- Perry Williams: Hello Dear, I am strongly agree with your point that the web analytics is associated with the social...
- Philip Sheldrake: Nice overview Marianina. I wanted to post a link to an article in Business Week from June about the...
- Luisa Woods: Hi Marianina, I think you make a very good point about the importance of segmentation. I like to carry...
- Eric T. Peterson: Marianina, Nice to have seen you Monday in London! I just got this post so perhaps something odd is...
- Marianina Manning: Hi Luisa, Thanks for your thought-provoking comment! I agree that new ways of looking at web...
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- Simple segmentation for your website and better web analytics understanding
- Web Analytics Wednesday in London – the future of web analytics
- Digital cream: revealing debating at econsultancy’s marketing event
- Google Analytics Tip: Ecommerce tracking set up, screenshots and why it’s useful
- Reliving my customer’s experience and some nice screenshots
- Internal site search part 2
- The best charts ever and food for thought for us web analysts
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My Blogger Friends
Today at econsultancy’s digital cream, digital marketers, social media – ites, search – ites, and web analytics ites thronged together and debated. It was actually fascinating and informative so a big thank you to econsultancy for organising it and to all the staff for being so helpful. ( I just got back from just over two weeks holiday in Playacar and in the yucatan in Mexico – the photo is Tulum).
I went to the web analytics roundtable in the morning and the social media roundtable in the afternoon. At each, there were 7 senior marketers and a moderator all talking out their strategy, sharing ideas and revealing what they want to do. To the extent that competitors were even opening up and talking quite honestly about plans and site features that hadn’t even been launched yet.
As web analytics continues to shift into marketing optimisation, the big solutions like omniture and web trends differentiate by offering integrated multi-variate testing, behavioural targeting and integration in and out with external email solutions or databases so you only need one place to your fully integrated picture of what’s going on with your company,
Buy a web analytics tool first or hire the skilled web analytics person? Better to hire the right person first and use a free tool than spend the money on the tool without having the right person to get the analysis and insights out of it.
Social media is so fast moving. Yet for many companies there is still caution and worries about security, brand awareness and even how to measure it’s impact.
I know I’ve missed things out so get in touch if you have any thoughts about the event.
Click here to see and also listen to my presentation of how Rightmove are using in this particular case tealeaf to understand their customer experience better and replay exactly what their visitors did and see it in their eyes (I’ve saved the presentation using Jing Project which is absolutely fab).
The presentation is just under 5 minutes long, includes all my slides, my voice (audio) and also a video of where a visitor’s journey went wrong using tealeaf’s session replay. It opens up in a new window, press play and you can listen to all 5 minutes (if you have the time that is). http://screencast.com/t/SadLainUI3
With my web analytics association social media hat on, this week I was at the Virtual Worlds Conference, there was much talk of what brands are doing in these worlds such as Second life, Habbo Hotel and There.com. These worlds are constantly and quickly adapting given the competitive landscape, the nature of the internet and other services competing for visitor time.
The CEO of Habbo Hotels Timo Soininen when asked what’s new in Habbo Hotel, didn’t talk about new features, star appearances or new contests. His main point was monthly consumer updates to Habbo Hotel based on what’s going on, metrics and user feedback. Their main focus is to make the user experience as easy as possible and make it as easy as possible to get into the world.
“We’ve moved into a Scrum development process and agile development,” Soininen explained. “We like to think we know where we’re heading and sort of the big picture, but the road map really is only up to four months. We look at what’s going on and the metrics and the user feedback that we get and sort of go in monthly consumer update. We release something to the world, back end changes, navigation changes, item updates, on a monthly basis. We’re able to respond quickly.”
“We used to have a really traditional approach where you sit at a drawing board and spec it out and then hopefully after a few months, what you predicted back then is still valid,” he continued. “Given the nature of the Internet and the whole competitive landscape and other services competing for kids time, you have to do (a faster development process). I think you get much more meaningful results.”
The one plan Soininen could lay out for 6-8 months from now was a goal to dramatically simplify the website for Habbo Hotel. There will be some changes to the world itself planned in, but the majority of changes will apparently be to the Web interface to make it easier to actually get into the world.
