Tracking Marketing Campaigns

August 28, 2009

Have you ever experienced someone in the marketing department (SEM, Email, Corporate, etc) asking you how well the marketing campaign they just ran has preformed, only to realize that the campaign was not being tracked? This can be a very frustrating situation to not be able to let the marketing department know how well the campaign performed. The campaigns can be a newsletter, paid search, banner ads, twitter, facebook, widgets, or tiny URLs. The marketing department can run a marketing campaign on any combination of these. If the marketing department is not aware that the campaign needs to be tracked, then it is hard to let them how well their campaign performed. One of the things that I do is set up a weekly meeting with the marketing department to walk through their campaigns to make sure everything gets tagged. A bi-weekly meeting might be enough, depending on your company. I also created a document for the marketing department on how to add the tracking tags to each type of campaign. I am going to go cover add tracking tags for Google Analytics, Omniture, and Coremetrics.

Before I get into the different tracking methods for the three web analytics tools, I am going to go over where to add the tracking tags to each of the campaigns. Where to add the tracking tags is very similar for each of the marketing campaigns.

Email: The tracking code will at the end of the href of each link with in the html. For each of the links, I would recommend creating a separate tag to understand how each link performs in driving conversions.

Paid Search: When the keyword campaign is created, the tracking tags will go at the end of the landing page URL.

Banner Ads: The tracking code will at the end of the href of each link with in the html of the banner.

Twitter: Here is where it can get interesting. If you were doing a marketing campaign for your own company, normally you can just add the tracking tags to the end of the URL. Since twitter only allows 140 characters to type a message, adding a full URL to a tweet is not going to happen all that much, unless the URL is really small. Also, for your personal tweets, you might tweet a URL to another website. Both of these situations lend it to the use of a tiny URL tool. If you want to know what users are saying about your brand and you are an Omniture client, you can use the Twitter API and the Omniture Data Insertion API. You then can see what is being said about your brand in Omniture.

Tiny URL: There are several different tiny URL creators. Of course, there is tiny url, but there is also cli.gs and bit.ly. There are a few more, but what I like about these two is the tracking capabilities. I personally use cli.gs to shorten URLs as I really like the reports that I can get from the tool. Besides the tracking capabilities from these tools, when you create the tiny URL, you can add a tracking code to the end of the landing page when you create the tiny URL. The URL that users will see this URL, http://cli.gs/mD75b, which will re-direct to http://www.yoursite.com/?cid=trackingcode.

Facebook: The tracking code for facebook is very similar to a paid search campaign. When you put a link in facebook to your site, add the tracking to the end of the URL.

Widgets: The tracking code for widgets is fairly straight forward, it will go at the end of the href of each link with in the widget.

Now that I gone over where to add the tracking codes for the different marketing campaigns, here is how to create the tracking codes for Google Analytics, Coremetrics, and Omniture.

Google Analytics
For Google Analytics, for tracking non-adwords campaigns you can use the URL builder to add the tracking tags to the end of the URL. There are up to five tracking codes that you can add to the end of the URL. Three of them are required. The three that are required are: Campaign Source (utm_source), Campaign Medium (utm_medium), and Campaign Name (utm_campaign). The Campaign Source is used to identify a search engine, newsletter name, or some other source. The Campaign Medium is used to identify a medium such as email, banner ads, twitter, or facebook. The Campaign Name is used to identify a specific promotion or strategic campaign. Here is an example with these three tracking tags in the URL, http://www.testsite.com/?utm_source=tweet081609&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=testcabinets. For non-adwords campaigns, you can an optional additional tracking tag, Campaign Content. This can used to differentiate ads or links that point to the same URL. Here is an example of the four tracking tags, http://www.testsite.com/?utm_source=newsletter081609&utm_medium=email&utm_content=hometextlink&utm_campaign=testcabinets.

