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!