WebtraffIQTM Interview
Title: WebtraffIQ B2B Web Analytics
Date: 17th October 2006, London, UK
Author: Marcos Richardson

Sub heading:

WebtraffIQ discusses B2B Web Analytics with Jim Sterne

Web Analytics agency WebtraffIQ http://www.webtraffiq.com

[Manoj]: Can you start by talking a little bit about your background?

[Marcos]: I hold a Business BA (Hons) Marketing to Customers and Markets.

Working for a Marketing agency in 1997 during the dot com boom I gained a wide knowledge of online marketing and tracking technologies: Media Planning & Buying, Affiliate Programs, Strategic Links, Opt-in Email Management, Search Engine Optimisation, News Group Development, Viral Marketing, Log-file Analysis & Browser based tracking.

In 2001 I was employed by Clickstream Plc: a very interesting Web Analytics company that is still slightly ahead of its time today. This is where I gained my technical knowledge which enabled me to go into partnership with a small Web Analytics company that amazingly was the very first page tagging system in the Industry and being used by NASA. I rebranded the solution and service offerings to appeal to the European Market. WebtraffIQ is now well known within the Industry and has been able to boast many more industry firsts. First SMS alerts system, Internet Fraud application, First terrestrial Television to Internet tracking (for Halifax), Radio to Internet tracking for City & Guilds. Most recently the first Web Analytics vendor agnostic consultancy service

Within my Web Analytics career I have worked with Sony, Reuters, MP3.com Europe, The Direct Marketing Association, Business Link, The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, Publicis, City & Guilds, Universal Pictures and many more.

[Jim]: I started paying attention to the Internet as a marketing medium in 1993, after 15 years in sales and marketing. I've written books, pounded the podium and even started a conference on the subject of measuring and optimizing the web experience for customers because I feel so strongly about the opportunities.

I am the Founding President of the Web Analytics Association, the producer of the Emetrics Summit and an international consultant on how to increase the value of a website.

[Manoj]: Web Analytics is becoming immensely popular in North America, is this similar in Europe?

[Marcos]: Yes most definitely " Companies in Europe have been utilising Logfile analysers on par with the United States, Webtrends was pretty much the global Logfile analyser recognised by all. In 2003 after the dot com bubble burst many online companies became instantly more accountable. This brought Web Analytics as we no it today to the fore. Accuracy of data started becoming a critical part of choosing a good Web Analytics system. Page tagging or browser based tracking became widely accepted as the more accurate when compared to log file analysers although this is not strictly true.

More recently large traditional retailers such as Next are finding that their business models are changing and they are starting to see a slow down in terrestrial sales with the major growth moving to online e-commerce. Reed Business Information is seeing its traditional hard copy growth diminish and sees its future in online sales. All of this has of course put greater emphasis on tracking, measuring and analysing consumer behaviour in relation to marketing, websites and bottom line transactions.

The emergence of Google Analytics has given the Industry another boost in the right direction. With its substantial reach even the small to medium sized enterprises in Europe are now aware of the importance of Web Analytics.

[Jim]: The top European companies are having no trouble keeping up with top US companies in that they understand and have the ability to take advantage of sophisticated web optimization tools. Lucky for them, they are few in number on both sides of the Pond.

This means those who really apply the tools and assign the human resources to getting the most out of them, have a distinct advantage over the rest of the business world.

[Manoj]: How can WebtraffIQ help solve some of the pains for B2B Organizations?

[Marcos]: Pay-Per-Lead service for the Business to Business sector is starting to become wide spread. Good Web Analytics companies can siphon out direct leads from unique users whom have come in from a Business Network. WebtraffIQ has a powerful geo-location system which is based on the most up to date global IP list possible. There has always been an inherent problem with tracing B2C users IPs due to rerouting of the majority to a local or national ISP. This is far less of a problem when looking at B2B IPs as these companies tend to host their own servers.

