The Internet Marketing Driver: Glenn Gabe's goal is to help marketers build powerful and measurable web marketing strategies.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

The Coremetrics Spring Release – Attributing Credit for a Sale Just Got Interesting

Coremetrics Spring Release and Marketing Campaign Attribution Logic
For those of you who utilize robust web analytics programs to track your online marketing efforts, last click attribution is probably a familiar term. It’s also sometimes a frustrating one... Last Click Attribution means that your web analytics program (Coremetrics, Omniture, Google Analytics, etc.) will attribute sales to the last marketing program clicked. For the most part, it’s a standard in the industry to use Last Click Attribution. That said, there are many scenarios that cause Last Click to inaccurately attribute sales data, which makes the life of a web marketing person a little frustrating.

Here’s a quick example:
John clicks through a paid search advertisement that has been tagged as a marketing campaign (this means that the web analytics package will automatically track the click as a campaign for you in the reporting application.) John visits the site and signs up for email alerts, but does not buy anything. Two days later, John receives an email that has also been tagged as a marketing campaign and he clicks through to the site. John ends up buying $125 in products. Here’s the problem. The web analytics program will attribute $125 to email and not Paid Search. That’s great for the email marketing manager and frustrating for the Search Marketing Manager (that’s if the Search Marketing Manager even finds out at all…) This is obviously not an optimal situation for tracking your campaigns.

Coremetrics to the Rescue! The Spring Update to be Exact…
As part of the Coremetrics Spring Update, there have been some outstanding marketing enhancements built into the application. For example, the enhancements to Attribution Logic are phenomenal. You can now track Last Click, First Click, Average Click, and All Clicks. I actually called CM Support and thanked them personally for adding this functionality. I’m not kidding. Yes, they thought I was a little weird, but heck, adding these attribute types will make my life a lot easier and give me accurate sales data across marketing channels. I cannot wait to see it in action (which should be very soon, given we are upgrading as I write this)…

Let’s Clarify the Coremetrics Attribution Types:
First Click Attribution
– CM will attribute credit for a conversion to the first marketing campaign clicked. So in my previous example, we would see that Paid Search was the starting point for the sale.

Last Click Attribution – this was explained earlier, but CM will attribute credit for the conversion to the last marketing campaign clicked.

Average Across Touches – CM will attribute credit equally to all marketing campaigns that were part of the sales process. So, if someone clicks through Paid Search, then clicks through an email, and then finally clicks through an RSS feed listing, all three will receive credit. That’s powerful!

All Touches Attribution – Similar to Average Click, other than CM will attribute credit to all marketing campaigns that were part of the process (in full).

In addition to the marketing enhancements listed above, Coremetrics also added attribution logic to Natural Search and Referring Sites. I will now have access to the same metrics that are available for marketing campaigns, such as Sales, Last Click 30 Days. It was frustrating not to have these metrics in the past, but being able to set a timeframe and view sales that occurred from an organic search click 2 weeks ago is powerful stuff. I’m now looking at the past 10 days of natural search traffic and it generated $183,000 more than what was being reported prior to the upgrade. This is mostly due to the ability to view sales that were attributed to a click from natural search over the past 30 days (i.e. last click 30 days attribution). This wasn’t present until the upgrade. I’m really liking Coremetrics right now…maybe I should call support again to thank them?? Maybe not…they’ll probably think I’m really troubled at this point! :-)

I plan to post more about the upgrade in the upcoming months as we apply the Coremetrics marketing enhancements to our online marketing reporting.

So by all means, hug a Coremetrics employee the next time you meet one. Tell them Glenn said hi! :-)

Disclaimer: Glenn Gabe of G-Squared Interactive cannot be held liable for any physical injury that occurs from the result of hugging Coremetrics employees. This includes bear hugs, home hugs, thank you hugs, hug it out hugs, and any other type of hug as interpreted by laws of the state of New Jersey. ;-)

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Friday, April 13, 2007

Google Voice Local Search - Is Mobile Search Optimization Necessary?

Google Voice Local Search and Mobile Search Optimization
I've been at SES in NYC this week and decided that I would attend a diverse set of sessions versus taking one track. I hit sessions on SEO, SEM, SMO, Multimedia Optimization, and Mobile Search Optimization. This post is about Mobile Search and how Google is making it a lot easier for local businesses to be found while searching on a mobile device. More on this in a minute. With over 143 million mobile phones sold the United States in 2006, you can see why this is an important topic... Mobile search is still in its infant stages, but many companies want to catch the wave now versus playing catchup a year from now.

What is Mobile Search Optimization?
In a nutshell, Mobile Search Optimization is the process by which you ensure your site content can be accessed on a mobile device. There are several paths you can take to accomplish this, but it could involve recoding portions of your site, employing redirection based on identifying specific devices, or creating a separate site just for mobile users. Needless to say, most people in charge of web marketing for their companies cringe when thinking about doing this... especially given the small amount of traffic that is currently coming from mobile web users. As part of the session at SES, Greg Markel presented second in line. He followed a great presentation by Cindy Krum (her bio wasn't listed on the ses site) that explained best practices for optimizing your site for mobile search (how to make changes to your site in order for it to be properly viewed on a mobile device.) I took a look at the audience near the end of her presentation and I saw some confused looks... It was obvious that many of session attendees didn't want to have to change their sites nor did they fully understand what they needed to do... So, Greg steps up to the podium and his point was concise and clear. "You might not have to change anything on your site to be found on mobile search." And for those in the crowd (like myself) that have used Google Local Voice Search, I agree! I mean, who likes texting searches into their mobile device and then waiting for it to load, then scrolling, and trying to find what you's darn frustrating. For those of you who search on your mobile devices, you know what I'm talking about!

