Saturday, 25 May 2013


Let me start by creating a little scenario that will explain the value of conversion tracking and why every brand should be using it for all their digital media campaigns.

Imagine you owned an ice cream franchise and you had just acquired a new store location in Sandton City. You spend millions of Rands on store fittings, security systems, branding, lighting, advertising etc. and after a couple of months you are all set to open the doors and start selling ice cream to your customers.

Now if you didn't have conversion tracking your scenario would look something like this:

You open the doors on the first day of the month and then you leave the store, unattended and open 24/7. At the end of the month you come back to your store and suddenly realise that you have no idea who came into your store, you don't know what ice cream your customers liked or dis-liked or what they bought, which days and times were most popular and have you have no idea how much return on investment you made. This sounds crazy, right? Sadly though, this is what so many brands do, they spend hundreds of thousands of Rands on SEM (Search Engine Marketing) every month yet they have no clue what their ROI (Return On Investment) is.

Track ROI with Conversion Tracking

Now take that same scenario but this time you have conversion tracking in place. You will now be able to know who entered your store on a daily basis, what ice cream was most popular, which days and times were the busiest and how much ROI (Return On Investment) you made on every purchase, you will also learn what improvements in the store should be made in order to increase sales. 

Based on this you would think that Conversion Tracking would be an easy concept to get brands to buy-into and start implementing? Afraid not, many brands either don't know how to effectively implement the code or they fear that the tracking code will cause security risks. Many brands are quite happy to spend millions each year without a clue whether all the traffic generated resulted in any sales or not. 

I know if I had an "ice cream" store I would definitely be using conversion tracking

Tuesday, 7 May 2013


Have you ever heard the term re-marketing or re-targeting and wondered what on earth it means?  Today I will attempt to explain it using a practical example. 

Before I start though, I first need to explain the difference between third party display banners and display networks. Third party banners, are banners that are placed on a specific website with a specific location for a specific period of time. Display networks are made up of 100's and 1000's of websites (all different in terms of content and target audiences). Here is a quick video explaining what the Google Display Network is.

Put simply, re-targeting or re-marketing allows brands to continue marketing highly relevant content to users once they have left their website. It's quite a simple concept, when you visit a website the device that you are using has a unique identity, the website then places what is called a "cookie" on your machine and this allows the website to track what you are doing. Here is a short clip introducing the Google re-marketing tag that allows Google to monitor your online activity.  

As a practical example I have chosen Zando's because in my opinion they are currently very effectively using re-marketing strategies in their digital media strategies. When you visit the Zando website you will notice that as you start browsing through different products you will start to see the products you viewed first appear on the right hand side of the product that you are currently looking at. This is because when you landed on the website they started tracking and monitoring all the products that you looked at and they will continue to show you these products to try and entice you to purchase them because they know that you showed an interest into these products. 

Re-marketing allows Zando's to apply this same methodology in their digital media strategies, this means that once you leave their website they know what products you showed an interest in, which products you possibly showed more interest in but did not make a purchase (convert). Now as you browse the web in the weeks that follow, you will most likely be browsing within a display network where Zando's has a display media strategy running, this media (banners) will now show you the exact products that you looked at, it will usually also include the discount and have some level of interactivity that allows you to scroll between the different products within the banner. 

Zando's is able to set a cap on how many times you see the banner and if you don't convert on that specific banner they then have the capability to change the creative to try and entice you even further with a new design. On many of the websites within the display networks you will find tandem banners whereby the top banner and the side banner will be Zando's branded making sure you don't miss them. 

So the next time you browse the Zando's website, have a look and see if you start noticing some Zando display banners following you around the world wide web :) 

It may seem like a very invasive way of advertising but it allows brands and marketers to create very targeted campaigns and ensure that the content you see is extremely relevant.