Saturday, February 28, 2009

Thoughts about Online Videos and Web Analytics Wednesday in Helsinki

This week we had the very first Web Analytics Wednesday in 2009 at Sokos Hotel Presidentti in Helsinki. Topic of the event was quite challenging, but obviously interesting: Online videos. We collected 139 sign ups and we broke the national record of WAW attendees by having 92 people on site! Check out the slideshow from the event below.

I'm writing down here my thoughts about online videos and Web Analytics Wednesday after the event. You can find these individual parts in this article:

How online videos are being used?
Why to use online videos or online video advertising?
How to measure online videos?
Feedback and actions from Web Analytics Wednesday

How online videos are being used?

Consumption of online videos is growing fast. You can find TNS Gallup's short press release of their online video research from here (pdf, in Finnish). But what kind of videos are available? There are entertaining videos and of course, editorial videos from media companies. Broadcasting corporates are offering more and more online streams and downloadable videos to extend their delivery channels to Internet and mobile devices. Some radio stations (e.g. Radio Rock) and newspapers (e.g. Uusi Suomi) in Finland are offering video content to support audio, text and static pictures.
"Other than media companies are not getting at the moment how to use online videos to support their business."
Especially newspapers and magazines could use more online videos instead of static text and pictures. I guess they wouldn't get too heavy extra cost with current technology, when they have reporter already on site?
"Content is more important than the quality of the video."
First videos in the Internet were user generated content, videos taken by mobile phones, when airbus crashed to Hudson river in New York. You can see a huge peak in search by "Hudson river" keyword.

Check out this animation video of the crash. It's third in video search results, with over half of million views and pretty good advertising also for SceneSystems.

Why to use online videos or online video advertising?

Every company should atleast consider online videos. I think that in many cases it would be a lot cheaper than writing an article with photos to produce medium quality video to represent company and its products, services and people.
"You simply have to test in order to decide whether online videos are usefull for you or not."
That brings measuring and analytics back in picture. Are online videos saving costs by decreasing work of support team or are they boosting your sales by providing new prospect leads or direct online sales?
"You have to measure online videos and online video advertising!"
In my opinion, if we are talking about online video advertising, you should measure that too. Not too many of Finnish media companies are offering online video advertising at the moment. We had Sorosh Tavakoli, CEO and founder of Videoplaza, speaking at WAW. His presentation was about how to make online videos profitable from media company point of view. According to Sorosh online video advertising is used mainly for getting attention and final conversion rates from the ad haven't been measured yet. By the way, I'm finishing my TV commercial observation study and results of that will be published here soon.

How to measure online videos?

I believe that online videos increase visitor engagement. Whether you want to use online videos and online video advertising for getting attention or some intention, you also have to define key performance indicators. You can read this very good article by Judah Phillips at Web Analytics Demystified to find out KPI suggestions and links to web analytics tools. Seppo Roponen from TNS Gallup reresented their StreamMetrix software which is integrated to TNS Metrix web analytics system. He was very fair and honest by saying that they have plenty to do with development. But he also offered a free trial for media companies.

Feedback and actions from Web Analytics Wednesday

The feedback we have already received is quite positive. We will have a board meeting soon so we can evaluate the whole event and developing ideas. We are planning the next WAW and web analytics training + WAA membership bundle based on attendees' feedback. All WAW presentations will be availabe through our website for member companies. Contact me or visit WAA Finland website if you want more information about membership. You can also join our groups at Facebook or Linkedin. Feel free to comment online video topic or WAW we had.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Next Web Analytics Wednesday in Helsinki - Online Videos

Last summer I wrote about videos increasing visitor engagement. And now, the next web analytics wednesday in Helsinki will be all about online videos. If you're around, check out the details of this free event and enroll now! I'm sure that it will be very professional, nice and relaxed event with usefull information and networking possibilities - just be there! : )

We will represent the rest of the WAA Finland team. Some of you may know that I've been working as a chairman and country coordinator, but now the rest of the crew is announced as well (press release, pdf). The former country manager Kalle Heinonen (Omniture) is working for events and membership, Leevi Kokko (Fruugo) is responsible for standards, Vincent Kermorgant (Nokia) has an education chair, Esa Peltonen (Sanoma) is doing marketing and Henry C. Morales (Trainers' House) takes care of privacy issues.

