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Yaskawa branding outreach spurs measurement

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Yaskawa Electric America manufacturers a wide variety of motion controllers, motors, switches and industrial robot parts, which it sells primarily through channel partners. This year, the company embarked on a new effort to raise its brand awareness and do more to measure its marketing spending.

According to Sarah Kulas, e-marketing manager at Waukegan, Ill.-based Yaskawa, the company has increased its advertising, both print and online, with various trade publications. It also boosted its long-standing relationship with Web analytics company Stratigent. To assess the effectiveness of its new marketing efforts, help refine them and shift marketing dollars accordingly.

Kulas said online advertising partners provide a bare minimum of reporting, merely noting click-throughs to the Yaskawa Web site.

"That doesn't tell us if the visitors are useful or if they did anything else on the site," she said. "That's why we're measuring it on our side. We want to know if visitors are landing on the right spot, if they're moving deeper and if they're staying or exiting."

Because of the company's reliance on channel partners, a lot of marketing data are lost, Kulas said. One response, suggested by Stratigent, has been a new reliance on projections, determining the types of customers coming to its site and those customers' referring domains.

"Each month, we try to find areas where we really want to drill down," said Jennifer Veesenmeyer, senior Web analytics consultant at Stratigent. "We'll take one of their forms, for example, and look at each one of the steps where people are dropping off. And for those people who do complete the form, we want to know if they're different from other visitors on the site, and in which ways."

Veesenmeyer said this process can uncover unexpected problems—with log-in forms, for example—rather than with the campaigns themselves. Thus, marketing resources can be thrown into further visitor profile analysis and proper question development, rather than toward something that might not work as well.

"One of the most important things we track is online search," Veesenmeyer said, "what visitors are searching for, how many people aren't finding anything or [those] who are getting the results but then are leaving. If, for example, the company is promoting a specific product but also has a lot of searches for that product, that could signal a problem with site navigation."

Yaskawa also carefully tracks the white paper downloads on its site to determine which products its distributors and customers are most interested in. This, in turn, will inform future offline promotions. —C.H.

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