Google Local Voice Search
So, what is this new service by Google, also called Goog-411? By calling 1-800-Goog-411 (1-800-466-4411), you reach Google's automated system that enables you to say what you are looking for along with a location, and Google presents you with audio listings from Google Local Search (the same listings that you access on the web). Once you find the listing you need, Google will connect you to the business free of charge. But Google didn't stop there... They know this service will be used by mobile users, so you can say "text message" and they will text the information to your mobile device. Now compare this to searching on your mobile phone... Access your browser, find either your provider's search functionality or Google (for those of you that know you can get past the provider's deck!) Then text in your search, wait for the results, browse the results, visit a few sites, try and find a phone number, jot down the phone number with your other hand, and hope you don't lose your connection during the process. Needless to say, this is a phenomenal service that I hope takes off...

How Do You Get Listed on Google Voice Local Search?
It's easy to get listed. Just visit the Google Local Business Center and set up your business listing. This is the same information used in Google Maps, so for those of you who are small business owners, you need to be listed here... It's free and local search is booming. Don't hesitate...get listed now. I won't go into all of the information you can provide while signing up, but you can provide a wealth of information about your business. Note, the process does take some time since Google wants to make sure you are who you say you are. You actually receive a postcard mailer with a code you need to enter and then you need to wait for the next Google update. That said, you should be ok with this since it will cut down on some sneaky ways for your competition to take advantage of the system...

A Quick Example:
1. Call 1-800-466-4411.
2. You are greeted by Goog 411. Say the location like "Pennington, New Jersey".
3. Next, they ask for either the business name or the category. Say, "Party Supplies".
4. You will be presented with the top 8 listings from Google Local Search. For this search, Party and More is number 1. When you find the listing you want, which for me was the first listing, just say "Number 1".
5. Goog 411 now provides you with several options. You can have Goog 411 connect you for free, you can say "Details" to hear information about the business or you can say "text message" and Google will text you with the details.

It's that simple and intuitive. I have used this service several times already and I can tell you, it crushes having to text a search into your mobile phone... It's not even a comparison. Go ahead and try it out...I'm sure you will agree.

Back to Greg's presentation for a minute. If you had the choice of revamping your site for mobile search (no simple task) or get listed in Google Local Search, which one would you choose? Now keep in mind that Goog 411 is new and we have no idea if it will take off. That said, I think it will. It makes complete sense... It's easy, intuitive, and is based on Google's listings for local search. It's way more powerful than trying to navigate the mobile web... at least for now.

You Can Help Goog 411 Take Off!
I guess we'll see how it goes, but you have the power to help. Yes you, sitting in your office right now reading this post. Tell your coworkers, friends, family, and random people on the street about Goog 411. Let's collectively save the fingers of millions of people while also helping fight high blood pressure! ;-)


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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

CD Sales Declining - Why a Drop of 20% in 2007 Should Not Be Surprising

CD Sales Drop 20% in 2007
I've been meaning to write this post for a few weeks now, but work has gotten in the way! :-) In late March, it was reported that CD sales were down 20% from a year ago. Hold the phones! CD sales are dropping? What! Why would that be. Ok, you can probably tell I'm being sarcastic... I know this has to be reported, but did anyone think it was groundbreaking news?? This is part of a 7 year slide, that by the way, will not slow all.

Music Sales and Systematic Automation
So, why is this happening? To me, it's a form of systematic automation. Technology advances and products and/or services that were once used now become obsolete. Consumers can now buy the 3 songs on an album that they like and let the other 12 hang in bad-song limbo (like they should). Let's face it, the concept of a "cd" or "album" is dead. I, along with many others, knew this was going to be the case in the late nineties when Napster hit the scene and people started downloading full albums at a time, not songs, but albums. Yes, it was illegal, but that didn't stop anyone at the time. The recording industry should have embraced the technology instead of fighting it, but that was a long time ago...

Some Music Sales Perspective
Based on my post so far, you might think that everyone is downloading music, but let's not jump to conclusions. Over 85% of music sales are still CD's. This is probably the 40+ age group that still doesn't fully understand what digital music is all about. My father in law (59) thought that the quality of an MP3 file would be much less than a CD. So I quickly took out my ipod and saw his eyes light up when he heard the first song. This age group will learn, just like they learned to use a computer and access the web. My father (69) now browses the top travel and real estate sites on his Dell laptop. Enough said. The 85% of sales from CD's will decrease drastically over the next several years. Why in the world would you buy a CD when you can just purchase the songs you like?? I don't. It's just an education issue. Consumers aren't stupid and once they learn that they can spend $3 versus $15, they will...

1 Billion...
Now let me introduce a staggering statistic. There are still an estimated 1 Billion songs traded illegally each month on the web. That's 1 Billion songs. (Note, I am now pointing my pinky at my mouth like Doctor Evil from Austin Powers). Let's translate that number into potential revenue. If even 5% of those songs were downloaded from a paid service like iTunes, that would be ~$50,000,000 in revenue per month. Yes, that's 7 zeroes and a lot of money.

Stop Complaining and Embrace the Technology
Instead of sitting and complaining like the recording industry has done over the past 7+ years, they should get creative and think of other ways to generate revenue. The genie is out of the bottle... Actually, the genie is out of the bottle, took a flight to Key West, and has been hanging out at Sloppy Joe's drinking tequila shots by now! The recording industry needs to embrace technology and change with it versus fighting it. And by the way, movies are next...

In Closing
So, as I download 6 songs this morning from across 4 albums on iTunes, my 12 year old neighbor is probably downloading 50 illegally, his mother is probably jotting down the 2 CD's she wants to buy today, and the 72 year old woman that just walked by my office window muttered, "So, what's an MP3?". The recording industry needs to see all 4 of these situations as business opportunities and they will be in a much better place than they are now.

Long live digital everything!


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