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Are you measuring the FULL benefits of your online marketing?

Annie Wakefield
Digital Marketing Manager
4 March 2011

Do you say ‘Good morning’ to other people working in your office when you arrive?

Would you recommend that as a good idea to others?

If so, why? Do you know the hard, measurable returns of being nice to people you work with?

It’s not just because it’s good manners, but also because you know deep down that good things result from being pleasant to your colleagues.

You can measure the immediate ‘return on investment’ of the activity – you get a smile or a ‘Good morning’ straight back, but you can’t measure ALL of the benefits. Does it make people around you happier and more productive? Are there other good things that come from it? If so, you can’t slap a Google Analytics tracking code on them, so strictly measuring the full impact is not possible.

But you can be pretty sure that somewhere down the line there is a small (or large?) benefit to the organisation.

So, if you could manage your online marketing budget in a way that let you measure the real and full returns for each channel, would that help you to optimise how you allocate budgets?

Do you feel that you do that already? In reality, if you are relying on the data you grab from Site Catalyst or Google Analytics or similar, you are only seeing a tiny part of the picture of what your returns are. To really understand how your customers are interacting with your various forms of marketing you need to know how often they encounter your ‘presence’ in its various forms, how do they react to that, and how does each channel play a part in steering them towards a final indication of joy and love for your brand – some sort of engagement that matches your true business objectives, whether that is making a purchase, joining your email distribution list or contacting your sales team.

A customer researching products visits your site 15 times through natural searches, follows 3 recommendations received from peers on Facebook and Twitter and then finally clicks on a PPC advert to make the purchase from your site. Which channel worked best for you? Without tracking all of those multiple checkpoints you will not know.

Read through the following study conducted by Tagman for a large client, that tracked all of these multiple touchpoints for all of their customers, to see what the full picture was.

http://econsultancy.com/uk/blog/7229-social-media-and-seo-massively-undervalued-study?utm_medium=email&utm_source=topic

This is really important intelligence, and worth reading a couple of times.

It is all about the VALUE of SEO and social media. Real value, not just what you can see on a traffic report.

SEO was found to be 14 times more effective than your basic web analytics package tells you. Social Media up to 8 times more. How does your PPC campaign stack up against that now?

Do you think that your results are different? If so, why? How can you know without looking at the full data picture?

Without even talking about the brand-building part of the story, the real attribution of success and influence of your SEO and Social shows a very different story from your basic web analytics package. When you speak with your SEO team or agency, or your social media people, try to remember the context of the data they can give back to you. If you don’t have a full attribution model in place (there are many to choose from – and if you need any help or would like to talk further then do get in contact) then you will only ever be seeing the data related to first click, or last click, on the customer journey. If you are reviewing ‘hard returns’ from those channels in this way, you run the risk of cutting off the legs of your most influential activities.

And nobody finds cutting off legs to be the best of manners…

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