This is the very first local non - US local organization and with these people, I think we should get a lot of action around web analytics in Finland. And we already have created a small buzz: IT viikko published an article, Vierityspalkki wrote about us and our press release was published in / So far, we have up to 70 attendees coming to web analytics wednesday - that's pretty well just in four days. I think we really have the right topic and momentum here! Maybe I can publish our newsletter conversion rates afterwards. ; )

If you want to join us, you can find some more information about WAA membership here. And if you want to network with (mainly) Finnish web analytics people, you can join WAA Finland Facebook group and the Linkedin Group. And as always, you can email me directly and ask anything you have in mind. So go for it - we are doing this thing for you!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Multi-channel measurement - a real life example

Couple weeks ago I had fun speaking about search engine marketing in two different events. A workshop hosted by Naviatech and a fully booked networking session (135 attendees) with Helsinki Chamber of Commerce. In our event I promised to write about multi-channel measurement so here it is. In this post you find these individual parts:

How to measure TV ad performance?
Measuring online sales based on TV ad
Options how to measure offline sales?
How to do retention after offline sales?

I got a pretty good view how SEM things are in Finland at the moment. Unfortunately many people think that search engine marketing equals as paid search. Optimizing natural search result is used as well, but still there is a long way to a holistic planning of search engine marketing strategies. You can download my presentation from here (pdf file in Finnish, 18 MB). Don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

How to measure TV ad performance?

I got a really good eye opener during the holidays when I was staying with my wonderful parents in Joensuu. My dad was finally considering a flat screen TV and of course, I encouraged him to spend some. He saw a very tempting Samsung offer in a TV ad.

There was a simple URL: guiding my dad directly to their website. There is no way how Gigantti can know how many visitors they got based on that TV ad. Instead, if they use a custom domain e.g. and redirecting this address to final destination with tags, they can measure how many of potential TV ad viewers actually reacted. This is the most accurate way of measuring offline campaigns in general. You can also use sub-domains like or sub directory like

Gigantti is using Omniture SiteCatalyst as we speak so there shouldn't be any problem with the web analytics system. Still, if you're using free Google Analytics, you can build your final URLs with this simple tool. So, if you want to know and learn how your TV ads are performing, consult your IT department how to redirect the URL addresses you want to use. It shouldn't be too complicated (301 redirect). One key performance indicator for your TV ad is:
Click through rate (CTR) = number of visits based on a TV ad divided by potential number of TV viewers (gross/net)
My dad got more information about the product from Gigantti's website. I told him to make a simple Google search with the product name and code just to make sure it's really the best price you can get and indeed, it was. Daddy had two options:
A) buy online and wait for the delivery couple days
B) go to store and get the TV immediately

Measuring online sales based on TV ad

With version A, measuring the actual sales based on TV ad is quite easy to do. Therefor Gigantti's other TV campaign KPIs could be:
Conversion rate = number of orders divided by visits based on the TV ad

Online sales = amount of euros achieved by the TV ad in online store

Return on ad spent (ROAS) = online sales achieved by the TV ad divided by costs of the media

Return on investment (ROI) = online sales achieved by the TV ad - all TV campaign costs divided by all TV campaign costs

Options how to measure offline sales?

