Saturday, December 19, 2009

IRC-Galleria loosing users in Finland

It has been a while since my last post, actually almost two months. I have been quite busy with preaching and teaching - firing and hiring. However I have done some microblogging, so you can follow me, our company and Naviatech people on Twitter. Just the other day I found out a trend in Finnish social media scene. has been very popular social media site among youths in Finland. As you can see, based on statistics from Google Ad Planner and Alexa, IRC-Galleria is definitely loosing users. In January the site was 4th in Alexa's ranking and now it's in 15th position. Question is: what has happened?

After asking from couple of people my best guess is that IRC-Galleria users are turning to Facebook. I think this is because Facebook's entertaining features and new privacy settings. Now youngster (and all of us as well) can select what content they are showing to their parents. If you're trying to reach young people and you're planning advertising in IRC-Galleria, you may want to think again... : )

P.S. If you like, you can connect and follow me also in Facebook.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Recap of eMetrics Stockholm 2009

eMetrics in Stockholm gathered less than hundred participants two weeks ago. Main reason for this, by Sandra and Matthew Finlay from Rising Media, was that companies are cutting their traveling costs. Well, those end customers who where on site got really good value for their money because there was constant opportunity to get even personal coaching from several consultants and vendors!

It was really nice to hang around all day (and night) long with top people in the field, including Jim Sterne, Eric Peterson, Aurélie Pols, Oliver Schiffers, Steve Jackson, Lars Johansson, Marc Saarde and Gillian Muessig from You can check out my photo slideshow from this event by clicking the picture below.

Jim Sterne opened the whole event with a keynote presentation "Time to shine". To people working daily basis in the field, it's obvious that:
"You can actually create competitive edge with web analytics, or should we rather say web intelligence or business analytics."
But in my mind, for example in Finland, although we have raised awareness of web analytics;
"There are still too many companies tracking visitors and lacking wider view how to get benefits from analytics."
We have planned little bit a web analytics research in Finland with TNS Gallup. I really hope that this research would prove me wrong about maturity level of our customers. Maturity model was also topic of the discussion session during the second day. Personally I really like Stephane Hamel's key success factors and maturity model of web analytics. If you don't know what I'm talking about, maybe you should check out his presentation below.

Web Analytics Maturity Model

It was nice to hear a brave presentation from Andreas Petterson and future strategy of SAS. I missed Telia's case and Eric Peterson's testing clinic, but it was glad to take part of testing test and presentation of Lars from Mark Red. I shows very clearly that we are only guessing and testing is the only way to really know what works for customers and what doesn't. I beat the HiPPO (Highest Paid Person in the Office or Highest Paid Person's Opinion) but lost to monkey and mom. : )

I was in the panel moderated by Jim Sterne, and because I had to concentrate and think things in English, I can't comment the overall outcomes of the panel session. If you were there, I'm more than happy to hear your comments and feedback. During the Monday afternoon we had a presentation with Lasse Leponiemi about how Valmennuskeskus increased their overall business by 28 % and how they got 95 % of all sales from Internet last year! You can get our presentation (pdf) by clicking the picture below.

Presentations from Per Strid and Steve Jackson were solid as expected, Aurélie Pols replaced Eric Peterson and she completed the idea of competing with web analytics. Her presentation included several good and useful check lists. I really liked the presentation by Lasse Rubin Skov and how Canal Digital improved their business just in four months or so (see his presentation in Danish).

Especially I liked Jesper Åström's presentation of how to combine social media and email marketing. I like Jesper's style to present things and if you're thinking how to measure social media, read my post about it, check out this video from Jesper and stay tuned.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

eMetrics Marketing Optimization Summit - starting next week in Stockholm

eMetrics Marketing Optimization Summit is starting next Monday in Stockholm. First I will attend web analytics round table with my colleagues and friends including Lars Johansson, Marc Saarde, Aurélie Pols and Oliver Schiffers. The panel discussion is moderated by Jim Sterne so I'm in very good company, although I'm not quite sure yet what we are going to talk about... : )

My second appearance will be on Monday afternoon. We will have a presentation together with Lasse Leponiemi about how Valmennuskeskus improved their online business with web analytics. I think this is very interesting customer case so make sure you will be in congress hall A at 15.45.

Eric Peterson will give his keynote presentation "Competing with web analytics" on Tuesday morning at 9.00. I'm pretty confident that presentations from Eric and another web analytics veterans Jim Sterne and Steve Jackson, will be top class also this year at eMetrics. Check out the schedule and see you soon in Stockholm!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Web Analytics Wednesday in Amsterdam - my presentation available

There was +60 attendees last night at Web Analytics Wednesday in Amsterdam. The event was organized by Frans Appels and hosted by Tribal DDB. It was really good to see a presentation from Filip Baardman, e-Commerce Manager from Hotel Management Group. Although it was in Dutch, I got a good picture how they are using Google Analytics and Website Optimizer for multivariate testing and improving conversions.

During the networking session I had a chance to talk with him and asked if they ever had considered paid web analytics solutions. His answer was perfectly in line with this Forrester Research about web analytics solutions in enterprises - they simply don't need those extra features that paid solutions have compared to free tools. Instead, they are looking for a good web analyst but have found it almost as a mission impossible. I had approximately 45 minutes presentation right after Filip. You can get my presentation by clicking the picture below.

