Today, marketers are driving the lion’s share of a company’s digital efforts and budget with a shock­ingly small slice of the infor­ma­tion they need to maxi­mize their effec­tive­ness.

If you’re wonder­ing why this is, it’s simply that there is a divi­sion in the world of data-driven deci­sion making, specif­i­cally in regards to the data that marketers have readily avail­able to them vs. the data analysts and site opti­miz­ers have avail­able to them. I say “readily,” because the data is there, but it’s not being used for various reasons.

Why? Because people have incred­i­ble diffi­culty collab­o­rat­ing when it comes to bring­ing data from differ­ent systems into a fast-paced deci­sion envi­ron­ment. Espe­cially when the tools don’t support it and the deci­sions are micro vs. macro in nature (like bid opti­miza­tion, vs. home page redesign).

Feel famil­iar? Now, pair that with this little gem:

The ratio of dollars spent on market­ing a web site to dollars spent on improv­ing the conver­sion of that web site is over 90:1.

Digital market­ing chan­nels are opti­mized on an infin­i­tes­i­mal frac­tion of the data that conver­sion perfor­mance is opti­mized on, and the two are most often done as completely sepa­rate initia­tives.

Put them together and what do you have?

The people manag­ing your display, search, email, and other market­ing chan­nels use tools that typi­cally have just one piece of site-side data: conver­sions. Your analysts, on the other hand, have thou­sands of dimen­sions of data. And sadly, your marketers have a signif­i­cant issue receiv­ing and consum­ing the data that the analysts have in a repeat­able and effi­cient way, because the tools and processes they use day in and day out aren’t built for it.

So today, busi­nesses are putting 90 times more money into market­ing programs driven by tools that don’t have and can’t get the infor­ma­tion they need to do their job at a higher level of sophis­ti­ca­tion. And in many cases, these tools and marketers are missing some of their most valu­able customers because the data just isn’t in their view.

Yikes.

An Example: Social Amplification

You buy a paid search ad for “Missile Launch alarm clock.” Each click costs you around $0.50, and sends that user to a landing page with infor­ma­tion about your product.

Missile Clock

So, here’s the ques­tion: which visitor is valu­able?

**A) The visitor who buys this thing
B) The visitor who adds this thing to their shop­ping cart
C) The visitor who shares this on face­book and twitter

Today, the visi­tors who do B and C are not a factor to the market­ing manager running this campaign. Why? Because today, almost zero ecom­merce web sites track cart adds and social sharing as conver­sions in their bid opti­miza­tion tool(s). The web analyt­ics team knows all about these things, but the data never gets to the person sitting in Igni­tionOne, Marin, AdWords, or what­ever cockpit they’re driving the campaign from within. It’s not “readily avail­able.”

I’d actu­ally argue (and every econ­o­mist and statis­ti­cian in the world would agree) that C is the most valu­able. Why? Because we are willing to pay $0.50 for a single click, based on that keyword’s histor­i­cal perfor­mance. And when that user shares on face­book, we will likely get 5x, 10x, or 100x the clicks for that one $0.50 expense. Statis­ti­cally speak­ing, we know with absolute certainty that what we get from a share ampli­fies the reach of our paid click, there­fore it’s worth more. Also, we may get not only one sale, but several sales. But today, C is not counted as a conver­sion, and the marketer can’t see any of the sales driven by the share, either. Today, C is equal to a bounce. C is called “waste.”

Again: yikes.

Satellite for Marketers

For Search Discovery’s clients, however, getting this data is ridicu­lously simple. A marketer can simply browse any of the exist­ing rules in Satel­lite, which are a buffet of measure­ment touch­points. That marketer simply needs to marry Igni­tionOne, Marin, AdWords, Bing, DART Search, or what­ever plat­form they’re using to each rule they care about:

  • Sale Completed
  • Product Social Share – Face­book
  • Product Social Share – Twitter
  • Product Social Share – Pinter­est
  • eNewslet­ter Weekly Specials Subscribe
  • Add item to Wish­list
  • User dials 800-number from mobile

Rules in Satel­lite are user and behav­ior-centric, not tag centric. So marketers can easily lever­age rules the analyt­ics team has set up to collect the same type of data in their own systems, and even create indices and aggre­gates to simplify the consump­tion of that data. With a few clicks, the marketer who used to only see hard conver­sions is now also seeing several other inter­ac­tions that are as valu­able, if not more valu­able than a sale. Now, when that marketer goes to opti­mize a campaign, they’ll take viral­ity and ampli­fi­ca­tion into consid­er­a­tion, as well as other types of soft conver­sions that still signal a valu­able customer.

Opti­miz­ing your market­ing campaigns shouldn’t have to be a black and white propo­si­tion where the user is either immensely valu­able (a sale) or worth­less (not a sale). Your visi­tors come in all flavors, and some are in the early phases of their purchase process, research­ing and compar­ing your offer­ing in order to make their final deci­sion. If you didn’t want these customers, why are you buying keywords that are high funnel in the first place? So, in these “high funnel” scenar­ios, doesn’t it make more sense to measure that user to their actual intents, rather than only a sale that is almost completely unlikely to happen at that exact moment in time? If a user searches for “digital camera reviews” and reads 10 product reviews on your camera store’s site, is that user useless to you? Absolutely not. But that’s how marketers largely opti­mize that spend today.

Assists and attri­bu­tion can help you tell part of the story, but don’t give you insight into why things are the way they are. They only give you hope for high-assist, low conver­sion keywords or other media by cred­it­ing sales back up the blood­line. But what are those users actu­ally doing earlier in their process? And the ones who never convert, what did they do? Do you think when Seth Godin goes to a page on Amazon, copies a link to a book, and puts that link in his blog post without buying anything, that Seth’s visit is worth­less to Amazon or that author? I sure hope you don’t think that.

If you’re inter­ested in adding a whole new level of sophis­ti­ca­tion to your market­ing measure­ment and opti­miza­tion, that’s what we’re here for.

Satel­lite is not about “tag manage­ment.” That’s a basic, nerd-centric concept. We’re about your busi­ness, your sophis­ti­ca­tion, and having the tools to do things you couldn’t or wouldn’t do before. That’s why Satel­lite is the future of your market­ing efforts. We want to help you see more clearly so you can act and engage in new, smarter and better ways. Let us know when you’re ready to take things to the next level.