Timing is critical in our business. Like any other medium we try and craft the right message and deliver it to the right people at precisely the right time. As you well know, with online there is always that added layer of complexity: measurement.
I'm not here to get in a tools-and-solutions debate. Rather, I'd like to share with you some tips and tricks. Before I do so, let's take a quick look at the basic parameters of what we can do to develop our campaign success metrics:
I'm not sure about the sales folks out there, but we ad agency folk deal with a lot of one-size-fits-all clients. When we are in our initial discovery pre-planning period, its not unusual to hear, "I want to build traffic, increase sales, spawn downloads, encourage repeat visitors, AND build awareness." Yikes!
As frustrating as this is, these steps may help you:
There MUST be agreement on the following BEFORE the campaign begins:
As you think about this, think about how many times you have followed this process. My guess is that you most likely have a clear understanding of the target audience, overall campaign objectives, and campaign plan. However, I bet you typically don't have a fully baked success metrics plan in place.
Many of us represent agencies that, quite frankly, offer most of the same tracking and measurement analysis to most of our clients. Sure, each client's numbers are different so the reports LOOK different, but are they?
Believe it or not, most agencies agree to service the online media strategy, planning, buying, and tracking. "Tracking" tends to be this vague entity. It's presented as if it's an add-on. Being cookie-cutter is insulting.
Tracking is not just a process. It must be customized for each client and each campaign. Sure you may have the same metrics for one campaign as another. However, this should not happen across the board. Tracking should involve accuracy, address discrepancies, caveat drop offs, and evolve into measurement. This is critical to success.
Sometimes putting all your eggs in one basket while planning isn't so bad. Once you start optimizing, the rules change. Do what's best for your client's goals and objectives. The bigger number is not always the better. More traffic doesn't necessarily mean more revenue. Repeat visitors may not be customers. Those who carefully assess and quickly optimize will benefit.
As an industry we may not have it all perfected. However, we certainly have a boatload of experience. Sure we've got our mistakes and failures. We also have a heck of a lot of successes.
So, dear readers, do you care to share your successes and failures? Maybe you'd like to chat about the numbers your team is responsible for? I'd love you to post your comments on the Spin Board. Until then, I'm still searching for that darn golden egg.