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Posts Tagged ‘Measurement’

Best Practice #7: Measuring Results for Economic Development Web Strategies

Many economic development departments throughout North America have become as adept as private-sector companies in adopting the variety of marketing tools and technologies available on the web. There’s one area in which the ED sector lags, however — measuring results.

Whereas a company selling products from its website will instinctively install tools for reporting conversion rates or sales by region, many ED organizations do not regularly measure or analyze their web statistics. Lack of time is a frequently cited reason. Also, managers may be reluctant to see their programs evaluated primarily according to numerical scores, since the process of investment or tourism attraction takes a long time and often produces results indirectly.

The EDO’s Purpose of Tracking Data

But the purpose of gathering website data for an ED organization is more subtle. It’s not the same as in the private sector; you aren’t trying to report how many shirts you sold this month. What you are trying to accomplish is continuous improvement in your marketing methods, and a continuously rising return on your investment of resources.

As we have discussed, the Number 1 best practice for economic development online is to develop and maintain a cohesive, focused, goal-oriented and measurable web strategy (see “Best Practice #1: The Economic Development Web Strategy”, published (more…)

Hitting Your Targets

A successful website plan begins at the strategic planning level of the organization. A layered process of analysis leads like a funnel to the strategy that serves to guide the website’s goals (see “Defining Website Goals,” October 27, 2009).

Once you have the strategy in hand, however, two questions remain: how can you define your website’s goals most effectively, and how can you know if you have succeeded in meeting those goals?

These questions relate to the often difficult problem of demonstrating ROI. Many economic development websites are difficult to evaluate, and investment is difficult to justify, because there are no defined goals, and because measurement and tracking of statistics is often neglected.

You can justify website investments by pointing to the achievement of goals both externally and internally. If you find that your goals are not achieved, this does not mean necessarily that there has been no return on investment – rather, it is an opportunity to improve (more…)