Traditional marketers are amazing. They come up with these massive plans that span months of preparation with multi-million dollar budgets to promote to people who aren’t even listening. They set up 1-800 numbers to capture leads, and send out dozens (if not hundreds) of promotional variations to keep tabs on what’s working and where. They are some of the brightest, most strategic people alive, but a few continue to cling to methods of old; they turn their heads at Internet marketing because they think it’s not tangible.
As a terrestrial marketer by training, I have a truth I must share with my brethren: Internet marketing is more measurable than any real-world medium out there.
When you look at rate cards, you see “Est. Readership”. Pass-along, non-subscription or other views are unaccounted for. So how can you be sure? Can you really measure how many times people pass by a billboard? How about look at it, or how many of those people convert? How accurate is your sample considering it’s a sample? Unless you’re capturing your entire audience, there’s always room for deviation. When performing variant testing, you bring people into a simulated environment which automatically skews results, so is it really going to work when it’s time to lay down the marketing budget and let the campaign fly? You can’t ever be 100% sure. There is always going to be some data that is tainted or slips through the collection process.
When you look at metrics for online campaigns, you can find numbers all the way down to the single digits. You can capture how people found your website, how long they spent on it, which areas they visited, and which ones of them converted. Variant testing can be done inconspicuously, without any prior agreement necessary. Best of all, everyone who has contact with you can be tracked instantaneously; though emphasis lies on measuring successes, you can also capture failures and make immediate changes to your campaign.
Not everyone is going to be on the Internet, but when you think about maximizing return on investment, especially in today’s tight-wallet economy, it doesn’t make sense not to use it.