Pay Per Click (PPC) is another area where B2B companies are focusing their attentions online; Targeting key potential suppliers and sales networks. WebtraffIQ has special campaign code and reports show PPC key words and campaign results. Having this system helps alleviate the much talked about click fraud currently within the industry.

[Jim]: In addition, these tools help companies get more value out of their Internet investments. Improving acquisition and conversion is part of the picture. The other part is that web analytics offers a window into the hearts and minds of the marketplace.

What do people like? What interests them? Do they care more about these features or those benefits? These tools allow sales people to keep an eye on which customers are logging into the website and what they are looking at. That makes the sales person more proficient at offering advise and direction. They are in a position to be a better consultant.

[Manoj]: What is the best way to make a B2B company understand the importance of implementing a web analytics solution?

[Marcos]: The main reason for the slightly slower take up of Web Analytics systems in the B2B sector is due to lesser use of their website as a whole. After speaking to a few large B2B companies such as NRG Group PLC (Gestetner, Rex " Rotary) the inventors of the fax machine, I found that many of them only saw their Website as a brochure of their business, sighting that they already knew all their suppliers.

More proactive B2B companies like Sony appreciate what the Internet and their Website can do for their Brand.

Marketing and Advertising are leading the way as the major B2B users of Web Analytics systems.

Brand exposure and measurement is something that B2B companies find important.

[Manoj]: What do you think are the main differences between metrics for B2B sites compared to other sites?

[Jim]: B2B sites have a better opportunity to respond dynamically to specific customers. Everybody can watch prospects click around and note how many pageviews a particular product receives. but B2B companies can create programmed responses for those who register for newsletters, etc.

Furthermore, the B2B company has a much deeper relationship with its customers. Customers can log into a website and make use of any number of online applications. Tracking what they do and with what frequency generates a large amount of significant behavioural data that makes the Amazon.com recommendation engine look like a toy.

[Manoj]: Brand reputation, especially for B2B organizations, is a measurement that CEOs and CMOs are very often interested in, what are some ways to measure this?

[Marcos]: Once every day (or couple of days) our server asks various powerful search engines to perform a search (spider) for a company 'brand name' and WebtraffIQ uses the results to provide the following

- Increase / decrease in listings
- Top key words associated with the brand
- Change in key words associated (e.g. compare with last week)
- The number of links to the Brands web site

This provides the Brand Owner with information about:

- The brands weight
- Word associations
- Brand performance

WebtraffIQ also tracks online PR, blogs and forums. Our reports show if people have come from discussions to the B2B customer website. We then manually look at the discussion threads and see if they are negative or positive.

[Jim]: This additional, manual step is crucial. Web analytics are excellent at tell you what happened, but they cannot say why. Online and email surveys are an important addition to any web analytics effort. Ask people how they feel about the company and how their impressions have changed after visiting the site.

A website has a huge impact on customer opinion, ranging from; "This company doesn't understand the power of the Internet and, therefore cannot understand my needs." all the way to, "I couldn't get my job done if it weren't for the things I can find and accomplish on this website."

[Manoj]: From an analytics perspective what is the best way to satisfy different priorities within a company. (i.e.: CEO vs. CFO vs. Director of Web Marketing vs. Sales)?

[Marcos]: By setting up specific reports which each perspective party is most interested in. The less flexible Web Analytic systems out there dont provide this administration facility. WebtraffIQs admin is customisable by the user, they can specify which reports go to whom and when.

For example the CEO is usually interested in Top line data such as how many new Unique Users have arrived week on week and month on month. The CFO would be interested in how many of those converted to sales or required actions. The CMO would be most interested in seeing campaign analysis on ROI conversions for specific marketing initiatives. Head of sales usually works closely with the CMO to try and get as many warm leads or incoming sales enquiries.

The CTO would be interested in the WebtraffIQ Alerts system which sends an SMS or email to the CTO when there is a problem on a page or the servers are down.

