Marketers Can Now Measure Online Spending

Yahoo! and Marketing Management Analytics (MMA) have announced a new service to help companies evaluate how online marketing sizes up to offline programs. The service allows marketers to better justify their ROI, and to figure out how to allocate dollars. MMA provides a marketing mix that gathers customer data over time, and takes into account environmental factors like housing rates and the weather. It provides deep analysis on the digital channel, and delves deep into statistics to help companies gain insight into what percentage of sales are being driven by particular tactics. "Clients are shifting more and more of their total spend online, and need to move beyond measurement of clicks and page views to understand what is really working to drive sales," says John Nardone, CCO at MMA. "But there is still a real need to understand the total impact of online and offline programs on a common ROI basis so that optimal budget allocations can be made." The service is available for Yahoo! clients for an additional fee so they can assess how well their ads are doing and compare it to other campaigns. Those businesses also can choose to provide MMA with data from other online sites, including direct marketing campaigns and Web-site data, to get a broader view of their total marketing programs. Pricing information was not available, but Ed See, executive vice president and COO of MMA, says it is "significantly below market rates," and therefore should be attractive to customers. As marketers continue to be challenged to justify spending, this move shows Yahoo! is willing to be held accountable for the money people are spending on their site instead of taking a leap of faith, says Gareth Herschel, research director at Gartner. "They're saying, 'We're a savvy marketing channel,' and that's what savvy marketing channels do--they enable them to be compared to other marketing channels." Overall, Herschel says, the service allows marketers to understand which types of spending are effective and which are not, and to appropriately reallocate resources. If the CFO gives a marketer an extra $100,000 to spend, it doesn't necessarily mean it should be spent on email campaigns if banner ads or traditional mail is more appropriate. "The problem is, a lot of the budget is based on where it was spent last year. [Companies] do whatever the competitors are doing," he says. With this tool, "you can begin to understand how the different elements impact each other and contribute to the overall marketing approach." Related articles: Internet Research Drives In-store Sales
Successful companies will engage online customers in discussion about what they want from their products and services. Marketers Are Unsure of ROI Measurements
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