Maybe I’m biased, but I see conversion optimization as the epitome of the new marketing: an agile blend of analytical experimentation, creative content, engaging user experiences, and performance metrics. Those principles are applicable in almost every corner of the marketing department these days.
With that in mind, I’d like to share with you two “big picture” stories about the evolution of marketing that reveal just how valuable a conversion optimization worldview has become.
The Marketing Technology Landscape
First, there’s the marketing technology infographic that I published on my blog last week, an attempt to capture the enormous breadth of software applications being leveraged in the marketing department today:
It contains 41 categories of marketing technologies with over 250 representative companies and products. I grouped these into three meta-categories — the orange, blue, and green boxes that represent external promotion, customer experience, and internal marketing management respectively.
Conversion optimization professionals have two boxes of their own right in the center, Landing Pages & Microsites and Web Testing & Optimization. The former is focused primarily on content creation and deployment, while the latter is more about MVT and A/B testing.
Disclosure: I included my company, ion interactive, in both of these categories. I strived to provide a fair sampling of our competitors — some of whom are in other categories, such as Adobe in Integrated Suites — but this chart is admittedly far from exhaustive.
Of course, if you’ve been working on conversion optimization, you’ve almost certainly been deeply involved in many of these other categories: the core website, e-commerce, web analytics, SEO tools, creative tools, customer analytics, call tracking. And that’s a big plus.
Conversion-oriented marketers are particularly adept at seeing up and down the funnel — roughly left to right in this graphic — from ad management and social media marketing through to marketing automation, email marketing and your CRM. After all, conversion optimization is often a mission to provide continuity, connecting the dots along a series of touchpoints that our audience has with us.
It’s this multi-disciplinary, cross-category experience that makes conversion optimization folks typically comfortable working across the gamut of all these marketing technologies. It’s a pragmatic intersection of creative vision and technical implementation.
That positions conversion-oriented marketers who are likely to have had measurable success working within this ecosystem, for greater leadership in the evolving marketing organization.
The Zero Moment Of Truth
The other “big picture” story is presented in Jim Lecinski’s book, ZMOT: Winning the Zero Moment of Truth. Published by Google and distributed for free, it passionately describes the new reality of marketing where consumers are always connected, both to each other and to huge repositories of information on potential purchases.
Procter & Gamble’s former CEO A.G. Lafley popularized the First Moment of Truth (FMOT), when a consumer looks at a shelf of products in the store and decides which brand to buy, and the Second Moment of Truth (SMOT), when that consumer actually uses the brand at home and decides if they like it or not.
Google makes that point that there is now a new Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT), where consumers explore and examine products and providers online — leveraging search and social media channels — to identify what’s most interesting to them before they ever go to the store. And this new ZMOT applies equally to B2B and considered purchases as it does to the consumer packaged goods where the FMOT was born.
Every touchpoint that a prospect has with you online contributes to their ZMOT decision.
An obvious example is when someone searches on a keyword, chooses to click your ad, and views your landing page. Their impression of you from that experience will impact their choices moving forward.
Conversion optimization is therefore critical in winning the ZMOT. Thinking of it this way frames the mission more broadly too — it’s not just about converting a visitor with one specific action in one particular context, but ultimately persuading them across a bevy of touchpoints for the duration of their ZMOT deliberation. It’s customer experience management writ large, from the earliest moments of contact onward.
In fact, when you step back and view the ZMOT as emerging from the sum of all these digital interactions around your brand, you realize that the marketing technology landscape we discussed at the start is what enables and empowers your ZMOT strategy and tactics.
From both perspectives, conversion-oriented marketers are poised to take the lead.
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.