September 27, 2002, 12:00 AM

How Northern Tool expects to reduce search optimization costs

By identifying repeat visitors who come to its site through search engine click-throughs, Northern Tool expects to reduce the amount it pays to search engines.

Northern Tool & Equipment Catalog Co. says it expects to reduce its search engine optimization costs by as much as 40% using Coremetrics Inc.’s Marketforce product to track click-throughs from search sites.

Retailers often pay search engines on a click-through basis for shoppers who come to the retail site through search results. The deals, however, don’t usually take into account actual purchases or whether the shopper is already a customer of the retailer.

Marketforce captures data about shoppers who click through from search listings and analyzes it to determine if the shopper makes a purchase, how much and if the shopper is a customer already. It then compares that data to the raw click-through data to help the retailer determine the value of the click-through search listing. Coremetrics revealed the results of Northern Tool’s implementation at the annual meeting New York this week.

Northern Tool says the number of unique visitors was significantly lower than the reported number of click-throughs. “Marketforce’s comprehensive LIVE (Lifetime Individual Visitor Experience) Profile data warehouse gives us the ability to develop a full range of highly accurate metrics for better managing our online marketing programs,” said Jessa Fowler, marketing analyst at Northern Tool, which sells light industrial products to businesses and individuals. “Working with Coremetrics, we discovered an opportunity to save as much as 40% on our search engine optimization vendor costs by pricing on a per-unique-visitor instead of per-click basis.”

“Online marketing managers today must choose between dozens of companies offering hundreds of measurement and payment models for their customer acquisition programs,” said Scott Kauffman, president and CEO of Coremetrics. “By delivering perfect knowledge of the online channel, we help our clients sort through the clutter, rationalize their online marketing spend to match corporate goals, and create consistent metrics that are useful for managing a broad online marketing strategy.”


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