digimark

AB Testing

“Why is Digital Marketing so fantastic? Because everything is trackable and since everything is trackable, everything is also testable. Basically, you never have an excuse to have a crappy landing page, or email campaign or banner ad because of A/B testing.”

– Mark Staton

So what is A/B Testing? According to Optimizely A/B Testing: is a simple way to test changes to your page against the current design and determine which ones produce positive results. It is a method to validate that any new design or change to an element on your webpage is improving your conversion rate before you make that change to your site code.” To perform an A/B test, Smashing Magazine’s Ultimate Guide To A/B Testing explains it as” [having] two versions of an element (A and B) and a metric that defines success. To determine which version is better, you subject both versions to experimentation simultaneously. In the end, you measure which version was more successful and select that version for real-world use.” The overall main point of AB testing is to gain insight with the goal of increasing conversion

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The A/B Testing Process:

  • Decide your goal – what are you testing?
  • Select a tool for the job – you can set up A/B tests in two ways
    • Replace the element to be tested before the page loads
    • Redirect to another page
  • Set a conversion goal – using code (e.g. javascript) you can program what characterizes a successful test for a visitor, and track the success rates, like reaching a “Thank you” page after making a purchase.

Do’s and Don’s of A/B Testing

Do:

  • Make sure that you understand how long you should run your tests – If you end a test prematurely, your test will have been a waste of time and will have potentially lost very insightful and valuable information.
  • Be consistent on which visitors see what. Preventing bundlers (showing a user a different price or different promotional offer) can be done with your tool – using a mechanism or algorithm that keeps track of which visitors have been exposed to which variations.
  • Keep A/B test treatments consistent throughout your whole webpage. If testing the color of a sign-up button, make sure the color is changed not just on your landing page, but across all your pages.
  • Frequently perform A/B tests. The more tests you perform, the better your website will be!
  • Treatment Rampup: instead of splitting up your testing 50/50 between your users, gradually implement your treatment on your test market (e.g. 99.9%/0.1% to 99.5%/.05% to 97.5%/2.5% etc.) This avoids introducing potentially bad problems to a larger audience. 

Don’t:

  • Always test your variation and control at the same time – there can be extraneous factors that happen one week that don’t happen the next, which can affect results.
  • Don’t jump to conclusions – “Statistical confidence” tests determine the significance of test results, telling you if they are important or not.
  • Don’t take regular visitors off guard – test new visitors to avoid confusing your returning visitors.
  • Don’t let emotions overrule test results – sometimes the results aren’t what was expected, but remember that you are testing for improved conversion rates not aesthetics.

So why use A/B testing? A/B testing considers affects on traffic. It shows what works best with your customers with quantifiable data. This allows you to optimize and personalize your website, making it about your customers, making you more likely to succeed.

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No one loves Google more than Google: Google+ the New Network

Google Plus, you might have heard about it, but like many people still might know what it actually is… Well what is it? Google Plus is a social media platform that extends past the social network itself, also connecting all of Google’s properties. You no longer need an invite to join, but you’re probably thinking that it’s just another social network. You’re already on Facebook and Twitter, so why would you need to have yet another social media account?

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According to Social Media Today, Google Plus is “arguable the most important social network for businesses and marketers and should be integral to content-focused SEO strategy.” Google Plus is important for businesses because it can increase their online presence. In an article on Forbes, Linda Sherman, a consultant and former CEO of ClubMed Japan made this statement about Google Plus, “people who are ignoring it are falling behindGoogle Plus can give you access to influencers who might not notice you elsewhere…There is a nice spirit of camaraderie that people seldom feel with well-established platforms.” You might not be on Google Plus, but your customers still are. 

“No one loves Google more than Google.” Having a Google Plus account can help you be searched on Google. It can build your audience, help you make connections and increase your ranking.

