Using Scent to Make Your Digital Advertising Work Smarter

Photo credit: patchattack on Flickr.As a recent eMarketer article points out, the amount of money that businesses spend on digital advertising is projected to increase dramatically in next few years.

With all this money being spent on digital advertising, businesses hopefully are making the investment in conversion rate optimization (CRO). Otherwise, they are leaving a lot of money on the table.

Even if they don’t take the time to do A/B tests on their websites and landing pages, there are some basic things that businesses can do to increase conversion rates.

Make it Easy for Consumers to Find the Information That They Are Looking For

A good ad will get a consumer to click. Then what?

While there are a lot of things that go into creating the perfect website or landing page, one of the most obvious things that should be done is to ensure that consumers can find the information that made them click in the first place.

This is the basic idea behind the concept of “scent.”

In his Market Motive Conversion Optimization classes, Bryan Eisenberg, co-founder and CMO of IdealSpot, teaches marketers about the importance of scent in digital marketing.

As he points out, if the consumer doesn’t find what they thought they would find when they clicked on the search result or display ad, they are going to abandon the site—thus making a conversion impossible.

There are a lot of things that can break the scent trail, many of which may seem trivial. However, even the smallest detail can make the difference in the conversion process.

As Eisenberg points out in a 2012 blog post, scent issues can include mismatches in language, mixed messaging in offers, and image issues. Even the color scheme can influence the conversion.

And, these are only the issues found on the example mentioned in his blog post.

Final Thoughts

As Bryan Eisenberg points out, there are many things that can be done to increase sales by using the techniques that he teaches in his conversion optimization classes.

One of the simplest and most obvious things that he teaches is to make sure that businesses provide the information on their websites or landing pages that got users to click on the ad in the first place.

However, while it seems obvious, this is a step that marketers often overlook.

There are many, many things that can break the scent trail—too many to cover here.

The point of this post is to introduce the concept of scent to marketers.

This will hopefully lead them to do additional research on the topic, which should lead to better websites and landing pages, and hopefully higher conversion rates. This should lead to increased sales.

Afterall, just increasing the number of digital ads that you use to get people to your website isn’t going to do much if consumers leave your website before converting.

Note: I completed Bryan Eisenberg’s Conversion Optimization training as part of Market Motive’s Digital Marketing Foundations Practitioner Certification training in May of 2015.

Photo credit: patchattack on Flickr.

Chad Thiele

Chad Thiele

Marketing analyst and strategist, content curator, applied sociologist, proud UW-Madison alumnus, and an Auburn-trained mobile marketer. My goal is to help businesses identify trends that will help them achieve their marketing objectives and business goals. I'm currently looking for my next career challenge. Please feel free to contact me anytime at: