Friday, July 28, 2006

Decker Does it Again

Decker Marketing: Marketing Bullseye 3: Hit Goals with Workback Waterfall

Decker's nailed it again. In the third in his series on hitting the "Marketing Bullseye" Sam Decker introduces what he calls a 'Workback Waterfall', which he devised to help people understand how to 'processize' marketing. Read and understand this concept. If you run a for-profit financial services web site (if you think you don't I'd be curious to know what you're doing), this is how you should be managing. But, instead of the workback progression Sam uses in his example, yours would look more like this:

Let's say your Workback Waterfall ends at sale approved and moves back through submit application, initiate application, view product, and arrive at site. If you have a goal of 1,000 account sales per month, and you know what % of each previous step in the funnel will move forward for a given marketing response channel then you know how much of that response channel you have to buy (key word CT, email units, etc.) to generate the results you need: 84,000 site arrivals. More importantly, you now know what other knobs, besides input volume, you can turn to get the end result you're after.

Let's say you don't want to or can't buy enough marketing response to achieve your goal. Well, look at where you're losing people in the response funnel -- er, I mean workback waterfall -- there's plenty of opportunity to optimize the funnel itself to achieve your goal. How about nudging the % of app starters who submit from 40% to 45%, a 12.5% improvement, by streamlining the application moderately. Your number of submitted applications jumps to almost 2270, and your approved sales to almost 1135. You'd have to drive more than 10,000 additional site arrivals to achieve the same improvement. That's a lot of wasted marketing money, and a lot of wasted infrastructure to support "dead beat" traffic. As I'm sure you see, improving the % moving forward at any given step in the process has a compounding effect for each of the steps that follows it.

That, my friends, is the art of conversion optimization using web analytics tools. Discovering what knobs you can turn to drive more sales, then analyzing which knobs will yield the highest ROI and taking action. And that's exactly what I did for #12 on the Fortune 500 -- a giant leap in conversion rate and volume with no increase in marketing spend or input volume.

As decker points out, it's not exactly rocket science, but it does require discipline.

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