Reasons to be on Google Plus:

  • Integrated Content – Google+ makes it easy to share content across all of Googles platforms (Gmail, Maps, Chrome, Google Play and YouTube)
  • +1 button – If Google Plus was Facebook, the ‘+1’ button would be the same as the ‘like’ button. This is good for SEO rankings for a business. The more +1’s a page has, the more popular the page is and the higher the page ranks
  • Google Circles – This feature allows users to categorize who they are following and their followers, which makes it easier to target messages to corresponding or relevant audiences. Circle examples are “Friends,” “Family,” “Work,” and “Local Businesses.” Extended circles allows friends of friends to see your shared content; again, extending your visibility and reach.
  • Google Authorship – Google Authorship links your Google Plus profile to the content you create. The more you share the more visibility you get, resulting with a better ranking.
  • Hangouts – are essentially group chats through text or video, allowing communication with a maximum of 10 people at once. A Hangout on Air is a broadcasted hangout that can be seen during or after the hangout. This is beneficial for promotions through email and Youtube.
  • Communities – are chat forums on specific topics, products or services that are created by brands or individuals to converse and share information. Communities are good for relationship management, getting leads, building authority, creating brand awareness, and getting customer feedback.
  • Events – Google Plus events are similar to Facebook events, easy to share and create, but they are more interactive. Users on other Google properties can easily transfer events to calendars and emails on Gmail and Google Calendar.
  • Business Pages and Places – these help Google find your page and share your information such as, store hours, location, phone number, also providing a Google map. These are important features of Google Plus because “97% of consumers search for local businesses online.”
  • Insights – are statistics for your page traffic. For example, number of views and in what area, number of interactions, and what activity worked. This is really important for businesses because it gives them feedback on their content, which allows them to alter future content to help them build authority and their audience.

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Social Media Today offers some tips to optimize your Google+ usage:

  • Be Visual – post engaging content, adding pictures and videos
  • Start a Community – can promote users to promote knowledge, and share interests and your brand, as well as get customer feedback
  • Set up Google Authorship – is a very important rank signal, and can increase rank in organic search
  • Share content from a range of sources – posting and sharing adjacent content, other or related content  that your customers would look at, builds your authority
  • Make the most of your profile – be sure to include all your business information (including your other social media networks) on your About page on your profile and use intriguing images to captivate users attention.
  • Improve the images you post – images are a good attention getters, and Google Plus offers image editing options

It is important for businesses to have an established online presence in today’s technologically integrated society. Being on as many social media platforms you can, and posting valuable and engaging content increases your visibility. Google Plus is an important growing social network to have a presence on in order to build relationships, your authority and your brand. If you don’t have an account now, you need to make one! www.google.com/+

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If you didn’t post it, it didn’t happen… #DigiMark2pt3 #FirstPost

MARI SETIJONO — born and raised in the greater Seattle area, I am grateful to call the Pacific Northwest my home. Currently a senior at Western Washington University, I am working on obtaining my Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration with a focus in marketing and a minor in communication. Can I stay in college forever? Just kidding, get me out of here… (just not back to my parents’ house)

This quarter I am enrolled in Digital Marketing, with Mark Staton, PhD. I am stoked to be taking this class; I have heard nothing but great things about it! Last year I had Staton as a professor for Principles of Marketing and he undoubtably was one of my favorite professors, which is also the primary reason why I wanted to take this class. His teaching style really appealed to my learning style, and with his use of case studies and examples he made everything applicable to “real life.”

In today’s and age, media is immensely integrated into our lives. To the point where “six out of every seven people in the world have Internet access,” according to Google’s Squared Online’s 2013 infographics on social media engagement. How dependent people, myself included, are on the Internet is almost frightening. “If you didn’t post it, it didn’t happen.” Hashtag, hashtag hashtag. People’s lives are exploited on the internet. Stalking people on the internet through social media is a daily occurring, nonchalant thing. What did you do for spring break? Oh wait, why did I ask? I already saw it all online.

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There are massive amounts of information that can be derived from Internet usage, and through analysis of web searches, key words, transactions, etcetera,  companies can learn or predict almost anything. For example, Target predicting pregnancies. Kind of creepy, huh? But brilliant! Which is also what makes this so interesting!

Because of this, I am really looking forward to learning more about digital marketing. More specifically, obtaining the technical skills, becoming Google Analytics Certified. This is also exciting because it was heavily talked about in Principles of Marketing.

With this rate of data analysis, look at what ordering pizza has the potential to be like!


