Over the past few days I have had an opportunity to attend four of the breakout sessions for the 2008 Omniture Summit. It was a great opportunity and I learned quite a bit more about Web Analytics.
The first breakout session that I attended was presented by Matt Belkin, VP of Consulting, Omniture. Matt's presentation was titled: Think Big: Using Analytics to Win in Today's Economy. The key theme of this presentation was to Maximize success with the tools you've got.
Matt started off by giving an example of Dell back in 1991. At the time the US was going through a recession and most companies had cut back on advertising. Dell however, increased its advertising and as a result became one of the top computer manufactures in the world. Matt showed that a recent study indicated that during a recession companies that cut spending on average see a .8% decrease in profitability while companies that increase spending see a 4.3% increase in profitability.
The statistics above shows that it is important to continue to invest in advertising even during a recession, but Matt emphasized that this spending needs to be justified and that analytics is what helps justify this spending. Matt advised that when advertising "Don't get distracted by all of the different mediums. Don't reach out without accountability."
I feel that this is a major part of the reasoning behind analytics. With analytics, a company can see what type of advertising is doing well and what is not. The company can then take action based on this data. Companies that optimize their advertising based on analytics will have much better return on advertising than companies that just invest in what they think will be the best.
Matt continued his presentation by talking about some of the tools available from Omniture to help with analytics. He talked about SearchCenter and how you can setup bid rules to automate bidding on keywords. This type of setup would be great for a company that has thousands of different paid keywords.
Matt also suggested to look at what your customer uses as internal search words to identify potential external keywords. After doing this Matt suggested optimizing landing pages so that you increase your conversion rate without having to spend more in paid advertising.
Matt continued by talking about some of the other avenues for advertising such as online videos, social media, blogs, widgets and even mobile marketing (like the iPhone ). One cool feature that is in the new SiteCatalyst 14 is that you can track what domains your video is played on.
Lastly, Matt pointed out that while there are many different marketing channels, it is all one big experience in the eyes of the customer. He showed the audience a current project called the engage-o-meter. This meter used data from a customized SiteCatalyst implementation that tracked all of the media channels a unique user went through before making a purchase. This then allowed the contribution of a success event to be spread across all of those channels rather than just being attributed to the channel that finally made the sale. I was really impressed with this meter because of all of the insight that could be obtained from it. This meter would really allow a company to see how they are viewed through their customers eyes