Being part of a large team that is tasked with creating complex digital marketing strategies can often be very challenging. One of the more challenging hurdles that will be faced is the process of group-brainstorming, especially when the group lacks an active leader. A great episode of Doctor Who displays the group-think theme quite well and portrays the trouble it may cause. The Doctor and some passengers are stuck aboard a ship being attacked by an ominous “presence”. The interesting part about this episode is that you never see what is attacking the ship; you hear it pounding on the outside, prying its’ way inside. At one point, this “presence” takes control of one passengers’ mind and turns her freakishly-evil. Through all of the panic, the passengers allow themselves to succumb to group-think, and all slowly decide it is necessary to kill the evil passenger. Without the leadership and clear-thinking of The Doctor, the passengers would have been doomed. But, as always, The Doctor’s open mind allowed him to weigh the pros and cons of all possible solutions before acting. Even in a hectic situation, he was able for figure out exactly how to solve the problem.
After bouncing around the internet from blog to blog, article to article, I read about the concept of the “two-Pizza team” as originated by Jeff Bezos. The idea behind it is that a team should be no larger than what two pizzas could feed. Realistically, one does not need to order two pizzas to figure out if a team is the right size. However, just know that if you don’t have enough to feed everyone, some may go hungry; and, the hungriest will seek out the most pizza, first. What I believe is most important here (and not mentioned by Jeff) is that that once everyone has figured out what flavor pizza they want, only one person places the order. The person ordering is typically driving all engagement to figure out exactly what everyone wants to eat.
How can we make sense of this way of thinking? Marketing Managers should be mindful of how much impact organization structure has on supporting organization goals. Group work is great, but what seems to be the determining factor, is that having people with a “Doctor Who mind” can contribute greatly to the success of many reaching organization goals. Don’t let group-think determine the success of a project, take control and empower the whole group to think in the same fashion.
After recently watching a (not so great) episode of Doctor Who, I could not help but think of ways to make the episode even better. What better way than to let my mind drift and over-analyze simple life issues. This specific episode of Doctor Who involved a group of pirates on a trapped ship. What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of pirates? Well, probably that they are always saying “AARRR!” (for some reason). Boom! My mind instantly made a connection to a concept in Marketing Analytics that I recently read about.
The AARRR analytics framework is a great way for companies to put customers first, while still caring about growing the business. This framework allows for companies to analyze 5 areas relating to the customer lifecycle and apply strategic metrics to help promote growth. These are the 5 areas that one must analyze while using the AARRR framework:
As you can see, all of these relate to how your customer affects business growth; and all of them are definitive of the various business actions usually taken. For example, you may acquire many website visitors, but only a few of them are actually activated into customers. So it is the process of activation that is to be further analyzed. Or, you could have great customer retention, but referral seems to be lacking. This may lead one to believe that their strong customer base needs a little “nudge” into becoming advocates of the brand, thus increasing referrals.
This framework allows you to easily layout a few metrics that apply directly to each of the 5 categories. For example, Channel Volume could be used to analyze how website visitors are best acquired. Churn rates can be used to understand retention.
This is an awesome way to think about how to grow your company using a simple and structurally sound framework. As any pirate would do, a confident marketer should take ownership of this framework and use it to capture all of that treasure!
Within the genre of Science fiction exists many popular sub-genres (i.e. Space western, Comic Sci-Fi, scientific romance,…). One could easily find themselves particularly addicted to one specific genre or multiple related genres. For digital marketers in the science fiction industry, paying close attention to certain metrics will help to identify and follow these fans whether they exist en masse, or in tight niche circles. One good place to start when it comes to your appealing to your fan following would be in search engine optimization (SEO). According to Ayaz Nanji’s article on MarketingProfs.com, the top five metrics to pay attention to when it comes to SEO performance are:
- Website visitor traffic
- Leads generated
- Visitor conversion rate
- Keyword search rankings
- Visit duration/engagement
All of these metrics can be extremely useful to any digital marketer, regardless of the type of content produced; one does not need to sell products to measure conversions. These metrics help to determine if fans are just as connected to your content as they are to the specific sci-fi medium that he/she follows. A good example would be a blogger of Doctor Who content; they could easily measure conversions as reading the newest blog, and might have a newsletter sign-up section to collect leads. The blogger could also measure how long fans stay on the site and engage in the content that is produced. As mentioned, these are great metrics to help gauge success and identify your following.
Interestingly enough, Ayaz Nanji’s article also discusses the most effective SEO tactics. The top five being:
- Relevant content creation
- Keyword/phrase research
- Frequent website updating
- Relevant link building
- Social media integration
When it comes to blogging, all of these tactics can easily be accomplished through regular blogging while utilizing best practices. The above metrics and SEO tactics can also be applied to other internet business models. However, in the science fiction industry, it is more engaging to be a part of a sci-fi community where you can discuss your favorite episodes, character’s, gizmos, and read blogs.
There are many things that The Doctor is known not to be without; the TARDIS, his companion, his adventurous wit, and not to forget – his sonic screwdriver. This beautiful screwdriver performs a number of valuable tasks, often times playing an important role in saving the universe. The sonic screwdriver is what a wand is to Harry Potter, a simple yet extraordinary gizmo.
Many companies’ sell toy, and real, replicas of the sonic screwdriver and Whovians can easily find them for sale online by performing a quick Google search. Using the keywords sonic screwdriver for sale, I was able to find a few Paid Search Ads for this product. One in particular caught my eye, mainly because it is from the BBC’s online shop.
This paid search ad has a few interesting components that certainly need to be analyzed. As one will notice, bbcdoctorwhoshop.com apparently has a 4.9 rating, such value proposition gives people the idea that this site is legitimate and highly rated. This ad also includes many ad extensions, providing links to other Hot Deals, BBC Exclusives, and Whovian Favorites; even more reason to click on this particular ad. Based on the keywords that were used in the search, this ad matched on part of the phrase used; leading one to believe that keyword research worked in this case. At this point, everything about this ad seems to be right on par; this paid search ad may just lead to a conversion.
When we examine the call to action, we will notice that the words “Shop for” are used. This CTA makes me think that once the ad is clicked, more “shopping” will need to be done before buying a sonic screwdriver. Because of this, the ad would be directed to customers in the research or select phases of the customer lifecycle. The landing page tied to this ad includes a variety of sonic screwdrivers for sale, which is exactly what one would expect when using such keywords. In addition, the “Free Shipping over $50” wording in the ad is carried over and can be seen at the top of the landing page.
All of the mentioned components of the paid search ad make for a pleasing shopping experience, in the senses that one would know exactly what to expect from the website based on the ad alone. Although most of the sonic screwdrivers for sale on this site were toys, the having one of your own would certainly provide endless excitement!
BBC’s Doctor Who website brings Whovians one step closer to traveling with The Doctor. For the time spent on the website, you truly feel like you are one of The Doctor’s companions. There have been many times that I have been 100% satisfied with the content provided. This site provides me with a way to continue the journey for as long as I can. Based on the 7 principles of conversion centered design, the Doctor Who BBC website can be analyzed to study why this site brings such a great Who fix.
Here are a few reasons why this site does a good job following these principles:
- The first graphics seen instantly grab the attention of the visitor. They inspire the visitor and immediately draw them into the world of Doctor Who. Most importantly, attention is consistently grabbed as one scroll down the page with videos and insider news.
- From start to finish, visitors will enjoy the whole experience, such that there are opportunities to vote on favorite episodes, be a part of exclusive sneak peaks, as well as behind the scenes type information. There is no confusion about what the visitor will experience, and this creates good clarity of what the website offers.
- Finally, this website is essentially to “go-to” place for all Who related details. If a story is going to break, it will stem from this BBC site. It is clear that this is what the website is all about, and that alone will keep fans coming back for more. This provides a great amount of credibility amongst visitors.
One thing that would be interesting for BBC to look into is decreasing the Attention Ratio across the first landing page of the website. At some times, it is hard to tell what the BBC really wants a visitor to look at on the site. Overall, this website provides a lot of good insider information at the fingertips of Whovians across the world.
