The world of digital marketing is becoming more and more competitive. Every second gained can make a difference. Many tools are available to help specialists meet their clients’ needs, but if you want to go off the beaten path and imagine a new solution, you’ll often find yourself feeling confined by the limitations of these tools.
Luckily, most of the time, the options that are offered aren’t completely rigid, and it is possible to expand the capabilities of your tools in an amazing manner—as long as you’re willing to go under the hood. And that's when having in his marketing team an experienced web developer may be necessary.
We will present you with four examples of what is possible when you form a web development and marketing duo.
What is a measurement protocol, and why do you need one? Google Analytics is a popular tool that allows you to measure traffic to a website or a mobile app by simply adding a few lines of code to your project.
But it would be a shame to limit the use of Analytics to websites and mobile apps, because the need to collect and analyze data isn’t confined to those media.
Let’s look at a few examples:
1) A vendor gives consumers the option to see their selection of products online, but not to purchase them. The only option the client has is to submit a contact form to indicate their interest in a certain product. As soon as the form is submitted, two things happen—Google Analytics is alerted that the form has been filled out, and a lead is generated in Salesforce CRM.
The problem is that when a lead converts into a sale, Salesforce isn’t able to share this information with Google Analytics, because the two are not connected. To overcome this obstacle, we could create a unique client ID whenever a lead is generated, and communicate it to Salesforce in order to link the lead with the final sale.
We would then need to use the Universal Analytics measurement protocol to send the information from Salesforce to Google Analytics whenever there is a conversion (a sale). This way, we will be able to link the data gleaned from the website with the Salesforce data directly in Google Analytics.
2) One of our clients offers various services on their website. Whenever a visitor lands on a services page, the pageview is sent to Google Analytics.
A unique telephone number is also present on the landing page for each service, When a client is interested in a service, they dial the number to contact the company. An operator then answers the call and finalizes the sale.
How could we relate the pageviews for the services pages with the eventual conversions (number of calls) in Google Analytics?
Once again, we can communicate the information from the telephone system using the Universal Analytics protocol. We would need to send the information from the telephone system to Google Analytics whenever a number is dialed. We could even go further and send more information such as the time of the call, or the options selected by the caller within the automated phone system. That way, we could cross-check the number of pageviews with the number of calls before drawing any conclusions.
We can see that Universal Analytics offers numerous possibilities for integrating different types of data that aren’t part of Google Analytics. We can even gather data from digital devices and point-of-sale systems, which wouldn’t be possible using Google Analytics alone.
Data analysis is becoming more and more important to digital marketing strategy. It’s a simple way to measure the effectiveness of your strategy, so that you may adjust it accordingly.
Certain measures are easy to put in place. For example, it’s easy to connect data from Google Adwords to Google Analytics, which will allow you to determine the cost of campaigns, the number of impressions, the click through rate and even the ROI directly in your reports. On the other hand, if the data you’re interested in is external to the Google ecosystem, it’s not always possible to do this directly.
If you’re familiar with Google Analytics, you may already know that it’s possible to import external data directly from the admin page in Google Analytics by using a .CSV file. This file must contain your “non-Google” data formatted in a specific way. While this works very well, it can quickly become tedious to manage.
It would be very practical to automate this process. Luckily, Google has thought of this and provided us with a Google Analytics API so that we may import data directly.
All we have left to do is develop an application to extract raw data from the APIs of various platforms (Facebook Ads, Bing Ads) and gather it into a CSV file ready to upload via the Google Analytics API.
The concept is quite simple, but the gain in terms of time and energy is enormous.
We all act differently depending on what the weather is like outside. The fact that it’s sunny, cloudy or rainy can cause us to completely adjust our activities. Many people choose to stay in and watch the latest season of their favourite show when a snowstorm is announced.
Consumers also tend to turn towards online shopping when the weather is bad, while they prefer to go out to the store when the weather is more pleasant.
Given that consumers often pass through search engines before making an online purchase, it would be wise to keep in mind the effects of the weather when choosing which information to show them.
An interesting strategy would be to automatically adjust the bids on digital media placements, raising or lowering them depending on the weather where the user is located.
To do this, we would have to create a series of rules defining every “type” of weather, and extract current weather information for each city (temperature, precipitation, wind speed…) using the OpenWeatherMap API. We would then analyze and sort the information gathered in order to raise or lower the bids accordingly.
The advantage of such a system is that everything is done automatically, minimizing the need for human intervention and consistently applying the same business rules in each case, so we can maximize our return on investment.
For those of us who are busy and overworked, online grocery shopping has become an essential time management tool. After a quick browse through the virtual shelves of your favourite store and a few clicks, your basket is prepared by an employee at the shop and set aside for your pickup.
While this service offers some additional convenience for the customer, the remaining challenge for them is finding a timeslot to pick up their basket. On the brand’s side, the main challenge is that advertising their services online only makes sense if their storage capacity hasn’t been exceeded.
Therefore, it would make sense to develop a mechanism for connecting the shop’s inventory management system with the bidding platform, in order to lower or suspend the bids when the critical threshold for storage capacity is approaching or has been reached.
Thanks to marketing development, this is completely possible. We could develop a system to allow digital media bidding platforms to keep track of each store’s level of stock in real-time, and modify the bids accordingly at regular intervals. It could even be interesting to spotlight a normally quiet store just outside of its usual zone of action in order to try and gain new clientele.
So, now you get it. The possibilities are endless, all you need is a little imagination. With some good ideas, you can easily take advantage of everything that technology and automation have to offer.
This article was originally written by Thibault Montel.