[Jim]: "Need to know basis." The secret is that the higher in the organization you go, the less data you show them. Different dashboards are needed at different levels of the company and you never want the MD poking around in the details. He or she needs to be looking at how well the website is achieving corporate goals. If it is not, then it's up to the directors to dig in and figure out why.

[Manoj]: B2B companies have long sales cycles and end up leading to offline sales. How would you use analytics to accurately measure this type of cycle?

[Marcos]: By looking at Key Benchmarks within the website life cycle and using these to gauge specific sales and marketing campaigns.

[Jim]: Prospective customers travel a fairly recognizable buying cycle. If visitors from Company A are looking at the specifications and the service policies but not the ROI pages or the financing information, a red flag is flying. The team responsible for closing that sale now knows they need to find and make contact with the financial side of the decision committee. Otherwise, they are spinning their wheels.

[Manoj]: What are the advantages of using WebtraffIQ vs. free software such as Google Analytics and StatCounter?

[Marcos]: Hands on help with customisation based on specific business Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Integration into other internal business technology systems such as Intranets, Content Managements Systems (CMS) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems.

Deep investigation into how to optimise their current business activities by looking at specific Web Analytics and recommending actions to be taken.

We use a simple three step process

1.) We sit down with customers and ascertain their wants and needs by mapping out their Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) together.

2.) For Web sites and Marketing initiatives we look at design usability, functionality, accessibility and comparing these simultaneously to loyalty, retention, stickiness and churn rate.

3.) Create a rich picture showing customer flow rates to increase fluidity in all user transactions based on Customer KPIs

[Jim]: Another important point is that there is no such thing as a free lunch. These tools take time to implement, time to understand, time to optimize and time to learn how to get the most out of them. If money is to be saved on the tool, how much of an investment is being put into its implementation that might have to be re-spent when it's time to upgrade?

[Manoj]: What is the future for Web Analytics in Europe?

[Marcos]: The Web Analytics Market is directly linked to Internet and broadband take up in general. People will continue to join the Internet as the fringe European Community continues to become more technically sophisticated.

Whilst traditional businesses of all sizes continue to move online and seek the benefits of e-commerce, Web Analytics will be a much appreciated tool to gauge how and why success is achieved online.

[Jim]: Indeed, a corporate website is becoming the communication hub between customer and company. The B2B world no longer revolves around who make the sales call most recently, but who is most findable online and who has the most compelling web presence.

I think marketing in general is maturing from a seat of the pants, let the creative types drive and just throw money at it proposition, to a show me the results proposition. Web analytics is bringing results based marketing to the attention of senior managers. They are no longer going to be happy with guesses.

Interviews focusing on specific topics is something I want to continue to do because there is nothing better than getting first hand insight from industry professionals such as Jim Sterne and Marcos Richardson.

----Ends----

----Notes to editors----

About WebtraffIQ
http://www.webtraffiq.com

WebtraffIQTM is a web analytics agency with headquarters in London, UK. WebtraffIQTM is a real-time visitor tracking and reporting analysis product and service for business web sites and e-commerce enterprises. The system was first created in 1995 making WebtraffIQ one of the most established Web Analytics agencies within the whole industry.

WebtraffIQ provides a campaign tracking service which enables clients to see how various online and offline marketing techniques are working, in effect creating a rich picture of a web site's activities.

WebtraffIQ's clients include:

The Direct Marketing Association (DMA), The Engineering Council, Time to Learn / City & Guilds, The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), Wales Tourist Board, The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).


Contacts:

The media spokesperson for WebtraffIQ is Marcos Richardson

Marcos.richardson@webtraffiq.com
Marcos Richardson
Director
19 Garrick Steet
Covent Garden
London
WC2E 9AX
http://www.webtraffiq.com
Tel: +44 (0)207 379 3300
Fax: +44 (0)207 379 4400

Published on: 12:00AM on 17th October 2006