Saturday, September 15, 2007

Web analytics is not easy - is it worth it?

Web Analytics Tuesday in Stockholm
Finally someone said it. It was Mr. Eric T. Peterson this week's Web Analytics Tuesday in Stockholm. He also claimed that Europe is 1-2 years behind America in web analytics. I think we have plenty of work raising general awareness, although we have couple of very good cases to be proud of. I hope to get our success stories published here some day.

It's also a fact that only 30 % of our customers have some kind of web analytics system installed (either Google Analytics or IndexTools). Naviatech will campaign for the Web Analytics Wednesday and web analytics systems in the near future. Eric presented his RAMP model, which includes basicly things you need to think about if you're trying to get most out of web analytics:
  1. Resources. Systems don't work by themselves. First you need people to get software installed, then you need people to use them. It's quite reasonable to buy consulting services or outsource parts of web analytics from the start, before hiring people in-house. It takes us about a half an hour to install web analytics system into our Navia CMS. Would you like to start collecting data from your website now?

  2. Analysis. All right, you have new web analytics system which gives you bunch of cool charts and numbers. "We had 10,000 visitors last month and 1,5 % of them requested for a contact. Is that good or bad?" Well, it depends - what are your goals? You need to define your key performance indicators (KPI's), you have to measure them and the most important: you need to make analysis including suggestions for action.

  3. Multivariate testing. Now you're brave enough to believe that consultant's suggestion and you're ready to try something new. You can do a A/B test with your great web analytics system or you can do a live test straight to your website. Do just one change at a time, remember to measure and go back to that analysis stage.

  4. Process. You should get web analytics in your company's processes. Unfortunately all companies don't have described and well-though processes, but if you do have, try to get web analytics involved everytime you redesign your site or provide marketing activities. In fact, web analytics may even change your processes.
And this is not easy. And all this will make you spend money, so why bother after all? Because web anaytics will change your business:
  • it will give you new strategic point of views
  • it will change your processes
  • it will simply boost your sales
  • it will make your marketing more effective
And all this, your web analytics effort can be measured by return on investment (ROI). But are you crazy enough to try it step by step?

Thursday, September 6, 2007

To grow or not to grow?

Earlier this week I had a chance to listen and talk with Mr. Mårten Mickos in Helsinki. He presented a very good question, a question which I often bounce with customers: "What's your company's purpose, are you going to grow or make a profit?". More and more I spend time with customers thinking about how search engine marketing and websites can help finding the new customers and making the sales. It's easy to agree when Mårten said: "The market is online. The production force is online. Globally."

Especially if you're in the software business, as we are. Mårten replied my question and said that CMS markets are very fragmented, mostly because Content Management Systems are not mission critical software in the companies. I thought about it for a while and now I must partly disagree. Here's couple of points why:
  • with help of search engine marketing websites are lead generators 24/7
  • some companies sell their products or services online 24/7
  • websites may have discussion forums handled by CMS
  • content management systems may be integrated to ERP or CRM systems
  • companies may use extranet-services for their resellers worldwide
  • intranet solutions may be handled by CMS and they may be very crucial for day-to-day work
For me and my company's sake, I just hope that internet marketing is becoming more and more business and mission critical in the near future. And I hope we'll soon have very good case studies about growth to show off even here. Next week I'll give a report from Stockholm's Web Analytics Tuesday.