How to use your website data to help evaluate marketing tools

Sometimes it's not about finding unexpected needles in haystacks of data. On InformationWeek, Jim Cain contributes a column detailing a very specific use case for very common, but underutilized, data: Web analytics.
Cain writes that markets should use Web analytics data (from programs such as Google Analytics or Omniture) to help select from among the flood of new marketing tools and services. And the data should also be used to craft service level agreements for those purchases.
"I work with plenty of executive stakeholders who struggle to uncover the information they need to make the smartest buying decisions. As a result, I've seen a lot of wasted time and money spent on tools that no one needed, no one understands, and no one uses," Cain says. He spells out a series of steps which include:
  • Knowing the business (marketing) goals, which might include improving bounce rate or sales conversion rate for website visitors
  • Knowing your current performance levels, based on the data available in your analytics software
  • Thus understanding how to negotiate based on the value of performance improvement a new tools or service will provide.
If a vendor can't guarantee improvement in the targeted business metric, then Cain says you have a clear-cut reason to not purchase their tool or service.
For more:
- read Cain's column
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