This is the fourth in a series of SEM tac­tics you can use to gen­er­ate greater ROI from search cam­paigns. (The first focused on online/offline data inte­gra­tion, the sec­ond on key­word assist or cross visit par­tic­i­pa­tion, and the third on cost of goods sold.)

A dis­con­nect seems to exist among mar­keters about the process of mea­sur­ing ROI as cus­tomers move through mul­ti­ple touch­points. Most mar­keters are famil­iar with the con­ver­sion fun­nel — begin­ning with cre­at­ing aware­ness, then on to con­sid­er­a­tion and from there to the con­ver­sion and the remar­ket­ing cycle — but they often strug­gle to prop­erly attribute the dol­lars brought in from each step of the process. Because of the chal­lenge, ad dol­lars may end up being dis­trib­uted unevenly, with too much money spent on one chan­nel and not enough on oth­ers, caus­ing mar­keters to miss some big returns. When ad dol­lars are spent more effi­ciently, ROI increases.

Let me give you an exam­ple of what I mean: imag­ine an elec­tron­ics com­pany that is launch­ing what’s cer­tain to be the “next big thing.” If the com­pany doesn’t have much brand aware­ness, they may prep the launch with dis­play adver­tis­ing, along with offline media such as radio, TV or print.

Once aware­ness begins to build, the com­pany may begin a search cam­paign to cap­i­tal­ize on peo­ple who are search­ing by brand name. They might also cre­ate a mar­ket­ing effort around the blo­gos­phere to con­tinue to build aware­ness of the prod­uct. As browsers become ready to buy, a search cam­paign focus­ing on the spe­cific item name or model num­ber, along with mar­ket­ing on the company’s Web site, can help push con­sumers to make the pur­chase. After the pur­chase, the com­pany remar­kets to them via email.

In other words, buy­ers make a pur­chase after first being made aware, then click­ing through to the site from dis­play adver­tis­ing (and per­haps other online efforts), end­ing up at the Web site through nat­ural search Key­word A and then finally mak­ing the pur­chase after click­ing on paid search Key­word B. If the com­pany does not tie together all ele­ments of the mar­ket­ing cam­paign — if, in other words, it gives credit for the sale only to the last touch­point, or Key­word B — they’re not prop­erly mon­e­tiz­ing the ear­lier cam­paigns. Dis­play, for exam­ple, may be given less money in future bud­gets, despite the fact that it had a great hand in rais­ing aware­ness for the product.

Omni­ture can help keep this from hap­pen­ing via its com­plete and accu­rate cross-channel mea­sure­ment avail­able through a Gen­e­sis inte­gra­tion of Site­Cat­a­lyst, Search­Cen­ter and other Omni­ture prod­ucts with Dart, iBlaster, and other ad servers. With such a cross-channel plug-in, mar­keters can tell what per­cent­age of the sale should be attrib­uted to the dif­fer­ent touch­points in the con­ver­sion fun­nel, allow­ing them to make more accu­rate deci­sions about their online ad spend and thus improve ROI.


With out any sort of additional integration, is there anyway Site Catalyst can produce a report that give credit to all the touch points? I know the campaign report sort of does it but ,it is only giving credit to things that have tracking code on them. What about natural search and direct traffic? Its important to see all the touch points and give credit to all of them but I can't find anything that tells us how to do that anywhere???? Do you have any suggestions? I know Coremetrics is now pushing hard on having this multi touch points report. In addition, It would be great to have a traffic break down report that shows paid, natural, refer, direct all in one import.