So what’s expected to happen in 2013?
Brazil has the FIFA Confederations Cup in preparation for the ’14 World Cup, the US has a fiscal cliff to climb and together with the EU an imbalance on revenues and expenses to address. The NFL has some skulls to crack to fix their concussions problems, those employed in the US will hire the unemployed in foreign lands (read more outsourcing), more foreigners will purchase US land, buildings, businesses and IP, and of course, VP Biden is the newly assigned czar on gun control.
IMHO, 2013 will follow Amara’s Law: “We tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run.”
So here they are: The top 10 digital marketing trends of 2013.
10. Gamification – “All Play and no Work makes Jack a rich boy!”
9. Cloud computing enables scalability to allow for new experiences in video games
8. Digital Content across devices enables personalization that follows users across platforms
7. TV is old. It’s still king of the screens, but it’s content that folks want anytime, anywhere on all four screens.
6. The Smartphone begins its attack on plastic in mobile payments.
5. Tag Management becomes a competitive imperative
4. Users prefer mobile devices when reading magazines and shopping
3. Social Media Mainstream and Niches continue to grow, especially in Emerging Markets except China
2. Big Data will lead to consumer insights and smarter experiences at the speed of light
1. The glory goes to the man in the arena and not their bankers and consultants.
10. Gamification – “All Play and no Work makes Jack a rich boy!”
So have you seen websites that try to encourage your behavior by offering you a little badge for doing something? Foursquare gives you a badge when you check into the same place three times for example. Dashlane offers badges when you save passwords in their password and credit card maintenance software, and Fitocracy makes working out with your friends a competitive game. Users can Level Up by improving their bench press and earning a badge, post it to facebook and let the world know about their development.
As Daniel Pink will tell you in his book, Drive, human nature is best motivated by a sense of purpose, autonomy and self-mastery. These types of immediate rewards for accomplishing small tasks might seem like it’s meant for grade school kids, but the data doesn’t lie. Gamification increases engagement, helps users spend more time on site, and
that drives ad revenue and subscriptions since folks tend to develop a sense of being invested based on the recognition and the bragging they’ve done on social networks.
We’ve come a long way from that LinkedIn profile bar that showed 90%complete.
Web analytics is the study of user behavior on a web page. The Web Analytics Association defines it thus: “Web analytics is the measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of internet data for purposes of understanding and optimizing web usage.”
Those who are unfamiliar with web analytics usually consider it a technical tool. But make no mistake – web analytics is, first and foremost, a business tool, which can and should be used by any organization with a digital presence. Good web analytics tools measure critical factors such as return on investment and site usability with speed and precision at a reasonable price. They allow users – even those without a technical background – to measure their digital marketing strategies in minute detail. Stakeholders can see results in real time, allowing them to make critical business decisions quickly, or look at “big picture” reports that clearly show whether or not their ebusiness communication strategy is going in the right direction.
What does web analytics give us?
Web analytics allows businesses to better identify user preferences, and understand how visitors interact with their website. Stakeholders can easily determine which site features and content are the most popular, and which are leak points. They can uncover visitor preferences according to geography, user actions, length of visit, or completion of certain tasks. This type of segmentation is an organization’s best ally, allowing marketers to customize their offerings based on actual user behavior, rather than simply throwing around hypotheses based in conventional wisdom about what works and what doesn’t.
What tools do you need to get started?
People: It’s impossible to overstate the importance of investing in talented analysts, who possess the education and experience necessary to transform raw data into valuable information. Avinash Kaushik isn’t exaggerating when he says that, for every $10 spent on analytics tools, $90 should be spent on the people who are going to use them.
Software: Business owners who don’t invest in web analytics tools are like store owners who close their eyes every time a customer walks through the door – they’re turning their backs on their best bet for growth and success. Web analytics tools help organizations improve not just their websites, but also their entire digital media strategies. Fortunately, there are a number of online traffic management tools for organizations to choose from –some free and others paid. Not all have the same functionalities or measure traffic in exactly the same manner, but all will provide valuable insights to any organization that wants to grow its online presence. The most prominent include: SiteCatalyst (formerly Omniture), Coremetrics, Google Analytics, Webtrends, and Yahoo Analytics.
Stay tuned for our next post on Web Analytics for Amateurs. We’ll be discussing KPIs, key metrics, and objective setting.
Interview with: Robert K Seolas, Co-founder and CEO, ObservePoint
We recently had an opportunity to interview Robert Seolas, Co-Founder of ObservePoint. ObservePoint is a partner of Lima Consulting Group and is the software that we use to conduct web audits for Omniture’s SiteCatalyst products, Coremetrics, Google Analytics, and other popular web analytics solutions.
Q: Why did you start ObservePoint?
