Marketing is being redefined by the changing habits of consumers, by the limitless choice for placing ads and the access to customers through a variety of channels. As a result, many companies are changing their plan of action and the allocation of their budgets for the different channels, including the web, campaigns, including mobile, social media, etc.
Recent studies which have analyzed the course of online shoppers, indicate that traditional marketing campaigns on the web as the purchase of keywords to search engines, the proliferation of banners, the use of affiliate networks, and emailing campaigns, remain the preferred solutions to boost online sales, while investments in social media are still very low, used to buzz, and rarely associated with revenue generation.
The e-retailers problem is to determine the best approaches to attract web buyers all year long and in particular during certain key periods, such as Christmas and New Year for example. For that they have to understand what motivates consumers to buy? How do they find the offers? Do they research or not, thoroughly or not? What role social buzz has in the buying process?
Consumers, who buy online, have necessarily been influenced (a bit, much, not at all) by e-retailers marketing efforts on the web. While organic traffic (client direct accesses to the site) is the most profitable trade channel, it is also the least reliable because most buyers do not know most of the time the website address. Most buyers go through various stages before reaching the site and complete a transaction. In fact they have in 80% of cases researched, react to a promotional email, seen an ad or an article, or use a comparator. While the majority of buyers are touched by a marketing program before making their purchase, 45% are exposed to at least two marketing activities before finalizing their transaction. This shows the interest for retailers to be not satisfied with knowing only the last action taken by the client (the famous last click).
While marketers use a variety of tools, and develop a large number of promotional and communication, studies show that investments in search engines and e-mails are more effective in generating business turnover. Depending on the industry, these two actions alone generate 40 to 60% of sales. The impact of other activities, affiliation, banners ... etc.., is more difficult to assess, because it is often very early in the process of influence, and few studies have the necessary historical data to highlight their importance. As most retailers rely on analysis of the last click, the evaluation of the contributions of different types of actions is totally distorted.
More and more companies want to better understand the entire course of their clients before they purchase, as well as the actual impact of their marketing efforts. This level of knowledge required to understand more fully the relationship that the customer has had with the brand, and beyond simple statistics related to its last click. For that it is necessary to establish an evaluation of the multiple actions that affected the customer before he buys, based on a proper management and analysis of relevant Big Data.
To go further on this subject, how to assign to different marketing actions a fair contribution share to the results, you can usefully consult the following presentation, it does not aim to be exhaustive, but might give you some perspective: