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Using conversion expectation in sales planning

By 7 August, 2012
  • Thinking

Conversion expectation allows you to fully understand the seasonal demand for your product and the effect that this has on conversion.

Once you know this you are in a position to make a key decision on how you plan your marketing activity. There are many intricacies to this however the overall approach you take falls into two key areas, do you “Ride the wave!” or “Smooth the curve!”?

Riding the conversion wave

Riding the wave is all about timing your marketing activity to periods when you know your product converts well. High demand means more traffic hits your site and when it does there’s more likelihood of a customer converting and, depending on the levels of competition, you may be able to buy this traffic at a cheaper rate resulting in a much decreased CPA. Brand activity during these seasonal periods strikes more of a chord and overall response.

This isn’t necessarily the perfect strategy however, it means you have to pull back on investment outside of these demand peaks meaning that when the next conversion peak comes along you’ve got the job of creating awareness from a pretty low base.

Smoothing the curve

This is about flattening the seasonal sales dips by marketing aggressively at times where you naturally see a decrease in traffic and conversion rate.

Investing in marketing at these times is often tailored at educating an audience and creating a product need, this can mean that you access a new audience and are able to add incremental sales throughout the year. On the flip side, what this can mean is a lack of budget at times when conversion is at its highest and a missed sales opportunity.

The choice you make depends considerably on the market you operate in and your position in it; whether you’re the market leader and able to influence overall seasonality or a smaller business in a competitive landscape.

The solution needs to be tailored to the individual business but it usually falls somewhere in between the two above approaches. Using strategies such as capturing an audience and information during seasonal dips and converting this audience into sales at peak periods can help boost sales whilst maintaining brand and product awareness throughout the year.

Written by Alex Lockett, Stream:20 Director