Want to see the answers to previous questions? Here’s the blog archive; the pre-blog newsletter archives are here.
Q: First off, I very much appreciate you sharing all this wonderful content on your blog and conferences such as eMetrics.
A: Thanks for that!
Q: My question is a simple one, but I think the answer may be hard: When does a visitor “need” a coupon? *Need* defined as: visitor would not have placed an order unless presented with the coupon.
A: Hmmm…methinks we’re going to have to define a few concepts and be clear on the goals to make sure we are nailing this down… visitor versus customer, sales versus profit, etc. In other words, answer is not hard, but could be complex without defining context.
Q: It’s still a mystery to me why so many retailers seem more than willing to hand over all their margins to Groupon or give coupons to basically all visitors. I am curious whether you would approach this question using observational data (eg web analytics) or experiments (eg AB testing), or both.
A: Right – is a mystery to me too!
There are certain situations where this approach might be appropriate, but the problem with much web “marketing” (which often is really just advertising without much thought about marketing) is often there is success in a narrow or special situation. Then the pundits jump on and say “if you’re not doing this you are stupid”, regardless of the business situation and / or without recognizing the special circumstances that are driving success. This is all the real Marketing stuff people leave out; understanding why it works, under what circumstances, for which segments, involving which products.
When you’re in the business of measuring the effects of Marketing programs, certain patterns begin expressing themselves over and over. One of the oldest in the contribution to success of various parts of a Marketing effort, sometimes called the 60-30-10 rule:
60 percent of success is determined by the audience quality
30 percent of success is determined by the offer
10 percent of success is determined by the creative
Where do these stats come from? Continuous improvement testing. Over the years, if you run a lot of different tests, you just begin to see this pattern. And the pattern holds across a very wide variety of business models – online and offline.
The key takeaway here: audience quality is the most important component of success in a results-oriented Marketing campaign. This is why the CPM’s for niche Magazines, for example, are so high. These Magazines are tremendously efficient marketing vehicles because they have high audience quality, which drives end behavior – results.
And the primary reason the audience quality is so high?
People pay for these Magazines. When people pay for something, they value it with more Attention. Why? Simple.
In a magazine like Hot Rod or Concrete Decor or Vogue, the percentage of content that is interesting to the niche audience is very high. In fact, the Advertising is viewed as content.
Smaller audience, very high quality. Ads work like gangbusters.
Clearly, there are other ways to run a media model. At the opposite end of the media spectrum, there is free.