My previous column looked at actionable analytics and six questions that chief marketers can ask to ensure that they develop meaningful insights with their analytics program and implement those insights for marketing success. Once the basics are in place, marketers can begin to answer some of the thornier questions, such as “How do I measure the impact of brand campaigns?” and “How do I look at campaigns globally?” The following six questions are among the most common that we are working to answer for our more-sophisticated clients.
Question: How can I deliver high-impact, brand-focused messaging and gauge success?
Answer: Develop rich Internet applications (RIAs), enabled by a new generation of Web 2.0 development tools. RIAs provide engaging, innovative user experiences, especially for brand or product evangelism. This value extends across all digital channels — from a company Website to a Web media buy.
All Web real estate can provide a home for RIA penetration, but keep a few things in mind about RIAs relative to analytics:
• Traditional Web analytics providers lack the customized, flexible approach that RIAs demand and the service component needed to answer complex tracking and reporting questions.
• A robust RIA tracking and reporting solution must handle all types of interactions.
• RIAs often focus on building brand. The reporting solution should address this.
Question: What steps can I take now to improve my Website performance?
Answer: Reduce friction and barriers to conversion and develop an ongoing testing and optimization platform. Remember these tips:
• Understand user needs and expectations as part of an optimization process.
• Apply behavioral analysis to identify and remove friction in key user paths. Complement this approach with focus groups and site-side surveys to address the full user experience.
• Benchmark your performance.
• Once you have optimized design usability, begin ongoing testing and optimization.
Question: How can I get a holistic view of my complex multichannel and multicountry marketing campaigns?
Answer: Dashboards that combine disparate data from different channels, campaigns, and agencies can answer such questions as
• How effective are my various agencies or channels?
• Where appropriate, how can I get deeper analysis of specific campaigns regardless of channel?
• In a global economy, how can I visualize the impact of marketing efforts in different regions, countries, and continents?
• Which channels perform above or below benchmarks?
Dashboards can bring all these disparate data together in a common platform, but significant challenges exist. For example, most large organizations leverage multiple agencies across multiple channels. Results from campaigns run online, on television, in print, and on radio are usually collected in different sources and are rarely, if ever, checked against one another for duplication. Marketers must reconcile multiple sources and try to compile these data into a usable format.
Unlike custom solutions, one-size-fits-all products fail to account for the unique nature of each organization. Trends, analysis, and key performance indicators valuable to one company may be entirely irrelevant to another. Successful implementations require deep analysis of the metrics and measurements driving each company’s business.
Question: Is it possible to create a seamless customer experience across all digital contact points?
Answer: Yes. When used correctly, third-party ad-serving technologies deliver a consistent, personalized experience across the Website, display media, and e-mail. Talk with your team about
• effective and low-cost cross-channel personalization solutions.
• simple segmentation plans and trigger programs.
• integrated media-offer and site-side-offer testing
Question: Can I extend an online segmentation and personalization plan into e-mail or even direct mail?
Answer: Yes. All media channels can work in concert to achieve a desired response. Among the options:
• Customer data from Websites can be associated with databases and all direct, catalog, and e-mail data.
• Even the most basic Website behavioral segments can provide significant lift to e-mail campaigns and incremental sales.
Question: I’ve invested millions in my enterprise-wide e-CRM solution. Can the online media component be plugged in?
Answer: Yes. It is increasingly common to provide data management and data pass-back services that support large e-CRM programs. Keep the following in mind:
• The complexity of the online environment will produce inaccurate media and Website data unless it is rigorously managed.
• Interactive advertising agencies that specialize in online media campaign set-up, analysis, and optimization may be useful in preparing online data for e-CRM integration.
Building and maintaining a world-class actionable analytics program requires ongoing commitment of financial and other resources. We encourage clients to invest heavily in their inhouse analytics and develop a deep partnership with analytics experts. By applying the best thinking internally and externally, companies create lasting competitive advantage and a leadership position difficult for competitors to match.
Dave Friedman is president of the central region for Avenue A | Razorfish, a Seattle-based interactive services firm, and a monthly contributor to CHIEF MARKETER. Contact him at Dave.Friedman@avenuea-razorfish.com. Avenue A | Razorfish recently released “Actionable Analytics,” a report that demystifies the world of Web analytics. To download a free copy, visit www.avenuea-razorfish.com/points.htm.
Other articles by Dave Friedman: