Q&A: Anna Talerico, EVP and cofounder of Ion Interactive

Anna Talerico, EVP and cofounder of Ion Interactive, a marketing services company, discusses how to effectively measure social interactions and Web traffic data.

Direct Marketing News (DMN): How can brands leverage new marketing technology to build customer loyalty?

Anna Talerico (Ion Interactive): There’s a ton of technology they can leverage. The challenge is it’s only leveraged to a small degree. All of the technology is there but marketers don’t have the time, resources and expertise to leverage it the way they want. There is a breed of marketer who grew up online using tools like Adwords, and they are fluent in living in that world of marketing, but a lot of people only have shallow experience there. The challenge is that marketing organizations are only implementing 10-to-20% of what the technology can do for them.

DMN: How can mobile technology be used to enhance customer experience?

Talerico: Marketers aren’t creating mobile optimized experiences. But part of it is creating optimized experiences where you’re likely to have mobile traffic, such as landing pages for QR codes or engagements through apps. This year, we saw huge demand for our customer base in terms of making mobile optimized experiences. Marketers think mobile is happening down the line but I don’t think they realize it’s happening now. I’m a huge fan of QR codes. It bridges the offline world, the mobile phone and what’s happening online. Consumers on-the-go can engage in that instant without having to remember a URL.

DMN: Can social interactions be measured properly for ROI? How?

Talerico: You measure social ROI in many of the same ways you measure display. There’s going to be areas that are really challenging to get ROI measurement, but there should be aspects that are conversion-focused so you can measure engagements and people who take action. Social programs have to have both. Marketers do need to take advantage of tracking and measuring these brand interactions so you can track them back to social. It’s a challenge but it’s doable.

DMN: What kinds of data should marketers be looking into other than typical demographics information?

Talerico: How much traffic are you getting from each source? What are consumers doing when they go to you? Where are they coming from? What activities are they doing and are they valuable activities? Are they clicking and leaving, purchasing something, filling out a form? Understand your overall traffic. So many marketers don’t look at traffic patterns from all their different sources. Look at each source as a separate bucket and optimize to get consumers to do what you want them to do in that segment. To really manage and capitalize on that traffic you’ve got to look at each source as its own bucket and do it quickly and efficiently so you don’t get overwhelmed.

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