Guide Sponsor - Richard Sheppard, VP and general manager, Coremetrics EMEA

Richard Sheppard, VP and general Coremetrics EMEAFaltering economic confidence has already hit corporate marketing spend in the UK. According to the latest IPA Bellwether Report, only internet advertising has bucked the downward trend and avoided the budget cuts that have affected the industry for the last two quarters. In fact, spending online has seen a net increase of 21%. It's no wonder that companies are questioning marketing budgets and online campaigns more than ever. And while marketers may be assured that online is the most reliable way to reach a large target audience, every penny of spend must be focused on the most effective channels in order to deliver maximum return on investment.

To meet the demand for demonstrable ROI, modern web analytics must take a leap forward in order to deliver the benefits that businesses need to grow and prosper in the competitive online environment. Continued growth in online marketing has been fuelled by the ability to quickly quantify results and benchmark performance against conversion rates. Sophisticated web analytics methods are incorporating qualitative data from watching visitor behaviour, and it's this that will ensure the continued success of digital marketing over traditional marketing methods.

Qualitative analysis that measures how customers behave in conjunction with digital campaigns, and how they interact with websites, will assist marketers in the analysis of engagement and satisfaction. What is learnt about customer behaviour in this way is more robust and, inevitably, will lead marketers to take action by improving their targeting and segmentation with tools and techniques that are proven to be effective.

Brands have to be much smarter about how they measure success. The challenge that web analytics now needs to meet is in assessing how to measure effectively across a range of digital channels and, more importantly, to determine which digital marketing tool is converting prospects into customers and providing the biggest return on investment.