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Foreword

Foreword

Half of your web marketing investment is being wasted—you just don’t know which half.

Marketers will point back to the turn of the century as the before-and-after divide. Before the new millennium arrived, advertising and marketing was more art than science, more guess than test, and more imagination than information.

Then came the Age of Accountability. Sarbanes/Oxley ushered in the defense against Enron, and the CMO was put on the hot seat along with the rest to prove the value of their investment. Expectations ran high, with talk of websites being the ultimate marketing measurement machines.

Those involved with postal mail understood the direct response characteristics immediately. But the rest of the advertising and marketing departments were still debating which shade of teal would go best on the new campaign. As long as sales were up, they got to keep their budgets. And then came the day that they were made accountable for those sales.

All this at a time when customers are in control and tried-and-true marketing techniques are proving to be tired and suspect. We’re recognizing that our customers think differently than we do. We can no longer judge a promotional campaign on how we feel about it, because we aren’t the target audience. All we can do is run tests, measure the results, and adjust out sails.

The Web, as it turns out, is the perfect place to do that sort of testing. New tools and data-management methods make it possible to optimize not just the website, but marketing and business as well.

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