We go through life looking for answers to all the big questions ranging from "Why am I here?" to "Where did I leave my keys?"
But the secret to life, the universe, and everything (points for reference recognition) is not the answers to the big questions; it's the big questions themselves.
Therefore, I offer up a list - the start of a list, you're sure to have suggestions - that gives a quick look at the sorts of tools and systems that can help you ask the big questions:
A/B Split Testing
How do I show my boss he's an idiot without seeming to have a horse in this race?
How much do we owe and how much is owed to us by whom?
How do we get the right message in front of the right person at the right time?
What should we do next? How is our business changing?
Can we segment our target audience by the size of the companies to which we sell?
Customer Relationship Management
Which customers are most likely to buy again?
What the heck are the other guys up to?
Customer Lifetime Value
Who are our most profitable customers and how do we find more of them?
What do people think is important enough to tell us?
What does a cross-platform, multi-channel, partially tamed shopper look like in the wild?
Do the 1990's know you're still here? Eye tracking - what are they actually looking at?
Hits (Yes, Hits)
How well are our servers and our connectivity holding up under the demand?
What language do people use to describe their need?
How much privacy will people give up in exchange for a coupon worth $0.50?
Media Mix Modeling
What's the most effective combination and sequence of promotions?
Which landing page gets the best results?
Just how bad is our navigation?
Do our customers fall into specific different types and how do they act differently?
If that's the case, then what might happen tomorrow?
Sales Force Automation
How much future revenue is in the pipeline by territory?
Where did they move the mouse? When did they bail out of the form?
What do people say about us to each other?
But what happens if we put this in front of real, live humans?
What can we learn about people from their behavior on our site?
How do we improve the online experience?
Click-throughs, page views, and visits. Why on earth are we still reporting these?
See what's on the Agenda!
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Jim Sterne is an international consultant focused on measuring the value of the online marketing for creating and strengthening customer relationships. Sterne has written eight books on using the Internet for marketing, produces the eMetrics Marketing Optimization Summit and is co-founder and current chairman of the Digital Analytics Association.