Companies need to be more strategic about how they optimize their websites, and it starts with aligning marketing goals to business goals according to the findings of an Adobe Digital Index report on digital marketing optimization.
That means people across departments need to find some common ground around what exactly they want people to do on their websites, and what actions they really need them to take to sustain the business. Without this critical step, the time consuming exercise of optimizing across Web, social and mobile will not be productive, the report found.
Where to Start, Who Owns Optimization
Two of the most difficult questions any organization will have when it comes to optimization are often where to start and who owns optimization. Companies that use cross departmental approaches to testing improve their chances of higher conversion rates, according to Adobe's survey of over 1,800 digital marketers across North America, Europe and Asia.
Thirty-three percent of companies where multiple departments have input in testing said their conversion rates were 5% or higher. That's compared with just 17% of all companies. This kind of collaboration doesn't have to be deep or exhaustive, but there needs to be agreement on what the conversion goals are, and that can help focus the key strategic drivers.
Budget for Optimization, Let Marketers Lead
Adobe leads its 2013 Digital Marketing Optimization Survey Results with suggestions on creating an optimization budget and investing in a company-wide approach to testing. These aren't the easiest discussions to have in an organization, but when that common ground is found, the results appear to be concrete.
Most companies aren't investing in optimization, and of those who spend up to 25% of their marketing budget on it, only about 16% are acheiving an average website conversion rate above 5%. Conversely, of those spending more than 25% of marketing budgets on optimization, 21% have conversion rates over 9%. For large companies especially, that is a significant difference.
Finding the money and talent to do coordinated optimization are some the biggest challenges for most companies surveyed
Mobile + Social
As the newest entrants into the media mix, mobile and social strategies are mostly in their infancy. In Asia, for example, many people's online experience starts and ends on mobile devices, a very different situation from more developed, desktop heavy regions.
Adobe suggests mobile strategies don't simply dive into building mobile sites and apps just to do it. Instead, it suggests engaging with an analytics team to find out what device types are visiting the website. From there, it's best to focus on the goals of the mobile initiative, and prioritize the company's needs.
Understanding the ROI of social is also a tricky task, and again, Adobe suggests focusing on business goals. Customers' social media interactions must be associated with those goals, and that means vague definitions of engagement and follower growth won't likely be enough. Whatever analytics are used for social ROI, it must have business goal alignment.
Investing in digital marketing optimization is the best way to achieve conversion results, and the survey shows that for those are already investing, adopting a company wide approach only improves results.