BtoB: What are the key priorities for b-to-b marketers that need to improve their Web analytics?
Joe Hendershot: It's not just about improving the analytics as a standalone tactic; it's about improving a company's marketing, and building the brand and supporting the sales team by what comes out of the analytics. Marketers have to understand that [analytics] is a process; it's part of the marketing plan, and marketers have to understand the role that analytics can play. Marketers need to determine very specific objectives of their website(s), email marketing, AdWords campaign, social media, etc. With objectives from all of these channels, marketers will be able to better use analytics to measure the results.
BtoB: How can b-to-b marketers harness Web analytics to drive more effective marketing campaigns and improve marketing ROI?
Hendershot: The great thing about analytics and Web-based marketing today is that you can measure almost everything in real time, so you've got these amazing statistics—whether it's for a press release or engagement on a website. With email marketing, what are the three or four articles that generate the most interest? It's also wise to integrate traditional advertising and marketing. For example, you can combine print ads or direct mail with a QR code, or a direct mail piece with a QR code or a PURL (personalized URL code), because then you know exactly what's happening in terms of response.
BtoB: What role does social media play in Web analytics?
Hendershot: On Facebook, one thing you can do is make available special offers, incentives, downloads, for people who like your page. Now you can measure that. And that can help you drive creative. There are also things like giveaways and contests where you can generate some interest, especially if you're trying to pre-optimize a trade show. Now there's another example of using analytics and Web-based marketing, in conjunction with traditional marketing, to create buzz and get people to your booth. M