If you want more heavy information about brand measurement, read this post from Avinash Kaushik. It was really good to see such an active audience in Amsterdam with several questions during and after presentations. Almost half of the attendees were using Twitter and there was some live tweeting going on during my presentation. Thank you for all those nice comments. It was great to get involved with the Dutch web analytics community. Interesting people and discussions afterwards and couple of beers of course... : )

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Web Analytics Wednesday in Amsterdam: sharing cases with the Dutch community

Tomorrow I will be speaking at Web Analytics Wednesday in Amsterdam. I'm really excited about this event and getting in touch with the Dutch web analytics community. First I planned just to visit my friend, but then I found out Frans planning the Web Analytics Wednesday and after a little push I had this opportunity to share couple of stories and my experiences.

Basically my presentation is build around three in depth customer cases:
  • – how they are trying to measure brand awareness, how they should measure sales, how they are starting to monitor their online reputation and how we did first social media tests?
  • – how we measured offline and online marketing activities for their (b2b) campaign, what tools were used and what were the outcomes and insights for their business?
  • Atelier Goldner Schnitt – optimizing their e-commerce and increasing revenue by 29 %. What different kind of decisions and actions were made in very short time and with challenging organization structure? Why we wanted to decrease a conversion rate?
I will mention shortly couple of other customer cases as well, and can't actually leave the stage without mentioning a word or two about my favourite subject – multi-/cross-channel behavior and measuring. Finally I will audience about voice of customer and share my opinions about best practices and trends in Finland.

If you're reading this and coming on site at Tribal DDB in Amstelveen, don't hesitate shoot your question or feel free to catch me after the presentation. I will have couple days off before eMetrics Summit next week in Stockholm so I will have some time to spend in this cool city. Stay tuned, subscribe tomy RSS feed or follow me at Twitter to know when my WAW Amsterdam presentation and recap is available here for you.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

How to measure Social Media - Recap of MindTrek

Very good social media presentations by Chris Messina, David Coleman, Maria Pienaar, Kaija Pöysti, Teemu Arina and panel discussions at MindTrek on Thursday inspired me to write this recap. First of all I have to admit that social media is very complex! Like (human) relationships usually are...

For those who don't know anything about social media (and believe me, there's plenty of those people in companie's top management at the moment), you can read Wikipedia's description but more simple definition could be:
"Social media can be compared as traditional word of mouth."
Traditionally you didn't have a chance to participate if there was at least two people talking about your company. These conversations, like everything else, has moved to web and people are using different kind of platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, IRC Galleria just to name few. Now companies, read people in companies, can participate these conversations.

Well, should you? Some companies in Finland have banned e.g. Facebook for their employees. Instead, our government has created rules how to participate these discussions. To me, it's like top management of the company is saying don't talk anything about our company.
"Platforms in web are just one media, banning one media doesn't end conversations what so ever."
In bad and in good, these platforms and discussions can be really powerful. What earlier took some time with mouth to mouth, now can explode to thousands and thousands of people in just a fraction of time.
"Every company should be worried about their online reputation."
If you or your boss need some facts, take a look at Alexa's list of top sites in Finland. At this time there are approximately 1,3 million people in Facebook who live in Finland! Every fourth Finn is in the Facebook and the website is second in in Alexa's list right after search.

It's not my responsibility if you decide to turn your back to all these people who are talking about you and your brands all the time. Weilin + Göös, a publisher, is resigning 55 people out of 67. They claim that one of the reasons was a change in customer behaviour. Well, it obviously didn't happen over a night and I think that top management was totally lost with understanding their customers. In my mind:
"Companies don't have an option anymore whether to use social media or not."
But I truly understand that we would like to measure how effective social media is? Coming back to the complexity of social media, I have to say that measuring will be hard and complex as well. But we can try to measure and understand better social media usage.
"Worst thing you can do is jump right off to some social media platform without any planning."
First question you should ask yourself is "why are we doing this"? Actually from measuring point of view this is very relevant question to any marketing activities you may have. By answering that question you can easily define your key performance indicator for your efforts. It can be improved customer satisfaction, better brand awareness, more sales and name it. I think you already know "how to measure these outcomes"? For example you can use surveys, top of mind researches and your online/offsite sales.

"Measuring social media is always multi-/cross-channel measurement task."

With the big picture in mind, hell you can even try measuring social media ROI, you have to measure also social media micro goals. Here is a list of KPI examples you could use:
  • number of followers or individual/group members
  • number of new sign ups or sign up ratio in certain timeframe
  • number of posts, comments, etc. = conversation rate
  • number of negative/positive posts, comments, etc.
  • viral effect of your message/offer over time
You have to include these metrics to your onsite KPIs (I hope you have them already in place?). Here's couple of free tools you can use to collect more data:

Got comments, new ideas, something you want to share or argue with? Feel free and leave a comment! You can learn more, shoot a private questions to my email or follow me at Twitter (@mertanen). Finally a funny parental video about Facebook: you can learn this platform through your kids! : )

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Web Analytics Conference in Helsinki - my recap

Based on immediate response we had a very good Web Analytics Conference in Helsinki this week around cross-/multichannel measurement. I have to admit that I was stressed because the event was 2-3 times bigger than previous ones this year. There was up to 230 people attending! We had 350 sign ups and people in the waiting list. Still, I would like too see more customers in these events which are very good opportunities to learn more. Spread our word to directors and marketers you know.

