Bridge the Marketing Results Gap with Web Analytics

…the measurement of marketing performance and marketing’s return on investment is a high priority.

Few companies – less than 20% – to date have developed meaningful, comprehensive measures and metrics for their marketing organizations.

Over 80% of the companies surveyed expressed dissatisfaction with their ability to benchmark their marketing programs business impact and value.

Yet those companies who have established a formal, comprehensive measurement program achieve superior financial returns and have higher CEO confidence in the marketing function.

– CMO Council

Never before have we seen performance measurement capabilities such as those offered by the Web medium.  Organizations have the opportunity to track almost everything their Web visitors do, without violating their visitors’ privacy.  Web analytics that are deep and insightful generates confident actionable recommendations for performance improvement.

Continuous anonymous tracking also supports the continuous generation of a small select group of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).  KPIs drive value in three ways by:

  • Tracking the value-creating success of a campaign or Web site.  Did the campaign deliver real value to your organization?  Did the campaign help your organization meet its sales targets, strengthen its brand, clarify a key message or change behaviour?  Is your Web site really delivering what it was designed to do?
  • Measuring the operational efficiency of campaigns at a detailed level.  How effective are your various search engine marketing campaigns, email campaigns or special event driven campaigns?  Is your budget being spent in the most effective manner?  How improvements can you make to get more from your spending on these types of campaigns?
  • Drawing your attention to performance gaps or milestone wins, so that corrective action can be taken promptly or a significant milestone achievement recognized and rewarded.

Another benefit of the trackability of the Web is that quantitative measurement of “offline” marketing activities such as advertising and brand message testing, is now possible.   Quantitative data can be collected by designing a Web site encounter into the campaign.  Direct mail conversion can also be improved over offline measurement methods.  Let’s take a closer look at how you might benefit in these areas:

Offline Advertising.  Quantitative measurement of the impact of an offline advertising campaign is very costly and therefore impractical.  However, if traditional offline advertising campaigns are designed to be tracked at some juncture using Web analytics, very detailed and relevant conversion data can be collected.  Here’s one example that you can try:

  • Place a compelling call to action in the offline ad, directing the prospect to a unique Web site URL.
  • Create a unique landing page on your Web site.
  • Design that page to convert clickthrough visitors.
  • Analyze the timing, depth and path from that landing page forwards through the site.

Pre-test Brand Messages.  Use an opt-in email list to quantitatively pre-test brand messages before final selection and deployment.  Instead of a survey, gauge the strength of the message by evaluating the success of different messages to trigger increased conversion on your Web site, whether this means increased downloads, registrations or sales.

Direct Mail.  Quantitative measurement of direct mail using unique Web site URL landing pages has joined mailed response coupons and unique 800 toll-free phone numbers as a popular call to action.  To leverage the anonymous trackability of the Web medium, analyze beyond the traffic on the landing page:

  • Continue to analyze your visitors’ activity through to measurable sales or other relevant measure of real value.
  • Mine the Web traffic information to see where else on the site these visitors visited.  Web traffic data provides quantitative indications of their level of interest.  New learnings may uncover untapped needs and wants.

Adding the Web component makes these projects more complex to manage, requiring the participation beyond just the marketing or communications departments.  At minimum, technology and customer service typically have to be involved.  Here are five key project steps necessary to make sure your campaign delivers the measurable results you seek:

  • Clearly define your goals.
  • Communicate the goals and the timing of your project to all involved.
  • Define a few relevant measurement metrics that will effectively indicate progress or problems.
  • Have analytics processes, tools and tracking code in place ready to support the campaign, pre-tested before the first campaign.
  • Arrange appropriate content and customer service resources available across your organization to deliver a high quality execution.

Contact us to discuss how the trackability of the Web tactics can be customized to drive more measurable results for your organization.

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