World Series of E-Commerce: Part II

The MLB playoffs are in full swing now, with a no-hitter and the retirement of a legend highlighting the first round. A couple of weeks ago I began a post comparing our online marketing services to a baseball lineup. You can read the post for a full rundown of the first five spots in our lineup, but I’ll list them here again.

  1. Google Analytics
  2. SEO (site review)
  3. Content Writing
  4. Google AdWords
  5. Social Media

And, without further ado, the back half of our E-Commerce Starting Lineup:

6.  Local Search Marketing

  • In the major leagues, there is no room for a weak spot in your lineup. So at #6, we roll out a local search marketing plan, revolving around Google Places, Maps, and Earth, along with the newly released Facebook Places. With a strong organic and paid search outlook as well as social media integration, you might think your site has enough to sustain sales. The rules of the game are always changing though, and local search’s market share is growing faster than any of the aforementioned areas.

7.  Affiliate Marketing

  • Affiliate Marketing is a specialist hitter, not strong enough to be placed higher in the order, yet valuable enough to make the starting nine. To extend the analogy further, we might call this our Designated Hitter. Just as the DH only exists in the American League (not the National), affiliate marketing is almost exclusively the domain of e-commerce sites (and rarely useful in service-based sites). Still, it makes the cut because of its role as a power hitter, a true driver of sales (RBIs).

Bobby Cox

8.  Web Design/Development

  • Web design and development are good back-end services that clean up some of the work of the heavy hitters and lead in to our #9 hitter. If your site isn’t converting as well as you’d like, a few design tweaks can give it a boost. We are well-versed in web usability best practices and have advised many clients on ways to improve their site’s conversion rate.

9.  A/B and Multivariate Testing

  • Our last batter, and perhaps most effective, is multivariate testing. Once everything else is in place (top-level marketing goals, organic search strategy, paid search strategy, social media, local/mobile engagement of users) it is time to test and check everything to ensure that the marketing achieves optimal results. In baseball, the #9 hitter is not the most powerful; indeed he may often lay down a sacrifice bunt to advance a previous batter. This is the type of marginal improvement we see in Multivariate Testing. Whether it be a landing page, a homepage design, or an AdWords ad, testing and tweaking is a process of constant improvement.

Google Apps (pitching staff)

  • 2010 is the year of the pitcher in baseball and every team needs a good pitching staff to keep up. You don’t rely on your pitchers to score runs, but you need them to win games. Google Apps fills this role in a business. After all, you need email, a calendar, and data storage, and Google Apps is all of that and more (documents, chat, video, sites, etc.). Other platforms like MS Exchange are clunky, unreliable, and not easily scalable. Google Apps gives your business the data security you need combined with the collaborative tools that make everything else in day-to-day operations run more smoothly.

Of course, this is just one way to structure our services and we've seen a variety of different lineups among our clients. But we know e-marketing can be overwhelming to some, and we think this will be a welcome template to those who want to get into online marketing but don't exactly know where to start. Now we'll start thinking about our football post...