Read on to get the answers to your questions about our previous Demand Generation post, “How to Drive Traffic and Boost Sales with Demand Generation.”
John Hessinger, our Director of Demand Generation, is back to provide a comprehensive look at analytics tools, marketing technology and to address popular questions from his first post, How to Drive Traffic and Boost Sales with Demand Generation.
What analytics tools would you suggest using?
There are a huge number of effective tools in the marketplace to fit the needs of your business. They each have their place in terms of their sophistication, ease of use and cost (currency and human resource). Many businesses – large and small – do just fine with a free, off the shelf web analytics toolset. The only limitation of these free tools that might drive you to pay for a more robust solution would be data volume limits.
There is also a new wave of reporting tools coming out to serve social media marketers, many of which are also free, such as Klout and SocialDon. Here’s a decent list of free tools across multiple categories. Companies like Google have done a tremendous job of bringing a suite of free tools together for the everyday business owner, which help you track, measure and manage your online marketing performance (note: I have no connection to Google).
- Web Analytics: Google Analytics
- SEO: Google Webmaster Tools
- Social Media: Klout and Facebook Insights
- PPC: Google Adwords
- Analysis & Reporting: Good ole’ Microsoft Excel, when you want more flexibility than the analytics tools’ custom dashboards
What’s your favorite piece of marketing technology?
Spreadsheets. As unrefined as it sounds, every good marketer lives and breathes spreadsheets. Over the course of my career, I’ve worked with a wide variety of technologies that, when used effectively, can really supercharge your marketing efforts: massive data warehouses, multi-channel optimization tools, data visualization software, etc.
But without the ability to understand and easily distill the basic KPIs (key performance indicators) and conversion metrics for your business, the fancy expensive tools don’t add much value. As for favorite data-driven marketer-geek technology, one step up from spreadsheets is, of course, a database. But I digress…
With pressure being put on small businesses, more people are attempting to adopt “free marketing” approaches, such as Google Product Search and social media platforms. Is this a good starting point for my business?
While the focus of my response is largely geared toward “paid” marketing channels, there are a number of activities that can produce great results for the price of sweat equity, including some of the popular social media platforms.
People consume a wide array of media to learn about products and make decisions. Using your unique voice to get your original content in front of them is key. Some social vehicles provide easier broadcasting capabilities, while others take time and effort to build a substantial follower base. The short answer to your question: Yes, social media and SEO can provide valuable long term growth, especially when you dedicate the energy to keep them going.
Thanks for the insights! Still have more questions for John? He’s happy to help. Simply write them in the comments section below and we’ll make sure he gets back with you.