• Measuring What Matters Most
    There are so many things to measure, more and more marketers are getting wrapped around the axle of measurement -- and wasting time, energy, and money chasing insight into the wrong things. Occasionally this is the result of prioritizing metrics based on what is easy to measure in an altruistic but misguided attempt to just "start somewhere." But most often it is the challenge of being able to even identify what the most important metrics are. So here's a way to isolate those factors that are really critical -- and, thereby, the most critical metrics.
  • Setting Realistic Expectations For Targeted Campaign Delivery
    We have a tendency on the Internet to believe that -- because we are, after all, the most measurable medium -- things can and should be measured and automated, made as efficient as possible. But too often, we tend to accept measurement at face value, without questioning the underlying imprecision (of, for example, cookies) and the implications that arise therein. We think, for example, that click-throughs are a good measure of ad campaign effectiveness, because a click is such a hard, tangible metric -- despite the fact that 8% of Internet users account for 85% of the clicks (and chances ...
  • The Future Of The Marketing Dashboard
    If conversations with clients are a good indication of the future, then 2010 will be the Year of the Dashboard. Based on my company's survey of senior marketing executives, it's clear that the use of dashboards to measure and manage marketing is going mainstream. Fully 60 % of the marketers we polled currently use three or more dashboards to track outcomes like advertising effectiveness, Web site activity and sales/sales leads (in order of importance).
  • Making The 'Best' Business Case For Marketing Investments
    More than ever before, the approval of any significant marketing initiative is dependent upon a compelling business case. A business case is meant to function as a logical framework for the organization of all of the benefit and cost information about a given project or investment. Working with this definition, one might conclude that a "good" marketing business case is one that increases the quality of decision-making. Yet many of us in marketing have come to believe that a good business case is one that predicts a significantly positive ROI, IRR, and/or NPV for a given investment. Have you ever ...
  • How Do You Measure Coverage? Is There Really A 'Map' For That?
    Keep your eyes open for the cell phone commercial war going on between Verizon and AT&T. Most of you have probably heard about this public "coverage" battle: Verizon is essentially calling "BS" on AT&T's claim of having so much "coverage" and the maps that they use to illustrate it. In my personal experience, coverage is a description reserved for throwing on my bathrobe or observing another person's choice in swimwear. However, this very public battle that the two companies have waged brings up the obvious question of "How do you measure coverage?"
  • Time To Bury John Wanamaker
    I was out at the ANA (Association of National Advertisers) conference in Phoenix a few weeks back. In this, the 100th year of the ANA, there appear to still be lots of questions surrounding which 50% of advertising is "wasted." Still, it's difficult to ignore the many signs of great progress the marketing industry has made towards better understanding the financial payback of marketing and advertising.
  • What Do You Need In A Web Analytics Tool?
    I've often said that not all Web analytics tools were created equally. Each tool has various nuances that make it either very appropriate or less than effective for your business. While looking at simple lists of features, hearing the sales-speak, and watching product demos is certainly helpful for assessing tool capabilities, limiting yourself to only those activities is never wholly sufficient to put the "tool decision" in context.
  • The 'Big Challenge' According To Eric Schmidt -- And Other Predictions
    I had a chance to talk briefly with Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, at last week's ANA conference. He'd just finished sharing his take on marketing and advertising with 1,200 of us representing marketers, agencies, and supporting service providers. Of relevance to Metrics Insider readers, he said...
  • Get Your Search House In Order For The Holidays
    The numbers are in. The National Retail Federation (NRF) is, not surprisingly, predicting another dip in holiday spending in 2009, starting with an 1% drop in sales during the eighth-largest U.S. spending holiday, Halloween. It's a dismal outlook for marketers, but one that doesn't have to leave us scratching our heads and biting our nails until the actual sales figures are reported. Even with dour consumer spending and strained marketing budgets, smart marketers can adjust their marketing strategies to divert search traffic from rivals and gain an online competitive advantage.
  • The Click Is Wagging the Dog
    According to the most recent Interactive Advertising Bureau Internet Advertising Revenues Report, Internet advertising for the first 6 months of 2009 was down 5.3% year over year, to $10.9 billion. According to TNS Media Intelligence, total U,S, ad spend for the same period was down 14.3%, which means that online advertising is doing a pretty good job of weathering this recession, and is in fact increasing share of spend. That will stand us in good stead as the economy recovers. Digging a little deeper into the IAB report, two trends jump out at me.
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