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In the current economic climate, marketers have begun shifting their budgets from traditional media to digital media.

And with the right strategy and execution in place, digital media has proven very cost-effective. It scales and caters to a larger volume with faster go-to-market capabilities.

Moreover, when Web analytics is implemented properly, marketers can leverage it to accurately measure and quantify the impact of digital marketing.

A recent study published by Forrester Research found that interactive-marketing spend is increasing at the expense of direct media. A few factors are influencing the trend:

  • Economic conditions. Interactive spend is considered to be more effective, producing higher response rates.
  • Customer preferences. More and more, customers are coming ot prefer interactive and digital channels.
  • Measurement. With Web-analytics tools, it is possible to measure interactive marketing more effectively.

Web analytics is a decisive tool for online customer intelligence, and the tips below describe the essential strategies marketers can implement to optimally leverage it. Moreover, marketers can learn how they can translate the vast amount of data gathered through Web-analytics tools into usable marketing strategies.

Below, four key strategies that organizations must employ.

1. Define the Web-analytics solution

A Web-analytics solution should be more than a data collection and reporting suite. Organizations must have a strategy for integrating Web data with their offline data and other data sources to drive customer intelligence.

Web-analytics is the standard by which digital-marketing performance is measured, and most Web-analytics technologies have the potential to propel enterprises beyond mere site metrics to automated actions triggered by the data collected.

Organizations must deploy a complete Web-analytics solution that has the capability to collect Web data and support the convergence of multiple data sources for integrated analysis. Such a solution should help marketers use the newly acquired insights to drive actionable online- and digital-marketing strategies.

2. Optimize the Web-analytics solution

Deploying Web-analytics solutions requires multiple toolsets. Online data is powerful because it contains customer and prospect behavior. Unfortunately, most online-data environments are extremely large and not well integrated with other organizational data sources.

To ease the burden of a Web-analytics implementation, you need to...

  • Set up a unique page-name definition for easy site-path analysis.
  • Finalize the highest-priority pages and categorize those pages to make data collection and data analysis more manageable.
  • Tag all the high-priority pages first, and focus initially on those pages for implementation.
  • Capture source and page attributes using URLs and parameters. Use tracking codes, where applicable, for attribution.
  • Validate data collection.
  • Validate and audit tag setup periodically.
  • Augment tag data with log-file analysis or available packet-sniffing technologies, where needed, for an extensive and rich data set.

3. Tie Web-analytics data to overall business-performance metrics

The biggest challenge with Web-analytics tools is translating the vast amounts of available data into meaningful information.

Accurate metrics must be established with the correct data-set collection, reporting, and measurement analysis so marketers can make sound business decisions related to interactive and digital media.

A successful metrics framework is used to understand the correlation of marketing campaigns to defined corporate goals and objectives, and is not limited to just basic response measurement but extends to true financial results and customer-value metrics.

For digital media, defining appropriate attribution tactics that cover the complete spectrum of responses is vital, and there can be different attribution tactics, as multiple campaigns could be responsible cumulatively for the response:

  • First impression: The first impression gets the credit for the response.
  • Last impression: The last campaign gets the credit for the response.
  • Equal distribution: All contributing campaigns get equal credit.
  • Weighted distribution: The credit is split among different campaigns on a weighted basis.

4. Apply usable insights to guide marketing campaigns

By leveraging the Web-analytics data with other data sources, organizations can derive key customer insights. Those insights can then lead to action via targeted marketing campaigns both online (content, and site optimization) and through email.

Using those customer insights to guide a variety of marketing campaigns will optimize overall digital marketing spend.

* * *

Web analytics is a powerful tool that marketers are leveraging as media shifts from traditional to digital.

Organizations must look at Web analytics as more than just site metrics; they must find a way to tie Web analytics to key business-performance metrics.

As companies expand their digital-marketing spend, optimizing Web-analytics tools is critical to show serious return on investment for that spend.

Continue reading "The Power of Web Analytics: Top Four Tips for Marketers" ... Read the full article

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ram Krishnamurthy is director of professional services in the marketing automation practice at Quaero (quaero.csgsystems.com), a CSG Solution.

MarketingProfs Partner