JANUARY 26, 2012 - Most companies and marketing professionals understand that the future of advertising resides online - indeed, a study from eMarketer recently found that digital ad spending would surpass what organizations are paying for print by the end of 2012.
Steve Parker explains in an article for Business 2 Community that conducting market research and analyzing data collected online is a great way for the people running campaigns to understand which tactics are the most effective and what they can do to make a tighter link to what consumers care about.
"Web analytics provide great insight into your audience," Parker writes. "Learn the language they use when searching for your products so you can better target your marketing messaging. Uncover visitor demographic information to direct geotargeted marketing campaigns."
He adds that having some knowledge on where the website traffic is originating can make the tone and content of the message more relevant.
Right now, many businesses are running on restricted budgets, and C-level executives hesitate to allocate money to any project unless they have data on whether it will work. This means that marketers have to calculate the metrics that show how a particular strategy will drive up customer engagement and thus improve sales.
After the campaign has been launched, analytics can also be useful for measuring the impact - is a certain social media ad generating more response than another? Did customers react strongly to a particular blog post? Finding the answers to these questions through the data can help marketers shape the campaign as it progresses and can also serve as guidance for future promotional programs.
A study from Elite Email also found that many small businesses are starting to integrate technology into their own marketing efforts, including social media outreach and email. Many cited increasing followers and "likes" as the main goal of their social networking program.
Out of responding SMB owners, 34 percent said they had adopted the tactics because of the reporting and analytics capabilities that came with them.
"The trend appears to be that businesses want to spend their money wiser to maximize ROI, and when they can see a detailed report listing what is working well and what is not working at all, they can better tailor their marketing message for the future," the company noted.