“Basically what we’re going to do, in the spirit of simplicity is to make sure the first user experience is as pleasant as possible so that when the user enters the world, he or she has as easy a time as possible finding like-minded people,” Soininen said. “I think the really important thing for these casual worlds is to make the joining as casual as possible and not to go into a cumbersome registration process. We’re looking at that, but really focusing on the virtual world. And also giving users a sort of dashboard about their status in the virtual world. So the next time they come in, they see automatically what’s going on and what’s happened.”
Mike Wilson, found of Makena Technologies, creator or 3D virtual world There.com, mentioned about the successful engagements they have created for brands on their world. They built a special area for Capitol Music Group artists such as Beastie Boys, Korn and Lily Allen to make live appearances, for the entire record brand, not just one band. They are having success with brands because their world is PG-13, so brands don’t have to worry about dubious content appearing alongside them. Also, There.com can take the brand and put them where the highest traffic is, rather than being on their own private island.
Second Life founder, Philip Rosendale, waxed lyrically about the ability for virtual worlds to involve customers and have them join in the creative experience within a social context. For exmaple Toyota Scion and Pontiac offere fully customisable cars in Second Life. Similarly, for a CSI episode filmed in Second Life where visitors can solve their own murder mystery in Second Life. The episode went live this week to the total potential audience of CSI and can handle 20,000 players. See the CSI Second Life episode on the CBS website for a demo here.
To conclude, interesting and engaging things are happening in virtual worlds (have you designed your avatar yet?). Worlds like Habbo Hotel are admitting to using metrics and user feedback to create fast one month turn arounds on consumer updates of the world (virtual worlds analytics). Others spoke of the how virtual worlds allow audience and fanbase to go to the next level of immersion with the brand, so that they can step into the brand and become part of it. Brand immersion has been undervalued in the last five years. We see it as moving on the engagement from conversation to an actual relationship with the consumer, hence the interesting brand experiences such as CSI, Toyota, Renault Formula One and other stories.
Emetrics has come to a close after a few hectic days in DC, interspersed with seeing the Dalai Lama in George Town, the solar powered homes exhibition on the mall, the White House, hours chatting in the omni shoreham lobby bar and swimming in the invigorating heated outdoor pool at sunrise.
That asides, what has been going on? Or as my American counterparts would say, what are some of the key takeaways in terms of consumer understanding and behaviour. I’ll do another post about Google Analytics and Microsoft’s Gatineau this weekend.
Jim Novo of Drilling Down fame, spoke about speaking the “exec level” language that CEO/CFOs understand. If we think about our sales pipeline, it is the predictive/future likelihood to happen that execs are interested in when it comes to understanding our online data, sales and consumer behaviour so you can focus your efforts, marketing spend and optimisation efforts where they will have the most impact. Which are your dreck customers, your former best customer, new customers and best customers – map them out on a two dimensional value map with an XY slope.
Use recency, frequency and latency (you can even begin looking at these with Google Analytics) to understand your best and worst customers and grow your best customers. And importantly, build your predictive customer performance pipeline with your CEO/CFO so that they understand it, help you build it – which helps significantly with buy-in. Buy-in let’s face it, can be the biggest obstacle to taking action in any company.
Joseph Carrabis, the web analytics association new anthropologist and neuro-behaviourist on the scene, spoke about really taking advantage of our hard wiring to make our audience do and think what we want them to think or do. As human beings we all apply our own stereotypical and prejudiced frame of reference to everything into which we come into contact. For example in the context of images on a webpage, which image and at what position and angle will trigger what emotions or thoughts at a subconscious level. If an image is positioned at an angle, it implies motion. A photo of a couple, an elderly man, a teenager and early thirties woman will also, all provoke different inferences from one’s audience. To illustrate this, Carrabis engaged 50 of us in a persona exercise where we had to sit down after he namecalled six photos to tell him which one we thought was the Economics professor in Beijing. Interestingly, most of us thought the middle-aged conservative looking white man, was that character – and we were right. The key thing being the inferences that we draw.
In terms of multi-variate testing, the weather channel, used a variety of different images, a couple, then a man and also a woman to see which image was working more successfully in terms of optimising the page for it’s audience and hence having the highest conversion rate. Interestingly, the web page version withe the image of a woman on her own had a much higher conversion rate than other versions tested. This can be linked back to Carrabis point about the power of assocations, inferences and our pysche hard wiring on what we think about images, positioning and sound on a webpage.
