. You also can search on forums related to your topic to see what people are posting and asking questions about.
Take the meal kit delivery service, Blue Apron, for instance. Their USP is, “Fresh Ingredients, Original Recipes, Delivered To You.” They have provided all of the ingredients in the right proportions to take all of the guesswork and grocery store headaches out of cooking.
Even though you might think you should just stick to a single niche, sometimes the way to differentiate your business is to collaborate and provide one or two solutions even better than one company could offer alone. Being one of the first to offer A and B will be your USP. Your selling point is being a one-stop solution for both things.
You have a couple of options here. You can either bring both solutions to the consumer yourself, or you can collaborate with another company to offer a package deal. The key here is to bring two solutions or benefits to the table for consumers. If you can do it for a reduced price, so much the better.
One example of such a collaboration is the Honeywell and Lear Corporation. The two companies have come together to try to create some security solutions for autonomous vehicles. One concern consumers have about automated cars is the possibility of hacking into the computer system. The two companies are working together to overcome this concern and provide security to companies who build these cars.
3. Make Your Proposition Visual
Visual marketing is powerful. 37% of marketing professionals indicate that visual marketing was the most critical type of content for their business marketing. According to FastCompany, this is likely because site visitors share and remember more images and info on social media.
Another advantage to creating a visual element to your USP is that you show other businesses instead of just telling them. So, instead of just telling another company your USP, you would perhaps provide a detailed chart or image.
SpeedPro doesn’t just show off which products they provide for other businesses to grow through text, but they also make the entire process visual for the business owner. If a business was looking for an event graphic, they could see at a glance what types of items SpeedPro provides.
4. Find a Specialty
As a business, it is crucial that you find a niche area. This allows you to really hone in and specialize on that one unique area and develop a USP around it that will let you come up with unique taglines, marketing materials, and advertising that shows off your expertise in that area.
You can find your niche by thinking about what you do best. Next, look at your competitors who offer the same thing and figure out how you can specialize even more. What is still unique about you or what can you make unique?
Just because you have a specialty area doesn’t mean you can’t ever branch out, though. It’s okay to grow your business and offer more products and services, but always consider how they meet your USP and how the new additions can shape your business and allow it to fulfill its potential. Once everything is running smoothly with the first niche, you can add more.
Intermedia offers cloud IT management for businesses with a niche focus on cloud-based business IT services. They seem to have figured out that a problem for medium-sized businesses is managing their IT needs and have come up with a simple solution.
5. Staying Current
When it comes to showing off your USP, you need to stay on top of the newest trends and ideas in your industry. It doesn’t do you much good to hit a unique point only to discover that no one cares any longer. Or, your competitors may be copying what you do, making your unique selling point not so unique.
However, if you’re consistently studying the markets, new trends, interviewing customers and potential customers, and watching the competition, you will always be a step ahead. You’ll come up with new ideas faster than your competitors can copy your ideas, which is key to your success as a business owner.
Flowcrete offers some interesting flooring options, particularly for businesses. One way that they keep their site current is to provide a flooring blog. The blog is mostly a collection of short stories written for B2B decision makers. They show customer projects, share reviews and offer inspiration. It’s a pretty unique and interesting take on a blog.
Define Your B2B Business
Defining your USP is vital for both business growth and developing brand loyalty. Because you’ll have a narrow focus, you can concentrate on building your customer base within that niche. A clearly-defined USP is one that will stay with possible customers. When they need that specific need filled, they’ll think of you first, and you’ll watch the conversions roll in.
What is your brand’s USP? Has it changed throughout the development of your company? Tell me about it in the comments.
There are many tools and 3rd party platforms that are designed to help with ad testing and creation, but they can come with a steep learning curve and expense. For someone starting out in ad testing who is learning or without budget for a new tool, these options can be out of reach. Luckily, Facebook has created what is essentially an end-to-end ad testing suite right within Facebook itself.
Recent improvements to Creative Hub and the Split Testing feature make ad creation and testing easier than it’s ever been in the past. Using these two tools you can mockup an ad, collaborate on editing it, and load it directly into Facebook. You can then create a split test from within the ad buying side of Facebook. It’s a solution that anyone using Facebook advertising can utilize.