With version B, it's little bit harder, but not impossible, to measure the sales effect. You could use:
  • printable discount coupons (with bar code) in website
  • mobile discount coupons/code from website by SMS
  • registration to a member/customer club + bonus card

Measuring offline sales base on TV ad

Based on these options, you can create and analyze more KPIs:

Conversion rate = number of pre-defined actions divided by visits based on the TV ad

Conversion rate = number of purchases in offline stores divided by visits based on the TV ad

Offline sales = amount of euros achieved by the TV ad in offline stores

Return on ad spent (ROAS) = offline sales achieved by the TV ad divided by costs of the media

Return on investment (ROI) = offline sales achieved by the TV ad minus all TV campaign costs divided by all TV campaign costs

Return on ad spent (ROAS) = total sales (online + offline) achieved by the TV ad divided by costs of the media

Return on investment (ROI) = total sales (online + offline) achieved by the TV ad minus all TV campaign costs divided by all TV campaign costs

My dad was eager to get the machine and didn't want to wait. So he checked the availability through Gigantti's website which claimed that there wasn't any of those TVs in a Joensuu store. Well, my dad can be stubborn sometimes (if you ask my wife it's inherited) and he went to that store to confirm that.

How to do retention after offline sales?

And then he came back with the TV and Gigantti's marketing department or sales people don't have a clue why or where this customer came from. And bonus tip: they don't know how to reach this customer again! They should try to collect feedback (voice of customer, VOC) or get newsletter subsciptions or member club registrations!

In this case the customer experience started from offline, went to online and back to offline. I think Gigantti should hire me as a consultant, what do you think? : ) Feel free to send me any feedback or questions you may have.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Web Analytics Association Finland - an official press release

Last October I wrote about my selection as a chairman of WAA Finland. Today, other members of the board are officially announced as well. Now, when the crew is ready and there's expectations towards us, we need to get some actions around. I promise that we will have the next Web Analytics Wednesday arranged in Helsinki pretty soon.

As a matter of fact: it's all about actions - our team, members and web analytics itself. Could say that the ultimate goal is to create a data driven culture in a company. Feel free to email me if you have any questions about WAA Finland, especially regarding to membership - and if you have suggestions about topics you want to hear in upcoming events. : )


Local WAA organization in Finland


Web analytics can help companies to measure and optimize marketing and overall business performance. Especially during the downturn, it is absolutely important to measure, analyze and optimize any marketing activities, outcomes and return on investment. With web analytics intelligence companies can learn how customers react and behave cross-channels.

Web Analytics is the measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of Internet data for the purposes of understanding and optimizing Web usage. The Web Analytics Association leads and supports the members by educating, developing standards and best practices, conducting research and advocating for issues that advance the industry. The WAA Finland branch is the first non - US local organization branch in the world to form its own collection of dedicated board members.

WAA Finland continues the tradition of organizing its main events, Web Analytics Wednesdays, for informing current issues and networking all the players in the field including practitioners, consultants and vendors. Chairman and country coordinator of WAA Finland is Petri Mertanen, CEO of Naviatech Solutions. Other members ofthe board are Kalle Heinonen (Omniture) responsible for events and membership, Leevi Kokko (Fruugo) responsible for standards, Vincent Kermorgant (Nokia) responsible for education, Esa Peltonen (Sanoma) responsible for marketing and Henry C. Morales (Trainers' House Analytics) responsible for privacy and advocacy.
"I can proudly say that I brought WAA run and vendor sponsored Web Analytics Wednesdays to Finland. The WAA Finland has risen in prominence to one of the most active countries in the Nordics. I hope that Petri will continue this legacy and take the web analytics message forward in Finland and rest of the world", says former country manager Kalle Heinonen.
"We have excellent examples and cases how to benefit web analytics, but still there are lots of companies which don't know how to collect and use data from different sources and take the best out of web analytics tools. Our first goal is to raise overall awareness, get more members and activity with analytics people", thinks Mertanen.
"Web Analytics is getting more and more important role in companies by being a central system of marketing optimization. So the "old" web analytics is pretty much dead. Companies have had a strong will to take advantage analytics in website and marketing development, but the fact is that in most companies analytics has been just reporting and watching figures, not really using the data for developing services or controlling marketing costs.

For example, what benefits would broker get from company's financial system if he or she couldn't act based on good or bad data. This is why many companies bring their consulting services to market for web analytics process and optimization. Vendors are bringing optimization systems to market so that software can automate actions based on company's key performance indicators which are defined together with consulting companies", continues Heinonen.