Article: Knowledge and Skill Requirements for Marketing Jobs in the 21st Century

Through the analyzation of five different metropolitan areas, Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and Seattle, this article differentiates skill and knowledge requirements for entry-, lower-, middle-, and upper-level marketing jobs. This deemed to be a very insightful article, because I and I’m sure many of my fellow classmates are nearing graduation.

An overall summary of the research findings were that advanced technical skills were a high requirement for all levels of jobs. It was interesting to learn that many of the skills necessary were not in the “marketing curriculum.” This also made me grateful for Western’s marketing program because I have learned about the importance of search engine optimization, pay-per-click and analytics — and am really hoping to expand that knowledge through this class. Marketing is not just advertisements, there is a lot more behind it. Where does market research come from? Analyzing data and behaviors.

This brings me back to the Target article. Through the use of analytics, they can predict consumers’ buying behaviors, and also analyze the company’s behaviors as well. With such information, marketers can distinguish purchase patterns and consumer’s purchase processes in order to predict future needs. It was very interesting to read that during pregnancy is the perfect time to try sway consumers out of their habits. You can learn almost anything about people through the analyzation of information. Having a technical skill set can really distinguish one in the job market.


Article: Forrester Interactive Marketing Forecast 2011 to 2016

Interactive marketing such as, social media, mobile and email marketing, online video, SEO (search engine optimization), and PPC (pay-per-click) are becoming the major player in advertising in comparison to traditional marketing tactics through mediums such as, television, direct mail, magazines, radio, newspapers and telemarketing. The article states that in 2016, it is predicted that $77 billion dollars will be spend on interactive marketing in the United States, which leads to be 35% of all advertisement spending.

This further shows how integrated different forms of media are in our lives. Referencing back to Squared Online’s infographics, an average of 5.2 hours are spend on social media globally. I’m also in a Communication Media Studies class, and we had an ice breaker to get to know the rest of class, by asking each other about our media involvement. Not a single person in the classroom grew up without a TV, and not one person didn’t have any social media platform. The majority of the class consumed more than three hours of social media per day.

I really enjoyed the statistics this article provided. It was dense with information, but the numbers and graphs really put the importance of interactive marketing into perspective. The importance of interactive marketing for a business is crucial. Companies need to have an online presence.

It is interesting to think how much goes into a good website, or good ads. When using Google, people generally don’t think about how the top search results get there, but most web-surfers would agree that the top results are always the cream of the crop. And then you learn that it was all on purpose, it was planned. It is a strategy. Either someone paid for the the ranking, or added some special words into their website for it to show up more. It’s almost as if it’s a crazy mind game. (Marketing is so cool)

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Article: State of Digital Marketing Talent

The gist of this article under my interpretation was basically “You are what you eat.” The  marketing industry is what it is made up of. Listed I have summarized the seven main findings of digital marketing talent discussed through this article in my own words:

1. There’s a digital marketing talent gap – Employee’s do not live up to employer’s expectations in all skill areas.

2. Employees are lacking necessary skills – Technical skills are important skills to have in the Marketing field. More specifically, knowledge of analytics, mobile marketing, and  marketing automation are needed.

3. It’s about who you know – With a large talent gap, it is deemed a hard task to differentiate between employee candidates. References will get you jobs.

4. Inadequate employee training leads to miss opportunities – Without established programs, organizations investments through their employees don’t result with substantial returns or benefits.

5. Inconsistency throughout an organization hinders the business as a whole – Because there are no industry-wide standards, businesses need to be clear and consistent through their expectations and requirements for employees, and their assessment criteria on these expectation and requirements. There needs to be a mutual understanding on clear and concise goals.

6. Have a good attitude – You get what you earn. Not everything is handed to you, and if you work hard, and are open minded it will eventually (hopefully) pay off.

7. Digital education programs need to be implemented for marketing students – the talent gap needs to bridged. What is taught in school should be applicable to real life.

After reading this article, I was sure happy I am enrolled in Western’s Marketing program! College is increasingly getting more expensive, with the goal of obtaining knowledge and skills that will (or at least should) help me in life. The main point of this article was that there is inadequate talent. Whether it be graduate students who didn’t learn the skills, or the organization isn’t teaching the skills,  there are skills lacking.

To tie all three articles together, digital marketing is the new “thing.” And more importantly the technical skills that contribute to digital marketing are crucial for the industry.

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