Best Online Campaigns: It’s About Measuring and Adjusting
Marketing and emerging technologies are moving faster than Audis on the Autobahn, but a recent survey and study by Forbes Insights and Coremetrics (an IBM company) showed that many large companies are analyzing their online campaigns sporadically and adjusting at the same rate.
Of those 321 marketing executives surveyed—all at companies of more than $250 million in annual revenue and representing industries that are traditionally heavy-users of Internet marketing—only 20% reviewed their metrics daily; fewer than 1 in 10 reviewed their campaign performance in real time. Most astonishingly, almost 25% of executives reported that their companies only reviewed online performance metrics monthly.
While 20% is a good start, it is not the building blocks for world class campaign creation—“world class” being defined as those campaigns that produce significant results for the business.
With the accessibility of technology and measurement, unlike the days of poor Don Draper where months would pass before Sterling Cooper found out anything about a creative TV campaign for Utz potato chips, marketing executives from small business to large corporations will soon realize that the ability to watch a campaign’s results daily is not only a technical possibility, but is more importantly a recipe for the most successful results.
“The technology required to capture buying patterns over multiple channel interactions over a 90-day period was too expensive,” said one SVP of an international consumer website in the Forbes study.
Today, even large amounts of data can be drilled down and analyzed in a timeframe that allows for quick and actionable results.
More important than the data measurement itself is obviously what a business does with the data. The “world-class” marketers subset in the Forbes study cited using the data to adjust their campaigns—39% adjusted in real time and 29% adjusted whenever they reviewed the data (if they did not review in real time).
Be careful with your adjustments though. Adequate time should be given and you must always ensure that you know what kind of adjustment needs to be made—technology or marketing.
Small and medium-sized business can learn from the results of this survey. When OttoPilot first launched RadioSocialLife, one of our joint venture projects, we watched the data in real-time. Thankfully we did this because our analytics showed us that most of our exit pages on day 1 were from the cart and checkout—not a good sign when you are a commerce platform. Because we watched our data, and then determined what the data meant, we could do some heavy testing right away and fix the glitch that was making the process more difficult for our customers.
- Track all online campaigns at least weekly (daily or real-time if you are running larger campaigns with more customer "touches").
- Understand your data. Data shows your customers' behaviors and by better understanding what they are more or less interested in, you can dedicate resources accordingly. The data can also tell you if there is an issue with your customer’s experience (like the checkout page is confusing) which should obviously be treated differently than a fundamental marketing issue with the campaign.
- Based on the data, extrapolate real information about what is working and what is not working. Do more of what is working and less of what is not working. Test your adjustment and, like a scientist, be sure not to change everything but only certain factors. Rinse and repeat.