In this issue, ARK Advance founder and GM Chris Price takes a deeper look into his crystal ball of online marketing. What do you see, Chris?

“Well, after another year in the business and now 17 years in this space, I can list for you the most obvious topics that I think are worth some planning time in 2020. 

“These are ideal for when you first come back from holiday, with the sand still behind your ears and a brain that is fresh and ready to fire.”

Advertising costs per click are going in only one direction

“And that is up, up and away. More of your competitors will enter the online space, if they are not already lining up around you. Each and every one will be fighting to get the optimal position, so the bids will rise and with that, so will your costs for clicks. I would budget for a 50% increase in 2020. 

“This means that with a $1,000 monthly budget, your 1,000 clicks at $1 could go down to 666 clicks at $1.50 with a freeze on your budgeted spend. A third of your traffic falls by the wayside, all due to rising competition.”

Stand out or blend in

“Those who decide to stand out from the competing crowd have a better chance of fighting this increase in costs, with increased conversion rates. 

“Without clear segmentation, product development and targeted messaging, general service businesses – from plumbing and electrical to accounting, law or graphic design – will struggle to do anything other than grab less traffic, or pay more for each lead. 

“By contrast, more focused businesses will segment their marketing and go after specific audiences, with messages and offerings tailored just for them. This approach can turn conversion rates on their head and help your business ride this rising click-cost with a smile.”

It’s not “measure more”, but measure right

“Everyone has Google Analytics on their website: at last count it was over 85 million. Some of your smart competitors will have it correctly configured, and a smaller group of these will know what the data means. But very, very few of these will follow their clicks through to quotes, on to confirmed leads and through to actual closed sales. The further your digital advertising data capture goes into your sales process, the fewer of your competitors follow you. “

Privacy is a growing concern

“Already Google is telling us that some of the targeting features we used in 2019 are not going to be available in 2020, due to their privacy changes. Finding people who are “similar” or “lookalike” to your converting audiences will be harder, so don’t rely too heavily on these tools for volume in the future.”

Trust is an asset you can build

“This year we have hammered the point of seeking customer reviews. We ran a webinar on TrustPilot, and talked frequently about the value of providing a tool on your own site to garner more reviews from your clients. 

“One of our clients was an early adopter, and started gathering reviews in January 2019. Now after less than a year, they have over 1,800 customer reviews with a 4.7 out of 5 score through TrustPilot. Conversion rates have climbed as a result. 

“These reviews are not going anywhere – they are there forever. It will take their competitors around the same time to reach this point, by which time they will have even more. Start building your reputational review assets in 2020.”

There are no $3 leads anymore – so make your sales super-slick

“I don’t think there ever were… but on a recent call, a client said that they would love their sales leads to be at $3. I shared that their maths was never going to support it. Their clicks were already around $6, and with the top budget conversion rate they could hope for at 10%, they were looking at $60 and up. 

“When your sales process is slick, these numbers can work for you every day of the week. However, when it’s a leaking bucket with a mess of an overall conversion rate, these same numbers can drive you to financial ruin fast.”

Interested in planning 2020?

“Like you, we at ARK Advance will be back in 2020 with fresh minds ready to test some fresh thinking. Our services can help you take these points, and more, into your digital marketing plans for 2020. 

“Whether you need an independent voice of reason, or one to drive your plans with the details of implementation – both options work for us.”

Interested?  Give us a call today.