Watch the Journey
Episode 11 of the Journey explores how the team at Social Media Examiner attempts to stimulate sales by quickly changing course. What happens? Watch as the team leans into change.
The show opens with a less than encouraging sales report. Michael Stelzner (founder of Social Media Examiner) tells the marketing team that the previous week’s sales are the worst they’ve seen since the launch of Social Media Marketing World.
With sales goals in jeopardy, he asks the team (Jennifer Ballard, Kim Reynolds and Saidah Murphy) to get to the bottom of why sales are down.
Later, the team reports their findings to Mike. They’ve discovered that the last week’s emails performed poorly. Two complete sends resulted in only 6 ticket sales.
Mike asks, “What do we know about buying behavior?”
When Kim replies that 40% of people buy on their first visit to the website, Mike sees an opportunity: to reacquire the 60% of visitors who haven’t yet purchased.
Next, the team realizes a difference in sales cycles could be at play. In previous years, virtual ticket sales began months after the all access ticket sales. This year, all ticket types were released for sale at the same time—during the initial launch.
To adjust for the difference in sales cycles, the marketing team will shift plans on the fly. They have just 4 days to design and execute a campaign to re-launch the virtual ticket.
Mike’s hope is that the re-launch will activate affiliates.
Kim shares that while the affiliates have been great so far, the program was launched before it was 100% ready to open. The team is hoping the images, video and copy on the newly updated promo assets page will help the affiliates sell more tickets.
Later in the week, Mike interviews conversion rate optimization expert Talia Wolf. He’s excited about the possibilities of working with her and checks in with Jennifer to share what he’s learned.
Both Mike and Jennifer are on board with Talia’s research-based approach to optimization and are looking forward to her joining the team in late October.
It’s one week later and Mike is asking for another sales report.
The goal for the impromptu re-launch was to sell 388 virtual tickets. Jennifer says only 262 virtual tickets were sold and shares the bulk of those sales were from email sends.
Then Mike and Jennifer visit Kim’s office for affiliate sales numbers. When they learn that affiliates sold 4 virtual tickets, Mike questions the number. Kim elaborates to say that affiliates also sold 6 all access tickets and 2 marketer tickets; 12 tickets in total.
After discussion, it becomes clear that there was a breakdown in communication with the affiliates. They promoted the virtual ticket but sent people to the home page for the conference.
Mike decides it’s time to back off pushing the virtual ticket and double-down on promoting the rest of the ticket options.
Finally, Mike takes a trip to Los Angeles for VidSummit. He meets up with several familiar faces and spends some time talking event strategy with Derral Eves, founder of VidSummit.
The show closes with Mike making a strong strategic call. After discussing The Journey’s performance with Social Team Manager Erik Fisher, he decides something isn’t working and cancels publication of the show for the next week. What does this mean for the series?
How do you decide when to accelerate your marketing plans? Ever break anything? Let us know—comment below.
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