Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't know which half," lamented William Lever, founder of Unilever way back in the late 1800's early 1900's.
A hundred years on and many advertisers still say the same thing. In fact, 72% of marketers agree that attribution enables better decisions - the problem is that 44% don't use it.
There are solutions to this age old problem, the issue is that many businesses are not aware of some of them. Or at least how to pull it together.
So this article aims to give you a few tips and hints on how you can measure your offline and online marketing more effectively.
Fortunately, Google has three free tools that you can use to track the effectiveness of your marketing spend and benchmark your effectiveness.
So providing you have already set up conversion goals or ecommerce tracking in Google Analytics, here are three of the best free tools and one paid tool that you can use to measure your marketing effectiveness:
1. The Google URL Tool Builder
This nifty little tool is useful for measuring the effectiveness of online and online campaigns and how they drove both visits to your website and conversions in Google Analytics.
You can use it to evaluate marketing campaigns on social media (think posts & ads on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter), email campaigns, listings on paid directory sites and even offline campaigns like direct mail.
By completing the form, the URL builder will generate another version of your URL with all your campaign information included. The information about your campaign is then passed on to your Google Analytics reports.
The four fields you need to fill out are:
- Website address: The landing page you want to send traffic to
- Campaign Name: What is the name of the overall marketing initiative?
- Campaign Source: Where is the link displayed? e.g. yahoo.com, newsletter, etc.
- Campaign Medium: How is the message communicated? e.g. banner, Blog, CPC, email, print, referral, affliate, offline, social, other
- Campaign Content: This is an optional tag to define the call-to-action or ad headline.
Note: You don't need to use this tool for tracking AdWords campaign. Instead you need to link your Google Analytics and Google AdWords account and ensure you have enabled auto-tagging.
When you want to see the campaign results, you can simply jump into Google Analytics and navigate to the Campaigns report.
2. The Google Analytics attribution modelling tool
This is a new tool within Google Analytics that was recently launched. You can use this tool, model to understand the impact different marketing channels had on lead generation or sales.
Previously, Google analytics recorded conversions based on last last click and therefore worked on the assumption that consumers follow a linear path to purchase.
The reality is that consumers rarely shop linearly. They might have been exposed to your brand or business via Facebook, then later clicked on a Google AdWords and gone to your website, because they were in research mode and your offer was tempting they returned. When they returned they left their email details with you. You emailed them with an offer so compelling they brought.
If you are tracking conversions, then your email would be credited with the conversion, leading you to think that the rest of your marketing was ineffective.
This tool inside Google Analytics solves that problem. It helps you identify which parts of your marketing program helped lead to the conversion.
Identifying this will help you re-allocate funds towards the channels that are helping you even though they may not have been immediately obvious initially.
Using the tool helped Amari Hotels identify under utilised channels and generate a 45% increase in sales. Impressive!
You can see a great case study from a Vinoaj Vijeyakumaar who presented at the the Google Analytics user conference we attended in late June.
You can find the tool in Google Analytics under the conversion sections of your report.
3. Import Cost data into analytics
The final tool in Google analytics is the cost analysis tool which lets you see the costs and the return on of your marketing campaign by campaign source, medium and name.
Therefore if you are using offline channels like newspaper or direct mail to advertise your products and services, you can set up analytics so it can import the cost data from each of the channels and get a read on what campaigns are working or not.
The power is in being able to use the three tools to really measure the effectiveness of your marketing spend.
You can navigate to the tool in Google Analytics from the Traffic Sources section.
Be warned! You won't see any data in the tool from your offline campaigns in there. That's the bit that gets a little technical and needs to be set up from the Admin area.
They power however is in knowing it can be done and using the three tools together to really measure the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns.
Ok so what if you get the majority of your sales and leads from the telephone and not from people buying products online or filling out your contact form.
No problem - this is where the fourth tool comes in handy.
4. Phone Call tracking
You can track and measure the success of your marketing campaigns by tracking phone calls generated by both online and offline channels.
Typically, you might want to track calls generated via Google AdWords, organic search, social media, newspaper ads or even direct mail etc.
The beauty is that your call data can be automatically imported into Google Analytics and measured at a campaign level.
Phone call tracking is not free. This is because as you need to use a third party provider like Jet Interactive or Delacon.
But each provider has comprehensive plans that range from capped plans to pay per call plans.
By using phone tracking in combination with the other tools, you can really measure the effectiveness of your market spend and evaluate how each channel is performing.
Understand that this will help you make better budget decisions and enable you to redirect your marketing spend to the channels that help grow your bottom line.
Google Analytics are also making some more changes that will enable you to better measure your marketing effectiveness at a device level. You can read more about Universal Analytics here.
While some might say the devil is in the detail, I think the devil is in the data. What do you think?
If you want expert help to set up a process to measure the effectiveness of your campaigns, feel free to contact us.