Redfin has a spectacular website user experience, even for those that are casual real estate listing viewers like myself. All of Redfin’s website content is legitimate, and you never feel like ads will be following your every move. Out of every real estate listing site out there, it is the only one I will find myself browsing.
I have noticed that ever since I created an account on Redfin, I will occasionally receive an email from them, providing me with information about current homes for sale that are comparable to those that I have viewed at some point in time while signed into their site. Creating a Redfin account allows you to choose which homes are your favorite, as well as which ones you would like to “x-out”. Redfin also allows you to adjust the alerts and email settings, so that you can choose what kind of emails you receive. One category of email is based on the homes that you mark as favorite, and Redfin will send you alerts when anything changes with those listings. Another email category is for general listing updates and will provide details regarding neighborhoods you’re tracking.
I recently received an email from Redfin, showing me 8 homes in my “neighborhood” that I may be interested in. Here are my shout outs and criticism regarding this email:
My shout outs
- Provided a nice sized photo of each home
- Gave a few essential stats about each home: address, price, sq. ft., #beds/#baths,
- Listed out a few details about the listing agent
- Indicated if there was an upcoming open house for any of the homes, and provided a date/time
- Contained too much white space, left the email looking cheap/too basic
- Recommended listings appeared to be based off of Zip Code only
- It had an odd subject line: “Eight New Homes for You: 468 Poplar Dr, and more!”, I don’t know every street in my Zip Code, so including that part of the address does not help me make a connection.
Redfin is positioned well to track user engagement through custom profiles and home viewership (likes vs. dislikes), and they have the ability and push them through the CLC by connecting home buyers with “Redfin Agents” for those who want to take it to the next step and actually tour a home. The Emails that I receive are most certainly crafted toward people in the Develop stage of the CLC, which leads me to believe that they simply want me to engage further with the website and dive deeper into the local real estate market.
During the most recent series of Doctor Who, there was a clear struggle that happened between Clara, the Doctor’s companion, and Her desire to maintain a regular life. All the while, the Doctor wanted to maintain his fantastic adventures with Clara at his side. Episode after episode, the Doctor would continue luring Clara back in the life of a companion, but overall, he still knew that there was some middle ground that needed to be met. Needless to say, Redin’s interesting take on email marketing reminds me of that relationship. The emails are not aggressive, they give me the information that I want, and they allow me to continue being a casual real estate viewer, while providing a personalized touch at the same time. Redfin understands that our relationship is important and is willing to develop it in the right ways.
After reading a HBR case recently, I started to wonder why most visualized marketing funnels often just end at the convert stage of the customer lifecycle. Marketing channels direct potential customers into the funnel, where they are cultivated while they spin down the funnel, and then they are just dumped out during the convert stage. Having such visualization is good for learning theory, but it seems like most funnels are missing one important thing, additional funnels that are used to create brand advocates. Converted customers fall into subsequent funnels to be refined into brand advocates. After all, it is through the continuation of targeted marketing efforts that a company begins to build its’ brand advocate customer base.
A basic Google search uncovered that this multi-funnel visualization is not a new one, and thinking in those terms seems to already be broadly accepted by many. However, after watching a great Ted talk video about marketing and physics, I realized that physics could also be connected to marketing funnels to further develop the concept.
Have you ever seen one of those coin funnels typically seen at some big box stores? When you drop a coin into the funnel, it spins on edge all the way down as mesmerized people watch in awe. These coin funnels are designed in such a way that any sized coin can be dropped in and it will spin on its’ edge the whole way to the bottom without falling. These coin funnels are very similar to a marketing funnel in many ways, a few for example:
- Many different people will drop a coin into the funnel, and many different marketing channels will drop a customer into the funnel
- The coins can be grouped into different types: Quarters, Pennies, etc., and customers can be grouped into different personas: Men, Women, etc.
The main difference being that the coin funnels are perfectly crafted, whereas marketing funnels don’t always follow the same concept. Companies should look to emulate the coin funnels, such that, regardless of the customer persona or marketing channel from which they came, having a perfectly crafted marketing funnel will allow each customer to spin all the way down to convert stage without falling over (churning). And, not only does the purchase funnel have to be perfectly crafted, so does the retention funnel. Since, the customer’s journey does not end at the convert stage.