Traditional web statistics provide tremendous quantities of information about our B2B and B2C relationships. Every click and the duration of every transaction can be tabulated to provide a clear picture of interest and give insight into the effectiveness of promotions and design. It is the nontraditional channels, however, that take web analytics to the next level.
Consider the free Starbucks iPhone app. For the consumer, it is a handy Starbucks locator, a rewards program, and a cardless way to pay for a latte. For the merchant, it is so much more, a literal treasure trove of personalized information. Starbucks knows that a given customer purchases a bold grande and a slice of marble loaf every morning around 8am, and usually springs for a pumpkin latte three evenings a week. Starbucks probably also knows that this customer is male, aged 35-45, so the obvious demographic metrics fall into placeData mining from social networking sites like Facebook can also yield phenomenal results. To continue with Starbucks as an example, consumers can sign up to win free coffee or even free flights on Southwest on the Starbucks Facebook page. Analytics algorithms acquaint themselves with the registered customer base by examining a customer’s profile: extrapolating age from high school graduation dates, taking note of jobs, and creating a range of likely salaries – all before mining the data from the friends list.
Apps, social networking, blogs, interest groups and other nontraditional channels are a vehicle for substantial data collection and candid statistical analysis, but it is the split second, quantifiable interpretation of the data that lays the foundation for an effective campaign and viral consumer networking that makes a business a better investment than gold.
It isn’t just data anymore. It isn’t just information. It is intelligence.
Equipped with an innovative web analytics department, CMOs can know precisely who their customers are and what drives sales. With comprehensive web analytics, we learn exponentially more about products and market behavior than with websites and surveys. As the traditional and nontraditional channels inevitably merge, highly effective customized, targeted, and personal marketing for both businesses and consumers will result.
In our next post, we’ll look at the necessary skill sets CMOs need in their burgeoning web analytics departments.
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