March Madness at LCG/ObservePoint

Congratulations to the Duke Blue Devils on their amazing season and the 2015 NCAA Men's Basketball Championship

On the court, Coach K's squad proved that they are the number one team in the land. Getting into the big dance is no easy feat. Each of the schools in the 64 team field put in countless hours in the gym, in the film room, and on the road. The results of their hard work, dedication, blood, sweat and tears were showcased over the past two weeks.

While we know that the school’s basketball teams can play ball, we wondered if their websites were also ready for prime time. Basketball is front and center every March, but university websites are working and public facing each and every day. We wondered, “Who would be the last schools standing if their website's marketing technologies were put head to head?”

In order to quantify Return on Marketing Investment (RoMT), ObservePoint and Lima Consulting Group (LCG) used ObservePoint’s Audit Score along with several other key metrics such as percent of pages tagged, number of duplicate tags, average load times, and java script errors. We audited both the official university and athletics websites of each of the 64 teams in this year’s tournament. What follows are some insights from those audits and the results of our own LCG/ObservePoint Bracket.

Let's start by looking at tags.

Who's using tags and how many?

1-Number of Tags by School


We see that among the 64 schools in the tournament, the average website had 23 tags. Leading the pack were the Wofford Terriers with 53 tags. Oklahoma State pulls up the rear with only 7.

So what are the tags being used for?

While almost all of the schools in the tournament are using Analytics, Social Media, and Advertising Tags on their websites, only 84% of the schools are using a tag management system (TMS).  Even fewer are using other types of marketing technology. The chart below breaks down the percentage of schools using tags by category.

2-schools with Tags by type copy


Which tags are being used the most?

The tree map below gives an indication of which tags these universities are using and how thoroughly they are being implemented. The top number in the tree map box represents the number of schools using the particular tag; the bottom percentage represents the average percent of pages containing the tag. We can see that Google Analytics is deployed by all 64 schools in the tournament and on average is deployed on 54% of website pages.

3-Tag-Presence Tree Map

Can small schools compete?

The top notch resources and facilities of the nation’s largest schools make it challenging for smaller programs to compete at the elite level on the hardwood. We wanted to know if schools with more students or bigger endowments outperformed their smaller, less endowed counterparts in the online space.

5-Endowment vs Enrollment

As we can see in this chart, there is no clear correlation between resources and Observe Point audit scores. Both large schools and small schools seem to be on an even playing field. There is much room for improvement for all.


How do university (.edu) sites compare to their athletic counterparts? Is there a difference between public and private schools?

6-OP- Public vs. Private




















We found that athletic sites received higher audit scores than their (.edu) counterparts. We also see that the sites of private universities outperformed the sites of public universities.



And now, what we have all been waiting for.....

 The LCG/Observe Point Bracket

We put the teams head to head using different metrics in each round.

For the second round we used the ObservePoint Audit Score of the university's (.edu) site.
The third round was decided using the ObservePoint Audit Score of the school's official athletics site.
The Sweet 16 and Elite 8 were determined using "percent pages tagged" on the (.edu) and athletics site respectively.

Here's how the regional brackets shaped up
















In the Midwest bracket, Northeastern had a scare in the first round but cruised through the competition to earn a spot in the final four.


Xavier came out on top in the West bracket, narrowly beating out Harvard in the Elite 8.




In the East, Wyoming smashed the competition with high audit scores in both sites and an incredible percent of pages tagged.


SMU faced a stiff challenge from UAB in the round of 32, but it was smooth sailing to the final four after that.

And your your winner of the 2015 LCG/ObservePoint Bracket Challenge is..........

Xavier University!

Xavier logo

Congratulations to Xavier University on your website's superior performance! While your men's team ended its season at the Sweet Sixteen, your online marketing and IT teams cut down the nets.

86-Audit score for www.xavier.edu
86 -Audit score for www.goxavier.com
98% pages tagged for www.xavier.edu
99% pages tagged for www.goxavier.com

For everyone else, there's always next season.



Lima Consulting Group Partner, Tealium Raises 30.7 Million


Tealium raises $30.7 million in venture capital

On Tuesday, February 17th it was announced that Lima's partner Tealium raised $30.7 million in Series D financing, lead by Georgian Partners and Bain Capital Ventures. We extend our congratulations on this exciting accomplishment!

The release states that "This round of funding will allow the

jeffcompany to continue to expand operations both domestically and internationally, and accelerate product innovation in delivering actionable, omnichannel data across the enterprise based on real-time customer intelligence."