Neil Mason, a fellow Londoner, talked about segmenting one consumer segments into tribes (richly developed personas in other words), using datamining to provide statistically robust anomalies, patterns, associations that stand out from a business commercial perspective and use these to identify key drivers for purchase and identify the most valuable consumer segment. For example, with a case study on the Royal Mail, segments included price finders (10%), cottage industrialists (2%) and regular posters (1%) – which were the most valuable segment. They also indentified that visitors who “saved a quote” on their first visit were signifantly more likely to become and continue to buy from the website and be the website’ most commercially valuable segment (worth most money). They used these consumer segments to drive email marketing segmentation and discovered that emails sent 4 to 5 days after their last visit were most likely to convert. Less than 4 days was too soon (the visitor was still thinking about it) and more than 5 days and the conversion rate began to drop. It’s all about the timing – oh – it’s recency again.
Thanks for an interesting emetrics everyone and I look forward to meeting those I met again soon
I will post more about this later in terms of my key take aways overall. But for now, thanks so much to Rene and Aurelie for their interesting event Web Analytics day and their hospitality. Here are some take aways from the event.
Ian Thomas from Microsoft showed us some slides from Gatineau which will be launching in a couple of weeks. Click here if you would like to sign for Microsoft’s beta invite request.
The key USP of gatineau is the ability to segment your visitors by age and sex demographic from Live passport holders who visit your site (there are 30 million live passport holders so for your website this is likely to be a statistically significant segment). This demographic data is apparently completely anonymous. Plus some nice zooming in. As to whether this become a significant player in the market, like Google analytics, only time will tell. I do have some nice photos of the screen shots but will have to put those up later.
Actual web analytics client casestudies – I always think that actual results from actual clients are the meat on the bone, for example Eric Petersen’s presentation, Web Analytics is hard.
1. Top online retailer improved site design as a result of web analytics and multi-variate testing.
Analyst finds that visitors using site search are better customers.
Analyst recommend improving visibility of internal site search.
Controlled testing of different visibility and position of internal search within site
One successful experiment returns a 2% increase in visitors using site search.
Result: a six figure lift in weekly revenue, equal to a nearly 1% increaase in total company revenue over a year.
2. A well known brand analysed website to isolate a specific group of users on the web site.
Analyst shows that “product compare” functionality is under utilised.
Visitor segmentation is used to isolate visitors using “product compare” functionality.
Analyst discovers this segment has a 33% higher average order value.
Changes made bsaed on this analysis increase traffic to “compare product” functionality by 11%, increase purchases by 16% and reduce exits from these pages by 56%.
Result: an annual increase in revenue of $2.2 million
3. A Fortune 500 travel company used web analytics too and made millions by improving their messaging.
Analyst speculates that prospects were not seeing “best price guarantee” information.
Concerns were confounded by multiple messages and placements throughout site.
Multi-variate testing was used to test different messages and treatments.
The winning format was shown to convert at a rate of 0.6 points better than the control.
Result: an estimated life in online bookings of $30 million annually.
Sometimes in web analytics, we get far too concerned with which tool should we use, which theory or thought leader are we following. Ultimately, we are in the business of making more money for our clients or our own website, be that in increased sales or increase lead generation – which is why I gain so much from hearing exactly how and why people are getting the results they are for their websites.
Thanks for reading and please do comment if you have thoughts for web analytics princess
Last weekend I went to the inaugural Podcamp UK and co-presented a session with Lucie Follett on the monetisation of podcasting and podcasting measurement using engagement metrics, in the auspicious surrounding of Birmingham’s NTI (new technology institute). It was fast paced and innovative. You may be able to spot us in one of the photos? There were a whole bunch of people there including all the top UK podcasters, Twitter guys (I twitter, do you?), bloggers, journalists and new media folk in general.
In the social media ecosystem, in which I would include podcasting, there is so much potential for businesses to use podcasting to generate brand awareness and interest in their product or service from a niche audience. At the same time, there is an increased awareness of the potential monetisation of podcasting, if it is done effectively. I am still a big believer in “Content is King” - ie create podcasts that genuinely interest and compel your target audience. And have seen examples where “view movie” (ie watch podcast) with the right kind of engaging content has resulted in a tripling of lead generation on a particular car company’s website, such as brochure requests. So podcasting can and does work for business when done in the right way - you need a good story, and definitely not my boss told me to do a podcast!
