Tuesday, January 22, 2013

8 Simplest ways to track multi-channel marketing

In my previous post, I had explained the concept of multi-channel analytics. I had also briefed upon online impact of offline campaigns and offline impact of online campaigns, with a simple example each and talked about the challenges of tracking it. In this post I will go over the 8 simplest ways to track multi-channel marketing.

Tracking offline marketing of online purchases:

1.      Vanity URLs: 

This is the concept I explained in the first example in my previous post. This method requires the addition of tags to the URL, to indicate traffic arriving from different sources.  When a company with site www.xyz.com places an ad in the newspaper, it will use the link www.xyz.com/news and when they do a campaign on TV they request the viewers to visit www.xyz.com/tv to take action. Thus we can easily track the source from which the traffic arrived.

2.      Use of a promo code:

    I recently received a coupon from Kohl’s, which has to be showed to the cashier when shopping in store and if making a purchase online, I have to use the promo code CARNIVAL, to redeem the discount. CARNIVAL is the promo code that Kohl’s is using to track the campaign. Likewise using different promo codes to track each campaign will easily reveal its status.

It is possible to set the use promo code as an event in your analytics tool, so that every time someone redeems it, data is collected as part of the campaign.

The disadvantage here is that the partial success of your campaign cannot be tracked, i.e there is no way for Kohl’s to track that I visited their website after receiving the coupon, if I do not make a purchase. They can track me only when I use the promo code at check out, unless I am logged in. 

3.      Add toll free numbers for a particular campaign: 

    If you are providing an option to call to request more information or make a purchase, then offer a distinct number for a particular campaign. This way you can make sure which calls are associated with which campaign. It is easy to buy a toll free number. Just Google ‘toll free numbers to buy’ and you will get the options instantly with step by step process of setting it up.
Avinash Kaushik’s bonus point,
 “ For an extra cute level of tracking why not let your phone system "ping" your web analytics tool so that you can track the phone calls generated by your website directly in Web Trends Core Metrics or Google Analytics?
A quick "hidden page", a small chq to Mongoose Metrics, add campaigns tags, and now every time someone calls that number it pings your site, the phone call data shows up in your web analytics tool. Nice ain't it? “

4.       Observing changes in traffic trends: 

    Observe your analytics data closely around the days of campaign and at the specific time to see any expected change in trend. For example, if your firm is running an ad campaign on TV, then you know the days and timings when your ad will be showed. An increase in traffic at around these times (if no other campaigns are being run at the same time), can give some insights.  

Tracking Online marketing of offline purchases: 

5.      Capture visitor intent: 

    One way to track conversion of online marketing to offline purchase is by checking the metrics for store locator page and direction links. People who visit these pages are those with intentions to make the purchase at a store. Tracking the browsing behavior of these people helps us in understanding how they traverse the site before they take the decision of making a purchase.

This cannot be 100% true as after noting the address, the user might change his mind and make the purchase from elsewhere.  For this reason, stores like Barnes and Noble and Walmart allows you to make an online reservation for the product and pick up at the store. This way the purchase is made and there is no chance of losing a customer, later. Also, now if you make other purchases along with your in-store pick up, they have the golden opportunity of associating all these purchases with your online account, which otherwise could not have been linked together.

6.      Linking online coupons to offline purchase: 

    This is a reverse case of #2. Here we find a coupon online and we plan to use it at store or through a dial-in. Either ways, we have to use the unique campaign code/bar code on the coupon to redeem the offer. This links the online to offline purchase.

7.      Distinct Toll free numbers on important landing pages: 

       There are high chances that you want different campaigns to take users to different landing pages. Hence if you are adding phone number to your site,then it will do good to add distinct phone numbers on different landing pages. This will help to collect  info on different campaigns separately, as explained in #3.

8.      On-Exit Surveys: 

    Exit surveys are surveys that are taken just before a user exits a site. It can be used to collect info on the user experience and at the same time we could ask the user about the chances of them making a purchase of the products, they researched, at a nearby store. This would help us understand user intent directly from them.

I have listed the 8 simplest ways to track multi-channel analytics here. Please follow the links in reference, if you are curious to learn about more ways to do the same. Which of these methods would you be likely to start off with, for your multi-channel analytics tracking? Please share in the comments. 

4.      http://www.minethatdata.com/MineThatData_Multichannel_Forensics.pdf
5.      Web Analytics 2.0

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