Marketing Lessons from Lockdown Life
Now lockdown has ended and life’s getting back to some sort of normality, there's plenty of optimism out there. And I know we’re all looking forward to the promise of new adventures and experiences.
But I’ve also been reflecting on our COVID experience, its many challenges – isolation, illness, hardship – and the many restrictions that limited our ability to move and explore. And like any good creative will tell you, restrictions are often the catalyst for unexpected discoveries.
I’ve lived in my inner-city suburb for over 10 years, but it was only when I was restricted to my 5km radius that I started to discover hidden gems around me. A hidden little forest down a gully with a small turtle pond; secret alleyways full of striking street art; harbourside walks that feel like you’re a world away from the city. It made me realise if we pause and look a bit harder, there’s so much more on our doorstep than we realise. And I’m sure many of us discovered new hobbies or found joys with family despite the restrictions.
The same goes in Marketing. We’re always looking the next new thing, but often most of the opportunity is right in front of us – hiding in plain sight. It got me thinking about where to find opportunities in what we’re already doing without looking for absolute change.
Why We Need to Take a Step Back
We can often be guilty of rushing to get new programs out, then moving on to the next big strategic priority (or the next thing that’s on fire). However, this is an issue for two related reasons:
Performance will decay over time: factors like comms wear out and customer database fatigue, can mean activity and journeys get less and less effective without ongoing monitoring and management.
Potential optimisation gains left on the table: getting a program live is great, but the work doesn’t end there. If you’re not running ongoing A/B or multivariate tests, you’re leaving performance gains on the table and missing out on insights that can help future activity. We’ve seen conversion rates increase by as much as 40% thanks to relatively simple webpage tweaks, for example.
This is true of media, creative, customer journeys, customer experience, web design, or just about anything else. And these factors mean that often, relatively large improvements in performance can be achieved with relatively low time investments. Here’s two main ways we tackle this.
Activity Review and Testing Plan
Getting a picture of exactly how many people move through the funnel and where they drop off is an excellent way to understand where you could get extra performance. Spend some time going over the activity you’ve got in market and getting an idea of the numbers of people who progress through each stage. If you do find a step in the customer journey with a surprisingly large percentage drop-off, that’s where to focus. Usually, a short testing program is enough to see significant performance improvements.
Digging Into Your Data
Often, we have pockets of value we’re sitting on without even realising it (just like my hidden forest). For a business, this value can be found in the data you hold that you haven’t utilised to improve the customer or brand experience. In this situation, a data audit might be useful. At AFFINITY, we use these to quickly understand:
- What customer data exists – is there purchase data that can identify segments that frequently buy certain products, or always buy the same product?
- What else is there – are there other data sets, like weather, that you can access to predict customer demand and respond to it in real time?
- How it might otherwise be used – Is there customer survey data that could be used to turn satisfied customers into advocates by leaving reviews and the like?
From here, you can start to look at data-driven comms strategies, or delve into more advanced techniques like propensity modelling, segmentation, or sales prediction to help rapidly advance your marketing activity.
AFFINITY works with brands to find opportunities for growth and deliver business-transforming outcomes. Get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org – I’d love to work with you to find any hidden value in your business.
Better input always leads to greater outcomes
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