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October 19, 2012

Taking Control of Your Online Marketing Progress

By David Gitonga, TMCnet Contributing Writer

In any type of investment, measuring the rate and amount of returns is necessary to assess the progress of the project. Such a venture, however, remains a challenge to almost everyone involved in online marketing. Companies do this by using some simple tactics and tools that are highly adapted to the dynamicity and width of the task.

Getting the background of the analysis approach will help cement the steps into your head with ease. Marketing ROI is not just a mere mathematical calculation, it is about figuring out the whole process involved in creating your online-based business. These might range from goal setting to choosing the right market tactics. There are simple tips to help you handle the process.

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The success of any venture depends on the foundation. This is also applicable to online marketing. For easy ROI measurements, identify the company’s main goals and gauge your progress to achieving them paying attention to how much you have done to the goal realization. Whatever goal you pursue, there must be ways in which the firm intended to achieve them. Measure your current metrics for each goal and keep consistent records of the progress with continued monitoring.

To help determine the ROI for many types of different marketing campaigns, use call tracking. Assigning different tracking numbers to the different online and offline-marketing campaigns will help you determine the type of marketing that initiates each call your call center receives. In addition to tracking, most of these solutions will also come with a recording option that will let management go through conversations later for further analysis. The mere act of call tracking lets managers identify quality in different marketing investments by gauging the quality and amount of call traffic.

Similar to call tracking, is the use of custom URL. Its difference from call tracking is in the fact that they generate clicks through online efforts. By piping the custom URL to specially designed landing pages, you can effectively calibrate the impact of your online marketing efforts.

One native way of doing this that still holds water is direct interviewing of the customer. Make it part of the plan to ask customers how they came to know of your business. To achieve this, give them a list to select from and remember to update the list each time a new channel of traffic opens up. A good way of presenting the query is integrating it in a must fill form or creating a system prompt to pick the information. Do not forget to analyze this information to identify traffic trends and make right decisions to that effect.

Venturing into online tools created to help make sense out of the jargon statistics generated during your online marketing can also save you a lot of pain. Free or cheap tools like Google Analytics, Twitter (News - Alert) Counter and analytics tools built into sites like YouTube are good in giving a snapshot of the progress of your blogs, websites and social media sites.

The hardest tip to implement is the interpretation of measurement returns from social media. For a start, focus on a few basic metrics like fan growth, engagement and site traffic which should in turn be intelligently tied to specific goals or campaigns. The trick comes in the fact that traffic from social media does not necessarily mean you are getting customers. Some might come and go without buying anything; hence the need to device means to filter out such traffic.

After you are through with all the bench marking and have all the necessarily statistics at hand, it is mandatory that you tie them back to sales, customer retention and other productive values to help gauge your ROI.

Edited by Brooke Neuman
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