Coremetrics
Creating a tracking code for Coremetrics is fairly straight forward. You will use the mmc (multi marketing channel) tracking code. This code will then populate the MMC reports. For the MMC reports, there are four items that needs to be added to the tracking code and all four items must be added to the tracking code or the tracking code will not work. The tracking code will look something like this, http://www.yoursite.com/?cm_mmc=Twitter-_-073009-_-Brand Keywords-_-Home Page. The MMC reports have different views for your marketing reports, from forward looking, backward looking, same day, 30 days, etc. When you create a new marketing channel (email, twitter, etc), this information will go under the Other Channel, but you will be able to go into the admin console and create a custom category.

Omniture
Creating a marketing campaign tracking code for Omniture can be done in a couple of different ways. One of the ways you can create a marketing campaign tracking code is to create a code that makes sense to you. For example, it could look something like this, e073009txthp. You can then can take this code and create a classification table in Omniture to identify the different parts of this code. For example, you can create a classification table that would indicate this is an email campaign that was sent out on 7/30/09 that is a text link going to the home page. You can create this type of tracking code for any of your marketing campaigns and create the classification table. If you do not have the bandwidth or you do not want to manually upload the classification for every new campaign, you automate this in a way. Instead of just having cid as the tracking code, you can have cid1, cid2, cid3, etc as the tracking code. The URL would look something like this, http://www.yoursite.com/?cid1=email&cid2=073009&cid4=text&cid5=homepage. This type of tracking is good if you do not have the time or do not want to create the classification table. To be able to breakdown each of these five eVars, you will need to have full subrelations turned on for each of these. The drawback to this type of tracking is it makes it difficult to create different eVars with different attribution window (same day, 14 days, 30 days, etc). If you want to use this method, you will typically use only one attribution window.

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8 Responses to “Tracking Marketing Campaigns”

  1. nsr Says:

    hi and thanks for this great extended yet very focussed post on metrics!

    My query is this – are tho the directions outlined more for migrated wordpress.org sites or can we somehow add keywords and Google Analytics into wordpress.com sites – the html editor seems not to show footers and stuff etc etc…

    thanks for any help

    cheers

    nick

    • webanalyticsguy Says:

      NIck,

      That is great question. Unfortunately, this type of marketing tracking would not be available on a wordpress.com blog or at least I have found a way yet. I have thought about migrating the blog to a wordpress.org blog so I can test other web analytics tools, just have not had the time.

  2. Rudi Shumpert Says:

    Great Read!

    I sat through a webinar a few weeks back from Omniture on setting up internal campaign tracking using the first method you listed (e073009txthp). I just have not had the chance to try it out.

    Now to add this to my never ending list of Web Analytics tweaks!

    -Rudi

    • webanalyticsguy Says:

      Rudi,

      Thank you for the comment. Though my example does focus in on external marketing, it very easily can be done for internal marketing. Classifications is a great tool, just time consuming.


  3. not much I say, I like this and Very nice I want to try this you tips.
    Thanks.

  4. Andrew Says:

    Enjoyed the article. I have a question concerning tracking an email campaign with Google. I’ve been trying to test one out but Google for some reason doesn’t track it (seems like a fairly easy process!). Here is the link I created (with the actual site omitted for my client): http://www.site.us/?utm_source=testgroup2&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=genaware

    I am positive that the tracking code for GA is installed (it tracks everything else apparently). Only weird observation is that the client also has Urchin software and Urchin has picked up the presence of the email campaign — but Google hasn’t. Sorry to inconvenience you – I just don’t understand why this is more complicated than it should be.


  5. […] to get some of the basics down first. No matter which tool you use, you need to make sure you use tracking codes for your paid search marketing campaigns. This is a small, but very important thing that needs to […]


  6. […] not work as well. Depending on which tool you use, will depend on how the tracking will be added. Traking Marketing Campaigns post Omniture iPhone Tracking Tracking of the iPhone applications is one of the great features of […]


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