Just an Online Minute... Closing the Loop

I don't often endorse anything, but this seems worth it.

I've long recommended that websites subscribe to WebSideStory's HitBox service to analyze exactly what people are doing on their websites and today the company formed a technology alliance with Salesforce.com, which promises to offer great insight into online marketing programs.

Under the agreement, clients of salesforce.com S3 and WebSideStory's HitBox Enterprise will be able to link their systems and tie an entire marketing campaign together, from the number of visitors that were reached by a particular initiative, to the revenue that was ultimately generated from that same campaign.

Company officials say that the partnership closes a different piece of the marketing loop for each company's clients. By using HitBox Enterprise, for example, salesforce.com S3 clients will now be able to view all the pre-conversion metrics of an online campaign, including impressions, click-throughs and conversion rates. By linking to salesforce.com S3, HitBox Enterprise clients will be able to view post-conversion information, such as how much actual revenue was generated from a particular campaign.

That's a very welcome additional layer.

"This type of analysis provides a link between lead generation and sales revenue that is crucial for improving CRM effectiveness," said Robert Blumstein, Director of Research for CRM Analytics and Marketing Applications at IDC, a worldwide research firm with headquarters in Framingham, Massachusetts. "Marketers need a complete, unified view of their online campaigns to make the best decisions."

It also doesn't hurt that ASPNews.com lists both Salesforce.com and WebSideStory as among the top 20 ASPs (application service providers) in the world.