What have I achieved this week: Week 48, 2012

Week 48This week I have been primarily focusing on the first assignment for my new distance learning course: CAM Diploma in Digital Marketing.

As an introduction to my course I was asked to complete 150 words in answer to the question “What is your favorite website”

My answer to this question is as follows:

Not an easy choice to make but my favorite website would have to be Google. It is the homepage on every internet enabled device I own.

From a personal perspective, it is an excellent tool for finding out information. It has a clear and obvious call to action which, time and time again, rapidly delivers useful information.

From a business perspective, I look at the search box and I see opportunity; opportunity to promote and opportunity to sell. Even as I write this, I have got the urge to “Google” a few of the keywords I am currently optimising my landing pages towards to see if my rankings have improved.

I love the idea that a complete stranger can find your website or services by carrying out a single search.

As you can see from my response, Google is my favorite website and with exception to my affiliate sites, the one I frequent the most. In the 2011 Ofcom report, statistics suggest that 79% of all UK internet users have visited Google. Other than the obvious social media networks, I cannot think of a common medium which connects so much of the population.

Customer Decision Journey

Another task which I am also carrying out is the creation of a customer decision journey. This one page visualisation aims to look at all of the decisions a customer faces when purchasing an item of some sort. For my assignment, I have chosen a hypothetical, online purchase of a television from Amazon. I am extremely familiar with Amazon and believe it to be one of the best examples of an online retailer there is, naturally it was the first thing I thought of and immediately ran with it.

Below is the visual I have produced thus far. I am constantly adding to this visual all the time as and when I think of new elements of the process. Apologies for the small display, a full size image can be found here.

Customer Decision Journey

Customer Decision Journey

The diagram is pretty easy to follow but I just want to point out a few key areas which I feel are well worth making a note of:

  • The entire process starts out as an offline transaction. No monetary exchange has taken place yet but the wheels have been set in motion through an offline decision. ( I am aware that the first part is in the online section, the diagram needs adjusting, it is not my final copy)
  • The purchase of a television is an expensive transaction. It is unlikely that the customer will make a purchase after visiting only one website. The process may involve in depth research and product familiarisation. The sites which may be visited during this step of  the process present an excellent opportunity to generate revenue through affiliation or advertising.
  • A substantial purchase, such as a TV will often include a physical visit to see the product. regardless of where the customer intends to buy the product, which will ultimately be based on price, they will want to see the product with their own eyes. What this enters in to the equation is thrid party vendors, and by doing so reduces your chance to make a sale as potential retailers increase. Over the last few years, UK retail has changed and the power has somewhat shifted to the customer; it is common place to ask any shop if they price match. If you are able to purchase a product for the cheapest amount you can find at any location of your choice, the deciding factor is no longer price but something different such as delivery options, warranty or incentives etc.
  • Assuming that Amazon was the place of purchase. The customer will be subject to the following events:
    • Before making your purchase, you will be directed to an area which displays related products. TV Stands and Surround sound systems for example. Amazon are one of the best I have seen at generating uplift sales.
    • You will also be required to create an account within Amazon so that you can continue your transaction. Doing so will place your details in to the Amazon machine and allow them to create future sales opportunities as they begin to send correspondence about hot deals, offers of the week and so on. Once again, Amazon are a great example of how to use list building to great effect.

It is pretty safe to say that we would all like to emulate the success of Amazon but the reality of the matter is that 99.99% of us will not even get close. What we can do though is analyse some of the business processes which successful corporations employ and apply them to our own projects.

It is well worth taking some time to stop and look at the products you are trying to promote. Break down the steps which may lead to a sale and create your own customer decision journey. A better understanding of how your audience arrives at your site will only lead increased sales opportunities.

All in all it has been a busy but enjoyable week. I am relishing the prospect of continuing with my course and expanding my knowledge of Digital Marketing.

I am still continuing to push the promotion of my affiliate products and have been doing quite a lot of work with Google AdWords which I will be collating in to an AdWords super-post in the near future.

I have also started reading The 4-Hour Work Week: Escape the 9-5, Live Anywhere and Join the New Rich by Timothy Ferris. I have been meaning to read it for quite some time but never had the time, so in true NR fashion, I am now making time, what’s the worst that can happen :)

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