Changes in sight for digital marketing

Make use of emerging technologies for better marketing intelligence

Kevin Mackin

Kevin Mackin

We’ve always considered ourselves a little behind the US in our take up of technology and our approach to digital marketing is no different.

While Australian business owners and marketers get their heads around SEO, counterparts in the US and UK have it nailed and are now full steam ahead implementing strategies that take full advantage of the smart, savvy digital marketing technologies available today.

We’ve all seen the figures for online advertising investment – they’re astounding! There’s a seemingly endless supply of ad spend available and yet most Aussie businesses can’t actually prove how the investment is getting leads in the door.

This is quickly changing, however, with shifting economic circumstances forcing marketers and business owners to identify what tactics are working and which ones get the boot.

As usual, it’s the nifty technology advancements that make life easier. Businesses abroad have taken a leap forward in digital marketing, capitalising on available technology such as Web analytics to get a clear picture of how people are interacting with their website, their brand and their marketing tools.

Back in Australia, many are only just figuring out how to rank high in search engines, but this is changing rapidly.

So what sort of technology are they using overseas? Technology that gives you a bird’s eye view of all online behaviour. Not only does it let you count the number of people that click through to your Web site from a particular ad, you can track an individual’s entire relationship with all your digital marketing tools (like ads and direct mail campaigns) and your Web site.

For example, you can track if someone first visited your site via a click-through ad, then later returned via a direct mail campaign at which point they wandered around the Web site and finally emailed an enquiry through to the helpdesk.

Unsophisticated technology would lead you to typically attribute the visitor to your ad campaign, but really it was the direct mail campaign, in conjunction with the ad, that got them in the door.

Taking this idea another step further is the most recent advancement in Web analytics technology, born out of the need for companies to know even more about the impact of their digital marketing efforts.

Until recently, it was next to impossible to track and measure how things like widgets, display ads and micro sites contributed to lead generation, but this has all changed. For the first time ever, businesses can now watch customer and prospect interaction with their entire digital marketing campaigns and map it to behaviour on the company Web site.

While commonly seen in the US and parts of Europe, this sophisticated approach to digital marketing is beginning to penetrate the local business world. The technology is available here - most of the more advanced companies have started to use it, and this trend will continue as companies look to succeed in a restricted economic climate.

- Kevin Mackin is general manager, Australia and New Zealand, of Web analytics company Coremetrics.

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