‘Tis the season for marketing analysis and planning. Like any good marketer, you are undoubtedly gathering and compiling statistics based return on ad spend, cost per lead, lead to close ratio (and so on) in order to budget and prioritize next year’s marketing activities. How is that going?
What if I told you there is an easier (and more integrated way) to measure both online and offline channels? And what if I told you this information is accessible in real-time (meaning you can make actionable analyses more than once a year, *wink*wink*) on which to base ongoing recommendations for outbound and inbound marketing improvements?
Thankfully, there is a way, and it is more than likely that you have already implemented the foundation to begin building your digital marketing and measurement model for 2012. The foundation I’m referring to is Google Analytics. This wonderful (and free to implement) tool has recently launched a new interface and powerful features (more to come on what these changes mean and how to make the most of them) that will allow for deeper analysis to better refine your marketing and business strategies based on:
· Who came to your website?
· How they got there?
· What they read?
· What actions they took?
To get the most out of Google Analytics, consider the three following resolutions as part of your 2012 marketing plan:
1. Identify measureable success metrics (both macro and micro conversions). Make the money you spend driving traffic to your website work for you. While you’re ultimate goal may be to have a web visitor submit their contact information (macro goal), they may be more inclined to download your product catalog, sign up for your e-newsletter, or “like” you on Facebook (micro goals) before filling out a web form. Identify all web actions that express intent to convert as well as actual conversions and set up the appropriate goals, funnels and event tracking in your analytics to measure successful completions.
2. Identify and implement web traffic segments. Make your analysis more meaningful by not reporting on visits (this does not have an impact on your bottom line). Instead, start analyzing how different web segments complete the success metrics you established. For example, by properly segmenting your non-branded keyword visitors from your social media visitors from your print-to-web visitors (and so on), you would not only be able to report on the total value each of those segments generated (if you establish goal values upfront), but could also report on which of those segments contributed the most to the total value. As a result, you could invest more in the better performing channel, less in underperforming channels and allocate appropriately for testing.
3. Make all outbound marketing measureable! Think you can’t directly attribute a press release to the download of a sales presentation deck? How about a billboard to web form lead? You can! The Google URL builder tool (also free!) allows you to go beyond referral source data – which is limited to general visit numbers – and to properly attribute different source traffic to desirable web actions and conversions. Keep this tool in mind for social media as well. For instance, if you’re promoting an upcoming webinar via Facebook status update and Facebook paid advertising, develop unique campaign URLs for each - via the URL builder - and use the resulting URL with query parameters appended as the destination URL in your status update and ad. This way, you can track which source performed better in terms of webinar registrations instead of all Facebook traffic being lumped together under one referral source.