How do you define "analysis" to assess a Web site's performance?
That question was a key topic at the recent eMetrics Marketing Optimization Summit in San Jose, CA.
Jim Sterne, conference chairman, did a great job of pulling together solid content covering a number of industry trends. He organized a day called the Analytics Symposium and asked a handful of people to prepare short presentations (10 minutes max) on what they felt "analysis" meant with regard to analyzing site performance. After a few people presented, attendees discussed the presentations, what resonated mainly with them, what else they would like to hear about, and more.
He asked me to be a presenter, giving me a great reason to pull some of our agency's 40-plus Web analytics professionals together to discuss what analysis meant to them. It was a great opportunity to step back and visit what analysis means, why so many companies struggle with analysis, and why so many fail within Web analytics in general.
If you've read the book I co-authored or the columns I've written over the past few years, you may have heard me state ad nauseam that the ROI (define) on Web analytics is 0.0 if you aren't taking action on the insight generated from the data. And far too many companies are investing considerably in tools and simply reporting the data -- not doing the analysis that drives insight and change! That's what analysis is all about: moving from data to insight to action.
Chris Kerns, who runs the Web analytics team at my agency, asked the team to provide their description of analysis in one or two sentences. Below are some of those responses that resonated with me and I shared at eMetrics (I've highlighted some keywords that jumped out at me):
In addition, Kerns asked his team to put together a list of the top 10 terms they use to describe analysis. We analyzed them and found some of the most popular used terms were:
This covers a lot of different things but touches on the most important aspects of what analysis means, what it means to be successful, and, critically, how to deliver that ROI (greater than 0.0) that most companies are still searching for in Web analytics.
There were many other great ideas and comments that came from other presenters, as well as in follow-up discussions. They include:
In the next part of this column, I'll go deeper into what analysis is and what it is not, which should help expose why so many companies fail to reach the potential Web analytics offers. I'll also cover the most important five things to do to transition from lack of analysis to true insight and action to improve the Web channel.
Share with me: What do you think of when you think of "analysis"? What am I missing in my descriptions that you consider important without your organization?
Last Week to Save on SES London Tickets!
SES London takes place February 10-13, 2014. Learn to engage customers and increase ROI by distributing your online marketing efforts across paid, owned & earned media. Join the leaders of today's digital marketing & advertising industry. Find out more ››
*Saver Rates expire this Friday, Dec 13.
As the Chief Performance Marketing Officer for POSSIBLE, Jason supports the agency's global Marketing Sciences and Media Services programs.
His primary role is to help POSSIBLE teams and clients use data to craft digital strategies that attract, convert, and retain customers - maximizing ongoing ROI across paid, earned, and owned channels. He believes that brands can better serve their customers by understanding audience behavior, and that messaging should be targeted to individual customers through the use of testing, behavioral targeting, and CRM initiatives.
Jason has written extensively about digital analytics, optimization and digital strategy, including an ongoing column at ClickZ.com. He is the co-author of "Actionable Web Analytics: Using Data to Make Smart Business Decisions," which is one of the leading texts in the field of digital analytics. His client roster includes Microsoft, Nike, Nokia, Dell, Ford, Sony, PayPal/eBay, P&G, Alcoa, Expedia, Mazda, Intel, and Motorola, and more. Jason is a frequent speaker at conferences and seminars around the world ranging from the Cannes Lions, Adobe Omniture Summits, eMetrics, SES, ad:tech, BazaarVoice, and many other WPP events.
Follow him on Twitter @JasonBurby.