RS: My partner in ObservePoint, John Pestana, was a Co-Founder of Omniture, one of the world’s foremost Web analytics platforms. Before retiring from Omniture, John knew the company received regular calls from customers who often complained that their analytics software wasn’t working. They always wanted to blame Omniture, but when there were hiccups, most of the time it was because there were problems with the tagging on their websites. read more
So you want to know the most frequent questions I get about web analytics and online marketing? I’ve tried to present them here and answer a few of them so maybe I can save you, my clients and future prospects some time so we can get onto executing profitable campaigns.
1) Free analytics are good for my business and are just as good as paid ones
First, let me say, I like Google Analytics and Yahoo’s Analytics solutions. But Google Analytics was built for Google. It serves their interest, not yours.
This might be the most common myth out there, and possibly one of the most dangerous. First and foremost, to directly dispel this rumor, the truth is that enterprise analytics solutions offer levels of detail and capabilities that free solutions such as Google Analytics don’t. Although free solutions can be hacked to a certain extent to extend their capabilities, at the end of the day they fall far short of the paid solutions in providing meaningful reports to a diversified group of stakeholders. If for example you had any interest in tracking the video drop off rates, or immediately integrating custom analytics events, records or values with a recommendations engines, you can’t.
Beyond capabilities alone, you also get a lot of important side benefits as well. First amongst them is accountability and support. With free solutions you’re not paying for anything, so you get a community of blogs and consultants, which we belong to actually. If you’re paying for a solution, and if for any reason it has a problem, we’ve got help from the analytics provider to get the job done.
With paid solutions you own your data and can integrate it seamlessly with PPC bid management platforms, multi-variate testing platforms, and a host of other add-ons and integrations like Salesforce, NetSuite, SugarCRM, email marketing solutions, ad-server networks and more.
The future of analytics is in an analytics suite approach, not in point solutions. Of course, if you want to own your own data from Google Analytics, they offer a license to purchase Urchin for approximately $3,400 (the company that Google acquired in 2004 that is today known as Google Analytics). The future of analytics isn’t more data, but instead the ability to act upon that data in an a fast, efficient, and measurable way. Free solutions will never offer the level of integrated optimization that paid solutions do, and due to the great competitive advantage that such features offer, a business should be wary of the risk that going “free” might entail. Bottom line: If your business relies on the internet, you should investigate using a paid analytics platform. I have seen cases where the answer is to stay on a free solution, but more often than not, it’s time to increase conversions and there’s too much at stake to penny pinch.
Google developed Google Analytics Premium around these pillars: more data, advanced tools, dedicated support and guarantees. Here’s a summary of what that covers:
- Extra processing power – increased data collection, more custom variables and downloadable, unsampled reports
- Advanced analysis – attribution modeling tools that allow you to test different models for assigning credit to conversions
- Service and support – experts to guide customized installation, and dedicated account management on call – all backed by 24/7 support
- Guarantees - service level agreements for data collection, processing and reporting
How much does Google Analytics Premium Cost?
About $150,000 according to sources close to the product. It is a fixed annual fee and at the launch of the product can only be purchased in the United States, Canada and the UK.
Will Google Analytics stop improving the free version?
I think that every enhancement to the free version will be more closely reviewed and categorized as something that goes into the free vs the paid version. So if I were the product manager at GA, I would really assess the ROI for various features and of course I would probably be prioritizing the technology roadmap on the product that’s getting the traction and resulting in revenues. It’s my belief that Google Analytics data is used in assessing the cost of that company’s Price Per Click. Those websites with the best conversion rates and lowest bounce rates are more likely to be rewarded with lower costs per click. In other words, the assessment about where to place the efforts for feature enhancements may not be purely based on the revenue opportunity from GA Premium so it won’t be an easy decision for the Product Development teams about where to put their energy.
Will Google Analytics Premium really provide competition to Coremetrics and Adobe?
For some clients that don’t need a platform, it may, but for clients that need an online marketing platform, it shouldn’t. Both the Coremetrics and Omniture platforms have a recommendations engine, integration with all of the pay per click platforms (not just the Google Adwords platform), integration with dozens (if not close to 100 now) email marketing vendors, CRM systems, landing page optimization platforms, ad-serving networks and many other solutions that sophisticated digital marketers need to acquire visitors, convert visitors and engage visitors.
There isn’t a lack of tools currently out on the market to measure the performance of your online properties. Some of these tools are “free,” such as Google and Yahoo Analytics and there are a variety of excellent nearly free tools such as ClickTale, CrazyEgg, Woopra, Flurry (for mobile apps), and 4Q (for surveys). Others, such as Adobe’s Omniture or Webtrends are priced based on volume.
A research study put out by the respected Aberdeen Group has examined the value of these paid solutions, and concluded that paid solutions such as Omniture are not only worth it, but may in fact be cheaper than the “free” tools when all factors are considered.
While there are tremendous benefits to using these tools, the trick is to get the right tool for the job and to put it in the hands of those who will take action once they gain insights.
