Benefits of online squandered through lack of integration

Research by Edinburgh firm Lynchpin Analytics has proved the interdependency of online marketing channels including search, email and banner. Lynchpin warns that UK companies must coordinate the online marketing mix or risk losing as much as half their return on marketing investment.

In a survey of UK companies, Lynchpin found that 54% of sales triggered by online banner advertising were reliant on previous online visits generated by other channels such as search engine optimisation. If the search presence was not there, the banner sales would be unlikely to occur. Conversely, 17% of customers introduced to a website via a banner advert came back through a search engine to make their purchases. The clear implication is that the benefits of search and banner are diluted if both are not in the mix.

Andrew Hood, Lynchpin Analytics MD explains: “Traditionally budgets are allocated without understanding the symbiotic relationship of channels. As marketers, we all know that channels must be connected somehow but we have never been able to prove this link, or quantify it. Our research shows that marketing channels do not operate in a vacuum and budgets must be strategically invested to maximise the return on investment of individual channels.”

Consumers typically research products and services online over a period of days, weeks or even months, interacting with multiple marketing channels during the process. If return on investment tracking is done on individual channels in isolation there is no way of understanding the impact of one channel on another.

Inter-channel dependency can be especially important when commission-style affiliate relationships are involved. Lynchpin's research found that over a quarter (27%) of affiliate sales came from customers that had been introduced to the website from other channels.

Where there is an overlap between pay per click or cost per acquisition campaigns there is a risk of doubling, tripling or even worse of marketing costs that are hidden because the different channels are measured in isolation.

The style of online marketing mix can also have a clear impact on customer loyalty: Lynchpin found that customers sourced from email marketing campaigns were twice as likely to bookmark websites for repeat purchases than those from any other channel.

Consumer behaviour and the optimum marketing mix will vary between sectors and companies, but the bottom line is that online marketing analysis must be pulled together across all channels, and the reactions and interactions between them taken into account in strategy, planning and budgeting.

Ends

For more information contact: Sarah Lee :: Hot Tin Roof :: 0131 225 3875 :: 0776 654 2110 :: sarah@hottinroof.co.uk

ABOUT LYNCHPIN ANALYTICS
www.lynchpin.com

Lynchpin offers companies independent technology and consultancy expertise in formulating winning online marketing mixes. By tracking and reporting the profit generated from any online marketing campaign, Lynchpin shows what is and is not working across a company's online marketing mix so they can understand how its marketing channels work together and maximise the return on its marketing investment.

The internet has been the fastest growing medium during the first six months of 2006 and online ad spend is predicted to reach £2billion by the end of 2006. From SME's through to blue-chips including Airtours, Going Places and Marks & Spencer Money, Lynchpin enables businesses to measure, optimise and understand the precise return on that spend and increase the accountability and profitability of their internet operations

Published on: 12:00AM on 5th March 2007