Why tracking is good for you and your customers

couponsIf you’re not tracking your marketing, or are worried about businesses tracking you, imagine you have the choice to shop at one of two grocery stores: One tracks nothing; the other tracks as much as they can. Which store would you shop at?

At the store without any tracking:

  • They don’t know when people shop, so they’re paying staff to stand at empty tills during slow times and the lines are annoyingly long during peak hours. When you shop there, you’re paying for extra staff and often are annoyed with long waits to checkout.
  • They don’t know what people buy, so they guess at what items to stock shelves with, waste money on food nobody wants, and are unable to keep up with demand for popular items. When you shop there, you’re paying extra for their high overhead.
  • They don’t know the demographics of the people who shop with them, or which ads and products get people into the store, so their marketing costs are very high, as they mail out a lot more random flyers. When you shop there, they’re also passing those costs onto you.

At the store that tracks everything:

  • They know when people shop, so they run their store with less staff and have the right number of staff at the tills. You get your shopping done quicker here.
  • They know what people buy, so they have lower overhead because they’re purchasing the right stock at the right times. You can get what you want here.
  • They know who shops with them because their advertising is targeted and more effective, so they have better prices. You save money here.

The reality is that people get value from stores and websites that track things because they get better service and lower prices, and stores and websites that don’t track things have a harder time competing.

People get value from stores and websites that track things because they get better service and lower prices.

In fact, people go out of their way to help stores with their tracking. Tracking when people shop and what they buy can simply be done by analyzing logs from the tills, similar to using Google Analytics to track what happens on your websites. But, how does an offline store know what marketing works, so they can optimize their marketing and bring their advertising costs down?

They would need their customers to tell them, and they do, thanks to Coca Cola, which came up with a system in 1886 to get people to hand deliver the advertising that gets them into stores, which is still used today. It’s called coupons. In the 1940’s, grocery stores starting using them to get people to switch from farmers markets to supermarkets, and within 15 years over half of Americans were using them.

Online, you can track your marketing with tracking links. By creating a unique tracking link for every marketing campaign, you can see in real-time what marketing works and for how long.

Unfortunately, there are several problems with tracking links:

  1. While tools like Google Analytics include tracking links, they are long and scary links that are clearly tracking links, which makes a huge dent in conversion rates on marketing. Tracking links should encourage people to click by telling them where the links go, and should never look like tracking links.
  2. Tracking links usually brand the wrong domains, like the tracking service’s domains, instead of the website of the person doing the marketing. All that exposure builds up the the tracking service’s business instead of the marketer’s, while further decreasing conversions.
  3. Link tracking solutions create one link that you use in every marketing campaign, which makes it very difficult to measure results, which makes it harder to get any real value out of the analytics behind tracking links.

Tracker.ly is focused on this kind of tracking, and solving these three problems. It creates links tell people where they go and that brand your websites, so you get the highest click-through rates and shares possible. And, it’s designed to make it extremely easy to track every marketing campaign with a unique tracking link per marketing campaign, so you actually track each marketing campaign every time. It’s the kind of tracking everyone should be doing.

You can try Tracker.ly for free here.

So, why are so many people upset about tracking? In the next article, I’ll continue the grocery store analogy to talk about just how invasive tracking can be, and has been, for quite some time now. The more you know, the more shocking it is.