Most of you are familiar with using Google Analytics to track your direct, referring, and organic site visitors. But did you know you can track all of your campaigns including your traditional offline marketing all within the same reports?
Google Analytics is a very powerful (and free!) tool that provides a nifty function called link tagging. With link tagging you can add code to the end of any offsite link that will tell Google Analytics every time that specific link is clicked. And it gets better. You can track five different variables that will quickly take your marketing tracking to the next level with comprehensive marketing dashboard reporting.
So where would you use this?
Here are a few examples assuming that you have three current promotions called Promo A, B and C that have print ads, direct mail, email and social media campaign components:
Mullikin.net is in the middle of being reconstructed due to unexpected malicious attacks when hosted on Godaddy. On May 26, 2010 I decided to cut the ties with a 12 year hate-filled relationship with Godaddy, in exchange for greener pastures with JustHost.com. Mullikin.net will be the first migration and then my other many sites will follow. So far so good, as i made the decision 50 minutes ago, set up my new JustHost.com account, exported my old WordPress blog, imported it here, and BAM! Here it is. That was much easier than I ever imagined.
So, i will get the plugins, widgets, and imagery re-linked soon. So please come back by and snoop around when I have it fully running again.
Marketing reporting and performance tracking seems like it would be the foundation for any marketing program. But as we talked with clients, prospects, and attendees at many conferences this fall, we find that with all of the marketing options today, many people stand there like a deer in the headlights when asked how they are tracking results.
Not tracking marketing performance is like being on the PGA Tour and not keeping score. You just can’t compete and win without doing it.
Here is a list of six tools for your consideration. Let me preface by saying we define what tools we will use at the beginning of each campaign and these only represent a few that we leverage most often. Also, not everything is easily tracked in one solution, so we often take reports from various formats and pull up our old-school friend, Microsoft Excel, to build custom dashboards based on the client’s specific data views.
It seems that marketing budgets fall into two camps these days: I cut my budget because why throw good money after bad. Or, I am spending a lot less but I still getting no immediate results. It has been said that we create the worst of habits in the best of times and I think the “good ole’ days” of the early 2000’s have given us a microscope instead of a telescope. What I mean by this is marketing, like wise investing, should be done with the long-term in mind, not the short-term. Placing every marketing decision under a microscope when we know times are tough is like watching your 401k bounce around everyday. In the end, you create a lot of anxiety and are so short-term focused that we often begin to make emotional decisions because we need some instant gratification. And if the dollar did not move the needle in 30 days, then it was a dollar wasted.
After 13 years of involvement with all aspects of marketing and web development, it seems the three-legged stool of Web development is getting a lot less wobbly and consumer habits, client needs and agency services seem to be far more in sync. Until the last 12-18 months, it always seemed that getting all three of these constituents aligned was difficult because everyone had competing agendas. Agencies wanted portfolio work, consumer habits were still segmented by demographics, and clients were confused. Enter social media.
Not that social media has fundamentally changed everything but it is a pink elephant in the room that got all three parties staring at the same thing. And if you look at what it has done, it has created two expectations from consumers that have forced the hands of clients and their agencies: transparency and real-time content.
So with the tighter budgets that most marketing managers are facing today, it seems that every call we get leads to a discussion on improving the user functionality, management capability, and ROI of their online efforts.
Here are 5 things that we are doing that clients seem to be responding great to these days.
Daniel and Tresh Crosby are very dear friends of ours and have a child, Cullen, with special needs. On January 23, 2009 Tresh set up a Facebook Group called CULLY’S VOICE – Therapy Works for Special Needs Children and when I received the invitation that day over 200 people had already signed on. Her mission was to create awareness for a Tefra Medicaid cut that limited the access to physical, occupational and speech therapies for special needs children. In just 10 days over 1,250 people have joined on to show support