Harry Martin is a Client Planner at SearchStar. He’ll be appearing at our annual Conversion & Analytics Conference from 22nd June to talk about the role media buying plays in the conversion optimisation process.

To find out more and register to attend the conference, click here >>>

Ahead of our Conversion & Analytics conference - a week-long series of 40-minute webinars beginning Monday 22nd June - we spoke to Harry about his upcoming talk. Chatting to Nick, he explains the media planning/buying process, why it’s an essential part of conversion optimisation, and why conversion optimisation is all too often an afterthought.

1. In not too many words, please tell us what you do…

I’m part of the client planning team at SearchStar, working across the specialist teams within the agency to help bring together strategies and responses for exciting, multi-channel briefs. I focus on market and consumer insights, ensuring these are at the centre of our approach to any and all client briefs.

2. Media planning. Where do you start?

Audiences. Your audience is at the centre of everything you do – regardless of what industry, product or service you’re advertising, it is always geared towards a specific group of consumers – making this the most logical place to start.

Market insights often reflect how shifts or changes in the market impact your audience, so these should also be considered as part of the “audience” starting point.

3. Why is it so essential that media buying and conversion optimisation go hand-in-hand?

How could it not be? I would love to hear an argument against media buying and conversion optimisation working hand-in-hand.

The basic premise behind my talk at the Conversion & Analytics Conference is that media buying and conversion optimisation are both services that exist to facilitate the same thing – a simple and effective user journey which results in a final conversion, whether that be a lead, a sale, phone call or store visit.

For that consumer journey to be as simple and as effective as possible, the two services - media buying conversion - need to be working together, rather than separately.

4. Why do you think conversion optimisation is so often an afterthought?

The simple answer here is “I have no idea” because it really shouldn’t be. It’s always struck me as odd that businesses are willing to spend so much money on media, but when it comes to conversion work the purse strings are kept firmly shut.

There’s an element of complacency at play when it comes to a company’s website – it’s assumed that “it exists, therefore, it works” – and in my experience, that is almost never the case. I think it stems from people’s hesitation to divert any time or budget away from the marketing services that are already in play. There tends to be a myopic focus on media buying instead of considering the entire online consumer journey, and conversion work suffers as a result.

5. What three things should businesses consider when priming paid traffic to convert?

  1. Be technical – use specific industry and product messaging where possible. Users that are in-market for your products or services need to know that you are the experts before they land on the website. This is also a great way of deterring irrelevant traffic – those who are put off by the specific nature of the ad copy won’t convert when they read the same messaging on the website.
  2. Call to action – consider the stage of the consumer journey when choosing your CTA. Asking someone to “buy now” isn’t always the most effective way to persuade the user to convert.
  3. Price points – including prices in your ads is a great way to ensure that you’re not paying for users that are searching for cheaper prices than you offer.