Assessing the current contribution of the Internet to the organisation

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To assess the contribution and the effectiveness of Internet marketing involves the company in reviewing how well its online presence is meeting its goals. So this activity overlaps with that on strategic goal setting discussed in the next section. Assessing effectiveness also requires a performance measurement or web analytics system to collect and report on data effectiveness. We cover this topic in more detail in Chapter 9. At this point, note that these different levels of measures can be usefully used to assess effectiveness:

1 Business effectiveness

This will include the contribution of the site directly or indirectly to sales and how well it is supporting business objectives. The relative costs of producing, updating and promoting the site will also be reviewed as part of a cost-benefit analysis.

2 Marketing effectiveness

These measures may include:

• leads (qualified enquiries);

• customer retention and loyalty;

• online market (or audience share);

• brand enhancement;

• customer service.

For large organisations, these measures can be assessed for each of the different markets a company operates in or for product lines produced on the web site. The way in which the elements of the marketing mix are utilised will also be reviewed.

3 Internet effectiveness

These are specific measures that are used to assess the way in which the web site is used, and the characteristics of the audience. They are described in more detail in Chapter 9. According to Smith and Chaffey (2005) key performance indicators (KPIs) include:

unique visitors - the number of separate, individual visitors who visit the site;

• total numbers of sessions or visits to a web site;

• repeat visits - average number of visits per individual;

• duration - average length of time visitors spend on a site;

• subscription rates such as the number of visitors subscribing for services such as an opt-in e-mail and newsletters;

• conversion rates - the percentage of visitors converting to subscribers (or becoming customers);

• attrition rates through the online buying process;

• churn rates - percentage of subscribers withdrawing or unsubscribing;

• click-through rates (CTR) from third-party sites to your own.

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