Digital Intelligence and ‘Right Time’ Analytics

October 23rd, 2012

Topics: Analytics, Digital Marketing, Featured, Innovations, Perspectives

Forrester’s Joe Stanhope just released an important new report titled Digital Intelligence Transforms Analytics Into Action that focuses on the profound impact the “Splinternet” (web’s splintering into a variety of different digital channels such as mobile, social, web, apps, email, etc.) has had on digital marketers.   It’s an especially compelling read for any self respecting digital marketer who is struggling to understand how to think about the world of analytics in light of the explosion that is taking place in the digital ecosystem.    Likewise, it really drives home the point that traditional web analytics are no longer a relevant means to support data driven digital marketing. The report implores marketers to move from the current practice of “web analytics” to a more comprehensive approach that recognizes the following realities:

  •  There’s been an EXPLOSION of digital channels.   Today, consumers may touch your brand not only on the web but via mobile, social, email, video and from a variety of other digital touchpoints
  •  Consumers own a variety of mobile devices that are always addressable and provide a wealth of key data about that individual.   Smartphone penetration is now creeping up to near 50% of all wireless consumers here in the USA. Alongside that we have mobile devices such as tablets that are swallowing up large shares of mobile web browsing traffic and have become a preferred medium for mobile commerce.
  •  Right Time Analytics shape Real Time ROI.   Gone are the days where aggregate analytics and insights derived from dashboards were adequate to deal with today’s consumer.    In today’s digital world, marketers must be able to keep pace with consumers and change behavior instantly.

Mr. Stanhope’s report embraces these realities and talks about how it’s vital that marketers move towards the notion of digital intelligence.    By this, he simply means that your analytics solutions must now be able to adapt to the digital world that’s emerging.   A world where a consumer will provide a wealth of data in a variety of different channels (web, mobile, social, email, video, etc) and where this data becomes vital towards a marketer’s ability to react in “real time”.

At Webtrends, we obviously share this same vision and that’s precisely what drove all the innovation around our ground breaking Analytics 10 platform.    At it’s heart, Analytics 10 is a powerful “digital intelligence engine”.  It recognizes that marketers must be able to gather analytics data from a host of different channels and sources.  Its architecture is designed to be open and infinitely scalable so that you don’t suddenly find yourself unable to measure everything that might matters.  And finally, it’s focused around helping develop a complex digital footprint for each consumer, which you can then use to inform your segmentation and site/app optimization efforts.

What’s also near and dear to our hearts is this notion of RIGHT TIME analytics.   Like Mr. Stanhope, we believe there’s far too much buzz around the notion of “real time”. In fact, so much so that it’s creating tons of confusion among digital marketers who instinctively understand that being able to shape consumer behavior in real time might be important, but are struggling to understand what this means within the context of their brand.

‘Right time’ might mean 3 seconds to one brand and 3 days or 3 weeks to another.   Think about it, how consumers behave and convert from one vertical market to another is quite different.   If I’m an ecommerce customer, then ‘real time’ could mean 3 seconds.  But, if I’m an auto customer then ‘real time’ might mean weeks if not months and a host of indicative activity during that time.

This same thinking shaped our latest innovation  -  something we have branded Webtrends Streams .  Think of it as UBER real time analytics that are available in a streaming fashion.   Banks, publishers, insurance providers and ecommerce titans are discovering that “right time analytics” is a powerful tool to drive higher conversion and ROI and they are busy embracing our latest innovation and putting it to work.    But, we see immense promise for Streams when it comes to dynamic ad serving technology or perhaps even interactive quoting tools.    Imagine not only recognizing a consumer that has exhibited a great deal of buying behavior when they are present on your site (or via mobile) but more importantly – being able to use all the data that you have gathered about them to influence buying behavior.   In our way of thinking, that’s REAL TIME ROI and it’s also the future of digital intelligence.