I recently gave a presentation to the Digital Analytics Association Symposium on the evolution of Machine Learning and how it will transform the work that digital analysts due in the near future. I’m extremely interested in how machine learning and predictive analytics can improve digital marketing performance through personalization while moving us closer to the original digital marketing vision of right message to the right person at the right time.
I recently posted this method of mobile marketing on The Hacker Group website here. We’re doing some very interesting work with our clients on connecting mobile with other campaigns for improving targeting and tracking. Here’s the text of the post.
Digital marketers are addicted to cookies. Not the delicious raisin-oatmeal variety, but the unique text files that reside in your internet browser on your computer that ID you as someone who visits ESPN.com and buys power tools regularly on Amazon.
On top of the cookie tragedy is the fact that mobile devices – especially smart phones – are used differently than the research > buy > retain flow we’ve come to know and expect on computers and websites. Mobile phones are used as research and navigate aids much more than research and buy aids. We shouldn’t EXPECT people to research a purchase and buy it on their smartphone so why should EXPECT our smelly old tracking systems to replicate on that platform. You’re right, we shouldn’t.
I’d much rather light a candle than curse the darkness, so here is what we CAN do to track the impact of mobile – especially in relationship to physical retail.
Change the mobile paradigm from tracking cookies to tracking location. Most smartphone users have location turned on at all times for weather apps, social media networks, check-ins, etc. In 2012 it was 73% and that was up significantly from 2011. It’s a thing, mobile ad networks know where your device is most of the time.
Now, if we take this bit of info and apply that to tracking, we can start to make some interesting connections such as:
– A control group of mobile devices did not see my ad, but a test group of mobile devices DID see my ad. How many of those that saw my ad showed up in my retail store vs the control?
– Ad networks see the mobile device go to a specific spot every night around 6pm and stay there until 7am. High likelihood that the device owner lives there. What does that address tell us about the device owner?
Creepy? A little. But, it is a way to understand the new ways mobile marketers are looking to change the tracking paradigm and understand how the delivery and receipt of mobile ads are stimulating response and encouraging specific behavior. It’s not perfect, but what tracking system is.
So, to measure the impact of mobile media, break the current ad tracking paradigm and think location, location, location. Feel free to comment to this blog with thoughts and tomatoes.
I’m constantly amazed at how much data is now available on everything and often feel overwhelmed. This is a sad statement as I consider myself a “data guy” and work with different analytics systems every day. One of the regular questions I get here at Optify on data is “doesn’t Google Analytics give me everything I need?”. The answer is “no” and here’s why…
Where are Google Analytics and Optify similar?
- Capturing top level metrics – Both Google Analytics and Optify capture and report data on how many visits you’re getting, what keywords are driving traffic, how the visitors came to your site, etc. These are critical for marketers to understand base level performance of their website.
- Strive for an easy to use interface – The design of Google Analytics and Optify both offer a colorful, easy on the eyes design. Again, this is in contrast to the much more difficult to decipher programs like Webtrends, Omniture and Coremetrics which create user interfaces that are dense and confusing to navigate unless you’ve had training and a desire to really get into the data. As Google Analytics adds more functionality however, their interface is getting more crowded so it will be interesting to see how it evolves.
- Making data available for developers via an API – Google Analytics provides multiple API’s to both put data into their system as well as pull different types of data out. Optify offers a specific marketing api to give you access to the individual visitor level visit data we collect that can be used for your CRM or other reporting systems.
Where are Google Analytics and Optify different?
- The goal of data capture and reporting – Optify is focused on capturing, enhancing and reporting data to help B2B marketers improve traffic, increase understanding of individual visitor interactions with your business and help sales teams convert and close more sales. Google Analytics is a broader all-in-one system to reflect the performance and activity of a website. This difference in goals drives the additional differences below.
- The basic approach for storing and accessing data – Optify collects and stores data at the individual visitor level. This is a significant difference from Google Analytics because it allows us to enhance the individual visitor data (see next item), deliver insights into the specific interest level of the individual and give the sales team more specific information to work with in order to convert and close sales. Google Analytics is focused on aggregating visitor level data into broader reports that give insight into how the website if functioning.
- Enhancing individual data– Optify enhances individual data in three major ways that Google Analytics does not and will not:
- Optify performs a “reverse IP lookup” for every visitor to your site which essentially allows us to see and report what company is visiting your site before someone fills out a form or tells you who they are.
- Once we have the company name, we lookup the domain name of the company and append basic information on the visitor and company including what city/state/country they are visiting from, what industry the company is in, how big the company is (# of employees and revenue) and whether public or private.
- When an individual fills out a form on your site and become “known”, we append that individuals data with the visit data to give you a complete picture of both the individual contact information they have given you with their interaction with your website and background on their company. This gives your sales team an enormous head start in their conversations with prospects.
- Visitor Reporting, Lead Scoring and Alerts– Due to the way that Optify collects and stores data, we are able to provide unique views of the data through reporting, email alerts and lead scoring. This gives the B2B marketer and sales reps additional tools for understanding the quality and behavior of recent visitors. Google Analytics does not provide this level of insight or reporting.
- Visitor Reporting – Optify provides a visitor intelligence interface to give you deeper insight into your visitors that Google Analytics does not provide.
- Lead Scoring – Optify creates lead scores for individual visitors based on the individual, company and website interaction data collected which helps focus the sales teams on the most sales ready visitors.
- Prospect Alerts – Based on the company, visitor or behavior data – Optify can send the sales or marketing team an email that an action has occurred or a person/company has visited the site. Again, a great tool for assisting the sales team.
- Deep Integration with Salesforce – Optify “pushes” captured company, visit and behavior data into Salesforce through a connection with your forms and a custom Optify-Salesforce application. This gives the sales and marketing teams a much richer set of visit source data, website activity and company information that significantly helps marketing with ROI reporting and sales to know and convert leads more effectively. Google Analytics does not provide this
Best Uses for Optify and Google Analytics
We recommend that you install both Google Analytics and Optify together because they fulfill two different, yet important use cases for website managers, marketers and sale teams.
- Google Analytics – best used for aggregated web data, deep website analytics, page level analysis, B2C conversion tracking and technical insights into visitors – things like which browser people are using, etc.
- Optify – a much better solution for B2B marketers who want deeper visitor insights and a series of reports, alerts and data views that help you understand marketing ROI all the way through the sales funnel and delivers a series of tools for the sales team to be more knowledgeable about the prospect.
I hope this outline helps distinguish Google Analytics and Optify in productive way. Please post any thoughts or comments below.