Want to jump-start Q1 with a highly effective, yet lean marketing plan? Insights critical to accelerating your bottom line are available at your fingertips, and getting started does not require a huge budget.
Apply this three-pronged approach incorporating input from internal and external sources, such as revenue trends, customer needs, and peer insights, to develop a comprehensive strategy for the New Year.
Leverage Deep Data to Intimately Understand What Drives Your Revenue
Whether using Google Analytics or SQL queries against your internal data warehouse, harvest the numbers and dive deep. How does performance vary by seasonality, customer profile, product type, and channel? How do your customer segments behave when offered a discount or free shipping? How important is mobile and what is the trend? Understanding what drives your revenue—and where you can improve—enables you to make informed marketing decisions. Once you have a handle on revenue drivers and trends, encourage affiliate partners to strategically focus their efforts on such. Maybe you want affiliates to target new female customers in Q4, for example, as the data indicates that this segment will have the highest loyalty rate with the greatest per-cart purchases over time. How would this affect your affiliates’ verbiage, landing pages, and targeted keywords? This brings us to the second prong—tapping into your front line resources.
View the Marketing Landscape Through the Eyes of Your Affiliate Sales Team
What do your affiliate partners need to succeed? What promotions (or permissions), tools, or content would help them promote your products? Reach out and ask them. Identify the affiliate strategies that most effectively produce your desired activity (e.g., drawing in new customers versus increasing return customers) and arm affiliates with the tools they need to implement those strategies. Maybe this means opening up trademark plus search rights, or simply providing affiliates with a list of high converting keywords by season and referrer. Perhaps an exclusive coupon code or vanity coupon will open the door to a previously obstructed marketing channel.
Take it one step further while you have your affiliate partner on the phone. Inquire about the needs and desires of their visitors—your potential audience. What resonates? Do any of your affiliates maintain customer reviews? If so, learn how people are using your products or services and where you can improve.
Attend industry conferences, meetups, and events—step outside of your box and evolve your perspective. You will uncover questions you did not even know to ask and a variety of approaches on how to address them. Assess how your marketing efforts measure up firsthand in the competitive environment and stay on top of emerging trends.
Talk to other retailers learning through trial and error in the affiliate channel. What tools and resources do they find most effective? Attend an Affiliate Summit—there are sure to be sessions directly addressing your top struggles, questions, and concerns. It is also the ideal environment for connecting with new and existing partners.