By Heather Kraus | Manager, Performance Strategy and Analytics
It has been a few months since Google announced Universal Analytics, which will provide marketers with greater visibility into people’s interactions with a Web site at multiple levels. Universal Analytics will transform how marketers interpret consumer behavior.
Universal Analytics will open doors for more in-depth analysis of brands’ Web sites. It is a complete overhaul of Google Analytics. It requires marketers’ immediate attention in order to stay on top of the data revolution that is reshaping much of our economy and society.
The most exciting change brought about by Universal Analytics is the inclusion of more data. While a vast trove of data can be overwhelming to some, anyone who has worked with Google Analytics is aware of its shortcomings. Its lack of transparency has led some marketers to assume certain things about how consumers interact with their Web sites. Making assumptions with data is a recipe for disaster, whether you’re conducting a simple science experiment or analyzing a multichannel online marketing campaign.
Measuring interactions from different environments changes the very concept of “Web analytics” to “digital analytics.” With Universal Analytics, marketers are finally able to track user activity across multiple devices. This is important as consumers increasingly shift toward a mobile-first, multiple-device shopping experience. The focus is shifting from visits and visitors to sessions and users.
The consumer — not page views — now rules the e-commerce roost. (more…)
By Peter Klein | SVP, Media Services
Performance marketers are held to the highest standard of accountability possible – return on investment (ROI). We live and die by key metrics that make our clients successful.
If we must be held accountable for every facet of our campaigns, shouldn’t the President of the United States be held to the same accountability standards?
No matter who wins, performance-style metrics should factor into measuring the President’s success.
As I outline in a new white paper, “The CMO’s Guide to Affiliate Marketing,” there is a five-step process for performance marketing success. It’s a process that will benefit not only the next President of the United States (if he were inclined to engage a performance marketing campaign) but every CMO who is seeking an edge in the era of accountability of online marketing.
Let’s review each of the five steps as they relate to the work of CMOs and Presidential candidates.
Step 1: Define the Goal. For a CMO, this means defining the desired outcome of a campaign, be it a lead or a sale that generates a specific volume of consumers; specifically, which audience to target. For a Presidential candidate, this means the campaign or platform that he stands for, the audience he wishes to target and the overall deliverables to which he will be held accountable by the American people.
Step 2: Choose the Network. CMOs need to conduct due diligence before engaging an affiliate network. This is accomplished by comparing specific areas of performance, including an affiliate network’s tenure, financials, industry/vertical expertise, etc. A Presidential candidate’s most important network, of course, is his cadre of advisers, including his Vice Presidential running mate, all of whom will help him or her represent the views and values of their campaign and political party. (more…)
Editor’s note: The following is an excerpt of an op-ed published in the July 2012 issue of Direct Marketing News. Read the full opinion piece here.
By Steve Goldner | @SocialSteve | Senior Director, Social Media
There is no shortage of debate on social media ROI. Social media sales attribution is difficult given the reality of Facebook privacy settings and the challenges of tagging media that brands don’t own. This is true for many word-of-mouth consumer behaviors.
For example, how easy is it to attribute a customer visiting a new restaurant because of a friend’s recommendation?
But that doesn’t mean brands shouldn’t measure social media and get meaningful information on the performance of their campaigns. Like an old boss once told me, “That which is not measured, does not get done.”
When utilized properly, social media generates awareness, consideration, loyalty and advocacy — all of which can be measured. Brand managers and CMOs should be concerned with seeing measurable results in each category.
The four consumer psycho demographics listed below are inherently tied to the ultimate key performance indicator: that of sales. Consider the following parameters that can be easily captured and measured:
- Awareness: Number of brand and URL mentions.
- Consideration: Website visits, page views, Facebook and Twitter click-throughs, social network page views, Twitter replies and blog views.
- Loyalty: Fans, followers and community members, RSS subscriptions, Facebook interactions, Twitter mentions, blog/community comments and return visits to site.
- Advocacy: Retweets, re-blogs, brand mentions, comments on a brand’s assets and Facebook “likes.
Read the full op-ed in Direct Marketing News.
By: Steve Goldner, Senior Director of Social Media
So, you are tired of reading about Facebook this past week. From the controversy with GM pulling its $10M Facebook ad program to the Facebook IPO. And then the surprise wedding of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to his longtime girlfriend one day after the IPO. And in all this coverage, no one put the real Facebook issue on the table.
Everyone is asking if Facebook ads provide a winning ROI. Frankly, that is the wrong question.
Facebook should not be your social media program. It should be part of your social media program, but social media is bigger. And for that matter, social media is only a part of marketing (and other important business functions as well like customer support). To look at every slice of a marketing program and see if there is an ROI does not make sense. I’ll explain why shortly.
Before I explain the ROI issue, let me first rewind the tape from last week’s events. I was asked to provide comments and answer some questions for a number of publications. As is always the case, my comments were taken out of context. I was asked about GM publicizing that it was pulling its Facebook ads and my thoughts on that. Here was my complete response …
“WSJ reports that General Motors plans to stop advertising on Facebook as GM marketing chief Joel Ewanick said the auto maker ‘is definitely reassessing our advertising on Facebook, although the content is effective and important.’
“The news could not come at a worse time for Facebook, but states some strong commentary on both Facebook and GM.
“First GM … this is the same company that went before Congress looking for hand-outs to save their fledging company. Was Ford in front of Congress? No. Is it a coincidence that Ford has an extremely productive social media program that is fully integrated into other marketing programs? No. What Ford does, that is absent from GMs social media effort, is that they have a strategy, plan, execution, and metrics that integrate ALL owned, earned, and PAID media endeavors. They do not have an isolated Facebook paid media program. Furthermore, I question if Ewanick understands that, on average, only 16% of brand postings on Facebook reach their ‘like’s’ newsfeed as revealed at the fMC on 2/29/11. He should look at Facebook’s reach generator (paid offering from Facebook) with regards to “content (being) effective and important.” The fact is that GM does not know how to integrate social media into a winning business strategy. The issue is not Facebook ads.
“As for Facebook … this news is very detrimental for Facebook right before their IPO. It paints a picture that a struggling company cannot rely on Facebook to help turn them around, but the same could be said about any pure-play marketing advertisement program. The reality is that Facebook advertisement, by itself, is not a great use of precious marketing dollars. Facebook has done a poor job positioning and describing how their platform drives quantifiable business results. Facebook is not the equivalent of having a social media strategy and it is time for Facebook to communicate how they are PART of a winning solution and stop making ill-advised marketers believe they are THE social media solution.” (more…)