If you frequently, or even occasionally, use Google Analytics to monitor, assess and analyze your website traffic, you have likely noticed a new phrase in the key words section recently. (If you are not currently using Google Analytics to better understand your website traffic, you absolutely should be. It is a free tool, takes 10 minutes to install on your website, and provides a wealth of valuable information.)
The new term: (not provided)
Where you will see it: In the keywords section, likely representing at least 10 percent of search traffic.
What it means: The keyword section in Google Analytics provides insight regarding which keywords consumers are searching that lead them to your website. The appearance of the term (not provided) represents a certain percentage of keyword searches that Google is no longer providing data for.
Why: In October 2011, Google announced the decision to encrypt keyword searches by logged in Google users to make them private. Essentially, any visitor that reaches your site through a keyword search while logged into Google will be categorized under the new (not provided) category. Google originally predicted this would only impact 10 percent or less of searches. However, several months into the program, many website owners are reporting double-digit percentages.
The Exception: Whether a user is logged into Google or not, Google Analytics WILL deliver information on keyword searches leading to your website on one condition: if the user reaches your website by way of paid search. So if a consumer searches for a key word and accesses your site via a paid Google ad, you WILL still be able to assess key words driving paid traffic.
Measuring marketing campaigns is key to determining if you should continue a campaign and necessary when showing upper management the value of marketing. The first step is setting measurable objectives and ensuring each marketing strategy has measurement metrics in place.
Following are six simple ways to help measure the success of your campaigns.
1. Develop dedicated landing pages for each ad, blogger campaign, QR code and email marketing campaign to better assess which strategies are driving results. Take this a step further and test messaging and design by developing more than one unique landing page for the same campaign to better understand what creative and content are most effective.
2. Install Google Analytics on your website. Visit http://www.google.com/analytics/ to sign up for a free account. Google Analytics will provide a simple code you can include on every page of your website, which will allow you to track which sources are driving the most web traffic (i.e. which search terms are most influential and which sites refer the most traffic). Google Analytics will help you track dedicated landing pages activity.
If you sell product online be sure your ecommerce is linked to analytics. This will help you determine what is driving sales.
3. Use dedicated phone numbers for different marketing/advertising campaigns. Track the number of calls and time spent on each call for each number to determine what is most effective.
4. Provide special offers linked to discount or promotional codes. Create a unique code for each campaign. When customers purchase product online (or even in stores) and use the code, you will be able to measure which strategies are most effective at driving sales. This works well for blogger relations campaigns, social media promotions, print and broadcast advertising.
5. Measuring intangible campaign results like brand awareness and changes in perceptions/beliefs is a bit more difficult. If you can, administer a survey to your target audience to assess awareness and opinions prior to the campaign, and use the research results to establish benchmarks. When your campaign is complete, redistribute the survey to determine if the campaign has impacted awareness levels and succeeded in changing existing perceptions.
6. A similar approach can be successful for measuring the impact of publicity and media relations. Conduct a media audit with target outlets before and after your PR campaign to measure media’s familiarity with your company. Of course do not forget to track media coverage and keep track of how many people each story has the potential to reach. For online media stories that include your URL, check your website analytics to see how much traffic the media stories are driving to your website.
Is mass media advertising dead? Are there so many targeted options that I shouldn’t use it? Conversely, is mass media so splintered and difficult to measure that I shouldn’t use it? (e.g. broadcast, cable and satellite television)
Associate Vice President, University Communications and Marketing
By Jennifer Manocchio
Mass media advertising is not dead. TV still remains king of all media and should still be considered a sound advertising strategy. Consider these facts:
While mass media is difficult (costly) to measure compared to other strategies, some goals are difficult to measure no matter how targeted the strategy. So let’s break this down:
If your goal is to create awareness and build brand, mass media fits the bill. You can reach hundreds or thousands or hundreds of millions and make initial connections and build credibility. And yes, Virginia, you can measure the results. But you must be willing to invest in benchmark and follow-up research.
If your goal is to drive web site traffic or increase calls into a toll-free number or push consumers into a retail outlet, mass media also works; it’s just a different approach to messaging and creative. It’s not so much about the brand as it is the offer.
Can you use targeted strategies to do the same thing? Yes. Can you even use them in combination? Yes. Is there a “best” solution? Probably, but that depends on each individual situation. There is never a single right answer; this is not a shelf service business.
On any given day, for any given situation, mass media and/or targeted media may be the best solution. There is no easy answer. And by the way, measurement is a requirement for both strategies.
But mass media is not dead and in fact, will likely never die. It will continue to evolve as it has for the past century (we are including radio and film along with TV here). Even media geniuses like Jason Kilar acknowledge that people will continue to want to sit around their living rooms or at local establishments and share “shows” and “events” and “news”, if for no other reason than to socialize and have something to talk about around the water cooler the next day. Only mass media can provide that experience.
Have a marketing, public relations, social media or advertising question? Post your question below or email exeqnation at gmail dot com. We are committed to answering your marketing questions real time. And if we don’t know the answer, we’ll contact one of our valued partners who will.