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Benchmarking, for those that were in the know, was once a fantastic feature of Google Analytics.
Discontinued in 2011, and then followed by the removal of Adplanner the following year, meant it became a lot harder to contextualise the great work marketers were doing and get valuable market information.
Alternatives for benchmarking have always been available, based on toolbar tracking or proprietary stats vendors for example, but those that used Google Analytics benchmarking reports loved the feature for its simplicity, the fact that it was perceived to be well informed, and of course it was free.
Well, as announced on the Google Analytics blog today, this ever popular feature has been revived.
For those that opt in to anonymously share their data, version one of the new implementation is being rolled out to all Google Analytics Universal users, with promises of much more to come in the future.
This week the stats roundup offers you programmatic trading, international ecommerce, phablet shipments and the ever popular Twitter and TV.
Don't forget to check out the Internet Statistics Compendium for more internet marketing data and charts.
August marked the 20th anniversary of the first ever online transaction - a copy of Sting’s album Ten Summoner’s Tales.
Since then, ecommerce has gone from strength to strength with 95% of us now shopping online.
In the same way music trends have come and gone, over the last two decades marketers have had to evolve the way they engage with consumers online; fielding both shifts in consumer behaviour and the way Google displays its results.
If there is one thing that retail marketers have learned about advertising on search engines over the years it’s that relevancy is a key to success. Google’s latest update aims to make this easier. Google Shopping ads (previously known as product listing ads or PLAs) were introduced this month to allow advertisers to set up and manage campaigns in a more intuitive way.
However, with the vast number of marketers who have grown accustomed to PLAs and already have existing PLA campaigns running, there are undoubtedly many wondering how this change will affect them.
Below are my own ten ‘summoning’ tips for marketers to help make the most of the change from PLAs to Google Shopping.
The news this week that Twitter has opened up its analytics platform to all is a welcome one for all marketers that value data validation within their decision making process.
The announcement comes hot on the heels of the news from Pinterest that it has, for the first time, also opened up its vast treasure trove of data to businesses via its new interface.
Data-driven content strategy is something I have spent the past 15 years pursuing and so the addition of such insight moves that process on further than ever and today I want to look at actionable ways in which these new platforms can be used.
Three’s a crowd, and I’m not referring to failed 80s sitcoms. I’m talking about customer relationships.
Yet according to a study by the UC Berkeley Center for Law and Technology, 85% of the top 1,000 websites have cookies set by a third party.
Propelled by widespread anonymity in the early days of the Internet, third-party cookies have undoubtedly become a staple for many marketers, tracking consumer behaviors across the web with the promise of uncovering invaluable insights.
Not only is this an invasion of consumer privacy (more on that later), but it also prevents businesses from truly knowing and understanding their customers.
First-party data, transparently collected via voluntary user registration, on-site activities and interactions, removes data brokers as middlemen, establishing direct brand and consumer connections and fostering 1:1 relationships.
Let’s take a look at three ways that third-party cookies are hurting your customer relationships, and how first-party data can be collected and used to improve audience understanding and user experiences.
Mobile technologies are fundamentally changing the way businesses interact with consumers.
Telecommunications companies obviously play a huge role in this, so a new report published by Econsultancy and Adobe gives an insight into how these businesses are themselves adapting to the new digital world.
The Digital Marketing in the Telecom Sector Report also explores the key trends, opportunities and sector-specific issues shaping digital strategies in the telco industry.
The research is based on a global survey of more than 200 telecom executives based mainly in North America and EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa).
Here's a summary of three key trends identified in the report:
It's now more than two years since the cookie law began to be 'enforced' in the UK, but has it changed anything?
In the run up to the May 2012 'deadline' there was plenty of confusion from online businesses over the steps required to comply with the directive, thanks to some unclear instructions.
Now cookie notices are seen on most websites, though the ICO received just 38 'concerns' about cookies on sites between April and June 2014.
So was it worth the effort? Are cookie notices just an irritant? Is it totally irrelevant given the activities of the NSA? Or has this law been useful in raising awareness of cookies?
Econsultancy's expert team of analysts have continued their sterling work this year, and to highlight some of their excellent research I've rounded up a load of interesting stats from our Q2 reports.
Yes, I am aware that Q2 ended more than a month ago, but the saying "better late than never" is my guiding principle with this post.
It includes data on customer lifetime value, mobile optimisation, paid search, big data, mobile commerce and the UK's top digital agencies.
This by no means includes all of the reports published by Econsultancy this year, so head here to explore our full range.
Econsultancy’s Measurement and Analytics Report 2014 (in partnership with Lynchpin analytics consultancy) looks at trends in the industry, from skills and investment to technology and challenges.
I've picked up the report to take a look at how resourcing is changing in the world of data analysis. How many staff are companies employing to analyse data? What emphasis is there on new tech as opposed to people and process?
Enough with the rhetorical questions, let's take a look.
Google released its first analytics app for iOS at the end of July, which follows on from the release of a new Android version in June.
As someone who has been pinching and zooming to view our site's stats on a mobile browser, the new mobile app is more than welcome.
So how well does it work? And how does it compare to the desktop features?
Dynamic pricing is a pricing strategy in which prices change in response to real-time supply and demand.
While this isn’t a brand new pricing strategy, (American Airlines first introduced it in the early 80’s) it is currently taking ecommerce by storm.
Dynamic pricing allows retailers to remain competitive with 24/7 price monitoring and changes, boosting profits by 25% on average.
Are you doing what's best, or simply seeking the protection of the herd?
It’s an enticing idea: 'Best practice'. It suggests a clearly defined path to success; a recipe for perfectly honed websites, trouble-free projects, delighted users; a silver bullet.
But what is 'best practice'?
I don’t mean best practice for UX design, or best practice for SEO, or best practice for project execution. But the concept of 'best practice' itself.
Where do best practices come from? How do we recognise them? How do we adopt them?