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.