Web marketers are failing to leverage this thing called “Web analytics.” Heck, marketers aren’t even sure WHY they use tools like Omniture, WebTrends, FireClick, Google Analytics and such. Some track “conversion to sale” but there is so much more work to be done when trying to run effective, efficient Web marketing and advertising campaigns.
Web marketing has, for years now, been deemed “more efficient” than traditional marketing. This notion is complete bunk given that most marketers do not and cannot measure efficiency of their Web marketing programs.
Cost per click (CPC) and cost per action (CPA) affiliate programs guarantee “effeciency” right? You only pay when you receive the desired action. Wrong! Such “performance-based” Web programs rely on networks, yes, which offer massive scale at a single point of contact. Yet they only provide effectiveness… not ‘automatic efficiency.’
How to Develop a Web Analytics Strategy
Start by throwing everything you’ve been told out the window. Stop doing what you know are the WRONG thing and start doing what I believe you already know are the RIGHT things. Listen to your own needs, desires and tune out the sales pitches from vendors and consultants.
1) Get a Grip on BASIC Cost and ROI Economics.
Look to the real pros — Web domainers who are eating your lunch — for help. This stuff is simple, folks! Just do it!
2) Hire or Train Real Live Analysts.
Most likely you need to train them — get over it! In any case you hire accountants right? Direct marketers — you hire analysts to maximize effectiveness of all your other channels to the penny. The Web is no different and requires investment!
Sidebar: I know. The Talent Conundrum. There’s a shortage of motivated, qualified analyst talent out there. As one colleague stated recently…
“I have yet to come across someone else who really likes to play with the data. I have hired people who are okay at it, but ultimately when the routine reports I have instructed them on are done, they call it a day. They have no interest in finding answers to other questions, or questions that haven’t been imposed on them. They all claim to be “analytical”, but the truth is, they don’t dig for answers. They answer only that which is necessary for them to get paid. I think this is probably true for the whole industry. It takes a very unique personality who cares more about solving a problem, and figuring out where the data is, than getting a paycheck and going home to watch Monday night football or dancing with the stars. From a “client-type’s” perspective…
I know it’s not easy, y’all, but it’s time to bite the bullet and recruit the best talent — and find a way to engage them by making it fun again!
3) Stop Investing in Yesterday’s Flawed Models — YOU KNOW BETTER!
Break away from your competitors and be bold. Quit waiting on others to develop standards for you. Create your own. Stop investing in a revenue model that is flawed at the very core… devoid of vital measurement standards and are costing you a lot of money. Kick the habit!
Is this any better than mass advertising? Hell no it’s not so quit acting like it is!
4) End the Love Affair with Free.
Quit believing that this is all very, very easy. Ignore the sales-speak. Ignore the “dashboards.” It’s not easy. It’s work. Get over it and get to work.
The below is taken from ChiefMarketer.com’s Marketing ROI Newsletter:
The High Cost of Free Analysis
By Richard H. Levey
In a clear case of “You get what you pay for,” companies that use free Web analytics programs are less likely to rely on staff members for number crunching. As a result, many such firms don’t gain the information they need from these efforts, according to a study of analysis tool users. Free tools are available online, and some organizations will glean insight from them, the report’s authors admit. But the chances of success are buoyed by commitment among employees to learning the nuances of the applications selected, and employers’ willingness to hire and retain bright, well-trained analysts. Experience in other professional settings also counts, as analytics isn’t widely taught in schools.
As study authors Eric T. Peterson, CEO of Web Analytics Demystified, and Zori Bayriamova, a former JupiterResearch analyst, point out: “There is no replacement for having ‘seen this before’ in Web analytics.”
What do you think? Where are our educators and universities when it comes to providing a strong talent pool of motivated, analytical minds?
Slowly people are waking up to what you and some others are saying about web analytics. But if you think about who is in charge of the business, who holds the purse strings. Its the old school CEOs, CTOs and share holders, people that are not going to love the idea of dramatic change. Its a nice idea and one that I try and push whenever possible, in every job or consultancy engagement but then we realise that web analytics isnt particularly hard, but change management is a beast unto itself.
I look forward to the day when in the UK and Europe I can find a web analytics job where the changes suggested by the data can be implemented without jumping through several hoops. Maybe that day will never come, but maybe it will.
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[…] waters — fail, learn, try it again and perfect. Indeed, marketers remain out of touch with how to measure digital/Web success. If there is one thing the Internet Elite DO understand it’s how to execute, fall on their […]