Most organizations I speak with are on their third or fourth Web analytics tool by now. The funny part is that some are switching from tool A to tool B, while others are switching from tool B to tool A. Are they all so bad? Yes, they are -- and here are the reasons.
I had a professor in college whose lesson on measurement I will never forget. He began by posing the question "Are fat people lazy?" After several minutes of emotionally charged debate within the class, when it seemed pretty obvious that there was no possible way to answer the question with any consensus, he gave us a script to follow -- one with relevance to marketers asking the question "Is our marketing cost-effective?"
A few years ago, when I spoke about "integrating Web analytics data with data from other systems," I was often met with quixotic looks from vendors and asked, "Why would you want to do that?" Time marches on as relentlessly as companies innovate. Now when I ask the same question to analytics tool vendors, I get a different response -- more along the lines of "yes, we can do that, we understand why you would want to that, and we have a various options for doing so."
As we're about to put our first wise Latina on the U.S. Supreme Court, it is somewhat serendipitous that I'd been planning for some time to write about the U.S. Hispanic online marketplace. It is an interesting and fast-growing space, distinctly different from the general market, and too, distinctly different from offline U.S. Hispanic media marketplaces. Here are some of the major drivers that make the U.S. online Hispanic market unique.
I was sitting in a 2010 planning meeting recently listening to the marketing team describe their objectives, strategies, and thoughts on tactics they were planning to deploy. Their question to me was "How should we measure the payback on this strategy?" My response was: "Compared to what? Walking naked through Times Square?" I was being asked to evaluate a proposed strategy without any sense of what the alternatives were. Sure, I can come up with a means of estimating and tracking the ROI on almost anything. But if that ROI comes to 142%, so what? Is there a plan that …
Have you been lured in by "Texas Hold'em" or "Mafia Wars"? This week I was analyzing a branded application on Facebook using three different data sources: Facebook's native analytics, Google Analytics and Atlas. One could merely use Facebook's native analytics platform for tracking app usage, notifications, installs and uninstalls, but you can also glean a lot more from the Canvas page than you might think if you creatively use your Web analytics tools to mine some of the data.
The practice of online analytics is most often discussed in the context of marketing. Analytics pinpoints the highest performing marketing and advertising campaigns. Analytics assists in identifying and helping to nurture leads. Analytics informs marketers of audience attributes and behavior, so that the best and most appropriate messages can be targeted to them. Analytics must be used to optimize search. While I agree that analytics for marketing is among the highest and best use for the data, it is not the only use for data by far. Several other business functions can benefit from having access to data provided by …
Should you open the doors to the Web analytics tool, let everybody do their own analysis and draw their own conclusions? Or should you retain tight control over the data and spoon-feed those who initially showed no or little interest in the process, but are only looking for numbers to support their conclusion-du-jour? The answer is yes; each in their own time.