However, how do you begin to measure a podcast’s effectiveness?
Due to the nature of downloadable media, there are a number of difficulties when it comes to getting accurate metrics from podcasting and issues to consider which impede the efficient implementation of big marketing or advertising campaigns across multiple website.
-How many podcast downloads are there – if the podcast is embedded in the website, is it still considered to e a podcast?
-How many viewers actually watch or listen to the podcast once it is downloaded?
-What degree of the podcast is listened to, for example if you have ad in the podcast towards the end, how many people actually listen to it?
-What true influence or buzz is actually generated by the podcast, because link content (popularity) does not equate to influence.
The key things is to look at podcasting in the same way one does other social media.
Engagement metrics are key. Things to consider include (and please feel free to add any more via comments):
1. Visitor reviews of your podcast (for example on itunes).
2. Visitor comments – where a podcast:comment ratio is the most helpful one as it strips it down to pure engagement on a podcast, by podcast basis.
3. Social capital/Visitor influence – if an established reviewer ie top podcaster or specialist within the industry writes a review/comment etc, this will have a lot more influence than if Sam from Dunkirk did (sorry Sam).
4. Ranking on established podcasting platforms, such as podcasting news top 25 or podcast alley top 10.
5. Wisdom from the rest of the web, such as the reaction on the blogosphere, twitter-sphere, facebook-sphere, general search engine results etc.
The monetisation of podcasting, is not about corporates trying to strangle the life out of a vibrant, independent podcasting community – which will definitely continue to thrive, but a marketing journey where businesses who understand social media will use it to their advantage. Businesses that podcast will be able to measure those tangible or intangible (hence engagement metrics) benefits to their business, and where eventually marketers and advertisers will be able to efficiently implement advertising across multiple podcasts, similar principle (but very different at the same time) to the way google adwords has their content network advertising – where you can run campaigns on a keyword/sector basis, having illustrated the value of advertising on podcasts or websites running podcasts.
Thanks so much for reading and do let me know if you have any thoughts or ideas, or if you completely disagree.
The web analytics wednesday in London last night was useful, interesting and fun. There must have been 40 web analysts who worked for well-known companies such as RBS, Morethan, BT, Boden, Total Jobs and analytics consultants, agencies and providers. Thanks to SCL Analytics for organising it all so well and the free drinks!
The meeting kicked off with a group discussion on general trends in the industry and then broke up into smaller group discussions.
Here were a few of things discussed. Please add it to this if you feel I have missed a few out.
Offline versus online integration. As we move from traditional web analytics to marketing performance management MPM (apologies for the acroynm), differentiating offline and online we are realising is less than meaningful as they are both contributing dire ctly and indirectly to the site’s performance. Why not call it non-line instead?
The value of surveys in web analytics – short three question surveys with a free text area prove most effective. In terms of usability, most visitors will be scared off by forms or surveys that look too long. In one client’s case, their site was achieving 50% completions of the short 3 question survey from the confirmation page.
To find what level you feel comfortable with your data, whether that’s 10% or 90% and then make decisions accordingly. Each analytics solution measures data and sessions in slightly different ways. Combined with the fact that we can not always get all the information from where conversions originated, ie phone conversions that originated from the web.
Gaps in the data which do not have a short term solution. For example, online test drive requests that result in car sales at the dealer which for various reasons primarily the nature of the dealership itself are near impossible to accurately track, for example Saab.
Price comparison sites/aggregators as significant sources of business to online insurance companies for example. In the case of Morethan, 17% of their conversions were from aggregators. Then a classic problem of how to maintain the loyalty of such a price-consious customer develops along side questions of when and how is the best way to contact them to encourage renewal of their annual insurance.
Social networks as meaningful referring sources to job sites for example Total Jobs. And developments in how to track and assess the importance of comment flow on a social network to directing traffic to a company and affecting conversion rates – the halo affect.
The importance of analysing PPC effectiveness by financial value rather than cost per acquisition (CPA).
And just a great feeling of being amongst fellow compatriots and friends whilst we shared our war stories. No photos (sorry). www.webanalyticsdemystified.com is the place to go for when and where all the WAW are happening across the globe.
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