digital marketing

Financial Modelling for Subscriptions

CoverI’ve just uploaded a small job for Dovetail Services, a beginner’s guide to putting together financial models for subscriptions. So if you’re at a loss when your marketing team go on about LTV, CPA and ROI, or when your finance manager wants to know what the impact of raising the subs price by 10% might be, this will be the place to start.

You can read it online here, or download the all-singing, all-dancing PDF version by clicking here and giving your email address to the nice people at Dovetail.

And if you’re still baffled by the numbers, you can always draft me in to put a budget together for you (I’ve done quite a few of those in the past year), or to run various projections based on your current numbers. Just drop me a line here.



A different perspective

A chat last week with the Head of Data at a big media company. He’s got somewhere north of 11 million individuals on his files and he and his (growing) team spend their days slicing and dicing this database to provide insights into customer behaviour and promotional data for marketers.

He was very complimentary about the marketing people he worked with. They ask intelligent questions, they make appropriate data selections based on propensity to buy, likelihood of repeat purchase, probable AOV and so on, and are as interested in the minutiae of the results as his analysts.

What he thinks they do wrong though, is look at things through the wrong end of the telescope; they start with what they’re selling and focus on the likely market for their product – “find me customers for product x”. What they should do is use the data to tell them what their products should be – “what will sell to more of our 11 million people”.

That’s something so obviously true that I feel pretty dumb that I hadn’t thought of it before.

Mobile optimisation – a couple of useful links

A project for a client on the potential a mobile optimised site might give their ecommerce efforts. For desktop traffic their site is achieving vertigo-inducing conversion rates, but it isn’t either responsive or adaptive (difference here) so phones and tablets convert relatively poorly.

Making the business case for mobile is something most of us have to grapple with – we know it’s a no-brainer, but finding hard figures that support the investment is more problematic. So that meant a lot of googling and a lot of online reading (isn’t the interweb just marvellous) and some sources you might find useful.

Econsultancy (as always) has tons of good stuff, including this piece that compares (anonymous) retailer data across three sectors and shows that not only do conversion rates go up on optimised sites, but the average order value increases too; customers seem to browse more and therefore buy more. These findings are backed up by this blog post from a company called Storm who, slightly disappointingly, only sell packaging supplies. (I mean, come on, calling yourselves Storm implies sound and fury, not cardboard boxes.)

Then in this useful post from Smart Insights about conversion rates, I found this excellent link to the Monetate Ecommerce Quarterly (you can download it here). These guys have benchmarked conversion rates, segmented by devices for large US ecommerce brands. There is a great deal of relevant stuff in there, including figures on the growth of mobile/tablet traffic (“One out of every three visits to leading ecommerce websites now comes from either a tablet or smartphone—up from one out of five just last year“) as well as lots of rather useful data and charts. By going back through the past Monetate reports one can see how the conversion rates have changed over the past three to four years. Basically, traffic through mobile converts at around 30% of desktop, and tablet traffic at around 80%. Both these figures have drifted down slightly from three years ago.

So, have a look in analytics and see how your traffic is converting. If it’s more than these benchmarks pat yourself on the back; if it’s less, then that’s your opportunity.

The absolutely cast-iron secret for guaranteed digital marketing success

An interview last week, that I hadn’t realised was going to be an interview (“pop over for a chat” they said), so I went a bit underprepared and was too hesitant in my answers.

It was for a newspaper who wanted someone to come in for a short contract and shake up their digital marketing. It should have been right up my street, but I didn’t get the gig and, talking to the friend who was in on the meeting, the main reason was that I didn’t offer the circulation director a “magic bullet” that would immediately transform their activity and rocket power their sales. (more…)