Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Hear me speak at IMC in Stockholm

Over the past nine years, Internet Marketing Conference (IMC) has been held in eight North American and European cities. IMC has previously been held in New York, Vancouver, Las Vegas, Montreal, Berlin and Copenhagen. It has attracted many of the world's top speakers in Internet marketing, web analytics, e-business and online marketing optimization.

After a little disappointment, I will be representing the case SEA LIFE in Stockholm. IMC will be hold also in Helsinki on March 2009. If you don't know anything about this event:You can also see this short introduction video by Lars Johansson and his recap from IMC Vancouver:

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Chairman for WAA Finland selected

I'm very happy to announce that I will be following Kalle Heinonen's footsteps as a chairman / country manager of WAA Finland. I got a confirmation email from Steve in the beginning of October, and we had already the very first meeting with board of directors last week. I'm pleased that we have almost every chair and roles filled. Kalle's legacy is obviously remarkable - we are leading country in Nordic at the moment measured by the number of WAA members.

Still, as I wrote earlier, we need some good action and our main product will be...surprise surprise; the Web Analytics Wednesday. These events will be held probably on Wednesday evenings ; ) and for those readers who haven't been with us, it's a very nice and relaxed event after normal working hours with professionals speaking about hot topics from the field of analytics and of course, couple of drinks sponsored afterwards. So, if you want to get invited next time, feel free to send me a message.

We have very ambitious goals for the future, but I'm sure we will achieve good results and create positive buzz with all the people involved. As a chairman, I will be responsible for sponsorships and reporting our success to Lars Johansson who is Nordic coordinator and Steve Jackson who is serving the international co-chair of WAA. You can study more about WAA membership and get the answers why to join? And stay tuned on this channel because I will be writing about our plans and other related issues as well. : )

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Presentation of Search Engine Marketing available (in Finnish)

I was speaking about search engine marketing at eCommerce seminar this week. Instead of 60 minutes, this subject could easily take a whole day. If you're interested more in search marketing, SMX is the place to be. In my opinion, search and search metrics should be included to any company's key performance indicators nowadays. Here is the presentation I went through. Unfortunately it's in Finnish so feel free to email me and ask a translation or questions you may have.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Naviatech chooses eZ Publish open source CMS

It was defenitely hardest decision ever where I have been involved in. Almost a year ago we ended a solution and let our own baby go. We gave up the development work of Navia content management system and chose Norwegian eZ Systems' partnership instead. I think we had a really good open source business plan, but I guess we couldn't create enough hype around it for Finnish venture capitalists. Finally, although we made the decision already, Tekes turned us down too.

I'm not happy at all how these financing things went and what were the arguments, but what has happened afterwards - that's another story. So we're not going to make millions and billions of euros with proprietary licences in the future (I'm not sure who eventually can, Bill Gates maybe?), we had to adjust our strategy and position for the future. Now we have eZ Publish, a free (GPL) open source CMS for customers, and to support our services.

eZ Publish is not a simple "web publishing" tool and it is not developed entirely by the community. It is a hard core content management system which development processes and security has been tested and sertified by the US department of defence. This also means that there's a commercial company behind where you can buy support and sotware maintenance/updating services. From analytics and optimization point of view, there's lots of good features in eZ Publish:
  • easy page template management for quick implementation of web analytics software and goal tagging
  • version management with "show differences" function - excellent for A/B or multivariate testing
  • automatic page/article/element titles (which you can customize too)
  • clean URLs and possibility to make URL aliases
  • comprehensive internal site search
  • out-of-the-box tag clouds and sitemaps
  • editing possibility for alternative image text
This is simply one of the best scalable software products I have seen in this field. You can easily - by couple of clicks - add blog, event calendar, photo gallery or poll, just to mention few. Hell, you can even start selling your products online with minimum technical work required. When you're planning next website or new CMS or face-lift, I think you should evaluate eZ Publish and calculate better ROI for your online presence.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Web Analytics is Business Intelligence

I had a chance to participate an eye opener (at least for me) event, Affecto's Business Intelligence Forum 2008. In my mind, there's no question about it whether the web analytics is business intelligence or not. I don't see any reason why these two fields should be developed separately in the future.

Especially when you're having multiple data sources and that's probably the situation in many cases. Maybe in a dream world one system could handle it all, but in many cases we have to collect the data from different systems or databases and in some cases, unfortunately, we have to do it manually...

I asked from the panel how they see web analytics as a part of business intelligence and I got a straight answer from Juha Teljo who is country manager at Cognos: "Of course web analytics data has to be in, especially when companies are doing eCommerce". I couldn't agree more, and I think we have so many common things, as we both:
  • collect data from internal and external sources
  • define key performance indicators (KPIs)
  • try to do it in systematic way (process)
  • value people who analyze the collected data
  • try to benefit from best practices
  • use competitive data for benchmarking
  • try to find people for analyzing the collected data
  • try to improve quality of information
  • try to get more insights and better understanding for business decision making
According to Aguilar (1967) the most beneficial information is the one has been defined necessary and the information which is really needed. And that is not always the case with clickstream data which is automatically collected by several web analytics systems.

One very critical and important phase in analytics or business intelligence is to define business goals and what kind of information is needed. Accoring to web analytics business process white paper from Web Analytics Demystified:
"Your business objectives define your web analytics reporting needs: Objectives create the framework against which you measure visitor activities, and visitor activities are the basis for all of your metrics and key performance indicators."
According to professor Mika Hannula from Tampere University of Technology, there are three kind of companies:
  • those who make things happen
  • those who watch things happen
  • those who wonder what happened
So, what kind of company you're working at? : )