It always annoys me no end, the online world claims analytics and ROI as if the concepts were invented for online world alone. In point of fact, analytics and ROI for marketing purposes were invented “back in the day” by direct marketers like myself and can be applied online and offline. The popularity of online analytics has led many C-level executives to expect the same level of analytics to be available for campaigns fielded offline. Here in lies the rub. It’s almost impossible to deliver real-time analytics to campaigns fielded offline. Unless you think through the analytics around the backend of your campaign in depth from the get go and are prepared to innovate here and make a significant investment in technology, much as the early pioneers in web marketing innovated and invested.

If you are embarking upon this journey, here are some URLs that can help (in no particular order):

  • Web Analytics Demystified Maintained by an analyst at Jupiter Research who follows the category for a living. If you have time for only one blog on the subject, this is probably the one. See also his books available for purchase and his sideblog listing of additional blogs that follow the web-analytics space to check out.
  • Web Analytics Association While I could wish that this was the Marketing Analytics Association, much of what is here will give you a running start at both offline and online analytics.
  • Fireclick Tracks conversion rates and abandon rates by category. Despite the similarity in names, this firm has no relationship to Firewhite.
  • Inside Analytics Forward coverage of new products and industry trends, particularly Web 2.0 and how it will impact on web analytics.
  • Xavier Casanova’s Blog AKA as the founder of Fireclick. Xaviar may have a new gig but on his blog he still raps poetic about what is happening in his old arena.
  • The Dashboard Spy Ever wondered what was on an enterprise’s marketing dashboard? The dashboard spy may be able to show you.