In a recent survey, we found that a majority of senior level brand marketers are not confident that their interactive marketing dollars are spent effectively. Of the marketers surveyed, 85% said their ability to measure interactive needs improvement. The bottom line: marketers are underutilizing the interactive medium, and wasting dollars every day by failing to track results beyond the initial click-through.
I would surmise we are all in agreement that interactive is the most quantifiable marketing medium, and that most marketers are measuring online initiatives on so level (albeit a limited one). Being that interactive is the fastest-growing marketing medium, with more than $12 billion in ad revenue in 2005 and an expected surge between 20 and 30 percent this year; the time to show tangible results for those online dollars is here. Tracking the click-through rates is a start, but if you think this is a good gauge of your interactive- you are missing the boat.
If you do not have a sound strategy in place before you begin to develop your online campaign or build your site, you are already setting yourself up for possible failure. Neglecting to determine the success metrics before you begin will have you grasping at straws at the campaign’s end.
Measurement and analytics need to be part of your upfront planning process to glean the most useful information. Analytics is not something that a project manager should do in his spare time. Analytics should be done by someone who is dedicated to it and has the expertise to understand the data they have at hand; otherwise, you end up with a haphazard approach, and not enough relevant metrics or analysis.
So, what to measure?
After chatting with a few analytics experts I work with, here’s what I found. First, you need to determine the goal of the overall effort. Is the goal to reach as many people in your target audience as possible? Drive sales? Is it to increase engagement with the product? Or drive product trials?
Once you define the goal, you can then determine the particular success metrics. Is it downloads? Registrations? Product purchase? Exit rates? In general, did the audience take the associated action?