Your customers are on multiple channels at different stages of their purchasing journey. Therefore, you should invest your ad spend on where the customers are. To read Cross Channel Marketing 101 click here.
Marketing on different channels
Understanding this journey will help you in developing marketing messages that are relevant to them at that stage of their journey.
This in turn will encourage them to move further down the purchasing journey. By understanding and measuring the roles each channel played in a conversion journey, allows you to focus investments on channels that played the biggest (not the last) role in conversion.
The first step is to understand the actual steps taken by a customer journeys for those who converted.
Here is a case study of Customers Journeys for an FMCG brand over one week. This shows the paths and the paid touch points, customers have taken. The chart shows the number of sales, the average length of the conversion path and the average sales order value.
|1: Search – Page – Display/retarget – Page – Conversion||x355||13 min||$132|
|2: Display – Page – Search – Page – Conversion||x176||8.4 hrs||$188|
|3: Native – Page – Display – Search – Page – Conversion||x82||3.7 days||$204|
Case 1 represents a consumer clicked on 2 search ads (ad words and shopping ads). It is clear that the customers had something in mind and were looking for a product. You would argue this opportunity is in mid-tier to lower sales funnel, and the search ad places the brand in front of the customer at the right time.
Case 2 is a customer who started the journey with a display ad. This may be a product ad on a news site or a shopping portal. This is followed by a search ad, triggered by a generic keyword. The conversion occurred 8 hours after the initial display. We also know that the journey started in the morning, on a mobile network. It is likely that the display ad generated interest whilst the customer was browsing for similar/related content.
As a comparison Case 3 journey started with a native ad. This journey involved some level of education, as it is a considered purchase. The brand has nurtured this opportunity from the very early stages, with repeated retargeting with display ads.
It is clear that the most popular customer journey starts with a search, followed by retargeting. The longest journeys are those who started with a native ad, which took on average 3.7 days to convert. This is not surprising, as any education content will take some time for it to work through the market.
This longer sales journey produced the highest conversion value. The average sale value of Case 3 (Native led) is $204, compared with Case 1 (Search led) is $132. However, Case 1 is still the most popular path, having 4X the number conversion as Case 3.
Balancing the ad budget
The marketing objective of the brand is for conversion, and they believe there are plenty of room for branded and non-branded keyword search. Therefore, directing more budget to Search will make more sense. However, a small percentage (say 10-20%) may still be spent on Native. This will potentially build the upper sales funnel and expose the brand to the group that convert at a higher value.
Have you set your channel budget based on solid data? Have you balanced your ad spend across channels?