How to Use Analytics to Improve the Performance of Your Digital Marketing Campaigns
In the blockbuster movie "Minority Report," Tom Cruise's character, Chief John Anderton, lives in a world where personal, dynamic digital advertising is the norm. In public, he's constantly assailed by digital signage targeted directly at him — it even addresses him by name. The technology uses his eyes to identify him, and the ads he is shown are, one assumes, determined by data on his interests and previous purchases.
In the here and now, most online retailers know that data helps them gain insights into the behaviors of their visitors. In fact, a recent survey by Experian Data Quality found that nearly 100 percent of retailers said they feel driven to turn data into insight, and all said some form of data is essential to marketing success.
The technology in "Minority Report" may still be years away, but today's analytics applications (e.g. Google Analytics) can help brands glean similar kinds of information for their digital marketing campaigns. These applications give marketers a better understanding of whether their paid search and digital marketing efforts are bringing the right prospects to their e-commerce sites.
Seeing Beyond the Obvious
Google AdWords is great for quantifying the basic performance of retailers' digital marketing programs. It provides a variety of valuable performance indicators — e.g., opens, impressions, clicks, conversion rates, etc. — so retailers can see how effectively their digital marketing efforts are driving traffic to their websites.
But what happens after those visitors arrive? Analytics packages take the next step, allowing retailers to track visitors throughout their visit, providing even more insight into how well paid search campaigns are working.
There are numerous analytics applications retailers can use, but I recommend Google Analytics. It's free; others aren't. More importantly, Google Analytics tight integration with Google AdWords gives retailers a broad and deep view into the performance of their digital marketing campaigns. With other packages, it might take some effort to gain the same level of insight.
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