While traditional marketing (on TV, radio and print) is still prevalent as ever, online marketing is slowly but steadily growing to become a strong marketing weapon. For one, online marketing – which includes video ads, expandable banners, floating ads, takeovers and tear-backs – has a wider reach. It expands your audience base to people from all over the world, making your advertising campaign global. Second, it is more cost efficient compared with traditional marketing, since production and preparation costs of campaign materials are easier and cheaper. Finally, online marketing strategies and methods are more easily quantifiable.

By quantifiable, it means that the effectiveness and results of these online marketing strategies can be measured more easily and promptly through various tools and methods. Two of the most popular forms of internet marketing, display advertising and affiliate marketing, for instance, could be measured through metrics and cookie-based tracking, respectively. Here’s how:

Measuring Display Advertising: The Metrics

Display advertising can be measured through metrics. There are effectiveness quantifiers on planning, performance and visitor information that could be used in crafting strategies for the next roll of the campaign.

Planning Metrics

  • Cost per Click – This is the total cost of the marketing campaign divided by the number of clicks acquired.
  • Cost per Action – This is the total cost of the marketing campaign divided by the number of successful actions, be it sign ups or registrations, surveys, or whatever is asked for on the landing page.
  • Cost per Mille – This refers to the cost incurred for every 1000 times of displaying the advertisement piece.
  • Number of Ad Impressions – This refers to the number of times that the ad is shown.
  • Click Through Rate (CTR) – This is the number of ad clicks divided by the number of ad impressions.

Performance Metrics

  • Engagement Metrics – This measures the amount or number and length of users’ interaction with rich media advertisements such as those moving ads that change when one hovers the mouse over them. Ads of this type make use of various interactive digital media such as streaming audio and videos.
  • Brand Awareness – This is measured by the increase in product, company or campaign-related search activity as a result of the campaign.
  • Direct Response Metrics – This is measured through the CTR or Click Through Rate.

Visitor Information Metrics

Especially for those doing niche online marketing, it also pays to measure visitor information against your advertising campaign in order to better tailor these strategies to target your niche. This can be done by profiling your website visitors and cookies and matching them with (1) the profile of your target customers and with (2) your goals and objectives for the campaign. Study the behaviour and actions of your visitors and design your marketing strategies based on their behavioural trends (behavioural targeting).  For instance, you can program certain ads to pop up only to certain visitors or types of visitors.

Measuring Affiliate Marketing: Cookie Tracking

The thing about affiliate marketing is that costs are incurred only when there is conversion. In other words, merchants or businesses promoting their products or services only pay affiliates for every successful action, be it clicks, survey completion, sales, downloads, membership registration, etc. Thus, measuring the planning, performance and cost for affiliate marketing can be easily done.

Affiliate advertising can be managed by in-house staff or outsourced to “affiliates” or “affiliate networks”, which will be paid based on successful actions brought in. It usually involves various tools and strategies like placing ads or links in various sites including search engines, targeted content websites or blogs, and price comparison sites, among many others. These ads and links lead to landing pages that allow users to perform actions like those mentioned above. Whatever the affiliate tools used to acquire the desired campaign results, it can be traced mostly by cookie-based tracking.

Why measure online marketing?

Another advantage of online marketing is that since it is easily quantifiable, it is also easily scalable.  By measuring the cost and effectiveness of online marketing campaigns and strategies, it is easier to project the cost and actions that would be needed should there be plans for expansion or any change in campaign goals.

Evaluating campaign effectiveness will also help determine which strategies and tools acquire the best results so that you could maximize them in future campaigns.