I have noticed a worrying shift in attitude in large companies which needs addressing.

Five or so years ago, our clients would use web analytics to continually carry out small tests on the website, measure the improvements and test again. This iterative web development process now seems to be hugely hindered by red tape and protocol.

Many companies I speak to (not all mind!) don’t give the marketer control of the website. Instead, if a change is to be made it has to go through a long sign off process and wait until the next quarterly release. 

In extreme cases I’ve known people wait for a year for a development opportunity.  

The end result is rather than continually testing variables in order to increase conversions and online sales, development decisions have to be made and, rightly or wrongly, the marketer will have to live with them until the next long term release.

However I am pleased to see our clients using this same data to measure and test many different online marketing channels – something which they can control. 

By understanding the lifetime value (LTV) of every visitor, including their initial source, clients are able to push their media planners and get the best bang for their buck.

Bertie Stevenson is Head of New Business at Web Analytics firm RedEye.