By now, most marketers have embraced the digital channel and the fact that a majority of consumers are spending a significant amount of time playing, researching, transacting and communicating on the Web. According to “Advertising Age’s 2010 Digital Market Facts” (Feb 22, 2010), Internet spending as a percent of all U.S. marketing spend is estimated to reach over 20% by 2012. This will represent well over $150 Billion in marketing dollars allocated to interactive! To put this in perspective, as recently as 2006, the total percent of Internet spend was just over 6% of total marketing expenditures.
So we all know we need to be on the Web. What many of our clients are struggling with today is not that they need to be on the Web and have a digital and/or Web strategy, but rather how to optimize and integrate customer engagement via the Web channel and across all online and offline customer communications. It used to be OK to just track visitors, click-through rates, app usage and all the user activities and behaviors on the Web. However, today marketers must move beyond that basic record keeping and tracking, which was Web analytics 1.0 and evolve to the next level of channel measurement and integration.
Leading companies are now looking to understand their customers’ online and offline experiences so they can develop the appropriate marketing and communications strategies to achieve maximum results across all channels.
Web Analytics 2.0 will allow multichannel marketers to not only build a more useful online engagement channel for their customers, members, visitors, etc., but also will facilitate an in-depth understanding of the offline behavior patterns of their online customers to lay the foundation for integrating multichannel performance indicators and campaigns across the entire organization.
SIGMA works with clients to understand current Web activity and future Web strategy, using existing metrics and measurement. The multichannel approach comes into play when we look for ways to merge the online visitor data of known customers and prospects with their respective offline activity to create a true, 360-degree view of our clients’ customers and prospects. These valuable insights inform multichannel campaigns and will begin to build insights for the development of a more robust and comprehensive targeted customer engagement strategy.
There are typically four phases to this undertaking:
1. Current State Discovery and Assessment
This phase involves a look at your current state of Web activity, historical Web activity, as well as direction and objectives for future Web strategy. What are your strategies for each audience group with whom you interact, whether online or offline?
2. Web Analytics
Secondly,we would advise you to perform exploratory Web usage data analyses to develop key statistics and other information regarding elements such as content consumption, response and conversion, path and referral analysis, and applicable tool use among users in various segments.
3. Integration of Online and Offline Data
This phase includes the creation of integrated online/offline strategic profiles of identified customer segments using authenticated online customers and using the “offline” data residing in your enterprise data warehouse (this, of course, assumes you have a customer and/or prospect data repository available for this step).
4. Insights and Recommendations
As in all analytic endeavors, the true value to the marketer is in the implications of findings and action recommendations that can be actually implemented. Many clients tell us they often have received some great customer segmentation or research results but then find the consultant that they hired to do the project has no knowledge of how to actually implement or “operationalize” the results. We look to provide details of key findings, a Web Analytics 2.0 strategy framework, key performance metrics recommendations, and the development of online/offline customer profiles as essential to achieve Web Analytics 2.0 success.
While each company is unique, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach, many valuable insights should be derived from this new version of Web Analytics, such as:
- Recommendations for possible changes to your Web site (or sites). Factors could include:
- site design
- technical architecture
- content or marketing strategy
- establishment of additional touch points and points of personalization
- Recommendations for how to best optimize ongoing Web analytics reporting design, KPIs and processes for implementation
- Recommendations about how to leverage online and offline customer and prospect profiles and behavioral findings to better engage with customers across channels and touch points, such as contact centers, direct marketing programs, print and other personalized formats
Is your organization ready for the next level of marketing insights? Are you ready for Web Analytics 2.0?
About the Author:
Bill Harris is a Practice Leader in the Healthcare and Consumer Markets for SIGMA Marketing Group, a marketing analytics agency. Connect with Bill on , or follow him on .