Final Analysis: Measuring Online Marketing Impact
Marketers are constantly looking for increased value from their campaigns and the Web offers them better targeting of customers and improved measurement of impact. May 2009 sees the eMetrics Marketing Optimization Summit come to London and New Media Knowledge caught up with the summit’s founder.
Jim Sterne is chairman of the Web Analytics Association and founder and chairman of the eMetrics Marketing Optimization Summit, a global tradeshow which comes to Covent Garden, London, on 18-19 May, 2009.
The summit is designed for marketing professionals who want more value out of their budgets and contains keynote speeches, breakout sessions and networking opportunities. The summit is in its eighth year and there will be nine eMetrics conferences in 2009. The Web Analytics Association was born because the eMetrics audience demanded it, according to Sterne. He spoke to NMK about the organisation’s objectives.
What are the objectives of the Web Analytics Association?
The Web Analytics Association leads and supports its members by providing quality education, developing standards and best practices, conducting research and advocating for issues that advance the industry. Starting with education, we're trying to get the word out about the value of Web analytics, and then help people learn how it's done and how to do it better. We have a very active standards group that is rolling out industry definitions so ensure a common vocabulary about this area of business intelligence. All of us want to learn from each other and that's where best practices come in. The research delves into who we are as an industry and the advocacy is important as many legislators are worried about privacy, and rightly so, but are uninformed about the technology and the value of marketers measuring their success.
What’s your preferred formula for measuring the effectiveness of marketing campaigns on the Web?
“Measuring a marketing campaign” can mean tracking the results of a banner ad placement, a pay-per-click (PPC) search campaign, an email effort, an ad in somebody else's email, and so forth. The finally formula for measuring any investment in online marketing is found in business results. For e-commerce sites, that might be sales. For all of us, it might be registrations, subscriptions, participation, “contact us” forms completed, etc. Did that particular spend on a particular medium result in a measurable number of business outcomes? That's the ticket.
No. The shoe-shine man does not ask me if I want a shine if I walk by in trainers, but does if I am wearing black, shiny shoes. The clerk at the till in McDonald’s asks, “Do you want fries with that?” While the shoe-shine and burger-flipping professionals might recognise my face day-to-day, the Phorm organisation is going out of its way to keep that from happening. I think the petition is a result of insufficient understanding of the technology and a complete mistrust of major corporations. This is an attempt to blame the technology for being evil rather than go after those who misuse it.
Is there any way surfers can ‘opt out’ of behavioural targeting?
Do not accept cookies. It takes about five clicks in Internet Explorer.
What does 2009 hold for all formats of online advertising, where do you think much sought-after ad money will go?
Pay-per-click search will continue to be the big money magnet as it is so straight forward, so measurable and so controllable. Those who understand the value of testing will move more of their spend into behavioural targeting as their results numbers prove it to be valuable.
What’s your advice to firms looking to utilise the Web more for their business in 2009?
How about “The Five Most Important Things to Know About Online Marketing”?
1. You must have clearly articulated business goals. Do not compensate your team for getting more people to your website. You want them to generate more valuable business outcomes.
2. Understand it the Internet is not a broadcast medium. Your website is “interactive” and that means a visit to your site is as impactful as a visit to your high street shop or a presentation by a sales representative. If isn't successful for whatever reason, your entire brand gets a black eye.
3. Customer expectation inflation is rampant. They are not comparing your website to your competitors, they are comparing it to Amazon and a dozen other favourite sites that do everything.
4. You must join the conversation on the Web. Social media is not something that can be safely ignored. Public Relations has become Reputation Management and you must dedicate resources to participate in that online discussion in the most genuine way possible.
5. Test, measure. Test, measure. Repeat. As it is so easy to make changes to your website or your banner ad or your email, you must embrace the idea of exploration. Your newly remade marketplace moves at a dizzying speed and you must continuously try new things and measure the results. Never stop trying things and assessing their value.