Your B2C marketing concerns during COVID-19

By Data

What are your biggest B2C marketing concerns?

It goes without saying we are facing a market the likes of which we have never seen before.

We wanted to engage the digital marketing community and understand the challenges we are facing collectively.

As a result we will look at the topic(s) which are causing the biggest concern and research these to provide you with the best resources and advice.

Marketing during COVID-19

What is the reason for all this?

What we want to achieve

These are hugely concerning times. We have not experienced anything like this before as digital marketers.

Our industry continues to innovate, share knowledge and work together to help each other. To continue this we wanted to create a series of polls to do the following:

  1. Understand the challenges we are all facing
  2. Support and reassure others by highlighting where our issues lie, sharing the results of the poll
  3. Help our digital marketing community by researching and creating content to help address the concerns we collectively have

Before we start, we have broken down the different polls into areas to provide you all with a view of how others are getting on.

1. Your plans

2. Your change in budget

3. Challenges you face, sales, content, merchandising or forecasting and measurement


Marketing Concern 1 of 6 - Where you are right now

Do you have contingency plan in place and how are you preparing?

Marketing Concern 2 of 6 - You marketing budget

How has your marketing budget changed since the CORVID-19 outbreak?

Marketing Concern 3 of 6 - Generating sales

What is working and what is generating the best return?

Marketing Concern 4 of 6 - Understanding content

Do know what content to create and how much value it is adding to your business?

Marketing Concern 5 of 6 - Budgeting and Forecasting

Are you updating your forecasts and changing budget?

Marketing Concern 6 of 6 - What products to show

Which of your products are popular and are you showing the right ones?

Something missing? Have a free 15 minute chat with us

People also ask . . .

Why bother with AB Testing

AB testing has a number of benefits. The reasons you should bother with it include:

  • Limited exposure: You will be able to test your hypothesis in a safe environment. If you get it wrong then you have only impacted those who have seen the test rather than the whole audience or customer base.
  • Huge payoffs: While an individual test is unlikely to have a big impact on it’s own, the impact of many successful tests can be massive. Imagine increasing your conversion rate by 0.5%
  • Lower costs: By focusing on very specific hypothesis and using tools which do not require large amount of development resources means you can test your website functionality and look and feel, without big development overhead and costs.
  • Faster deployments: AB testing by it’s nature is all about rapid learning. As the marketing team will (mostly) be able to create their own tests, the results should be able to found very quickly. Not only with a reducing development time but a quick understanding of the test’s impact.
  • Data driven evidence: AB testing provides large amounts of data. As long as the test has been set up correctly and the right information has been captured the business case should be straightforward, allowing the marketing team to influence the larger website development roadmap/release cycle.

How long should I run by AB test for?

There is no single number of this.

What you will need to do is understand how much traffic you need to provide you with “confidence” the test is representative of your audience/website visitors.

Use this tool to tell you how many you need

How do I track my AB Test

Ensure you have a tool in place to be able to run AB tests.

Once you have deployed your test make sure you are able to see them metrics for each test, without this tracking you will not know if the test has made a difference.

The tracking should be available inside your AB testing tool.

If this is not available make sure you track the tests inside your web analytics tool. This could be as simple as creating two different landing pages with different names and seeing the conversion rate, add to cart rate, average order value of these pages compared to the generic or current page.

When should you not do AB Testing?

Do not run AB testing if:

  • You do not have a solid hypothesis backed up with data
  • There is no AB testing tool in place to help you randomly split your traffic
  • You do not have metrics or tracking in place to know if the test worked
  • You development process is slow and tests take longer than 2 weeks to run
  • You have a small amount of traffic, as tests will need a long time to be proven to be accurate or reliable

What does your AB Testing tool need to do?

See our Comparison tool to get your own personalised results compared to others/

As a guideline Workstream updates their benchmarks  and recently looked at the costs for Google Advertising.

They found the overall average Cost per acquisition (CPA) in AdWords across all industries is $48.96 for search and $75.51 for display.

