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Let's Bring Unsexy Back

When it comes to digital, marketers love marketing the sexy stuff. But often it's the unsexy back end bits that show up with the cash.

Conversion Rate Optimization


You know in Romy and Michele's High School Reunion (yeah, I went there) when Alan Cumming shows up and everyone falls over themselves with "Oh, that kid we teased mercilessly for following Michele around with a book is actually more clever than all of us combined, despite our incredible sense of 80s style!"

That's how I often feel about marketing. There's a real propensity to find love for the sizzle reel, the shiny objects, the jazz hands, the super cool look... and act like that's going to have a major impact on business. Don't get me wrong: I have a huge soft spot for great brand work, and don't believe you can deliver anything but commodity-based blahness without exceptional brand thinking... but that's just one piece of the conversion puzzle.
Here's the thing: too many businesses are spending too much on the awareness-driving type activity (see: followers, fans, collabs) and insufficiently on revenue-driving activity (see: conversion rate optimization, search, content). I cannot tell you how many times I've watched a business owner start digging into the reporting in their own ecommerce systems, only to discover that the stuff they spend the most time obsessing over delivers negligible dollars and the boring, lame, unsexy stuff is actually converting like crazy without getting a bit of attention. So what would happen if you shifted your priorities, even just a little?
I'm gonna tell you one thing: you work the unsexy stuff. The unsexy stuff isn't abandoning you on prom night. The unsexy stuff is going to show up in a helicopter and knock your socks off.
You need to assess not only your conversion rate by channel, but your return on spend. You accept that business isn't built overnight (no matter what those Facebook-set-it-and-forget-it new-age-Ron-Popeil shills are saying). You design an intentional retail and merchandising journey, just as you would in a bricks-and-mortar context. You are selective and strategic about the language you use. You start thinking: Is my join-our-list offer compelling enough to drive conversion? What percentage of visitors are adding to cart - and how do we increase that? Why are they dropping off before checkout? What are the barriers that are preventing them from submitting and how do we remove them?
You design your top-to-tail experience for conversion.
And then? You optimize for the rest of eternity.

So are you feeling me? Let's bring unsexy back.

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