Baking in “Intelligence” to Drive-to-Web Campaigns


The modern “drive to web” campaign is much more than simply pushing consumers to a linked landing page. It’s leveraging technology and marketing software which is ever-evolving, and understanding how to create dynamic and personalized campaigns that produce web results.

A Shift in Focus

An advantage that an advanced agency such as Hawthorne holds is the ability to look not only at analytics, but also to consider the overall user experience and engagement. This is the key to attracting and retaining website visitors who take action, the ability to match content to consumer behaviors and demand. Companies need to pair their content to all available channels, whether it’s linear TV, OTT, or social media – the content should be informed by actual behaviors. Creative messaging must be based on consumption habits that segment the intended viewers, so the marketing is always hitting the right targets with the right messages.

Advanced marketing firms can see the correlations between stronger responses and conversions and the user experience and behaviors, and then optimize content on the fly to improve the drive-to-web metrics.

The Needed Technology

Matching first and third-party data is essential. This involves not only understanding what the visitor is doing on the website in real-time, but the actions they were taking before they reached the site. Doing this aligns campaigns and sites with the broader trend towards personalization, where data from various disparate platforms is brought together to develop insights that are targeted to the individual. Effectively integrating multiple data sources requires Big Data analytics and an understanding of what data truly matters in terms of producing positive customer-oriented results.

Building a trove of data regarding visitors’ actions on a website requires a well-planned strategy. The tech foundation of this approach is to use pixel tracking to monitor the actions of every visitor. Armed with more than 1,000 pixel trackers, campaign managers can build a “playbook” of every visitor. They might start with a UX tracking pixel, which then allows a website to incrementally make improvements that make navigation/purchase/utilization of the site faster and easier. A third-party data provider pixel is also used so you can see the other cookies tracking the visitor – providing a valuable layer of third-party data. Social media engagement tracking is another step to garner data, by using tracking tools to correlate social activities and campaigns. The point of all of these steps? To enable real-time segmentation and better targeting while also improving the site for future visitors.

Putting Optimization into Practice

As the marketer pulls in data, they can develop truly adaptive content that aligns with behaviors and attributes. The content personalizes both to the individual and the actual device. This is what everyone in the drive-to-web industry is geared towards, but they stumble on how to manage all of the moving parts. Thankfully, there are tech tools out there (and experienced people at the helm) who can provide the insights to shape the content and message delivery.

Consider these best practices for enhanced drive-to-web ad campaigns:

  • Understand the product. There needs to be an alignment between the messaging needed to describe the product and what it will take to get the consumer to go from awareness to action.
  • Tailor messages to devices. Advanced analytics-driven campaigns will have data on the preferred content viewing devices and will then adjust content accordingly.
  • Adjust media planning. Tailor the media mix to align with consumer behaviors gleaned from the user analytics, understanding the differences in industries (whether it’s a skincare product or tech.)

The Evolution of the Web

Adding greater forms of “intelligence” to the drive-to-web campaign underscores the broader web shifts. We’ve moved from the “intelligent website” to landing pages and portals, to then “web 2.0.” And now we’re shifting to another form, with the mobile website the primary location, and the ability to offer content messaging to specific people. The website is no longer just a place to take orders, it’s an ideal source of insights brands can use to build segmentation, and at the same time enhance and optimize campaigns and media. This is the new way of doing drive-to-web, as opposed to the blanket approach of reaching as many eyes as possible and hoping some of them take action.

The tracking of website visitors is extraordinarily precise, with for example the capability to measure how long a buyer hovers over “buy now” before they click. Advertising firms and brands that want long-term success in their drive-to-web campaigns will embrace data intelligence. Awareness is no longer the goal, it’s about targeting the behaviors.

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