Oil, eggs, vinegar, mustard, chilies, and a spoon—all of these ingredients in the correct ratio produce the perfect mayonnaise. The same principle applies to performance measurement of online marketing campaigns. There is a plethora of tools and data available for the online marketer. Many offer free versions which are available to both large and small companies.
However, for goal-oriented work and analysis, it’s the intelligent combination of tools that matters over the diversity.
In this blog post, we look at the most crucial analytics component for an international company to employ, in order to demonstrate which tools are needed for success, as well as which features are the most important in tool selection.
1. Which Tools Are Necessary
To evaluate the performance of an online marketing campaign, the goals must first be clearly defined. These objectives are usually consisting of leads or conversions on the company’s webpage or social media property. It is essential to be able to distinguish between referral traffic for each conversion or lead, so as to better understand the buying cycle of your customers. This includes seeing the path differences between organic search results/referrals (SEO), social media platforms, and paid search engine advertising (SEA). It is important to track and monitor each of these referral paths in combination in order to get a well-rounded view of the customer journey and to see which channels deliver the most value. Another possible source or traffic or conversions are online catalogs or portals, which may or may not require a membership fee.
1.1 Tools for the Company Website
“Clickstream” tools allow for the measurement of clicks on a website or webpage. This also includes the ability to track the submission of forms, email addresses, and downloads. Good examples of tracking software for these types are Google Analytics, Adobe SiteCatalyst, and effective’s own effective.tracking. These tools, while performing more or less the same basic functions, differ in terms of application focus. For example, effective.tracking is incredibly useful in areas of lead generation and sale support, because of its ability to link IP addresses to specific companies. On the other hand, Adobe SiteCatalyst offer more in-depth evaluation of visitors to the webpage and more detailed referral path data. In some cases, it can be useful to use a combination of systems in order to create a well-rounded data picture of website traffic.
1.2 Tools for Analysis of Social Media Activities
Social media tools differ in their function. When a company actively manages Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts, it will need a Social Media Analytics tool. This tool allows for the evaluation of the company’s performance with regard to, for example, its followers or clicked links.
If however, the focus is on how much and what others say about the company, a Social Media Monitoring tool is needed. A lot of companies are surprised to learn how much is said about them in social media. Any company could benefit from using a Social Media Monitoring tool, such as Brandwatch or Meltware Buzz for the purposes of performance evaluation. At the very least, free tools such as Google Alerts or a Feed Reader, can be used. However, their analysis potential and reach are very limited.
1.3 Tools for Evaluating Search Engine Rankings (SEO Tools)
SEO Tools are a very critical piece of the puzzle in improving the online presence of a company. There has been some talk since Google switched its format to “not provided” keywords that SEO tools have become obsolete, when in reality, they are more essential than ever. (Read our article here about how to get around the “not provided” problem).
There are many different types of SEO tools that can aid companies in determining which channels, factors, and content are having an impact in search engine results pages (SERPs). Free ones include Google Webmaster Tools and Moz, which give basic insights into page rankings. We highly recommend to our customers to use a paid tool such as Searchmetrics or Xovi, which are much more robust and provide data and insights into errors, recommendations for changes, as well as competitor monitoring. These comprehensive and useful data points make an SEO Tool an essential part of any performance measuring initiatives.
2. Which Connections Are Useful?
Isolating groups of data touch points and long-phase sales journeys from channel to channel develop into an uneven picture. Therefore, it is essential to choose tools that can integrate to one another in order to obtain the most robust measurements. SEO and Social Media Tools need to be integrated into a ClickStream tool in order to put the data in context and better gage important metrics.
3. Which Factors Are Important for an International Company to Consider?
Familiarization and learning time with new tools are important things to take into account when looking analytics tools. For a multinational team or campaign where controlling costs is crucial, it’s best to limit tools to only the most effective ones. Wherever possible, cross country or market teams should use the same tool, so that reporting and data are streamlined across all areas and are easily comparable. In practice, however, this can be quite difficult—especially for the Chinese market—give language constraints as well as the use of different online channels and regulatory challenges.
It is also important to consider the number of user accounts required, the language interfaces available, as well as possible API connections to CRM systems.
4. Better Something Than Nothing
The above proposed framework is the simplest foundation for analytics that a business can depend on when measuring online marketing and content initiatives. Other elements such as mobile tracking and other features can be added onto this basic structure to provide more robust information on the customer journey.
If you are looking for more information or are curious as to which tools can work best in your organization, please contact Ms. Sara Valerie Noori at +49 621 17893 150 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.