Web Analytics: Time to Get on Board

Last week I was at the DC eMetrics Marketing Optimization Summit, the premier marketing conference attracting the best and brightest in web analytic and marketing people in corporations, government agencies, media and everywhere else.

This year’s theme was “Tough Times Call for Tough Measures: Increase the Effectiveness of Every Marketing Dollar” or how to create the most ROI for tight marketing budgets squeezed by the downward economy. While traditional market spend is down, online spend is up as reported in a recent MarketingProfs survey showing 60% of all marketers surveyed said they would be increasing their online budgets while 85% would be reducing their use of traditional marketing vehicles.

Even in light of increased online budgets, your boss wants to know that a dollar spent online will result in three dollars earned. How are they going to know? Web analytics. (WAA definition: Web analytics is the measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of Internet data for understanding and optimizing Web usage.)

Even in revenue-challenged businesses such as the newspaper industry, CEOs are realizing the value of informed business decisions based on web analytic metrics. James Robinson, Director of Web Analytics, The York Times, talked about starting just over a year ago with one person doing web analytics; now they have five staffers and are looking to add two more. They use web analytics to decide on print run numbers, boost subscription revenue, product development, and identification of most-read stories and sections. In a geeky cool move, after big news events such as Governor Sarah Palin’s acceptance address to the GOP convention, Robinson’s staff sends out a one page Web Analytics Bulletin to key personnel, charting online change.

Web analytics is experiencing exponential growth, both in new and improved analytic tools (Goggle Analytics just launched seven new features) along with increased buy-in from company and organizational stakeholders. In a dimmed economy, the future for web analytics and the powerhouse revenue value it can bring to companies and organizations is dazzling. Time to get on board!

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