5 Practical Applications of Universal Tracking

The ever-looming question on every marketers’ mind…”Did it work?… And how do I show how it worked.” Brand marketing is not only about “awareness” or “impressions” anymore. In the technology age, brand marketing has added a function…performance marketing. Tracking ROI is one of the most valuable tools a marketer can have in their hands. The ability to do this, not only results in better and proven performance, but it comes with the ability to actually show what your marketing dollars did, and can also justify more resources for you to grow your brand and drive sales. 

Working with online retailers can dramatically increase your product sales. But it also creates a frustrating problem: you can’t tell if your marketing efforts are leading to sales…enter the world of Universal Tracking, which is a key functionality necessary for you to actually know what your digital marketing programs delivered, impressions, clicks, and ultimately…sales.  

Even when you’re not driving traffic directly to retailers, some consumers click through your ads and other content, and then go buy from a retailer. And you have no way of connecting those sales to your marketing. This makes it difficult to see which marketing campaigns are moving the needle, which channels are worth investing in, and what operations you need to pull the plug on.

And that’s where universal tracking comes in. Most brands turn to our Where to Buy software because it lets customers choose the most convenient path to purchase your products, which helps maximize sales. But one of the most valuable parts of our Where to Buy (WTB) is that we collect in-cart data from retailers–so you get better visibility into the path to purchase, too.

Universal tracking lets you see the individual pieces of content (like ads, videos, posts, and emails) that brought someone to your product page, where they went after, and whether or not they purchased your product there.

Here are five practical applications of how universal tracking benefits your business.

1. Landing pages

When you create specialized landing pages to promote products, universal tracking shows you if those landing pages are actually playing a role in purchase decisions. By giving you visibility into sales that happen outside of your website, we help you identify which pages make the best stepping stones on the path to purchase. And that’s going to look different depending on your audience.

An audience that’s more familiar with your product category, for example, may find your endorsements page the most compelling. If there aren’t well-known thought leaders or influencers in your niche though, endorsements may carry less weight than, say, a comparison page or a deep dive into your features.

As you launch new promotions and special campaigns, universal tracking lets you see which offers, product configurations, and messaging have the biggest impact on sales.

2. Social media

Whether you partner with influencers or you grow your own audience, social media platforms give you a lot of opportunities to grow your brand. But without universal tracking, many ecommerce brands often struggle to leverage social media for goals beyond brand awareness and customer support. 

By tracking sales on retailers’ websites and tracing them back to your social media content, you can determine which influencer campaigns are actually leading to sales and see how the videos, posts, and imagery your audience encounters on social media actually contributes to the shopping experience. You can also see which social media platforms are most valuable to your brand and most effective for reaching your goals.

3. Advertising

Advertising is another major area where brands suffer from a lack of visibility. If you can only track sales that occur on your website, it’s hard to justify spending money on ads that drive people directly to a retailer.

Depending on where you advertise and how you target your audience, driving traffic directly to a retailer may be the ideal consumer experience. And if you send people to your highest-converting retail partner, you’re going to get more from the advertising dollars you spend. But brands that can’t track those sales have no way of evaluating the success or failure of these campaigns–or even understanding which retailers actually convert the highest percentage of visitors.

By applying universal tracking to your advertising campaigns, you can determine which demographics are most worth targeting, which keywords have the highest purchase intent, and ultimately where your advertising dollars are most valuable.

4. Blog content

Blogs offer a wide range of opportunities to drive consumers to your product pages. They can bring in traffic organically through search engine optimization and demand generation. They can provide a steady stream of content to feed your audience from other channels like social media or email. And whether you’re educating your audience about your industry, addressing problems your products help solve, or simply sharing recent news that’s relevant to your niche, universal tracking lets you see how these various types of content contribute to the shopping experience.

Do you have a really popular recipe that links to the ingredients you sell? Is there a major thought leadership piece that’s getting a lot of attention? Do you have pages that rank for major keywords in your product category? Universal tracking lets you see how this content leads to sales.

This visibility into sales helps you assess the effectiveness of your current content marketing strategy. It also helps you determine what kinds of content you should be creating more of.

5. Emails

Whether you have a thriving email list of your own, or you work with partners to reach their audiences, email is often one of the most effective channels brands have to drive traffic and sales. With universal tracking, you can see which segments of your audience truly have the highest purchase intent, and you can even create segments based on where your subscribers prefer to buy your products.

Stop making assumptions about your marketing

When you can’t track purchases outside of your website, you simply don’t have all the data you need to make marketing decisions. Any choices you make about your channels, promotions, audiences, and messaging are based on an incomplete picture of your product sales. Our Where to Buy tool changes that and gives you the ability to take back control of the customer journey and attribute your marketing dollars to specific campaigns, messaging, and overall performance of your marketing efforts.

Talk to an expert about how universal tracking could give your brand a boost.

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