On the Web Analytics Yahoo Group, an interesting topic came up recently: "How would you explain what is Web analytics to your 6 year old nephew?"
After thinking about it and reviewing a few responses, it got me thinking. First of all, why does a six year old care?
I called my five-year-old son (five and a half, if you ask him) into my office and gave it a try. Though I couldn't get him to put down his Disney "Cars" toy he was playing with, I did get a few moments of his time. I pulled up a Web site dedicated to the "Cars" movie and took a stab at explaining it. I asked him if he thought it would be cool to know where all the kids clicked on the Web site, where they went, and what they looked at. And then based on what most people liked, we could make it easier for him (the potential customer) to find what he wanted. He said, "Yeah, I like the games that are on there." Knowing that Disney wants kids to play the games, get excided about the "Cars" brand, and buy more DVDs, I tried to explain what Disney wants him to do. My little test was somewhat successful.
What I found was that five and six years olds don't care at all. But marketers who often have about as much experience with Web analytics as a five year old do care. This is in no way an insult to marketing people; they typically know a ton about marketing, but analytics is something new. And they're often very interested in how it can help their businesses. But too often, Web analytics is intimidating to a new person -- understanding common definitions, the tool lingo, and so on. Web analytics really isn't that hard to understand, we just make it that way. By "we," I mean the entire Web analytics industry -- including all the tool providers.
We make Web analytics far too complicated and tech-y. When talking with people in your organization, really simplify it. Highlight the most important thing: the value, what you can do with the insight to change your business.
The Web Analytics Association defines Web analytics as "the measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of Internet data for the purposes of understanding and optimizing Web usage."
Here are two posts I like from the discussion:
Obviously, there's no right or wrong answer on this one. It all depends on your message's audience (just like your Web site). But to get people to understand it and get excited about it, you want to focus on:
I ended up losing my laptop for a few hours once my oldest son found the games on the "Cars" Web site. I didn't get him all that excited about Web analytics, but it reminded me of the importance of staying away from the industry techno-babble that all too often is shared and once again focusing on how the data and insight can be used to improve the overall business.
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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.
December 12, 2013
1:00pm ET / 10:00am PT