Clickz offers an interesting premise – albeit one that’s plain wrong – questioning whether tech tools will “…strangle online ad growth.” Clearly, the market is evolving quickly enough that your marketing team or agency needs to stay up to date on diverse tools and not give away a competitive edge. However, the focus should not be on tools, but on how you put them to use. Instead of getting sidetracked by “bright, shiny object” syndrome, companies should hire talented, driven, ethical folks and ensure their focus remains on achieving results, not on one specific tool or another. In fact, I propose only four tools are necessary to ensure success:
- An analytics package. Any of them. It doesn’t matter, (too much), whether you use Google Analytics, ClickTracks, Omniture, WebTrends, Visual Sciences or some other flavor of the month. What matters is how well you put the tool to use.
- Excel. Laura Thieme in the Clickz article asks for something “…to analyze the results from a search campaign… [and] compare the data collected by other tools.” It already exists, Laura. It’s called Excel. If you can’t get your data into it, you’ve got a problem, but, for most businesses, Excel provides a real-world practice for accomplishing the task.
- Some knowledge of statistics. This is one where a little knowledge can be dangerous. Still, you’ve got to have the essentials down to evaluate resutls from campaigns and their statistical significance.
- Clearly defined goals. Undoubtedly the most important. If you’re unsure what you’re trying to achieve, all the tools in the world won’t produce greater results.
That’s my list. I’m sure I’m forgetting something. What tools do you use in your work?