Understanding Visitors' Desires

  |  July 1, 2008   |  Comments

Need to measure your visitors' attitudes? A new survey tool from Omniture makes it easier to analyze both behavioral and attitudinal information.

Omniture recently announced a new survey offering, Omniture Survey, that allows companies to quickly and easily launch surveys.

Over the past few years, Omniture has moved far outside of its roots in behavioral data (Web analytics) with its acquisition of testing and targeting tools. One thing the company has been missing is the all-important attitudinal measurement to really understand site visitors. Over the years, Omniture has made it easier to tie different data types through its Genesis tool, but having its own offering is a huge next step.

Why is this so important? There are a few key reasons:

  • Single view. Too many companies only look at where people go on their site, what they click on, and where they exit the site. When looking at this data, they often try to infer what the visitors wanted to do, how their experience went, and if it was a positive experience. More often than not, they misinterpret what visitors were thinking and feeling. Without attitudinal data, it's common to misinterpret the behavioral data itself. For example, you may see that a lot of people are exiting from a specific page on your site and that greatly concerns you. But if you had surveyed those people, you may find the reason they were leaving -- and it may not be all that important.

  • Silos. At many companies with both behavioral and attitudinal data, the data from each is often owned by different departments that don't often communicate (for one reason or another). I've seen a number of cases where two different departments came back having analyzed the same page or process on a site, one using strictly attitudinal data and one using strictly behavioral data. And each came up with completely different analyses and, more important, recommendations for next steps. When looking at the two types of data together, the answer to the issue and the recommendations changed significantly. Both of the initial recommendations were off base when only the one type of data was reviewed.

    Omniture's survey tool should greatly increase the integration between behavioral and altitudinal data and help companies better understand what their visitors need and are doing and if they're successful.

  • Integration with testing. This may be the biggest one. Over time, I'm sure Omniture will integrate the survey tool with its testing tools, allowing companies to measure the success of A/B and multivariate tests based on not only what people are doing but also what they wanted to do and what impact it had on them from an attitudinal basis.

  • The best example of why this can be a problem is to think about trying to increase your conversion rate for any given behavior from 3 percent to 3.25 percent. If a test's goal is 3.25 percent and you exceed it in tests by increasing the conversion rate to 3.3 percent, you may be thrilled and see it as a huge success. But what if that test turned off the other 96 percent of your visitors so much that they will not only avoid your site in the future but won't consider your products and services down the road or recommend them to their friends? If you're only looking at behavioral data, you won't know this. Now in the real world, you most likely wouldn't increase your conversion rate while upsetting everyone else, but the attitudinal surveys can tell you if you are frustrating even a small portion of that 96 percent.

Omniture continues to help marketers truly maximize the value of their Web channel. In the case of Omniture Survey, it's enabling marketers to identify opportunities to improve their business. Kudos to Omniture. I look forward to seeing the full integration of surveys across all of its tool sets and whatever else it's thinking of bringing to the table next!

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Jason Burby

As president of the Americas regions for the digital agency POSSIBLE, Jason is responsible for leading the long-term stability and growth of the region. Jason has 20-plus years experience in digital strategy. He is a long-time advocate of using data to inform digital strategies to help clients attract, convert, and retain customers. Jason supports our clients and employees in driving new engagements and delivering great work that works.

Jason speaks frequently about helping marketers take advantage of data to make smarter business decisions and improve the success of their organizations. He is the co-author of Actionable Web Analytics: Using Data to Make Smart Business Decisions.

Follow him on Twitter @JasonBurby.

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