In response to an increasing number of requests from Business.com advertisers, today we launched the beta release of Business.com Conversion Tracking. The new tool is especially critical for recession marketing because business-to-business (B2B) marketers are forced to deal with lengthening sales cycles, reduced budgets and staff cut-backs, and the need to keep leads flowing into the business at a lower cost.
As we heard from our advertisers, and found in our recent B2B web analytics study of over 27,000 B2B web sites, 93% of web sites don't provide the data necessary to optimize online marketing campaigns - only 7% use a web analytics program that enables them to see multiple campaigns that influenced that conversion over time. The most popular B2B web analytics programs only show the impact of the "last click" preceding a purchase or other conversion. The "last click" method ignores the impact of online marketing campaigns and keywords that influence prospects in the early and middle stages of the buying process.
I like to use the analogy that campaign ROI data "last click" analytics programs provide is akin to saying that a new car purchase is 100% the result of the salesperson's skill. Of course, salesperson skill matters, but its not the entire story and simply improving salesperson training won't sell more cars. When a car buyer steps into a dealership today, they've already researched the purchase online, read related car review publications, talked with their friends and may even have seen an ad in the local newspaper about a sale on the car they want which leads them to visit the dealership ready to buy. Like new car sales, business buying is slowing down, and B2B marketers are not well served by assuming 100% of the credit should go only to the last action the buyer takes prior to purchase.
Business.com Conversion Tracking solves this problem for Business.com advertisers using either no web analytics program or a "last click"-type program. By creating and placing a simple tracking script on their web site, Business.com advertisers are able to see a count of all prospects who clicked on their Business.com listing(s) and eventually converted into a lead or customer. Business.com Conversion Tracking allows B2B marketers to easily track as many as six common B2B conversion types: viewing an important web page; registration for content or an event; a contact request;, a quote request; or a purchase (completed transactions or specific revenue/order size).
In our B2B web analytics study, we also found that:
· Overall, 44% of the B2B web sites surveyed do not track web site activity or use a custom, in-house solution.
· The remaining 49% use a third-party web analytics program which either only provides basic web site traffic data or utilizes the "last click" method.
The Business.com Conversion Tracking beta is currently open to a limited number of current Business.com advertisers. Interested direct advertisers or agencies should contact their Account Manager for more information or visit: /trackingbeta.asp.