I guess the no-show percentage is quite big (34 %) because this was a free event. This is probably about to change and in the future only WAA members attend free + they are getting discounts, other benefits and all presentation online. This maybe a good time to think about professional membership for only $199/year. Join us now! : )

We created small buzz around this event. You can see (below) visitor peaks at WAA Finland website on August 11th when we send invitations and September 15th when the actual event was held. There was also up to 30 tweets in Twitter with #measure hashtag. Can't wait to see how it will be totally different during eMetrics in Stockholm (with #emetrics hashtag). In my mind, if you are an analytics professional and you're not using social media like Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook etc., you can't really be convincing nowadays.

We started the networking session, Web Analytics Wednesday, right after the official part. Although it started on Tuesday it ended (some one was singing karaoke somewhere in the middle) at 5-7 a.m. on Wednesday morning. : ) Although we created some buzz, Adobe + Omniture news stole the show (you can see the huge peak below in Google Insights). First I thought that it was a joke...but eventually, Omniture people on site started to turn from green to red. ; )

I think Susanne had a solid presentation, but I have to disagree with one thing. Customer experiences don't necessary cross the web channel. Although web usage is growing and 82 % of Finnish people are using Internet, sometimes you just react to offline advertisement and go to the store near you. So how do you measure offline to offline conversions?

With newspaper and direct marketing it's quite easy: you can use coupons (with barcode) or codes but with radio and TV you should probably use another channel, like SMS, in the middle. Or then you just know because you're selling so well. Maybe it's reliefing for customers to know that there's different kind of means and ways to measure marketing activities, like Kalle Heinonen clearly pointed out with examples in his presentation. More often attitude problems are preventing measuring or because of "company policy" customers are not allowed to use campaign specific domains or vanity URLs.

Kalle had a question from the audience that how much a lead is costing for Omniture...I mean Adobe. His answer was approximately 20 € and it really depends on what costs you're counting in. I know how many leads Kalle got and I also know what is the sponsoring cost so I can tell you that using these numbers the cost per lead is 7-8 €. Not bad. But, as always, you can't jugde success or failure just by a single key performance indicator - you need more information.

It was fun and educating to listen Geoff Galat, Vice President from Tealeaf. He told us customer experience stories and research results. His main point being that every customer experience is unique! If you don't have gut to present investment to Tealeaf's fancy software right away, maybe you can start collecting customer insights and feedback by simple surveys.

Aurélie Pols recommended to build a business case with cross-channel measurement before investing in expensive software, data warehouse or integrations. It reminds me about 10/90 rule although with good free web analytics tools in market it could be 0/100 rule. But this depends also what is your stage of maturity with web analytics?

Steve Jackson's and Maarten Patteeuw's presentation concentrated pretty much on how to measure offsite success and how social media buzz is linking to your website (business). Although they didn't gave us all KPIs, I think the point was obvious. I have promised and I will write a post (maybe even this year) about how to measure social media / offsite success.

As always, if you read this post so far (congratulations!), feel free to shoot me some questions by email or leave your comment here. Looking forward to see you in Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin or upcoming events! Cheers!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Interesting fall coming up in web analytics scene

Vacation is over but summer is still here. It's almost 30 degrees (Celcius) outside and I'm writing blog inside...this fall will be hot too - at least in web analytics scene. This is a summary post what happened during the summer and what will happen this fall.

Here's my last writings:

Growing awareness:

If you want to read my comments, you can check out these two articles: commercial supplement of Kauppalehti and another one in Aamulehti (both in Finnish). And I just gave an interview to Keski-Pohjanmaa newspaper. It seems that media has now woken up what we have known for ages: Internet is very important channel for any business!

Company news:

Naviatech won the Rising Star of the Year award (check out video) in the eZ Conference in Paris just before I started my vacation. Have to say that it felt very good to pick up the prize! I just don't get it, why media doesn't publish our press release about it? Naviatech was accepted to Yahoo! web analytics consultant network just a couple weeks ago (btw: we are the only one in Finland so far). We will also start Google Analytics training sessions with FC Sovelto pretty soon.

Upcoming events:

We will have an excellent and FREE web analytics conference in Helsinki on Tuesday 15th of September. There's already over 100 sign ups, but still plenty of room up to 300 people. You can see Geoff Galat, Aurélie Pols and me on stage plus vendors, consultants and practitioners. Sign up now!

There's also eMetrics Stockholm on October. Leading by Jim Sterne, you can hear world class presentations and speak with Steve Jackson, Lars Johansson, Vincent Kermorgant, Oliver Schiffers and me of course... : )

If you're interested in this great event, you can register with code PETRISE09 and GET 15 % OFF A TWO-DAY PASS! You can get an early bird price until 11th of September. As a blog partner (and as usual) I will write a recap of this event. See you there!

