To many brands, web analytics is all about reporting. They use their website data to see which pages are popular, track their site's bounce rate, and understand the customer journeys which drive conversions.

But in 2017, argues Tealium's Andy Clark, we will see the role of web analytics greatly expanded. It will, he states, be used both to enhance external communications as well as internal analysis.

In the video below, Mr Clark lays out his vision for web analytics in 2017 and I've then provided a summary, examples, and additional commentary.

So, according to Andy, in 2017 we will see brands:

1. Combine web analytics with marketing automation for a 360-view of the customer

In the past, customer views to websites were largely used for one thing in marketing – to create a personalised ad campaign through retargeting. That is, if someone visited a web page for 'red shoes', we made sure that those 'red shoes' followed them all around the internet.

Now, brands are using customer browsing behaviour as input data in order to change many things besides just an ad campaign. Through combining analytics data with marketing automation, marketers are able to use data from multiple sources to achieve multiple marketing objectives.

For example, here a marketing manager from LL Bean describes how abandoned shopping cart data not only improves a retargeting display campaign, but can also improve email, paid search, and the user's future website browsing experience.

Then through assembling all of the captured data points, companies can produce a 'Universal Visitor Profile' which will be the central repository and source of data about identifiable customers.

This will allow brands, then, to treat each member of their audience pool uniquely. The excellent example provided by LL Bean is that having this profile allows the team to assemble an audience of people who have viewed an out-of-stock item and advertise it to them when it becomes available.

In doing so, marketing has captured website behaviour, combined it with their stock system, and leveraged it to give customers information that they are looking for through an email or display ad. 

2. Integrate web analytics with offline systems for new business insights

It's curious that while most companies will use website data to improve their web experience, it's rare to find one which uses it as an input for enhancing other, non-web related data.

This could mean using page views, time on site, or even bounce rate to determine the level of consumer interest in a product or category.  Or, with the right data, a conjoint analysis of product features and benefits could be carried out through highlighting particular combinations on the website.

American airline US Airways (now American Airlines) had a particularly interesting external use case for its website data. Besides providing air travel, US Airways also made significant revenue from its data monetization partner Adara Media.

But while US Airways had long ago integrated its offline booking system and loyalty programme database, the company website was changing so frequently that the web analytics data was often missing many key data points.

Using a tag management solution, though, US Airways was able to greatly enhance the website data passed to Adara, and achieve an annualized ROI of over 400%.


So whether it's through using web analytics to improve your marketing via enhanced automation or repurposing your web analytics to improve internal analysis, 2017 is going to see big changes in how brands use their website data, according to Tealium's Andy Clark.

And while it will still be useful for more traditional reporting, the data marketers harvest from their websites can then be used to provide greater value both internally and to customers as well.

Jeff Rajeck

Published 15 March, 2017 by Jeff Rajeck

Jeff Rajeck is the APAC Research Analyst for Econsultancy . You can follow him on Twitter or connect via LinkedIn.  

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Comments (3)

Market Force

Market Force, Performance Marketing Manager at Marketforce @ Digital River

“This type of article isn’t wrong but wildly understates the level of complexity. It gives false hope about what will be possible with data without illustrating what else needs to happen. This is why every CEO and ecommerce manager thinks data will change everything but they can’t seem to harness it. It’s the hype cycle.

Everything in the article is true. Please don’t doubt that. The question is, how do you connect all these systems, why is it so difficult? The simple example to begin with is that you’ll need the connections between your tools (paid search, CMS analytics, onsite, apps, email, etc.) to be real time or nearly real time.

Normally there’s a delay between just collecting data and analysing it, never mind real time connections between systems. This doesn’t have to be an extremely complex setup between channels but what it needs is deep thinking about the structure these connections need now and next year.

We want to use behaviour in one channel to influence another, so we need a flow of information. Onsite behaviour triggers an abandoned cart email, which triggers personalised onsite content when you return. If you buy an item after this it changes the PPC remarketing and email lists you’re on. Does recency of interacting with email and PPC change what we show you onsite? It probably should. The interactions between channels need to flow smoothly at high speed, not weekly.

Ecommerce managers and their superiors need to understand databases and APIs. They need departments and divisions to be able to think beyond budgets at one system level and think about long-term plans for the evolution of marketing channels. At an organisational level that’s a big challenge.

This will be a trend next year and the next five years but don’t buy into the hype too soon. Be afraid. This isn’t available for everyone without leadership having a very deep understanding of each channel and the actual systems. Businesses may need to approach more of the Toyota philosophy, Genchi Gembutsu. In short it means that the way to solve problems is to go to where the work is done and get your hands dirty.

Finally, what systems do you actually need? One option is to maybe buy all of Adobe’s systems. They’re one of the only providers who do everything from CMS to analytics and through all marketing channels. Google is coming up behind now they’ve launched Optimise (but they still don’t have a CMS or email). Even if you want to start small with triggered emails or remarketing lists, have you really had the deep internal conversation about how flexible that solution is if you want to add something else later on? Do you have an API guy? Could you transform the data yourselves through an automated solution? Would it add long-term potential if you got more budget in the future?

Automation, combining data sources, multi-channel, it’s definitely going to trend but start thinking beyond the hype now.”

over 1 year ago

Kathleen Jo

Kathleen Jo, Community Manager at Tealium

Hi Market Force. Thank you for the above comments. We appreciate you taking the time to listen to Andy’s video. In answer to your thoughts around,

“The question is, how do you connect all these systems, why is it so difficult? The simple example to begin with is that you’ll need the connections between your tools (paid search, CMS analytics, onsite, apps, email, etc.) to be real time or nearly real time.”

Tealium answers this by staying focused on gathering data, enriching it and allowing you to take action in real-time. We integrate with a 1000+ vendors via API, Webhook, and Connector technologies using a real-time platform that does exactly what you mentioned in your reply, “use behaviour in one channel to influence another”.

That being said, there is a large difference between us and Adobe. You do not need to purchase all Adobe products. As you can see here,, you can use any vendor (including Adobe) that we have integrations with to stream data back and forth between systems. Don’t see a vendor in our list? That’s okay because we have generic Webhook and APIs at your disposal.

We enable all of this by utilizing a data layer. This amazing piece of technology allows you to have a single set of data which you can use to communicate and connect all your different analytics, email systems, website, and even offline systems, like IoT and stores, to one another. And, again, all in real-time.

So the “delay between just collecting data and analysing it” is removed saving your data analysts extraction, transformation, and load times across multiple systems and even across your entire organization. (Learn more about Tealium’s data layer:

And, yes, Tealium has the ability to automate a cart abandonment email from your website, see if the customer has opened your email, but not converted, clicked on a display ad but HAS converted, THEN suppress media spend in your retargeting ads because the customer DID convert in display. Did I mention that this can all be automated via our UI and without IT assistance? Please check out our Martech Challenger series here to see how this can be done

Again, thank you Market Force for the reply. If you have any questions about our products and services our door is open. We’d love to give you a demonstration of how we can help you integrate all of your offline and online data into one data set. And if you’re still not convinced… maybe these case studies can help?

Thank you again.

over 1 year ago


Antony jo, business strategy consulting at

I totally agree "2017 is going to see big changes in how brands use their website data" And being a marketing expert, I have achieved multiple marketing objectives by combining the data analytics with marketing automation. Visit:

over 1 year ago

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