Dr. W. Edwards Deming has been incorrectly credited with saying "You Can't Manage What You Don't Measure." No truer words were never spoken. If you want to measure your return on investment (ROI) and determine your conversion rate, you do need to have measurement tools in place.
I wrote earlier that nearly every newspaper claims that every printed copy of their newspaper is read by two and a half people. Not likely. That's been the problem with measuring conventional marketing. If we learned anything from the late-1990s–to-early-2000s dot-bomb era is that impressions may add to additional brand recognition, but had little measurable value beyond that.
Measuring ROI, or responses using conventional marketing, has always been difficult. We used multiple post office boxes to track ads, we've used coupon and discount codes, and we've used different telephone numbers. At one time, Hewlett-Packard maintained more than 4,000 different telephone numbers just to track the responsiveness to all of their different advertising. The problem has been that there wasn't a way to run the responses through an automatic counter until the advent of the Internet.
Because the Internet is managed by computer systems and networks, everything that passes through the system can be measured. Over the past 10 years, we even used the Internet and unique landing pages to measure unmeasurable conventional responses. Today, there ...