Don't be a stranger:

I will be speaking or just hanging in other events too. Stay tuned and connect me at Linkedin and follow me on Twitter (@mertanen) or Facebook. Or you can just browse through my public photo gallery. If you want an interview, article or talk about speaking arrangements, don't hesitate to email me directly.

Finnish analytics markets:

Probably there will be 1-2 international players coming in. I think we will see 1-2 mergers or acquisitions. Globally I believe it's just a matter of time when a Business Intelligence vendor will merge with a Web Analytics company. There is one really big news coming up from Helsinki...

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Internet is part of every day life - even on vacation

I was visiting lovely Paris again with my family just a week after we brought home Rising Star of the Year award. I tried to avoid Internet during my vacation as much as I could but found it quite impossible. Normally I'm a heavy heavy user and you could say I'm living in/with Internet. Here's a short story how web services helped us before and during our trip.

Everything started because of this newsletter of Blue 1. There was very tempting offer: only 94 euros (adult price) to Paris. SAS knows that I clicked the link in newsletter and actually converted. They have tags in newsletter's link:,1e4be55,1e929d0 - where my personal (customer?) ID for a newsletter or web analytics sytems is perhaps something like:


The previous URL is redirected to:

you can easily find out tags in this URL for Google Analytics:
  • source = Newsletter26-09
  • medium = email
  • campaign = FI26-09_1
Ok, so I booked flights for us and SAS knows how their campaign worked out. This is how it should be measured, especially the outcomes. That means total revenue and return on investment! 24 hours before our departure from Helsinki I received a SMS and simply by replying "YES", check-in for the flight was completed. Very nice, I really like this SMS check-in system they have.

Then I looked for a hotel. I clicked another link in a newsletter which included same kind of code:,1e4be55,1e929f7

It seems that last two letters contain the link information, so SAS knows exactly which newsletter links I clicked. I found Park and Suites Paris Grande Bibliothéque but this time I didn't converted through booking system of Blue 1 because I found better price through booking system associated to hotel. When I looked at source code of booking service I found a 3rd party's tracking code in it. So they knew exactly where I came from and how my reservation process went.

During and after the hotel reservation I checked from Google Maps where the hotel was. I wanted also to check little bit street view and with couple of clicks I knew that there was metro station, a store and couple of restaurants near by. When we finally got there it was easy to find when you have seen the place beforehand.

Wireless Internet access wasn't a requirement but afterwards I was happy that it included to room price. I got a metro map/brochure from Charles de Gaulle airport and found a quick response codes in couple ads (e.g. Cinéaqua's in the photo below).

If you want to know more about QR codes, you can read my guest post from Anyway, I did some research in the evening when kids were sleeping. I browsed web with my mobile phone and got more information about places where we visited next day. It was usefull to know things about Eiffel tower and Euro Disney. I couldn't find a tracking code from Eiffel tower website but Euro Disney has an HBX (=Omniture) code in place.

It would have been possible to buy tickets online to Disneyland. Instead, we bought vouchers from our hotel. With vouchers Euro Disney knows which hotels are converting customers and income to them. This is really simple way to track customers which don't convert online. I think they should bring up these vouchers more in their website. Though, they do have offers and clear call-to-actions in place.

After long day in Disneyland, we wanted some pizza when we came back to hotel. I did a mobile Google search with "pizza Rue de Tolbiac" (name of the street where our hotel located). With three clicks I saw that there was Pizza Hut just couple hundred meters from our hotel. Next evening we got a hint and two drink tickets to restaurant Buffalo from reception. We couldn't find it with first but again, Google search with "buffalo restaurant paris" gave us local business and map as a result. Third restaurant was the one we were looking for and very quickly we got beef! : )

One day I had really lousy map with me. We had to find closest metro stations several times during that day. Luckily I have a really good mobile phone. With help of GPS those metro stations were easy to find. Some years ago I used to send postcards to family and friends. Now I took photos with my phone, emailed them to Twitpic which shared picture links and comments to Twitter and Facebook. My contacts got greetings from Paris right away as they happened. No more expensive snail mail and traditional post cards...although I know that some like them too.

What can I say...Internet is so helpfull in every day life and avoiding it was kind of pointless. Different kind of web or mobile services are helping travellers a lot and companies should think cross-channel customer experiences and measurement.

By the way, I received a newsletter with an offer from our hotel while we were still staying there...

Friday, July 10, 2009

Naviatech won the Rising Star of the Year Award at eZ Conference

It was an honour to get on stage and pick up the Rising Star of the Year award on behalf of Naviatech at the eZ Conferenrence in lovely Paris two weeks ago. This award means a lot to me and I'm very proud of our whole staff. Last year was challenging. It was a big change for the organization after we made a huge decision to give up our own software development. You can read my comments and full press release from our website.
"This award is a great recognition for big decision, hard work and concentration on our new strategy."
Other than great Awards ceremony and ten year anniversary party of eZ Systems (check out video summary below), I found lots of good stuff during the international partner day and the eZ Conference. eZ Systems is changing its organization when becoming a professional global software company.

