February 20, 2003, 12:00 AM

Don’t be fooled by fast results in measuring marketing effectiveness

Because the web makes instant results available, many retailers rely on those results to measure the effectiveness of marketing campaigns. But the real measure is the lifetime value of the customer, Wilsons told the eTail conference this week.

Because the web makes instant results available, many retailers rely on those results to measure the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns. But that’s a big mistake because the real measure of effectiveness is in the lifetime value of the customer, Rose Hamilton, electronic commerce manager of Wilsons the Leather Experts Inc. told the eTail conference this week. “Looking at a campaign over the lifetime of the shopping experience is key,” she said. “You can’t focus on just the first session it generates. People typically do not buy on their first visit to a web site. You have to understand that many visits are required before someone buys.”

She cited the case of a CoolSavings online coupon promotion that Wilsons undertook. Wilsons wanted to test online advertising that integrated advertising on the web site, e-mail marketing and mailed newsletters. “If I had tracked only the first session that those campaigns generated, I would have cancelled the program,” she said. In fact, she added: “I almost did, but when I tracked it for three months, we saw it produced a great ROI. And then when we tracked and analyzed the impact of the sales it brought to the stores, we realized it was a fabulous program.”

Multi-channel marketing is important to the success of marketing programs these days, she said. “Being able to hit people multiple times with multiple marketing vehicles is critical to the success of a program,” she said.

 

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