However this does vary massively. For example they found in Technology the CPA in Search was $134 vs Display costing $104.

In E-commerce it was the exact opposite with Search costing $45 vs $66 for display.

Recommended Reading

Below is some recommended content, we have picked out. This content is mixture of resources to help you through to other articles which help understand more about digital.

Download: Budgeting for Marketing research – Our research covers what the leading organisations do to forecast and set their budgets for marketing. Read how they accurately forecast and adjust their budgets to get ahead.
Define: Conversion Rate – Read about a critical metric for measuring the number of people who take action on your website.  Learn how to diagnose conversion rate and understand how conversion rate impacts your cost per acquisition.
Discover: Resource for senior marketers – See our latest research or white papers to help you get ahead. Alternatively, read our digital marketing glossary for senior leaders to understand the jargon and acronyms of digital.
Guide Creating Marketing Budgets and Forecasts

Marketing Spend, Budgeting and Forecasting Guide (free)

By Marketing Budget, Measurement No Comments

Marketing Spend

Marketing spend is a big deal.

How marketers approach forecasting and budgeting, marketing spend and performance, including return on investment (ROI), benchmarking, and specific Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and metrics.

In order to win, marketers need to own the forecast and budget, and set a variety of benchmarks, continually analysing, adjusting, improving and investing.

Despite the efficiency and flexibility offered by forecasting marketing spend – and, increasingly, ‘zero-based budgeting’ – there is still a large gap between those that forecast properly and those that are just being handed budget to spend.

The report (in association with London Research) contains recommendations for businesses seeking to improve their marketing budgeting and spend, and looks at

    • Forecasting and allocation,
    • Evaluation and allocation,
    • Performance and ROI,
    • Benchmarking and attribution
    • Recommendations.

Find out if you are a legend or laggard and click the download button below.

Download the free guide now

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Burning media cash and customer acquisition

By Marketing Budget, Audience, Data, Measurement No Comments

Reaching the right audience and customer acquisition is getting harder, burning cash on media isn’t the answer.customer acquisition

Customer acquisition and reaching the right audience to increase conversion or engagement is getting harder and it seems many of us (and especially start-ups) are burning cash just to drive traffic and report vanity metrics. Your customer growth should grow but your burn rate should fall, not outpace your customer growth.

We recently undertook research into marketing forecasts and budgets (soon to be published).
What we’re seeing is almost a third of respondents revisit spend just once a year or less and more than 50% no more than twice a year.

customer acquisition


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organisation to get things done

Creating the agile organisation to get things done

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How do you create an agile organisation to get things done?

Organisations we have worked with are more and more frustrated with the inability to gets projects completed. It seems as if there is a need to plan and discuss projects and by the time this has happened the opportunity for test and learn has passed.

Here at Crank we are able to identify what needs to be focused on first to achieve the maximum return.

We take your data and look at areas which are under performing and then provide you with a to do list.

However there is no point in us giving businesses a to do list if they are unable to action the recommendations.

So what is the ideal team structure?

I thought I would start with the customer. I love the idea of the customer director and being a big fan of Geoffrey Moore’s Crossing the Chasm I thought his concept of creating a competitive advantage by understanding your customers is essential. One of the initiatives looks at


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Being data centric with business model canvases

By Data, Audience, Canvas, Customer Experience, Measurement No Comments

Creating a data centric business.

Ok this is a viewpoint not a manifesto, is it just me or when businesses use a ‘strategic canvas’ do they really consider data and the importance of being data centric? This is one of a couple of posts which will focus on the importance of data centricity. You may be customer centric but you should also be data centric.

So let’s start by looking at a canvas since that’s a good workable visual aid.

It seems there’s a canvas for most things these days, but like most things they tend to be stand alone. If you’ve ever used any of these in anger they usually solve just one part of the puzzle of your business or they are very high level, you then need to stitch some together or use another tool to move to action a team.