They are also changing their partner model (partly because of our co-operation) and I believe these are all good news. I think partners have to contribute also some money back (subscriptions) to eZ. That's the only way we, the whole ecosystem, can be competitive in the CMS (or WCM) market in the long run!

It was glad to hear Tony White, leading analyst of WCM from Gilbane Group, as he represented his study about different vendors and position of eZ:

I'm sure the discussion about new partner model (and position?) will continue, so feel free to drop me a line or give your comments through my blog, Facebook, Linkedin or Twitter. I was also very delighted (well, I'm a web analyst :) when Stephen Powers, senior analyst from Forrester, included testing, targeting and web analytics as a part of WCM 2.0.
"Interactive online customer experiences is be very important now and will be crucial in the future. And measuring as well."
Social features and user generated content for a website are good critierias of choosing a CMS. And so are integration possiblities to other systems, e.g. web analytics, testing & targeting. I was little bit surprised when Felippe Jaramillo showed Aplyca's contribution: eZ Google Website Optimizer extension.

With this extension A/B and multivariate testing is very easy to do. But I do have to agree with Felippe that technical implementation is not the issue, there are more or less problems with defining "the right" conversion and creating valuable hypothesis/scenarios.

There was also other interesting topics like CMIS (content management interoperability services). I actually saw a demo of eZ Alfresco extension and how they pulled a document from Alfresco and published it via eZ Publish. Isn't that great? If you're interested, you can download all eZ Conference presentations here.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Two years of blogging - Happy birthday to Pete Box of Analytics

What a year! I was selected for chairman of Web Analytics Association Finland by a grand jury and suddenly I found myself having conversations once in a while with Steve Jackson, Eric Peterson, Jim Sterne, Dennis Mortensen, Lars Johansson, Aurélie Pols & René Dechamps Otamendi and Avinash Kaushik. And probably a lot of other people who have had influence on my analytics skills.

Things around analytis are really heating up in Finland and I know that it has tested my family's patience a lot. But no worries my ladies, daddy is having 5 weeks' summer vacation coming up. It's really hard to conclude all the benefits from blogging. So this is quite long post, just try to hang on. You may got an idea or two. A year ago I set up some goals, now it's time to look if they were accomplished or not:
  • One post per week. Didn't happen. Actually I posted exactly same amount of posts, 30, than during first year. So I was 42 % behing my goal. But I stongly believe that my raw author data (amount of words) grew a lot. Please email me if you know an easy way to calculate raw author data.
  • Increase visits more than 100 %. Completed. Visits to my blog increased +109 %. There were visitors from 80 countries (41 last year), 4.306 visits and 3.012 visitors total, average 12 visits per day.
  • One hundred subscribers. Well, not quite. As you can see at the moment my blog is having 80 subscribers.

  • Public speaking gigs (billable and non-billable). Yes indeed. I had couple of billable speaking gigs and the rest were for marketing. We are not talking about thousands of euros...yet, but it's a good start because sometimes you have to pay for a speaking lot.
About publicity

I was speaking about search engine marketing and measuring in a e-commerce seminar for a group of people and in a Chamber of Commerce event with 135 people. You can download my SEM presentation (in Finnish, pdf file 18 MB).

I was also speaking at Internet Marketing Concerence in Stockholm about multichannel measurement and marketing optimization. Check out case SeaLife presentation. I also had a chance to represent some web analytics for Board Professional ladies and I introduced search engine marketing in a business date kind of event.

Last year my eMetrics presentation was cancelled, but this year I believe that I will get on stage at eMetrics Stockholm. WAA Finland got some visibility in media and as we speak, we are planning to have a huge, international and FREE event around multi-/cross-channel mesurement during September. If things goes well and as planned, this will be defenitely the best event for marketing and any C-level people in Helsinki during this fall.

WAA Finland arranged already two Web Analytics Wednesdays this year with almost a hundred participants each. And by the way, I had also couple of interviews for a few newspapers. You can download one short article here (in Finnish, pdf).

Analyzing visits, sources and content

Regarding to visits and content of my blog, here's an example picture on how to use standard deviation for figuring out what is a clear peak or not normal.

With this graph you can easily connect three last visit peaks over standard deviation maximum limit to following posts:

How next generation uses Internet - an interview

Recap of Internet Marketing Conference in Stockholm
Recap of Web Analytics Wednesday in Helsinki

During first year there was four posts which gathered more than 25 visits per day. Last year there has been 14 posts with over 30 visits per day. With Feedburner feed item statistics you can confirm what content has been most popular. I like most my April fool's day joke post.

After a title change of my blog I have received a lot more visits from search engines. And "brand", that means my name, related keywords had a share of 22 % of all keywords used. Google rules because it's share is 96,5 % of all search engine traffic to this blog.

Social media

During the last year the use of social media has grown a lot. I have used these powerful platforms and I see this in traffic sources where social media references are increasing. In Facebook my blog has 47 followers and in Twitter 81. I have been twittering since first of April and just now I'm getting how companies can benefit from Twitter.

