This is the sixth article in the 7-part Digital Marketing Simplified series that RMN Digital has started.
After creating your website and populating it with engaging content, now it’s time to measure the impact of your efforts that you deployed for attracting diverse communities using social media messages, ads, emails, etc.
Unlike traditional media where it’s extremely difficult to measure the impact of your brand promotion campaigns, digital media gives you certain tools to know the user engagement with your Web properties as well as digital ads.
There are two types of analytic tools – private and public – that you can use to measure the performance of your Web properties in terms of page views, number of visitors, location of visitors, page views per visitor, and so on.
Private tools are integrated within your site and only you – as the administrator of the site – can know the data generated by these tools. On the other hand, public tools deliver data and ranking of your site which is available openly for everyone to see.
Both private and public analytic tools deliver data that is updated regularly. Some tools update the data once a day and others do it in real time, which means you get the latest data about a site whenever you access the data using these tools.
The examples of private tools are Google Analytics, Webstat, Awstats, and a host of other tools freely available on the Web that you can download and integrate in your website. The public tools include Amazon Alexa, Compete, HubSpot Marketing Grader, etc. which are available as independent sites that all Web users can use.
In addition to these analytic tools, there are special monitoring tools that can let you know the consumer conversations happening around your brand in the social media. These tools sift through the entire social media universe and cull out data related to your brand.
The data covers different user parameters such as sentiment, demographics, frequency, and intensity of conversations. You can analyze this data to understand the needs of your consumers and other stakeholders and chalk out your marketing and customer care strategies accordingly.
Moreover, you can use the monitoring tools to keep an eye on your competitors’ activities in the digital world. These are digital intelligence tools that proactively deliver information related to your competitors regularly.
Marketers believe that they can get a clear view of the consumer interaction with their Web pages or digital marketing campaigns with the help these analytic tools. And, in turn, these tools can help them calculate the return on investment (RoI) from their marketing activities and their impact on consumers.
However, that is not true because almost all of these analytic tools are not fully developed. As they’re quite crude in their current forms, they won’t give you the real picture of the performance of your site or the social media pages.
For example, there could be a difference of sea and sky in the number of page views shown by Google Analytics and the built-in Webstat for the same site and for the same period. The same holds true for social analytic tools that are full of ambiguity.
Moreover, these tools give you only raw data that hardly serves any purpose in your marketing exercise. You need to further apply qualitative analysis techniques to convert this raw data to useful information and then to knowledge for getting the true insights into your consumer behavior and for the refinement of your marketing plans. Without qualitative analysis – which is a difficult task – these analytic tools give you only the relative performance of your Web activity.
So, should you use analytic tools to measure the impact of your digital marketing exercise? Yes, you should – to at least monitor the variations on your Web properties. But don’t expect too much from them if you want to empirically calculate the marketing RoI.
Plus, these tools can be useful only if you are updating your site and social media pages regularly and there’s some significant user interaction on them. Impact analysis on stale Web pages will be meaningless. And all of us know that… don’t we?
To be continued… in the next part of our Digital Marketing Simplified series.
This is the sixth article in the 7-part Digital Marketing Simplified series that RMN Digital has started. You can visit our Digital Marketing Services page to read other articles in the Digital Marketing Simplified series and to know about our digital marketing services.