Like most consultancy’s or businesses running innovation workshops or strategy projects, we’d used Alexander Osterwald’s Business Model Canvas and Ash Maurya’s Lean Canvas which are truly awesome – fast, concise, and very portable, but we found ourselves modifying them for the needs of the client we were working with, especially when we started asking questions about data and what to do next.

Over the last few years data has become the hot topic in any strategy or directive, no matter the size of the business, start-up or blue chip, data is critical.

I know, data’s boring, but you only have to look at those businesses that are outpacing their competitors to understand that not only does data ensure you’re aligned to continually changing customer needs and expectations (customer centricity) but also that you place your money and resources in the right places and add competitive advantage in terms of potentially becoming the disruptor rather than the disrupted.

Data gives you the edge, it’s the river that runs through your business, multiple feeds from multiple sources creating insights on which to base critical decisions.

The issues are the same no matter what business we worked with, being able to move down in terms of detail from any model or framework is essential. When talking to senior people you need simplicity, but instances where you want to move quickly to action a team you need the considered detail which all of the team have been a party too.

data centric

Data centric canvas

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what does good measurement look like

What does good measurement look like?

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Just tell me, what does good measurement look like?

So what does good measurement look like, how do we define it and how do we know we are putting our effort into the right things?

We have been wrestling with the issue of good to determine what it is and certainly what it isn’t. In the image above what good looks like varies from one individual to another. Beauty is certainly in the eye of the beholder.

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WTF What the fu. . .nnel and when to use funnels

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When to use funnels

We all seem to be obsessed with funnels talking about them and using them to make big decisions within our business. But when should we use a funnel? They have a role to understand where a business is trending; however they are useless at understanding what needs to be fixed.

At Crank we create funnels to build out a profile of business health, but we don’t just rely on the funnel to provide the answers.

As a for instance let’s take time, we like to look at ‘like for like’ time periods.

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understanding engagement

Understanding Engagement – I won’t marry your website!

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Why is understanding engagement so hard?

We have more data than ever and you would think defining what good engagement looks like would be easy to understand.

Just because we can get the data easily it doesn’t mean the answer immediately jumps out at us.
There was a time when we had to think about our questions rather than just extracting the data and saying “there you go, see the data shows . . .”

In this post we look at “what is engagement?” and “how do we measure it?”

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Where’s the magical customer experience button?

By Customer Experience No Comments

What is customer experience?

I recently met up with a marketing agency where we discussed the customer experience.

We both agreed this was the vision and the thing we needed to achieve however when we then went into more detail it became apparent we had a different idea of what the customer experience was.

I wanted to know what we would be creating. A new process, a newly design online experience or new messaging?

The answer that came back was, we are going to create the “best customer experience”.

It became apparent to me there was an expectation that the technology was going to magically deliver the best customer experience without really defining what the customer experience was.

I come across this a lot and often find it amusing that the customer experience is seen as this magic “thing” which can be switched on. From here it is assumed the experience is now officially on, without trying to understand the customer problem we are trying to solve.

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Should I bother with the extra work?

Should I bother with the extra work?

By Prioritization No Comments

When is perfect not good enough?

As marketers we are striving to select the best audience, timing, channel to allow us to get the best results. Sometimes we can focus too much on getting everything perfect. So why should I bother with the extra work?

Instead, why wouldn’t we just do things which are nearly there and learn by doing rather than over-analysing?

This is not about doing less or being slapdash, but more about thinking about when you need to go the extra step to make the campaign profitable.

We all are aware of the 80/20 rule whereby we try to get 80% of the value from 20% of our audience. However with more and more data, and ways of accessing and analysing this data, it seems as if paralysis by analysis has set in and we are unable to act quickly.

In fact why wouldn’t we apply the 80/20 again and get 80% of the way there in 20% of the time? This way it might not be the most perfect analytical model for selecting an audience but at least we would have created a campaign, which is still targeted, and it would have gone out quickly to our customers. We can then learn from what worked and didn’t work.

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