Little development

During the last year my blog has been also a play ground where to test different kind of things.
Couple weeks ago I installed the new Yahoo! web analytics 9.5 version. As I have been always in business-to-business mode, I really like this last visitor details report of Yahoo! And they now have extra demographic features in like age and gender.

In order to get more visitors and social media effect, I have added the share button in the end of each post. I also use Google Webmaster tools for analyzing search engine visibility and technical optimization issues as well.

Getting some feedback

I'm not satisfied how people are reacting and commenting my writings. If you read this, please send me feedback by email, leave a comment or push the feedback button on the right. With free 4Q or Kampyle tool you can easily collect the voice of customer, as you can see from these dashboards. Of course, I would like to get the overall satisfaction and task completion rate little higher.

Goals for the next year

During the summer I will be a guest-writer to Vierityspalkki and blog of Lars. And finally, here are my public goals for the next year:
  • No more posting goals. This is a kind of hobby for me and this should be fun. I will continue posting, that's for sure, but you can expect the same frequency as so far.
  • Double the amount of visits
  • Two reader comments per post
  • Two hundred subscriptions
  • Speaking gigs plus more visibility in media
Benefits and experiences

It's really hard to sum up all the benefits and experiences, but when I look at why I decided to blog in the first place, I find some of these reasons are still valid. I want to share information and it's helping us with consulting and sales. I would like to keep this forum relaxed although writing about serious business.

I think blogging is very therapeutic stuff and is highly recommended. However, you need to find your own niche to write about and and you have to be persistant. Write about something you're very interested in and you'll find your motivation. One thing is sure: Petri Mertanen brand is in rise... : )

Saturday, June 13, 2009

How next generation uses Internet - an interview

The other day, I tried to show my sister-in-law's son, who is staying with us a while, how to use our TV and satellite receiver. 14 year old Markus said that it's not necessary - so I got curious. He said that Internet is just enough for him. I decided to do a little interview, just to study more how the next generation uses Internet. Basically Markus has grown with Internet, web has been there since the boy was born in 1995.
"Markus uses Internet 4-5 hours per day."
Mostly he is chatting with friends and playing games. His favourite website is IRC-Gallery where he likes to chat, look and comment pictures. IRC-Gallery states it is the biggest Internet community (social media site) in Finland, average user age approximately 20 years. 60 % of registered users are over 18.
"I only watch TV, maybe an hour a day, if there is no Internet access available."
Markus also likes Nettiauto and Nettimoto, where he is also looking photos of cheap cars and bikes. Markus is planning to sell his moped and get new one when he turns 15. He doesn't shop in the Internet regularly...yet. Markus uses his email just for receiving alerts from Nettimoto. Instead of writing emails he is chatting and having video calls with his friends and acquaintances.

He would like to use web, email and Messenger by his mobile phone, but since he has pre-paid SIM-card, it's not possible. Markus doesn't use other social media services like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin or blogs. He downloads music, games (and knows legas issues pretty well :) and watches funny videos from YouTube almost on a daily basis.

Sometimes, couple times per month, when he needs to find some information, Markus uses only Google. Markus is starting 8th grade in the fall and he chose to have 2 hours / week computing. I just wonder what they might teach him or is he teaching his teacher?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Recap of Internet Marketing Conference in Stocholm

Right after Web Analytics Wednesday in Helsinki I flew to Internet Marketing Conference in Stockholm. I was little late so when I got there Maria Ziv and Tommy Sollén from VisitSweden were on the stage with a hundred people in the room.

What it comes to design, usability and interactive features our neighbour beats VisitFinland 6-0. It was really refreshing to see how VisitSweden and actually most of the people in conference are using social media like:
They have tons of user generated content, their traffic increases 50 % each year and they have over 6 800 registered members. Plus they calculate return on investment for their partners - costs of visibility vs. value of bookings through Isn't this neat or what?

But Susan Rice-Lincoln and Patrick Schwerdtfeger remembered that social media is not just about tools. This is a great question from her:
"How can you use social media if you're not social yourself?"
Corporates need to find their own humanity and corporate voice (CEO/CMO?). Companies need a clear and clean vision to create social media success. I really liked Susan's web wheel and how it's showing difference between strategy and tactics.

Mitch Joel is one awesome speaker - really easy and fun to listen (you can check out my video from YouTube or below). Actually IMC people got 2 in 1 when Mitch represented Search Engine Optimization trends and tricks in addition of his keynote. Here's couple of his lines that I want to share:
"Being findable is fundamental. SEO consultants don't have the power to manage outcomes."
Mitch showed with couple of easy to understand examples what the search engine optimization is all about. Want to get #1 result in Google with "click here" term. Then you probably have to beat Adobe and get more than 2,1 million links to your site.

What's more important Mitch talked about social search optimization (Technorati, Twitter, Delicious) as they represent voice of customer right now. Make a social search with your brand and check out what people are talking about you as we speek. Tell me what did you find and what do you think about it. Local search, videos, images, maps and Google profiles - new stuff is pushing the old data down in search results. This is why you need a search engine strategy.

