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Call Center KPI's - getting the most out of metrics

Online brand performance measurement are transparent and simple to execute but has the coming of age of social networking sites brought the marketing man full circle?

Online marketers have always enjoyed an advantage over their offline counterparts in that it is simple and easy to track visitors and their behavior on the target website from a simple mouse click of a visitor.  Traditional online brand metric tools have utilized the "click-to-sale" philosophy of how a website should be positioned and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has grown up as an online industry to make websites rank higher for the search engines.  In recent years this has slowly been changed as brand advertisers have also latched onto the power of social networking sites that look to engage and provide a fusing of the traditional television/radio style media in an online context.

No longer is it enough to simply saturate a website with keywords in order to increase search engine ranking and by that, increase traffic.  The emphasis is increasingly on delivering not only traffic with the money to spend on your product but also on delivering information to search engine users that is directly relevant to them.  This requires a more sophisticated approach to web marketing that takes us away from the click-to-sale model and weakens the use of brand metrics as a performance measure.

Yahoo, Google and MSN, the so called Big 3 of the search engines have all been developing and releasing brand metric tools to focus on matching keywords to demographic data as a response to this trend.  Yahoo introduced Buzz Index to help with related keyword searches from a human panel of volunteers selected from a very broad range of demographic groups.  This helps with search engine user variations and an example would be someone a user in a high income location performing a search using "vacation" compared to the same search term being used by a user in a low income neighborhood.  Providing budget trips to someone with more money to spend is not an effective use of the online marketing budget nor is getting a high search engine ranking for a high dollar vacation that a user cannot afford to pay for.

Brand metrics have developed a long way from simple click counting but then they have needed to in order to track and measure performance with todays increasingly internet savvy consumers.  Bill Gates addressed the Microsoft Strategic Partners Summit in May, and in the keynote address he outlined his vision of where internet users are taking us.  Microsoft has picked up on the increasing use of "locality parameters" by search engine users and the need for search engines to deliver information that is relevant not only to the product or service that is being researched but also the location of the user (or potential customer).

Brand metrics now need to measure not only the traditional measures of clicks, email addresses gatheredArticle Submission, or referral sources but also need to manipulate the data to render usable information.  Online marketers still have a definite edge in measuring performance but that information needs to be married with demographic data for managers to make decision on how well their online brand is really performing.

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