President at Performance Drivers, Inc.
14 October 2003 21:30pm
The Campaign+ series of reports that are on the LifeLine service are some of the most actionable that I have seen. You get lead funnels, top paths of leads and can group banners, email marketing and print into campaigns. Not only that but you can easily see your campaigns in context with your other traffic generators such as search engines.
On 17:19:29 14 October 2003 amr wrote:
>>Does anyone have any experience of these tools or can
>>recommend other tools that fit the characteristics
>>have I missed anything?
>Dave - yes have used DoubleClick extensively, and there is
>1 thing that you're missing.... DoubleClick also has an
>analytics tool called SiteAdvance. SiteAdvance provides
>all of the reports that WebAbacus, hitbox etc
>provide...but in far more detail.
>The real benefit though, is that it picks up campaigs run
>through DFA or Dartmail automatically, allowing you to
>compare campaigns activity against 'natural' activity like
>for like...and with the same levels of detail (post
>impression vs post click, etc)
CEO at Econsultancy
15 October 2003 11:16am
Your round up point about different teams needing different things from web analytics (and indeed your original question) is a crucial and very interesting one. Based on our experience of talking to end users, I would observe the following:
- Most companies buy a solution to meet a short term need. For example, with the recent rise of search engine marketing and PPC, and online marketing more generally, there is a clear demand for campaign analytics as your original post highlights.
- Buyers are interested in minimizing risk and cost, particularly given the current climate. They need to justify expenditure in terms of ROI in the short term, they like to be able to have flexibility in the way they pay for things and they are wary of being tied into a solution that then doesn't work.
- Different people in an organisation will respond to (and hence be open to buying) different solutions. The campaigns team are interested, not surprisingly, in measuring and optimising the ROI from their campaigns. It will be difficult to sell them a "holistic CRM" solution. The Marketing Director, however, has the budget, strategic overview etc. that means he/she may just buy into that holistic CRM solution.
For the reasons above we have seen a distinct swing in favour of Application Service Provider (ASP) web analytics solutions i.e. outsourced ones using tags of some kind in the site’s pages (images, code..). The attraction of this approach may in part be driven by perceptions of increased accuracy of data and reporting, and in part because it takes away the headache of managing the IT infrastructure, and in part because it appears to be easy to implement. However, perhaps the biggest attraction is that it can help minimize risk both in terms of cost exposure and not losing control. “If it doesn’t work after 6 months we’ll just change to someone else…”.
That said, based on our own experiences and those of others I would further say:
- a ‘holistic’, ‘integrated’ (insert other buzzwords..) solution really is best in the long term. If you buy multiply point solutions for specific tasks there will come a time when you want to try and integrate all that data to get the bigger picture (‘end to end’, ‘closed loop’ etc.). And that’s not so easy. Particularly if you want to do it real-time…
- I think you are more tied to an ASP solution than some might think/hope. Yes, you own the data and could, in theory, take that to another provider if you decided to switch and wanted to keep the historic perspective. But that data migration process isn’t always as easy as you might like. More than that, the real value in a tool or web analytics solutions actually comes most from the ease / seamlessness with which it integrates with your business processes – or how well your business users work with it. So the tie in is more about process and inertia than technology.
- Despite my preference for the holistic approach, I don’t think you need to try and do everything at once. You might start with campaign analytics, get that nailed, and then move on to other areas until you have that full picture. (similar story for content management…)
So how do you reconcile the above? As a buyer of web analytics I’d like a solution where I could buy into a module – say the campaign analytics part – but know that I had an upgrade path to the big picture I’m ultimately aiming for. This way I can minimize my initial costs, make sure I could demonstrate to my management an ROI in one area before further investing in others, and yet I’m also not worried about not being able to deliver the big picture in the longer term. In this age of Web Services this seems eminently possible.
I think perhaps the web analytics providers could do better at how they engage with clients on this basis. Meet the current need at a reasonable cost but describe how the solution can grow over time to meet future needs. It’s not easy though. As the replies above show, the answer from any web analytics company is likely to be ‘whatever you want to do, we can do it’. This makes it harder to tell them apart. Do you think they should specialize more – by area of measurement, by industry sector etc?
Director at ISSEL
16 October 2003 16:24pm
Two additional factors you need to take into account are:
1) value and profitability of both the actual sale and subsequent sales. What marketers are looking for is customers with high margin purchases rather than just the bottom of the range so that you can rank the performance of your expenditure by profitability not just volume of conversion. If you can identify routes that bring both high margin sales and customers who will make repeat purchases then you've hit the motherlode.
2) the web is just one of the channels to market. A high proportion of organisations have multiple routes and while the web may be used for information gathering the resultant sale may be made through a call centre or a branch outlet. Understanding the place of the web in the whole transaction can be very valuable. Why should the call centre people get all the credit when the web input has been significant!
Both these factors require the ability to link into corporate databases to integrate external data and its this capability of Pilot HitList that we have used to help some of our customers understand the value of their promotional investments.
Business Development Director at iPerceptions
06 February 2004 09:50am
read this with interest. Which i followed back from your later comments on online emasurement.
Interested to know why these comments are made as if they are something new.
i would certainly welcome a chat and maybe a greater understanding to these comments and whta the target is.
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