In his keynote Mitch challenged marketing people to re-boot thinking. During decades marketing has shifted from "how many" to "who" (and in my opinion where?). 40 % of all mothers in America are in MySpace, 48 % of leisure time is spent online and half of YouTube's audience is over the age of 34. Marketing is real interactions with real human beings and consumers have power in digital world. Here's couple of good lines from gurus:
“Your brand isn’t what you say it is… it’s what Google says it is.” Chris Anderson – Wired Magazine
And here's some statistics:
  • Community users remain customers 50% longer than non-community users (AT&T, 2002)
  • Community users spend 54% more than non-community users (Ebay, 2006)
  • Community users visit nine times more often than non-community users (McKinsey, 2000)
Based on these facts Mitch was asking what is the future cost of not pursuing an online community strategy now?
"Great marketing is not about technology, it's about understanding why people love you?” Mitch Joel
Chris Goward from WiderFunnel gave a usefull check list to improve your conversions. You can evaluate e.g. your search marketing landing pages and ask if they include the following:
  1. Value proposition
  2. Relevance
  3. Clarity (visual & content)
  4. Anxiety
  5. Distraction
  6. Urgency
During the panel session "Tough times call for tough measures – are there any recession proof online strategies?" Carola Lundell from Electrolux said that they are moving money from traditional media to online. They don't want to 95 % of the audience which are not actually target group, but rather reach 5 % of people who are close to buy. They are concentrating nowadays more on why they are doing something instead of what they are doing.

Rufus Lidman from Anegy said that during the downturn clients are concentrating on nurturing those visitors (customers) companies already have. At the moment companies are doing kind of "free stuff" like search engine optimization, social media and newsletters.

There was also other good presentations about eye tracking, how got their money back in 4 days with TeaLeaf and how small things at website can cost lot of money. I think it was a really good idea to get all the best speakers on stage during one day, congratulations Lennart and Lars. I thing the success day was a real success. Thanks for inviting me in, I really hope to see IMC in Helsinki too! : )

Recap of Web Analytics Wednesday in Helsinki

A week ago we had Web Analytics Wednesday in Helsinki with 86 registered participants. The event covered search marketing and measuring from different point of views. In my opening I told my insights based on activity and publicity in Finland:
”Web Analytics is becoming more and more business critical and early adapters can achieve real competitive edge.”

Erkko Simsiö, Nordic Business Development Manager from Eniro had a presentation "SEM 360 degrees" and he stated the same:
"Search engine marketing is vital for any company nowadays."
IAB Finland's research confirms this pretty much: Paid search and directory listings has grown over 32 % in a year (Q1/2009 compared to Q1/2008). What we defenitely need in Finland is more accurate statistics for search marketing. "Ekku" followed my views that search engine marketing as a whole include directories / local search, maps and social media.
"Because of versatility of search engine marketing it's very important to have a clear search engine strategy." Petri Mertanen
This versatility gives a lot of challenge on web analytics and makes measuring more complex. Strategy doesn't have to be a big, hairy, scary thing. It can be one page long including:
  1. Goals (vision) - answering question why we are doing this?
  2. Means - answering question what areas of SEM we should handle and do in order to achieve previous goals?
  3. KPIs (key performance indicators) and other metrics - answering question how are we going to measure all this?
”Companies which combine paid search, directory listings and search engine optimization at the same time seem to get best overall results." Erkko Simsiö
Our second speaker Arttu Raittila from Tulos confirmed this, but claimed that:
"Often money invested in search engine optimization is just a fragment compared to paid search although lots of searchers ignore advertising completely.
I totally agree with Arttu about paid search being a very good playground for picking up the right keywords for SEO. Many customers have been asking whether to do just paid search or search engine optimization? A recommended tactic has been to do both.

Too many companies measure search marketing concentrating just on clicks (visitors) and price. Ekku said that very seldom heavy traffic and low cost per click (CPC) are good signs for efficient search engine marketing. Arttu who represented how search engine marketing should be measured, had similar message:
"Clicks, visit and visitor metrics are not enough, even measured by a keyword level."
Arttu also stated that landing page bounce rate is the best basic metric for search marketing. In my mind, as it is with other metrics too, you have to combine bounce rate for other metrics, e.g. time per visit, page views per visit and conversion rate of course to get more holistic view on visitor behavioral.
"It is absolutely crucial to define and tag website goals to your web analytics system. In addition to conversion rate, you can and you should measure sales." Arttu Raittila
It is quite easy to track sales online store, possible to measure personal business-to-business sales through lead generation and even off-line sales in stores. Still, according to TNS Gallup's research (pdf in Finnish) only 12 % of companies get information how their paid search generated sales?! Erkko Simsiö told that directories convert people to off-line so company websites don't get hits at all.

According to Eniro's research 60 % of the people who find what they have searched take contact directly or visit off-line store. And 70 % of these visitors convert to buyers! This is very interesting and maybe in the next Web Analytics Wednesday (in September?) we will cover more multi-/cross-channel measurement and off-line conversions.

Arttu also guided that if you measure sales by keywords, you know what keywords work and you can for example raise your maximum cost per click in your paid search campaign. But how up you can go? Let's say you have generated sales of 5.000 euros with 500 visitors - conversion rate 5 % and average order value 200 euros. So every visit is bringing you 10 euros = value of visit. Your profit margin is 10 % when you get all costs off so your maximum CPC, your pain point is 1,00 euro - note: unless you are raising your conversion rate or AOV by better position!

