DuPont puts science to work by creating sustainable solutions essential to a better, safer, healthier life for people everywhere. With more than 58,000 employees and operations in 90 countries, DuPont offers a wide range of innovative products and services for markets including agriculture, nutrition, electronics, communications, safety and protection, home and construction, transportation and apparel.

Recently, the Marketing Maven caught up with Lisa Boothe, Global eMarketing Business Leader at DuPont, for a conversation about eMarketing.

What are DuPont’s eMarketing objectives?
Our eMarketing objectives vary by business and market segment. In general, our objectives focus on demand creation but specific objectives can range from creation of awareness and preference, to consideration and lead generation, all the way through to purchase or loyalty building. The objective will determine how/what we choose to do in a given program or campaign.

And what about eMarketing challenges?
One of our biggest challenges is to actually tie our eMarketing efforts to sales. We sell through a lot of different channels and partners so tracking things back to a sale can be tricky. This requires a close working relationship with our sales organizations and our channel partners. We are looking at different ways to judge lead quality early in the marketing cycle to ensure that we are using our limited resources to work on converting our highest quality leads.

How do you tie eMarketing tactics to specific objectives?
I think the key to tying eMarketing tactics to business objectives is the identification of success metrics. If we can identify how we would measure success of a specific marketing objective, we can incorporate that into the metrics plan of an eMarketing program.

Can you give us examples of specific success metrics?
A simple example would be the difference between success metrics for building awareness and lead generation. In the case of building awareness you are trying to reach and influence someone that has little or no view of your offering. You need to reach them while they are doing other things. Display advertising, sponsorships, social networks or word of mouth can be very cost effective ways to reach someone initially, and you can measure that with impressions or click-thrus.

On the other hand, if you are in active lead generation mode, I would tend to use paid search, on-line catalogs or marketplaces such as GlobalSpec to reach someone actively looking for a specific product or service. In this case, the success metric is likely an inquiry form submission.

For either objective we can identify what we would specifically measure to determine if the tactic is effective. In most cases, the key is optimizing the performance of a particular tactic over time, but in some cases, optimization can be best accomplished by shifting from one tactic to another. We actually have data in some cases that show how an integrated campaign with a combined goal of both awareness building and lead generation is best accomplished with multiple tactics.

What online marketing channels do you find most effective?
The preferred tactic varies by business objective, but the key in all cases is for us to get our message where the target audience is. We use a variety of tactics to drive people to our web sites, but more and more we are finding that we need to have our content where the audience is. It is important to devote some up front planning to understand what web sites and social media sites your audience visits and to make sure that your message finds them there. This can mean that we need to distribute our content to multiple channels. In addition to more traditional eMarketing tactics of display advertising, paid search and email, we are beginning to use social networks such as Facebook or Twitter to get our content in front of key audiences. GlobalSpec is another example of a good way to get our message to our target audience, in this case engineers or designers.

It sounds like content plays an important role in your eMarketing efforts.
Distributing content requires us to place an even greater emphasis on content creation and management. Interesting and compelling content is the key to success in all channels. We need to provide our audience with the kind of information they are seeking

What specific metrics do you favor when evaluating an online program’s effectiveness?
My preferred metrics are ones that indicate active engagement versus passive engagement. This helps us confirm that our target audience is engaged with our content and offering. Impressions and click-thrus, while measureable, are lukewarm indicators of interest, whereas watching a video, filling out a form, making a comment and “likes” are all far more active.

I encourage our businesses to focus on engaging with their audience in a way that compels them to go from being an anonymous web visitor to someone that has chosen to let you know who they are and what they are interested in via a web form or a social network. We can then use this as a starting point for a more specific tailored interaction via email, private extranet, phone or face to face. This is the first step in converting a lead to a sale.

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