An approach for marketers to track, measure, and analyse their visitors' journeys.
Like all the new years that have gone by, now is the time to revisit certain fundamentals that beckon more attention when it comes to tracking, measuring, and analysing the efficiency of your digital programmes. Here is a quick overview of the various 'mile stone' metrics that constitute the much spoken about 'conversion funnel' - a mission-critical dashboard which marketers need to keep on their radars on a continual basis.
What Is a Conversion Funnel?
It is the 'in-site' journey of users who land on a marketer's website, driven there via various channels – both online (display, search marketing, etc.), as well as offline (print, TV, etc.). It's of extreme importance to keep track of the percentage of visitors that are contributed by each channel and the quality of the visitors as judged by various activities they perform within a site. This is because such analysis empowers the marketer with valuable business intelligence data that can then be applied to derive maximum mileage out of the multiple media initiatives. Therefore, one should have a clear view of the various metrics to zero-in on, while looking at the reams of data that are churned out by various Web analytics tools and other external measurement and tracking systems. Measuring what can be tracked is passé; measuring relevant parameters for actionable outputs is today's mantra.
Visitor Journey and Measurement Metrics
We can classify the relevant measurable parameters corresponding to the visitor journey in to a few broad layers that we shall refer to by the following names - top-line, just-below-the-line, below-the-line, and bottom-line.
Top-line metrics are the simplest of all and are in vogue amongst a large faction of the marketers for judging channel/media performance simply because this is the first 'feedback mechanism' that is easily available (read: without incurring extra tracking dollars) from the channels/media. The following illustration provides the 'good ole' metrics that proliferated as key metrics during a good part of the decade.
Marketers who focus on such metrics are largely looking at the efficiency of the channel initiative at the surface level without being exposed to how each of these relate back to the quality of the visitors delivered by each channel. These metrics may be used as primary efficacy gauges only if the website is not being considered as an active engagement platform that contributes towards acquiring, nurturing, and retaining consumers in the long term. This forms the 'awareness/recall' phase of the consumer journey as well.
Just-below-the-line metrics are comprised of a family of parameters that primarily contribute more stature to the top-line metrics and form the next stop for the visitor journey within the site (see figure below). They resort to tracking and measuring click-stream from various sources, categorising and attributing the visitor stream to various channels, and attempting to attach an initial quality score to the classifications based on the 'instances' or 'activities' that visitors engage in as soon as they enter the site. This layer also projects a macro-view of the visitor stream pie that helps one understand the 'play' of each channel as visitor contributors and also identifies the potential of each channel towards increasing quality traffic based on a period-based trending analysis. More importantly, this forms the 'interest/research' part of the consumer journey where they form early perceptions, opinions, and initial consideration.
A few pertinent 'derived metrics' that marketers can analyse against each contributing channel based on the above two layers are as below. Readers need to bear in mind that many derivations can be made from the various parameters appearing across the two layers depending on the need.
Pertinent efficacy assessment metrics that one may derive from this additional layer of information include:
Derivable relevant metrics from the above in relation with all the other layers include (but are not restricted to) the following:
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Hari is the Asia Pacific director of Performics; the Publicis-Vivaki arm specialised in search marketing and digital campaign analytics based out of Singapore. <a href="http://www.performics.com">Performics</a> handles search marketing strategies for global brands such as Delta Airlines and Malaysia Airlines amongst others. Hari is a seasoned digital marketing professional with over 13 years experience in the AP region spanning integrated digital media strategy/planning, performance/ROI based marketing, digital media analytics, and measurement. His track record includes successfully building and deploying digital strategies for a repertoire of brands in Asia Pacific such as Singapore Airlines, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, J&J, Nike, Intel, Nokia, and Samsung to name a few. He was the global media director of BLUE Interactive SG (2008), having set up the digital media discipline there; served as the national director- Starcom IP India (2007); served as integrated media director for Dell South Asia (2006); set up Mediacom Interaction Singapore (2005); and was also director- Mindshare Interaction (2004). His interests include metaphysics, music, motorcycles, and life in the wild.
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