In our digital era, the cash required to fuel growth is often linked to the Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO). In other words, the sooner a visitor to a website becomes a customer, the sooner a business gets paid.
Depending on the nature of the business itself, the CRO is closely coupled with an important metric, the Cash Conversion Cycle (CCC).
“The CCC measures how fast a company can convert cash on hand into inventory and accounts payable, through sales and accounts receivable, and then back into cash. – Investopedia.com”
The relationship between the CRO and CCC can be especially vital in the case of retail e-commerce and other B2C or B2B businesses that depend primarily on the internet to drive sales.
In this context, the ability to focus the marketing department on rapid CRO improvements is often essential to ensure business viability.
Here are 7 quick, high-level tips that a marketing leader can use to ensure that the marketing team brings a quick, renewed focus to CRO.
1. Stop saying ‘That’s how it is in our industry!’ or similar
While we’ve all heard of average conversion rates in our niches, let’s be open to the chance that these are not always applicable to our business situation at all times. After all, the objective is to improve the CRO for your unique business situation and not the whole industry.
In the age of disruptive technologies, things can change. Fast.
2. Prepare to be anal about your daily conversion reports
As a marketing leader, you often focus on the big picture. But CRO improvements require you to dig deep and narrow.
See what has changed in the past 24 hours. And why; Was it the messaging? The day of the week? The time of day? Something else you were not looking at before?
Chart the changes against specific marketing channels and corresponding expenses. Do this for a week or so to see how the conversions flow on a daily basis. You will learn a lot about your prospects’ conversion behaviors when you do this.
3. Identify your agile A players
Identify the digital channels that are performing the best and are amenable to immediate returns on efforts.
For example, allocating more dollars to your highly converting Facebook Ads, or a specific AdWords group may bring you higher conversions in the short term. So you’re better off focusing on these ‘quick turn-round levers’ than longer gestation SEO tactics aimed at increasing specific keyword rankings.
4. Accelerate value on A player channels
Provide more value to prospects from the identified high performing channels, like providing these customers with additional helpful e-books, white-papers, and blog posts.
Align these value-adds with the customer purchase journey and intent, with the goal of nudging them closer to the purchase point.
5. Double on the correct prospect buckets
As your prospects progress from awareness > consideration > decision, they will have different needs in the context of your offering.
A prospect who is in the decision stage will find discounts/coupons and demo’s more helpful than a case-study which is more appropriate at the consideration stage.
If your goal is to bump up your CRO in days or weeks, obviously you need to focus on prospects who are in the decision and consideration buckets.
6. Revisit resource allocation
Allocate more resources to monitor and optimize the higher performing channels. Optimizing the conversion rates on individual channels can be very time consuming. Ensure that there are enough people handling this.
7. Understand why the lower performing channels are lagging
Perhaps your customers prefer to interact with you on LinkedIn than on Facebook. If the relative value of a channel is not commensurate with the effort deployed, it is time to delegate it to a secondary role in your customer acquisition pipeline for now.
When the business goal is to improve your CCC as quickly as possible, leave the optimization of lower performing channels for another day – unless vital prospect buckets, as discussed above, are well populated in those channels.
8. Dig deeper into your buyer persona’s interactions with your conversion cycle
Understand how each customer persona/segment flows through your conversion cycle and optimize each channel for those unique personas and against the prospect bucket.
None of the above mean that long-term digital marketing strategies should fall by the wayside. Rather, these tips are meant to help the marketing department quickly adapt to an immediate business goal like improving the CCC.
Once the CCC is healthier, we can pat ourselves on the back for the marketing department’s agility in responding to business needs and move on to bigger, broader challenges.