Vendor Chat on Measuring Success
Moderated by Alex Bennert from Beyond Ink
John Marshall from Clicktracks. “It’s all about persuasion” Focus on this instead of ROI. ROI only describes two points in the customer’s journey. Does nothing to help you understand all the micro-decisions made during the buying process. If you go to the end point, you miss a lot of data. There are many reasons that the ROI Data suffers. It’s such a long journey. Dispel a myth about funnel analysis. On the web, this doesn’t work. Inherited from offline sales process. An online funnel is more like a “series of tornados.” Eventually the mindset of the customer takes them to the next mental stage in progression towards purchase. To define a good funnel, divide site into stages. Think about what mental state people are in each step. Aggregate lots of distinct pages into meaningful page groups, then segment by conversion ability. Shows an example of their site stats, and how if came through search, most persuasive sections and landing pages changed from entry point to entry point. Organic was most “swayed” by “services” page. Landing page for paid that worked best was the “Click fraud” page. Yet another best one for email entrance. Closes with summary.
Akin Arikan From Unica Shows an example of a disaster when bidding on web tracking (“hurricane tracking web site”). Recommends starting with paid keyword report and ends up with recommendation.
Brett Crosby Google Analytics Discusses history of G Analytics. Interesting journey since launch in November as a free product. Happy to say that the wait for G A is now only about 15 minutes from signup. Starts with a discussion recommending “analyzing & acting on the data.” G Analytics support offers free email support. No predefined support packages to “force you into a model.” Use of the product is very intuitive. They recommend that if you are “serious about analytics,” that you hire or train someone to run in-house products. Some client prefer DIY. They have “conversion university” online. Teaches best practices methodology for driving traffic, honing conversion process, etc. Has multilingual online help and FAQ. Has user supported Google Group around analytics, moderated by several people, in their division and also have a blog. Shows a cool new logo/button that looks like the “GAP” button but says “Google Analytics Authorized Consultant.” Finishes with a reminder that the best thing you can do is analyze your data and act on it.
Chris Knoch from Omniture “Web Analytics and Bid Management” How to take customized web metrics for your goals and apply them to your keywords. They have seen that traditional conversion metrics differ per organization. Some use average pages viewed per conversion, for example. Gives an example of an online car and truck magazine and the “cost per car research page view” and “cost per truck research page view.” These are custom numbers that give the particular metric that is best for them. Then he shows a specific example of how to build a bid rule based on assigning costs. Uses “action sets.” High end: if the cost of the car research or truck research page views is 3X target, then automatically lower bid by 30% and keep doing this until you risk loosing too much traffic. You can further customize using this methodology. You not only want to set a ceiling, but also a floor. So if you are spending “not enough,” then increase bid.
Warren Raisch from WebSideStory Will speak about HitBox. Says he agrees with John that conversion points other than the final are important to monitor. “Micro-conversions” help to measure success and failures throughout site, particularly to focus on the failures. In each area you can see” where you are losing it.” Are you not gaining trust? Is your form bad? They use a “return on action” calculator. “Let’s look at what you can do this week. They take a funnel approach initially, looking at total visitors in the “11 step process” as they go through a website. The “fallout points” are what you need to identify and study. A little information can be a dangerous thing if misinterpreted. They are using a push model,” putting the info into an easy format like a Word document or PPT slide to make it easy for people to analyze and take action. Shows some examples of their reporting outlook and some other metrics. Looks pretty cool, they are Called “Active dashboards.”
They also look at what they call “active alerts” or “active reports.” This way they can push KPI’s directly to someone’s desk. Has “alarm” kind of system that changes the skin and launches and auto email if some thing important happens. Finishes with a brief look at the importance of navigation, and how they were able to change navigation titling and double traffic.
Barry Parshall from WebTrends Has no PPT presentation. “Wants us to look at him.” He feels that web analytics has not done a good job of relationship marketing over the years. “What is missing is people.” Goes through a story about people making journeys through websites. It is very critical to focus on what your customers care about and when they care about it.
(added 8/16. one of the panelists sent me the follwoing, describing the last question of the Q&A:
"this question is for everyone on the panel except Brett (from Google Analytics). I am a happy Google Analytics user now, why would I ever consider using one of your products?" The other vendors sat there quietly for several moments. Then John Marshal wisely replied, "Unless everyone here wants to hear 5 sales pitches, maybe it would be best if you contacted our sales reps."