Join AdStage & Hanapin for a Webinar on Thursday, June 15th at 1:00 pm EST
You might have your blinders narrowed in on the lead, but it’s time to take a step back. Arguably more important than the conversion itself is the entire conversion journey. When you take a look beyond the conversion, both before and after, this perspective can open up your eyes to the patterns that occur, and help you tie your conversions back to revenue.
We’re teaming up with Hanapin’s Cassie Oumedian to show you how to take your conversions to the next level with actionable tips on tracking them all the way through the full funnel.
In this webinar you’ll learn:
- The best way to map out your conversion journey
- How to analyze and fully understand the click to conversion window
- The importance of different types of conversions and how to earn them in different stages of the funnel
Machine Learning Marketing Report
Machine learning. Is there anything marketers are more excited about right now? While machine learning marketing applications are still a rarity for businesses outside of the enterprise level, the folks over at Executive Consensus (EC) think that’s going to change in a big way over the next few years.
In their latest expert consensus, Machine Learning in Marketing – Expert Consensus of 51 Executives and Startups, they polled executives at more than 50 companies, specializing in the fields of both AI and marketing. Their goal was to “determine the applications of machine learning and AI that are driving strong business value now, as well as the applications that would make the biggest difference in the next five years.”
Most of the companies surveyed were small, with 70% clocking in at fewer than 50 employees, and primary company revenues between $0-$500k and $1-$5M. The main products and services these companies offer are analytics (26%) and targeting/segmentation (24%). And entry level price points for most respondents are under $999 (41%) or between $1k-$5k (27%).
EC also identified the primary business goals of participating companies. “Generating new revenue,” “retaining existing customers,” and “acquiring new customers” were the top three goals, leading EC to presume that that the participating companies were targeting marketing departments within their client companies. Additionally, 80% of sample companies focus on eCommerce and retail verticals, while 60% focus on online and social media companies.
Selling AI and Machine Learning
When asked about the challenges of selling AI marketing tech, respondents identified “demystifying the technology” as the biggest hurdle, garnering it almost as many responses as the next three challenges combined. “Low data quality” and “attribution is difficult” rounded out the top three here.
While EC acknowledged that “it’s hard to explain” could be viewed as an excuse for underdeveloped sales or marketing skill sets, they pointed out that AI is still viewed as something for “early adopters” and that explaining such advanced technologies is challenging for even the most experienced salespeople and marketers. As AI continues to grow in popularity and use, however, EC sees these conversations getting easier and less intimidating.
Current and Five-Year ROI
So what does the current and five-year ROI forecast look like? EC’s sample companies posture that the areas of opportunity for AI in marketing will not shift much. eCommerce and online/social media verticals maintained the top two spots, with direct-to-consumer industries benefiting the most from AI marketing.
When it comes to which businesses have the most potential for value with AI in marketing, digital media and eCommerce companies came in first, with SaaS and social media businesses closing in on third place. EC guesses that the latter two rank lower because “such businesses are less common than the first two.” Anyone can create an ad-driven site or an eCommerce store, but few people can do it successfully.
The research sample also showed a clear leaning towards businesses that “‘live and die’ quantifiable digital interactions.” Specifically those with the kind of data that can train machine learning models and improve performance over time. B2B physical businesses and service firms also ranked low, as they have much less quantifiable transaction data and their sales rely heavily on client interactions.
When it comes to current profit potential in AI marketing applications, “search” was voted the most profitable. And, interestingly enough, in a content-driven climate “segmentation/targeting” outranked “content generation” significantly in profit potential, though EC chalks this up to the fact that more of their sample companies were working on the former.
So what did the respondents think about the five-year profit potential of AI marketing applications? I thought you’d never ask. The responses for this section aligned with the value propositions given by the respondent companies. “Recommendation/personalization” took top honors, and ranked highly as a core value proposition.
However, while “analytics” was the number one value proposition reported, analytics-related apps like “decision support” and “forecasting” didn’t make their way onto the data chart. EC guesses that this is because the companies they surveyed are developing analytics technologies specific to their needs.
When Will Machine Learning Be a Crucial Part of Every Business?
Finally, the sample companies made their adoption predictions on when AI/ML would be necessary additions to companies of all sizes and verticals. 2020 was the year that 17 respondents chose for universal integration. Only time will tell, but until then, the results of this survey would encourage us all to brush up on emerging trends, adoption, and inevitable global takeover of machine learning.
How do you determine how well you’re doing at something? By comparing. Whether it’s taking a look at historical performance, projections, or the competition, measuring one set of numbers against another is the most efficient way to find out if you’re pulling out in front, or need to revise your plan.
When it comes to conversion rates for landing pages, there’s a lot of information and available data with which to make comparisons, but it’s nowhere near apples to apples if you run a marketing company and the conversion rate data you have is from a travel company.
2017 Conversion Rates Broken Down by Industry
Unbounce, which helps you build custom landing pages and overlays to increase conversions, released a conversion benchmark report across multiple industries. Hallelujah!
They calculated median and best conversion rates by analyzing the behavior of over 74 million visitors to 64,000+ lead generation landing pages over the last quarter. They categorized pages into ten industries:
- Real Estate
- Business Consulting
- Business Services
- Credit & Lending
- Higher Education
- Home Improvement
- Vocational Studies & Job Training
While all the information surfaced in the report is interesting, like the fact travel, credit & lending, business consulting and vocational studies & job training are best at lead gen with conversion rates over 12%, we’ll focus on what’s most relevant to the Adstage audience: business services.
How Business Services Marketers Stack Up
Drumroll, please! First, we’ll start at the low end of what Unbounce’s investigating turned up. According to their data, 36.6% of marketers in Business Services have at least one page that converts at less than 1.4%, putting them in the 25th percentile.
On the superstar end of the spectrum, if your landing page has a conversion rate above 13%, you’re performing better than 90% of your competitors.
Don’t fret if you’re falling below the mark, later in this post we’ll cover recommendations for increasing conversion rates.
The Importance of Vertical-Specific Comparison
The beauty of Unbounce’s report is that it gives an in-depth look into numbers per vertical. This is hugely important in getting data that’s actually useful and relevant to your own business.
To understand how drastically numbers can vary between verticals, take a look at the graphs below, which show the results for landing pages for business services and business consulting.
While both in the B2B space, a top landing page conversion rate for consulting is over 21%. It would be unfair (and maybe impossible) for a business services marketer to try to hit that rate when the reality is that most companies in that industry should set their sights at almost half that, at 13%.
Recommendations To Increase Landing Page Conversions
If your numbers are lower than you’d like, or you want to push your pages into the 90th percentile, Unbounce has some tips on adjusting copy:
- Be concise. Their study found pages with fewer than 100 words convert 50% better than pages with 500+ words.
- Establish trust. Unbounce suggests if more than 8% of your language implies trust, you could see some improvement in your conversion rates.
Also check out our post on boosting PPC landing page conversions for more ideas to test out on your pages.
Download the full report to see data for other industries, highlighted differences between verticals, and the methodology used to collect data.