Resolutions for 2008

It’s a new year, and with a new year comes new resolutions. Other than the usual resolutions to eat less and exercise more, I’ve been thinking about what resolutions we should make in the consulting work we do with our clients. I’ve come up with two I’d like to share.

Think Strategically, Act Tactically

This notion has been playing on my mind since hearing Jim Sterne, president of the Web Analytics Association, speak at the eMetrics Summit in Washington, D.C., in October. Sterne talked about the need to solve people’s most immediate and pressing problems before showing them all the amazing opportunities they might have in their online business.

In our own work, we’re conscious of an organization’s ability to execute from insight. So, if an organization knows something, can they do anything about it?

In the past, we’ve helped organizations develop strategic pieces of insight, which the client then struggles to leverage due to functional or organizational constraints. While it’s still necessary for analysts and consultants to “think the big thoughts,” these thoughts need to be translated into little actions that are digestible for the business in question.

As consultants and analysts, this is what we all try to do. My resolution for this year is to make this a core feature of the way to do business.

Segment, Segment, Segment

Segmentation has been a buzzword in 2007, and rightly so. In mature online economies, the ability to segment and target market to subgroups is an increasingly important way to continue growing and developing the business.

However, not enough businesses segment their online visitors and customers, and still operate a one-size-fits-all policy on their Web site. Larger and more complex Web sites will inevitably have a wide array of different visitor segments who are coming to the Web site for different reasons and who want to do different things.

More tools are available for understanding visitor segments from a behavioral, demographic, and attitudinal perspective. Also, marketing technologies have developed that allow organizations to target different visitors with different messages and content using rules-based and automated profiling techniques.

So, my second resolution is to continue to encourage businesses to invest in and adopt these tools to allow them to provide increased relevancy and improved customer experiences. Those businesses will stay up with the game, leaving behind those that don’t.

Those are a couple of my resolutions. What are yours?

Best wishes for a successful 2008.

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