Sunday, September 28, 2008

Recap of eMetrics Summit in Stockholm

There was approximately 80+ attendees at eMetrics Marketing Optimizaton Summit in Stockholm last week. Little bit surprisingly it was a combined event with Search Marketing Expo, which made it even more interesting as search marketing and metrics are very important area in analytics, though event marketers should use this combination more wisely in the upcoming happenings.

eMetrics is simply a must and a place to be for people who want to optimize their business! Analytics and analysts have very important and strategic role in any company!

After the summit I had to review the definition of marketing because I thought this was also a business development event. Sometimes I tend to forget and think marketing = advertising, but the American Marketing Association's approved definition reminds it well - what it's all about:

"Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large."

Jim Sterne brought up an idea whether the Web Analytics Association should change its name? In the long run, I would say yes and I have already said that we should drop the "web". Although I'm not sure if the Analytics Association would be the right name as people wouldn't confess being a member of "AA"... : )

The everlasting question "Which is the best web analytics tool?" was there again, but I'm very pleased that most of the conference was about people and processes. Maybe even too much as I longed for concrete cases with actual data in. In my opinion, the best analytics tool will be some day a business intelligence application. There was so much good stuff that it's very hard to even write a recap. Anyway, here's couple of bullet points why you need to be there next time:
  • Networking. I met Jim Sterne and we talked about WAA and the organization in Finland. While talking with Jim Sterne and Steve Jackson, I met briefly Bill Hunt, an author of Search Engine Marketing Inc., a great book I have quoted quite often. I met also consulting colleagues, vendors (thanks Kalle) and practitioners - every discussion and person very valueable.
  • Best practices. Lots of presentations and case studies to learn from. And the best thing is you can meet those people in lobby and have a drink with them in relaxed athmosphere, exchange business cards and send an email later on to pop a question. And I'm pretty sure they will answer or lead you to another source. It's also a very good chance to benchmark you and your company. It was reliefing (again) to notice that there's so much in common with other companies.
  • Roundtables and workshops. It's not about just listening those presentations, there's roundtables and workshops where you can ask an any kind of question in your mind and you have panel full of world's brightest specialists answering. Isn't that just great? Check out photos from the event and you'll get the picture... ; )
Actually, you can get involved in developing the whole industry if you like. We had a good conversation in the evening, after couple of drinks of course. René Dechamps Otamendi from OX2 brought it up and Steve Jackson continued debating for one common tag later on. I believe it will happen sooner or later.

There is an open source web analytics system (atleast Piwik in alpha stage at the moment) and there will be probably others too. Whether we need OSS is another question, as we have free Google Analytics and IndexTools available. In those cases the matter is more about data ownership and export/integration possibilities.

An intermediate solution would be a standardized and open tag for basic data collection. I see benefits, but I'm not sure who would be the driving force and when it would realize? This sure is one thing what's on WAA's responsibility: to keep the conversation alive!

What's next? I had some sympathy because my presentation was canceled, but I'll try to get in Internet Marketing Conference which will held in Helsinki on March 2009. I hope to see you there or sooner in other events like Affecto's Business Intelligence Forum or the eCommerce seminar!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Speaking about Search Engine Optimization at eCommerce seminar

This week I will be at eMetrics Summit in Stockholm so if you are there, please feel free to catch me. Although I won't be speaking this time, I really look forward to meeting new people and "old web analytics buddies". I try to write some sort of report from the event as soon as possible.

Instead of eMetrics, I will be speaking at eCommerce seminar in October 16th, here in Helsinki. The topic of my slot is search engine optimization. Email me for a discount, if you're interested and willing to hear the following subjects:
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Friday, September 19, 2008

A nomination for the chairman of WAA Finland

I wondered earlier who will be the replacement of Kalle Heinonen as a chairman of the Web Analytics Association Finland. Now it's clear that I'm nominated for this post. Have to say it's an honor and I truly appreciate it. I was a bit surprised, but I had also a little hunch of this coming. I thank the board of Naviatech which in great wisdom is accepting and believing this is a good thing. : )

I look forward to if other nominees are accepting their roles and the organization coming real. I'm really eager for the job and networking. I would like to see what we can achieve with several people working together and raising the awareness of web analytics in general.


DATE 10.09.2008

Dear sir,

The International chapter of the Web Analytics Association is piloting the development of a board of directors in each member country which will follow the organizational structure set-up in the US. The first pilot of this structure is to be in Finland. You have been recommended to our Board Development Committee as a possible candidate for board service. We are requesting you to give serious consideration to our nomination shown below.The nominations are;

  • Chairman (Country Manager) - Petri Mertanen (Naviatech)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Get qualitative data to boost your insights - online survey tools

Do you feel like a camel going through huge amounts of your web analytics data? Are you frustrated for getting insights and wondering why people are behaving like that in your website? Why not ask them directly? Customer satisfaction is very important to any business. You can measure your company's performance and quality by observation, interviews and surveys. One-time thing can make you happy but well thought, continuous and comparable qualitative data is one key to success. As with your quantitative data from your web analytics application, you need to look at trends in your customer satisfaction data.

Web based survey is pretty easy and cheap way to measure the customer satisfaction. Of course, you can do printed questionnaire, but you'll have to do manual work to save answers to database. I recommend that try to convert customers online, keep the survey simple and short and you'll get higher response rate. Longer than 5-10 minute surveys can be annoying and too much for busy people. You can ask questions which are answered in scale (from one to five for example), but don't forget open ended questions. You'll get much more information from your customers, if they cant answer by number or simple yes/no.

Some web analytics vendors (at least Omniture) have a survey tool including their package, but you can use third party online software vendors too. In Finland (and probably they do also international business) you have the following companies, which are happy to help you with the survey:A relative for customer satisfaction and another thing is a visitor satisfaction which is measuring performance of your website. As some of you already know or you have seen this before entering my blog, one very good and free tool for this is iPerception's 4Q. There's just four questions to your website visitors and you can get very valuable insights for developing or fixing problems at your website. Unfortunately I haven't got enough data yet, to represent it or to make long term conclusions. The first one is about overall visiting exprience (scale from 0-10). You will get a nice indicator as a result.

The second question is about the primary purpose of visit and you can select the answering options from variety of choises. As you can see, there's also other free option. You can also think this as your website goals.

The third question is about task completion and the fourth is open-ended question based on the answer of third question. You'll get good statistics about why people visit your site, are they able to complete their tasks, why they weren't able to complete the task or what they like on your website. If you're interested, take a look at this 4Q introduction video (10 minutes) by Avinash Kaushik.

But, a little bit critisism too. It can be quite annoying and scaring for someone when the 4Q survey pops up before you actually enter the website. It would be better if you could define when the survey will open based on visitor's behaviour. And of course, I think it's possible e.g. with their commercial solution called webValidator. For example, companies who are running online store, can be interested why visitors abandon their shopping carts? And because I'm working mostly in Finland, I could use a Finnish language version of 4Q.

Another very nice solution is Kampyle feedback analytics. Kampyle is free as well, easy to customize and you can integrate it with Google Analytics! You can check this out by clicking the blue "Give Feedback" button on the right side, just on top of my profile, or the picture below. If you're intrested, you can also take a Kampyle site tour.