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									Internet Marketing: The Measure of Your Success

Why is it that the marketing function has often been heralded as the cornerstone of business success
during the good times, and yet is very often one of the first areas to be cut in tough economic times?
If marketing is simply poorly understood, then what is it that businesses are applauding in the good
times and dispensing with when times are bad? In the past, marketing performance was measured
based either on overall macro-level business performance or on the achievement of micro-level
milestones against campaign-specific targets or deliverables. For many businesses, the function of
marketing was measured in column inches or glossy collateral - certainly not in any business-critical
metrics which were within its control to deliver.

No so anymore. With ever-improving analytical data providing the capability to track the distribution
and consequent actions resulting from any piece of digital content, marketing performance
measurement is now acutely scientific, very specific and far more meaningful in the context of its
overall contribution to business success. So where does that leave "marketing"?

In essence, improved measurability in marketing has had three function-defining impacts on its role
in modern business:

        ADAPTIVE MARKETING:

        The internet's unique ability to enable zero or close to zero cost and real-time
        experimentation allows campaign effectiveness, irrespective of which online channel is used,
        to be hugely improved. Knowing what to test, designing for measurability and having the
        processes in place to adapt, is the new paradigm for sustained marketing success. Forrester
        recently called this "adaptive marketing".

        CONTENT STRATEGY:

        The almost never ending stream of new and emerging online channels allow for content
        distribution strategies that were never before possible. From creative "viral" marketing
        campaigns to search engine optimisation and marketing , there has never been better or
        more ways to get your value proposition in front of so many prospective customers. With a
        good content strategy it is now possible to capture the imagination of exclusive needs-based
        groupings online and to reach far wider and far deeper into your served market than ever
        before.

        BRANDING BY ASSOCIATION:

        In the online world, your "brand" is its "associations". Whether that is a brand-neutral
        search phrase that brought a prospect to your website, or your contribution as a subject
        matter expert to a forum, customer perceptions of your brand are increasingly influenced by
        its digital footprint. Every interaction you make with an online community and how you
        engage your target market as evidenced by the often indelible trail of content you leave
        behind, has a lasting and ongoing effect on brand development. And since all of this can be
        measured, the creation of an online "brand" is thus a visible measure of its footprint across
        multiple channels and a qualitative assessment of its content trail.
Since Marketing is now measured based on deliverables that more closely align to revenue
improvement (for example, sales lead generation), the onus thus falls to every business, regardless
of size, to ensure that this measurability is implemented and used across each of the online
channels. The new marketing paradigm defines an age-old quest to discover what works and what
doesn't work. With effective measurement, the best online marketing strategies boil down to the
the simple clichѐ "Stop doing things that don't work and do more of the things that do"!

John Coburn, PraxisNow

The SFA National Centre for Excellence has designed two internet marketing training programmes for
its members to help you to maximise on line marketing opportunities.

Internet Marketing for 21st Century Businesses runs on 15 November 2010

Website Search Engine Optimisation is a unique hands on programme where by the end of the 4
workshops you will leave with your business website optimised for organic (free) search engine
placement – for a fraction of the time and cost it would normally take.

Book now on www.centreofexcellence.ie or by calling Carol Kenna 01 6051631

								
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