Are You Falling Behind in Your Online Marketing?

With recent increases in postage and paper costs, many B-to-B catalogers are pushing harder and deeper into the online marketing frontier. It’s amazing to see many of the new technological innovations in online marketing (e.g., video, webcasts, podcasts and Google search changes, among others), the improvement in performance metrics and measurement, and good, old direct marketing creativity that we all know and love! The question is: Where are you on the learning curve? Where are you on delivering online results?

Today, if you’re not receiving more than half of your B-to-B orders online, with few exceptions, you’re performing below average. Also, if you’re not finding more than a third of your new customers online, you’re performing below average. When I say finding a third of your new customers, I mean you’re finding and acquiring those names with no help from any offline marketing activity. In fact, you may be taking 40 percent to 45 percent of your first orders online — but a portion of those are driven by your catalog or some other offline marketing activity. You should be getting a third or more of your new customers from online-only marketing activities, such as search engine marketing, pay per click (PPC), affiliates, feeds and others. So, how are you doing?

Look in Your Online Mirror and Ask Yourself …
Consider these six questions when examining the effectiveness of your online marketing programs.
1. How are your sources of site visitors (search engine optimization, PPC, affiliates, e-mails, feeds) performing on dollar spend per dollar of sales generated?
2. How’s your site ranking on your top 50 products and/or keywords?
3. What are the net sales, average order value, median order value, units per order and lines per order of your online customers by online source?
4. What’s the near-term (one year to three years) value of new customers acquired by online sources?
5. Is your online close rate (i.e., unique site visitors divided by online orders) improving? If not, your site functionality needs work!
6. What’s your retention rate of new online customers by online source?

These are just a few of the basic issues to examine if your online performance is subpar. Take quick action if you’re in the bottom quadrant of online performance, because that’s a vulnerable spot to be. If you don’t have the staff in-house to manage the many online marketing issues that arise, there are many worthwhile online marketing resources available to you.

Terence Jukes is president of B2B Direct Marketing Intelligence LLC, a strategic B2B direct marketing consultancy based in Fort Lauderdale, Fl., that services clients in the U.S., Canada, France, the U.K. and Germany. You can reach him at tjukes@b2bdmi.com or (954) 383-5221 (direct line).

Terence Jukes is president of B2B Direct Marketing Intelligence LLC, a strategic B2B direct marketing consultancy based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., that services B2B catalog company clients in the U.S., Canada, France, the U.K. and Germany. You can reach him at tjukes @ b2bdmi.com or (954) 383-5221

Comments or questions are welcome.

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