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A Travel Management Application Targeted to the Business Travelers

When assessing marketing initiatives, Ambler (2003), cited in Ambler and Roberts (2008), argues that the main metrics for marketing performance mostly focus on net profit or cash flow, added to brand equity during the period of marketing. The argument for the use of financial metrics can be seen justified in many cases, specifically for the most widely used metrics – Return on Investment (ROI), Discounted Cash Flow (DCF), and Return on Customer (ROC) (Ambler and Roberts, 2008). In a nutshell, the main argument for analyzing the success of marketing using such financial indicators is based on comparing expenditures against returns. Although such metrics can be used in planning, Ambler (2003) found several objections to the use of financial metrics, the most important of which is treating marketing as an investment, while it promotes underperformance and short-termism. On the other hand, it can be stated that the use of ROI is connected to the data available on customers, which as Greenyer (2006) argues, became more restricted (Greenyer, 2006). Thus, the success of such performance metrics will be largely dependent on the type of data collected. For a digital marketing medium, there are several data used, each with its own strengths and weaknesses.

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The realm of digital marketing provides different channels, the measurement of which implies using different metrics. In such metrics, even such performance indicator as ROI uses real-time data, which provide new measures for effectiveness. The use of poor metrics, on the other hand, does not realize the full potential of the web as a medium (Bughin et al., 2009). The most fundamental metrics used in digital marketing are cost per click (CPC) and cost per thousand (CPM). Although such metrics are to remain to be used by traditional media buyers, and as stated by Dirk Freytag, chief executive of Adtech, Platform-A’s ad-serving technology division, they still have value, they are considered inadequate.

The differentiation of the cases in CPC and CPM are relevant, or not, can be seen through the nature of the ad campaign and the type of the product. CPC, the costs of a click from a referral site to a destination site, are still useful in products which purchase is not spontaneous, and which take longer than 24 hours (Chaffey et al., 2009, Woods, 2009). One metric, which is growing in importance, is Click per Acquisition (CPA), which is a sales-driven model, and attracts much more interest from media owners to try. As the title implies, the costs of banner clicks are incurred when a purchase is made. The appropriateness of such measures to the mobile app market can be seen through the spontaneous nature of their purchase, which is evident in purchases for mobile phones and clothing swithc9i to such model (Woods, 2009).

Measurement metrics such as CPC, CPM, and COA, all are connected to such benchmarks as site traffic. The traffic to the destination site of the parent company, the store (Android market, Apple’s app store), or both, can be used as marketing metrics as well. There are many software programs available that can aid in analyzing the performance of a website. The metrics used in such benchmarks might include the number of visitors, traffic sources, pages, visits, and more (Bennison, 2009a). Information brought by such a metric can be used to draw traffic to the destination website. Not all consumers are brought to the website using ad clicks, where many of them are brought through search engines (Bennison, 2009b). Moran and Hunt (2008), cited in Bennison (2009), estimated that approximately 73% of new website visitors come from search engines, where Google has the leading position accounting for 70% of UK searches, increasing its volume of search by “77% year-on-year since its inception” (p.2).

The positions held by a website in search engines are determined by many factors which are largely connected to the proprietary algorithms of search engine companies. Google, for example, uses more than 200 factor that determine the rank of the page, two of the most important of which are matching key phrased searched with the webpage copy, and external links from other websites. The determination of such factors as the keyphrase used in search can be achieved through special software, e.g. Google Analytics. Such information can be utilized through Search Engine Optimization – a set of practices used to improve the results of the webpage in search engine rankings. In that regard, such techniques in the case of mobile applications might cover SEO practices related to search engines along with practices related to mobile stores. In the case of Apple’s app store it is stated such SEO might be more important than search engines SEO (Craft, 2009). For store’s SEO, the techniques include managing the way the title of the app is listed, the inclusion of sales offers in the description, and others. Search engine techniques, on the other hand, might include writing content with a particular key phrase density, document meta-data, creating popular content and services, and others.

References

Ambler, T. & Roberts, J. H. 2008. Assessing Marketing Performance: Don’t Settle For a Silver Metric. Journal of Marketing Management, 24, 733-750.

Bennison, S. 2009a. A Guide to Digital Marketing: Part 1 – An Introduction to Digital Marketing. Web.

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Bennison, S. 2009b. A Guide to Digital Marketing: Part 2 – What Constitutes Digital Marketing. Web.

Bughin, J., Shenkan, A. G. & Singer, M. 2009. How Poor Metrics Undermine Digital Marketing. Mckinsey Quarterly, 106-107.

Chaffey, D., Ellis-Chadwick, F., Mayer, R. & Johnston, K. 2009. Internet Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice, Financial Times Prentice Hall.

Craft, C. E. 2009. iPhone Game Development, Indianapolis, In, Wiley Pub., INC.

Greenyer, A. 2006. Measurable Marketing: A Review of Developments in Marketing’s Measurability. Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, 21, 239–242.

Woods, A. 2009. Click here…for new ad metrics. Revolution Haymarket Business Publications Ltd.

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