Online engagement tends to elude measurement. With the release of its Marketing Lab 2 (ML2), WebTrends believes it's adding features that will help marketers pin it down.
In the new version of the company's year-old product suite for parsing visitor-level data, user behaviors are assigned points that can accrue to tabulate engagement using a WebTrends Score. For example, a visitor to a travel site will accrue points for conducting searches for particular destinations and visiting associated pages. Post-visit contact, including e-mail, can then target the user with an offer based on recent visits and determined likelihood to convert.
"It helps you look at engagement in a way not defined by some of the traditional parameters," said Tim Kopp, chief marketing officer at WebTrends.
The new scoring system reflects a trend in metrics to measure user activity, rather than just page views. Nielsen//NetRatings recently pushed a metric based on time spent while comScore last week said it would separate heavy from medium and light Internet users. ComScore also plans to make active time-spent data available to clients. The advantage of WebTrends Score is clients can set their own criteria, creating a dynamic metric to guide communications with customers.
A separate component, called WebTrends Visitor Intelligence, is a multi-dimensional reporting analysis tool. Clients can create customer segmentation to study visitor behavior across multiple channels and visits.
"It allows customers to get very deep into the understanding of their customers," said Matt Langie, director of product marketing at WebTrends. "Start with analytics, apply Score to understand unique visitors of the site, to understand level of engagement. Then with Visitor Intelligence, or multi-dimensional reporting and analysis, [ML2] allows customers to get deep in the reporting and understanding."
The two features, Score and Visitor Intelligence, are bundled into the ML2 interface, which hosts a customizable "My WebTrends" home page where users can access the reports, bookmarks and site reports they most often track.
Web reporting can be tied to data from offline properties, including Microsoft Dynamics CRM. WebTrends plans to launch a partner program to provide bi-directional data and feeds from online and offline sources.
Kopp said the new system is "using things like analytics... to listen to what customers are telling you online. Increasingly marketers are doing a better job of listening."
WebTrends said it will release ML2 at Ad:Tech in Chicago this week. While the new product is just being rolled out, some of the Web analytics firm's customers have already had access to the latest version prior to its release.
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