Data drive Internet marketing tactics

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Chicago—Quantifying online b-to-b marketing efforts has become vital in catering to customer needs, according to the panelists at BtoB’s NetMarketing breakfast Wednesday.

Kurt Baldassari, director of e-commerce at CDW Corp., announced CDW’s 2005 plan of synchronizing metrics with its merchandizing strategy. "Don’t do it unless you can measure it," he said, describing CDW’s mind-set. Last month, CDW began sending weekly "scorecards" to its internal staff to quantify how the Web site is performing, Baldassari said. This technique is used by CDW in addition to standard Web analytic tools, he said.

Another panelist, Cindy Lieberman, director of brand strategy communication at Zebra Technologies, agreed that using more measurement techniques better ensures the company's Web site properly targets customers. "The more we measure, the more confidence we have that we’re doing the right things," she said.

Zebra Technologies looks at site visits, downloads and visitors filling out preference forms to measure points of interest. It also sends e-mail surveys to customers, as well as direct mail, to obtain market information, Lieberman said.

Companies are increasingly allocating money to budgets that include such data measurement techniques. "There is no question about whether companies should spend on online marketing efforts," said David Friedman, president of the central region for Avenue A/Razorfish.

For example, Orbitz for Business’ online marketing budget has increased substantially since 2002, when it was $125,000, according to panelist, David Cerino, general manager of Orbitz for Business.

—Fara Young

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