It may lack some of the more advanced features of other tools, but it’s a great place to start while you hone your testing skills or work on securing extra budget.
Creating and mocking up ads for any platform, Facebook included, can be taxing and frustrating. It can involve lots of back and forth sending image files, spreadsheets, and plan documents to get everyone on the same page. Then when you need to address changes or make edits, the whole back and forth can start again.
While it doesn’t solve all the headaches, Facebook’s Creative Hub does a great job of allowing you to take your Facebook ad assets and mock them up within the various formats that Facebook offers. Where you could once only create mockups, you can now use more advanced features to make the process much easier.
Below are two of the most useful features that have been expanded and added to the Creative Hub. Just remember you’ll need to have access to a Business Manager to use these features, personal accounts only have access to a more limited feature set.
Organize Your Assets into Projects
You can now organize your ad assets into individual projects by whatever purpose it might serve. If you’re a company with multiple brands you can separate projects by brand or if you’re an agency you could filter your projects by client.
Once a project is created you can invite people and share access for collaboration and editing making it easier for everyone to see the ads. All potential ad formats are available and it’s a great way for all to see how ads will visually look in Facebook.
Deliver to the Power Editor
The even bigger update to Creative Hub is the ability to take those mockups and deliver them directly into the Power Editor for live deployment. In the past, you could share mockups with team members and they could see them, but you couldn’t then take a completed mockup and deploy it directly into Facebook.
It was one of the biggest pain points of the Creative Hub. With this update you can now do that and it helps solve some of the headaches around deploying ads.
Creative Split Testing
The Split Testing feature has been around for a while, but it was only able to test delivery optimization, audiences, and placements. The one big omission was creative, probably the single biggest option people wanted to split test.
So, we were forced to either put a bunch of ads into a single ad set and let the algorithm choose a winning ad for us or duplicate ad sets, keeping them the same, and running different ads. The first option was easy, but a bit of a black box. The second time consuming and clunky.
Luckily, Facebook has very recently improved the Split Testing feature with the ability to test creative as well.
How It Works
It works like most other ad testing tools. You create one ad set with your audience and other settings, then you create as many ads as you want to test. A duplicate of the ad set you created is then attached to each ad and Facebook will ensure no audience overlap to generate a proper test.
You’ll choose your budget and your ad test will run between 3-14 days depending on audience size, budget, and the point at which significant results are achieved. You’ll be able to see test results within the Facebook interface and have results emailed to you.
Why It’s Good
It offers a proper balance between the black box and clunky ways of ad testing mentioned above. Now we can structure a proper ad test and get concrete results back from it. These results can help us better understand not only what ad won, but under what conditions.
If you’re already using 3rd party tools and like using them, then there isn’t necessarily anything here that would make you switch beyond cost. If you’re not using anything and manually trying to institute tests, this can reduce the number of headaches involved.
With the updates to Creative Hub and the Split Test feature, one can now institute a basic ad creation and testing process directly within Facebook. This minimizes hassle and headaches while providing more detailed information and outcomes to advertisers.
Give the tools a try and see how they might help improve your own ad testing processes.
Whilst I was working behind the scenes battling with getting our Europe Amazon Seller Central account approved, organizing shipping, VAT registration and other details, we decided to run a session on Amazon seller analytics. This is something that you will need to get a handle on as soon as your inventory lands and you start making sales. An efficient business always stays on top of it's important financial metrics. It's the only way to fully understand the health of your business, and identify areas of improvement or growth. So in this session we had Shane Stinemetz, Director of Fetcher join Greg and myself, to explain how to calculate your Amazon business profit and loss. Jungle Slumber Updates Transparency is key for this case study so here's some of the latest updates about the launch of my first product, Jungle Slumber sleeping bags. As I mentioned in previous sessions, it took several weeks to get our new Europe Seller Central account verified. There wasn't anything wrong in particular, they just kept asking for more information, which we provided, and it took them a long time to process things. Again – it's always best to sign up for things like Seller Central, ... Read More
via Twitter https://twitter.com/daWorksSydney
December 08, 2017 at 01:09PM
via Twitter https://twitter.com/daWorksSydney
December 08, 2017 at 01:09PM