There was little discussion about last click credit. Very good topic and should have more attention in my mind. Ismo Tenkanen from Media Contacts has posted about this (in Finnish). With Google Analytics you can define whether the last click (e.g. natural search) is getting the credit of conversion or the original one (e.g. paid search). Arttu said that Finnish Web Analytics application Snoobi has good feature to give points for passive business-to-business leads. Actually this is very easy to do with any (free?) web analytics application with advanced segmenting features.

During the third presentation Kristo Aaltonen from Get It Right and Tarmo Herlevi from Deferon represented a real customer case. Kristo gave a very good tip for every company:
"You should analyze company's current status, learn and plan a lot before actual doing and trying to have quick wins in search engine marketing."
Kristo also showed a web analytics process model:

1. Defining goals and metrics
2. Data collection
3. Analysis and evaluation
4. Developing marketing activities and content

In my mind and what I wrote about strategy of search engine marketing, defining business goals is very very important. Collecting data is quite easy and anyone can deliver conversion rate reports. But can you measure customer life time value, that is one tricky question...

Analyzing the data is hard and getting good usable insights is even harder. Like Ekku said: "It's more important to analyze data and optimize your campaigns rather than just deliver reports. The most important thing is to find the most valuable keywords.”

I think that the true analyst is measured from the bottom line: how much money you make for the customer? In Deferon's case the turnover increased by 40 % and nowadays almost half of their customers come from Internet channel. Consultants should defenitely measure return on investment:
ROI = results (e.g. improved sales) minus total costs of activities divided by total costs of activities (including media, consultant fee, even customer's working hours etc.)
Last time when I checked ROI with a customer we were down around -40 %. But I'm also sure that this will turn positive in a month or two. : ) Some may say that the last Web Analytics Wednesday was pretty basic stuff, but in my mind there was lots of usefull things to remember. Please feel free and comment or ask a question.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Recap of Omniture Summit 2009 in London

What can you say, a world class event from the leading company of the industry. Very well organized event with up to 1,000 professionals in place and in spite of that, very relaxed athmosphere. Only minus points from my side were that the general session exceeded too long and some of the keynote speakers had a rush.

I had also difficulty to choose from six simultaneous tracks. So many people, so many good presentations and so little time during one day (and night of course). Next year they are planning this as a two day event.

Mr. Josh James, the CEO and co-founder of Omniture, praised their organization and number of customer, but he also told product news like Recommendations, Merchandising, Discover OnPremise for Retail and other announcements like 24/7 AdStream integration and Developer Connection. To be honest, and looking at innovation and pace of development, Omniture has a great offering for business optimization. Josh James' primary message was:
"The world is changing. Mobile web, online videos, social media as well as widgets are growing fast and therefor you need a strategy for interactive media and online business optimization."
Mark Read, the CEO of WPP Digital had a same kind of message to the audience:
"Times for traditional media will be tough and the sift to digital media is growing. There will be growth especially in social media and mobile web."
David Walmsley, Head of Web Selling at John Lewis Direct, introduced their three blocks how to build an analytics driven online strategy:
  1. Having the right organization
  2. Developing an analytics driven culture
  3. Obsessing over the customer experience
These are pretty obvious points. Steve Jackson from Trainers' House Analytics and Vincent Kermorgant from Nokia had a really good presentation about creating an analytics driven culture. If you missed this presentation and want more in depht information, I recommend buying Steve's book The Cult of Analytics. It's available and you can get it easily from Amazon.

Nick Heys, Founder & CEO of Emailvision, told in his keynote that email marketing ROI was $45 for every dollar in 2008. That's amazing and confirms what my expreriences are in several customer projects:
"Email marketing can be very effective, but beware: plan your communication strategy with you clients carefully, don't spam!"
I liked a lot Ed Thompson speaking, the VP Distinguished Analyst from Gartner Group. First he reminded us one cliché from several people:
"A downturn (or a crisis) is a terrible thing to waste."
According their researches business leaders will cut operating costs (68 %) but they will keep investing on information technology (48 %), sales (47 %) and marketing (33 %) because:
"Deeper sales and marketing strategies sort winners from loosers."
I totally agree with him and I see the shift in our business daily. And I'm not probably the first one to brake this transition because our business and company is growing. During the couple of years we are more and more a strategic partner to our key customers. I encourage every company to use different sources to take more and more data drive decisions.

But, to be honest and realistic, for many companies it's a long long way from looking at website visitors (95 %) to business intelligence solutions (<5 %) in their own analytics maturity model. When you add social media, rich content and applications and mobile web usage, how hard it can be to understand the customer experience as a whole?

I saw Discover OnPremises (former Visual Sciences) measuring different point of sales, SiteCatalyst integrating with Twitter and doing video tracking, Survey collecting the Voice of Customer and much more. To wrap us this post, I think Omniture is defenitely awake and and one of the leading companies in the field. How about you, tell me your experiences and thoughts. Or you can check out these two videos to get little feeling just before the event.