Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Online tracking technology can give you lots of data, how can you leverage it?

We all understand the value of tracking our online traffic and its behavior. There are many great tools out there to gather that information. From Google analytics to Omniture and many more! Unfortunately I often come accross organizations that have the systems in place and the data available but do very little with it. The "corporate team" gets to see it and take some actions based on that information but it is quite limited. I will say that many certainly have teams dedicated to managing that effort but most don't.

If you look at a concrete example of how this data could be used it is not complicated. Each of your community probably has its own website (maybe within a main corporate domain). Each of these websites is an extension of your leasing centers. Wouldn't it make sense to share what is happening inside these spaces with the interested parties? Give your regional managers or property managers a simple way to access information about what is happening inside their online retail space? I for one would like to know if their are many people coming into my online space to learn more about my community or the communities in my area. With such information you would be able to engage your teams in giving you ideas and feed back about ways to best capitalize on the traffic. As they see the value and the exposure they get they will also help you drive more traffic to their online retail space. It is about leveraging your teams to help you increase your online performance.

So how is that done?
It is actually quite simple. You need to set up separate tracking for each site or speak with your service partners to create a limited access to that information based on their responsibility levels. I certainly would not grant access to the global data to a large group of people but keep it in direct relationship with what they are responsible for.

Everybody understands how valuable the internet is, unfortunately there are many inefficiencies in how/ where we spend money to drive traffic to our sites. As local managers are responsible for their expenses they will become partners in evaluating the quality of the traffic and its true value to their business. At the end of the day it has to be about gaining more leases, higher price per square foot and increasing customer satisfaction. So take a moment to evaluate how you can get your local teams engaged into a conversation about their online retail spaces.

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