Lima Consulting Group is a proud Tealium partner and is looking forward to participate at Tealium's 2015 Digital Velocity Conference in San Diego.

We had the chance to interview Jeff Lunsford, Chief Executive of Tealium last year. Visit the complete Q&A session here to learn more about his vision.

Visit the official and complete Press Release here.


So What’s Happening This Year? 2015 Digital Marketing Trends

Multi Ethnic People Holding The Word Trends

This blog posting is my favorite series to author; I’ve been posting a list of 10 digital marketing trends in ’11, ’12, ’13 and '14.  So what’s happening this year?

1. Mobile consumption of websites should overtake desktop volumes.

This isn’t exactly new, but is a trend everyone needs to be aware of: In the past year, websites have now only seen 30% of traffic, and mobile traffic will continue to overtake online traffic for most websites.

According to Cisco’s Mobile Data Traffic Forecast:

  • There will be 788 million mobile-only Internet users by 2015.

  • Global mobile data traffic will increase by a factor of 26 by 2015.

  • World mobile data grew by a factor of 2.6 in 2010 from 2009.

  • Average smartphone usage doubled: 79 MB per month, up from 35 MB per month in 2009.

  • Android operating system data use is rapidly catching up to the iPhone.

  • In 2010 almost a third of smartphone traffic was offloaded onto fixed networks via dual-mode or Femtocells.

  • Millions of people around the world have cell phones but no electricity, and by 2015 a majority in the Middle East and Southeast Asia will live "off-grid, on-net."

There is also a 92% CAGR, or compounded annual growth rate, for mobile usage. I have never seen a CAGR that high before. It represents a tremendous challenge and an incredibly lucrative opportunity for the companies that get it right.

read more


How Did We Do in 2014? Q&A Session With Paul Lima


We met with Paul Lima, Managing Partner at Lima Consulting Group to talk about the top Digital Marketing trends for 2015. We went over some of his previous predictions for 2013 and 2014 and we were amazed to find that most of them happened! We need to find out where he keeps the crystal ball!

We hope you enjoy this Q&A session as much as we did. We encourage you to comment and add any other trends you think will happen this year.

Q: Which of your predictions for 2014 made an impact on the digital marketing industry?

A: I predicted there would be consolidation and personalization in the industry, which happened. Bluekai got bought out by Oracle, Kauffman Hall bought Axium, and Bizo got bought out by Linkedin. 2014 was also the year of Tag Management Systems. They continued to go mainstream and we saw tremendous growth- 2,416% over 3 years.

Q: What would you consider the top 3 digital marketing themes of 2015?

A: Mobile, cloud, and cross channel attribution read more


New Year, New Trends For Marketing Technology


2015 is predicted to be a year of growth for marketing technology. Marketing technologists are expected to multiply, and although there is some predicted company consolidation, the overall technology landscape is expected to grow, and some familiar big companies will enter the tech space. Lines between marketing segments will become blurred as hybridization between marketing and other departments will gain traction.

Read the full analysis by Scott Brinker of chiefmartec.com:

read more


Black Friday sales decline, online sales skyrocket


The American phenomenon of Black Friday shopping has been losing its tread on consumers with this year’s sales down almost seven percent from 2013, according to trade group NRF. Although shoppers are spending less overall and are weary of venturing out to hectic stores, they are more willing to make their purchases online.

Adobe concluded that a new record was set for online shopping over the famous weekend with online Thanksgiving sales reaching $1.33 billion and Black Friday sales hitting $2.4 billion. However, because of more sales starting on Thanksgiving day this year, the margin of sales between the two days was declined from 2013. read more


Red Roof Inn Turns Weather Woes Into Major Sales

Case Study

The hotel chain woos stranded airline passengers with deals based on flight cancellations.

Much of the conversation among marketers today focuses on Big Data. More specifically, how marketers can pare it down to make it useful. Leveraging open data—or free information such as government stats or weather information—is one way marketers are using Big Data to inform their campaigns in real time.


In fact, marketers for hotel chain Red Roof Inn saw an opportunity to use this past winter's weather data to turn travelers' woes into valuable offers and increased sales.

“We wanted the data to show us how to compete [during the harsh winter travel months] when it was so competitive with other hotel companies, and [then determine] how this data could help us outsmart them,” says Marina MacDonald, CMO of Red Roof Inn.

read more

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