Thursday, September 29, 2011

Web Analytics in practice: Campaign tracking & offline advertising

[This post is the first post of a new series about Web analytics in practice. The idea is to write very practical posts on various topics based on my own daily experience – as a practitioner. It aims at providing simple tips, advices and examples that – I hope – may inspire and help you – whether you are a beginner or more experienced Web analyst]

We all know how to track online campaigns (banner, SEA, affiliates, social media...) – it has become quite a common practice (if not, you should better get started now!). It is really basic stuff.

However campaign tracking should not be limited to the online world. What about the offline activities that may drive traffic to the online channels? In this post I would like to cover two common offline sources that typically (should) bring traffic to your online properties: friendly  URL’s and Quick Response (QR) codes commonly used in offline ads.

Print ad's & short URL’s
It is very common to use short or dedicated URL’s in print ads (magazine, billboard, brochures...) that are (supposed to be) easy to type such as www.toyota.de/yaris or www.deutschebank.be/effecten (the latest was used in print ads in newspapers and displays). These short URL’s redirect you to specific online content (that often has a much “longer” not-so-friendly URLs).

But how effective are these URL’s?  Are they worth the space they use on the advertising space? Are people really typing these?  Everyone can start arguing – giving his own opinion but the only way to answer the question is of course to MEASURE IT.

Monday, September 12, 2011

A Web Analytics & PDCA case: improving marketing websites in a pan-EU context

In the last post, I presented the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) approach and how it can be applied to Web Analytics in order to create a Web analytics culture – not just a Web measurement culture. In this post I would like to illustrate this approach with a practical example from my personal experience.

As I learned PDCA when I was working at Toyota Motor Europe (“hi ex-colleagues! “ – in case your social media monitoring picked this post :-)), I will start with a example from my previous job, where PDCA was applied in rather large web analytics-related project, involving many stakeholders and long iteration cycle.

Improving overall online marketing performances in a pan-EU context
First, a bit of background and context.  As many global organizations, Toyota European’s sites are run a on central platform, using common tools and content architecture provided by the European headquarters but the sites and marketing activities are managed on a local level, by the respective national companies & the local Internet marketing managers. Regarding Web analytics, the headquarter offers not only the tool and measurements but also global reporting, analysis and support. That was part of my previous job.
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