integrationroadmapfeatured

Moving Beyond Conversions in Digital Measurement

  |  May 29, 2013   |  Comments   |  

Consider this approach to tie your digital data to sales.

Digital measurement has come a long way, from the earliest site counters to sophisticated multi-channel analytics tools; and from measuring simple page views to tracking event/engagement conversions. For today's digital marketers, measuring "conversions" seems to be the end game. It's like we've finally found the Holy Grail of digital measurement and now everything that we do is to "optimize conversions."

But we forget that the true indication of marketing success is the increase of sales/leads. Hence, the next phase of digital measurement should move beyond conversions by tying it to sales.

The Digital Data Silo

However, linking digital data to sales is no small feat due to the challenges below:

  1. Digital and sales data sit in different tools and databases.
  2. The unstructured nature of digital data makes it especially hard for integration.

Let's examine the first challenge. Most marketing departments probably utilize web analytics tools like Omniture, Google Analytics, Webtrends, etc. to measure digital conversion. But the sales data usually sit in internal business intelligence tools like Cognos, Business Objects, Teradata, etc. Trying to match datasets across different tools is no doubt a hassle for many marketers.

But if we tried to integrate the datasets, we have to decide, is it easier to bring digital conversion data internally or take sales data and import it to the digital analytics tools? If the marketing team decides to bring the digital data internal, then they'd have to request the help of the business intelligence, or God forbid... the ever-helpful IT team. If marketers decide to take the sales data external, then we run into an integration issue, because sales and digital clickstream datasets do not have a single primary key linking them together. No matter which way, it's a fairly technical problem that I'm sure no marketer would ever want to deal with.

The Solution: Baby Steps

In order for us to move to true digital marketing accountability, integrating digital and sales datasets is inevitable. There are certainly some challenging technical issues at hand, but we do not have to tackle them all at once. Instead, we could take baby steps and conduct integration with the resources that we have on hand. Below is an integration road map that we can follow:

Obviously, the more data sources that we have to integrate, the more technically challenging it's going to be. So if we focused only on a few key initiatives at first, we can start the integration process with simple tools that we're all used to as marketers. For example, if we wanted to integrate the consumers who registered on our website to consumers in our sales database, then we can manually use Excel to complete the task. Moving up on the data sources ladder, if we wanted to attribute the internal leads data to a particular digital media channel, we can use the integration tool kits from Omniture or Webtrends. These tools allow marketers to import sales/leads data from Excel or through their API. Lastly, if your organization and marketing place a very strong focus on marketing attribution and data integration, then a full-scale marketing data integration project would have to take place. The implementation would probably take more than a year and would span across multiple departments.

Conclusion

Digital is a fast-changing world, with new tactics and channels emerging rapidly. Without tying our measurements to the bottom line, marketers have no clue which new tactics or channels are effective. Hence, as digital marketers we all need to get a little more technical and push the measurement beyond conversions.

Subscribe to ClickZ Asia to receive your weekly dose of the region's latest trends, tips, and insights straight to your inbox.

ClickZ Live Chicago Join the Industry's Leading eCommerce & Direct Marketing Experts in Chicago
ClickZ Live Chicago (Nov 3-6) will deliver over 50 sessions across 4 days and 10 individual tracks, including Data-Driven Marketing, Social, Mobile, Display, Search and Email. Check out the full agenda and register by Friday, August 29 to take advantage of Super Saver Rates!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Charlie Wang

Currently the digital partner for Mindshare, looking after the digital and search team in Beijing. Charlie is an experienced digital marketing professional with strong IT consulting background and a passion in data-driven marketing. He has more than seven years of digital marketing and consulting experience across U.S., Hong Kong, and China. His areas of expertise focus on direct response, lead generation, e-commerce, CRM, and programmatic media. An active advocate of data-driven marketing in the China market with various speaking engagements and publications on digital analytics and programmatic media. His client portfolio spans across IT, B2B, and FMCG.

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

Get the ClickZ Analytics newsletter delivered to you. Subscribe today!

COMMENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS

Featured White Papers

BigDoor: The Marketers Guide to Customer Loyalty

The Marketer's Guide to Customer Loyalty
Customer loyalty is imperative to success, but fostering and maintaining loyalty takes a lot of work. This guide is here to help marketers build, execute, and maintain a successful loyalty initiative.

Marin Software: The Multiplier Effect of Integrating Search & Social Advertising

The Multiplier Effect of Integrating Search & Social Advertising
Latest research reveals 68% higher revenue per conversion for marketers who integrate their search & social advertising. In addition to the research results, this whitepaper also outlines 5 strategies and 15 tactics you can use to better integrate your search and social campaigns.

Jobs

    • Sales Planner
      Sales Planner (Verve ) - New YorkAbout Verve   Verve is the leader in location powered mobile advertising. We manage one of the largest mobile...
    • Systems Analyst/Support
      Systems Analyst/Support (Agora Inc. ) - BaltimoreIRIS (Increased Revenue Intuitive Software ) is proprietary software that helps marketers...
    • Client Services Support Specialist
      Client Services Support Specialist (Agora Inc. ) - Delray Beach OVERVIEW:  This position requires a highly motivated and resourceful individual...