You likely have a Web page tag coded for analytics, another for optimization, and perhaps one for behavioral targeting. I don't have to tell you the difficulty in managing disparate technology platforms. I'm sure you live it daily. But what if these small snippets of code embedded in pages across the Web site all came in one container tag that transmitted the data to one dashboard?
Products are available, but they are more geared toward targeting, and less about tracking and reporting. And while these tags allow marketers to capture the data, it's unclear if they aggregate and allow marketers to view data on one dashboard. For example, DoubleClick offers the Floodlight tag, but there's a limit to the number of plug-ins. TagMan, another option from a company in the U.K., offers a container that a variety of tags can piggyback on. TagMan clients include vendors and agencies, such as Thomas Cook, Alliance and Leicester, Didit, TBG London, Money Supermarket, according to the company's Web site.
SearchIgnite tracks marketing initiatives across search and display, so marketers can look at sales of a marketing campaign to see how display and search data complement one another. Even within search, marketers can track paid verses organic. The platform also has been integrated with Omniture, so marketers can view analytics across the Web site, too. That business is closer to providing a one-tag solution to better understand marketing and back-end analytics initiatives, but it's still difficult to aggregate all the data on one dashboard.
Will Margiloff, Netmining chairman and Innovation Interactive co-CEO, says to expect a simple technology that relies on application programming interfaces (APIs) to allow people to integrate disparate pieces of technology collected from tags onto one dashboard. Frankly, I'm surprised this technology doesn't exist. Look at the semiconductor industry, for example. You have system-on-a-chip (SoC) manufacturers that can program numerous functions into a pinhead-size semiconductor. And that's hardware. You have size limitations.
Through one simple piece of code inserted in a Web page, marketers would gain the ability to manage behavioral targeting, marketing and analytics data from one dashboard. "It's not an easy technology to develop, but we've done a good job getting closer," he says. "There's so much promise, and at the same time, too many disparate pieces that makes it way too confusing for marketers."
The scenario isn't too different from the events that took place in the electronics industry during 2000 and 2001. But rather than integrate online behavioral targeting, marketing and analytics systems -- Avent, and Arrow Electronics -- two of the world's largest electronic component distributors struggled with integrating numerous off the shelf or company built disparate enterprise resourcing planning, warehouse management, marketing and analytics platforms from companies each had acquired around the globe. The two began the acquisition spree to support semiconductor manufacturing facilities in China, and later in Eastern Europe.
Even Omniture, known as a market leader, has experienced challenges throughout the years integrating analytics, retargeting, search and on-site optimization technologies. It's not an easy task to integrate the technologies. The problem surfaces when technologies don't communicate. But rest assured, there are companies working on the problem.