Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Improve comparison of traffic source KPIs with Google Analytics cost import feature

Google announced several improvements this week during their annual Summit of Google Analytics. Long waited cost import feature is now available in public beta. From now on, you will have two options to compare your return of investment (ROI) for all reach sources directing traffic to your website.

Previously you had no other choice than copy, download or use API to get the collected data out of Google Analytics. Then you would add cost data from other sources or campaigns in Excel, Google Drive or other tools. Below you can see a real life example of key performance indicators by source. With this data, you can easily compare effectiveness of last click interactions of each channel.

This table includes KPIs such as visits, bounce rate (BR), cost, cost per click (CPC), actions (in this case orders), conversion rate (CR), cost per action (in this case cost per order), sales and return on ad spent (ROAS). This kind of KPI table is the fundamental basis of getting insights for each reach source.

From now on, you will have another option. You can import cost data from other sources than Google Adwords, into Google Analytics. I haven't got my hands on this new feature yet, but I hope that Google Analytics will calculate the very same metrics automatically with the imported cost data (than presented above).

There are many businesses and websites where visitors don't convert within one visit. That's why you need multi-channel funnels reports in addition. Glad to see all these new features coming up and GA moving towards to a real business intelligence tool. As always, feel free to add your comments and questions. Or you can send me a private message as well.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Survey results from Finland: Measuring the effectiveness of marketing

There was more than 400 people from different size and kind of businesses, who responded to a survey this summer conducted by Zeeland. With one part of the research, we tried to find out how companies are measuring marketing. Here are the top three key findings on that, and my comments.
"One third (33 %) of the companies are setting goals for the marketing."
This might be surprising, but still, it's very common that people have their marketing budget to spend but they don't have to report what (useful) was actually achieved.
"18 % of the companies measure marketing on regular basis."
If you really want to learn and grow your marketing knowledge, you simply have to measure marketing activities on regular basis. Instead of HiPPO, smart people are trying to create data driven decision making process and culture in the organization.
"Only 11 % of the companies measure marketing by sales."
Wow!? Unbelievable. Basically one company out of ten is measuring the effects of marketing activities all the way to sales. If you are not tracking changes of sales, it's impossible to measure return on investment (ROI) or return on advertising spent (ROAS) of marketing.

Then why companies in Finland are not measuring their marketing like they definitely should? You can check out results of my own research I made around a year ago, to find out some of the answers. According to my own experiences and several meetings with marketing executives lately, I can confirm these top reasons:
"Lack of knowledge (in top management), lack of methodologies and lack of time."
There is at least one way to resolve all these problems: find a good partner, consultant or expert who can train, support and help you. :) Like always, feel free to comment on these results or my comments.