Recently, I was perusing technology news when I came across a curious press release entitled, “Adobe Adds Cross-Visit Analytics to Digital Marketing Suite for Deeper Insight Into the Visitor Experience”.
Now, being a CEO of a company competing in this space, someone who is deeply passionate about solving the challenges faced by contemporary digital marketers and someone who has (for better or worse) been in the industry longer than almost anyone today (with the possible exception of Mr. Peterson, who was a web site developer at Webtrends prior to my joining), I thought that this was going to be some very interesting reading.
Had our venerable competitor cracked a pesky problem that has befuddled our industry since the dawn of Netscape? Had they uncovered the holy grail of digital marketing—the ability to tie together a single person’s activities over time, place and behavior—that was so ruthlessly impeded when the internet came into being due to anonymity, technology limitations, multiple data collection methodologies and the fundamental inability to determine the “who” while honoring privacy concerns? Had they truly realized complete and clear personal attribution?
In a word: no. In three words: not even close.
Actually, I was mightily disappointed and even somewhat shocked by the contents of Adobe’s press release. Not only had they NOT found a new way to resolve an age-old problem, but they were making a splash about an approach that has been in place for more than a decade—the ability to connect one person’s behavior to the same website over multiple visits.
This is kid’s stuff, people! The engineers and innovators here at Webtrends have been delivering on that approach for more than a decade! To put that into perspective, if Al Gore’s presidential campaign had been using Webtrends and wanted to know if somebody knocked twice on their digital door, we could’ve given them the answer back in the year 2000!
What’s truly disappointing about Adobe’s announcement is not that they’re trumpeting a ten-year old capability as a new function, but that they’ve been selling it in the marketplace for that same period of time. It’s almost like Chevy announcing, “The new Corvette! Now with seatbelts!” I find Adobe’s announcement confusing at best, disingenuous at worst and misleading no matter how you slice it. After all, if this is in fact a new feature, then what have their customers been receiving for the millions of dollars directed toward their solutions these past ten years?
The sad fact is that not only is the approach announced by Adobe seriously old news, but the market’s needs have moved significantly beyond this simple, out of the box feature. Today, Webtrends delivers on the ability to tie together a single person’s activities over multiple visits to a web site, a mobile site, a mobile application and a Facebook application. AND we take it a step further to tie together that individual’s activity over multiple sets of those locations—over time, place and behavior.
Our immediate product roadmap includes the ability to drive real time analysis in each of these areas as well as the ability to leverage the behavioral knowledge derived from these successive visits over time and target content and information specific to that visitor’s scored affinity. As we stand today Webtrends is already delivering on real-time relevance and personalization in web and mobile channels and are actively driving it into our social roadmap.
We call it Webtrends Real Time Relevance. The core pillars of which are real time, customer-centric, across channel and open to allow you to leverage this information in any CRM, CMS, On-site Search, eCommerce, or Collaboration solutions.
Given Adobe’s announcement of a ten-year old feature, it appears that they’re certainly not focused on reacting to the contemporary digital marketer’s real-time needs, or doing it in a relevant way. Put down your StarTAC phones people, turn off Ally McBeal and join us in the 21st century!