As the media space becomes more complex the ability for advertisers to track consumer behaviour keeps on growing.

Auckland-based internet marketing company First Rate has developed the latest new tool for advertisers that might actually provide some useful information.

The company is set to launch Media Tracker, which it says will enable clients to gain a clearer picture of their return on investment by answering two basic questions: where did internet traffic come from and what action resulted from it?

First Rate chief executive Melanie Fisk said the concept was started 18 months ago as an alternative to traditional statistics packages, which she said were designed for top-end users and often limited to measuring one media type.

“Marketers can work out where their audience came from and then monitor how effective that is. Businesses want to know what benefits advertising can have on their websites.”

The system works by monitoring five areas of potential traffic origins. Visitors to an advertisement could be identified as coming from a direct URL connection, a search engine or a banner ad, through email marketing or via a link from another related site.

There was also potential to monitor the effect of television advertising on a company’s website by identifying whether TV-based promotional campaigns were working.

Ms Fisk said trials showed clients could also get a clearer picture of how long they should run an advertising campaign for.

A recent telephone survey by Phoenix Research found that 49% of New Zealanders used the internet at least once a month, with regular users spending an average of 10 hours a week online.

While internet advertising accounts for less than 1% of the country’s total advertising spend, the size of the market is creeping higher.

The online advertising market in New Zealand is estimated to be worth about $10 million a year.