Hidden Costs of Free Tools like Google Analytics
Starting from the beginning, it is important to first address why it is that “free” tools such as Google Analytics are not really free. read more
As the year comes to a close, and a new one begins, I reflect on the typical questions and trends I’ve seen and think about how best to advise our clients for 2011.
Top 10 Trends of 2011:
10. Facebook’s Online Marketing Platform
The adoption of Facebook’s advertising capabilities and ability to target specific segments by smaller and mid-sized firms. While Facebook has done little this year to improve the features in its advertising portal, the business community is beginning to adopt the platform en mass. If you haven’t heard of facebakers.com, you might want to review the international levels of adoption of Facebook as a global advertising player.
9. Privacy Showdown becomes a major news topic in 2011
Digital marketers had a lot of press coverage on their tactics in the last half of 2011. We’ll see public debates, but I don’t think that there will be any major changes this year in the law. However, I do believe that we’ll see some innovations coming in the way of online reputation managers allowing both sellers and regular folks to create digital reputation management badge that can be taken with them across all websites.
8. Smartphones for everyone.
No longer reserved for the traveling elite, smartphones have found their way into the hands of soccer moms, teenagers, tweeners, and even children. The 7-12 year olds at church were asking for the “itouch” on their holiday gift list. Digital cameras are going away, and devices that double as cam-corders and “The Jetsons” video telephones are coming to a hand near you. Droid, Blackberry and Apple will fight and Blackberry will become a distant third because they haven’t catered to the all-powerful Apps content the way Droid and Apple have. See #4 for more on this topic.
7. Software as a Service
Major software industries are being consolidated from the traditional client / server model. Companies such as NetSuite, Salesforce, Omniture, Rackspace, and others are finally making it possible to enjoy the benefits of the internet without having to be a propeller-headed, geek. This is our hope and Lima Consulting Group continues to position itself to help companies benefit from these trends by integrating these software solutions for our clients. We believe there are three “i’s” in technology Innovators (the manufacturers of software), Implementers (the installers) and Integrators (consulting companies that implement two or more of the innovators solutions). We’ll continue to see increased competition from new entrants who present themselves as “cloud computing”, “Software as a Service” consulting companies.
Open Source software will continue to gain widespread adoption. Drupal, Joomla, Mambo, Typo3, WordPress, and even xMod are solid tools depending on the job you’re asking them to do. But the real innovation here will come from systems integrators that offer these solutions as a service. Companies that allow you to setup and host these applications will do well. I like the business model from companies such as Volusion and Shopify in this respect where for about $50 a month you get an e-commerce platform that should meet most online stores needs.
6. Cloud Computing
Cloud computing is an amorphous term, but I’m defining it here as data centers migrating away from corporate or the home to the internet based data centers. Firms like Rackspace, Carbonite, Jungle Disk and my favorite, Box.net are really growing their user base. The ability to integrate these applications within other software packages, (for example you can integrate Box.net within NetSuite), is a real alternative to the costly implementations for tools like Sharepoint and Documentum. Keep an eye on the company that Computer Associates acquired, 3Tera, and software companies that virtualize data centers and applications. This software allows data centers to move their entire operation to the data center closest to the highest levels of traffic within seconds. As the world rotates each day, the data centers will also rotate to wherever the sun is shining. The data center that never sees night – interesting concept towards addressing disaster recovery and increasing internet speeds while seeking best pricing on energy. That’s enough to make the “green” contingency happy, the typical internet user and even the lawyers among us.
5. ieverything™ vs Robot This
iPad launches, iPhone 4.0 and iOS make it easy for entry level developers to develop over 300,000 which were downloaded over 7 billion times. The median revenue is less than $700 while the average cost to develop an app ranges between $15,000 to $50,000. The iPad took the world by storm introducing a new category of computing, or at least bringing a niche category of tablet computing to the forefront. Today, Barnes and Noble declared the Nook as their best selling product ever, it’s been out – what – two months? And the Kindle brings up the 3rd place spot filling a need for a less tech-savvy crowd. But the real shift in 2011 will be back to subscription models to pay for content such as the WSJ, NetFlix downloaded to your devices and of course ebooks, which outsold regular books in 2010 and lastly the worlds largest media company, yep – you guessed it – Apple. They sell more media than any other company. So the device and the content combination will engage in hand-to-hand combat with Google’s Andoid more flexible and open platform. Microsoft really should be the one giving Apple the competition here, they missed their chance. If Google gets this right, they will finally be out of trouble in having 96% of their revenue coming from their online advertising product, Adwords. Look for a bloody battle between these two in 2011, it’s going to get personal.
4. Here an App, there an App, Everywhere an App, App!
Salesforce started the first large-scale App store with their AppXchange. Then Apple with their App Store, then every company in the internet base Software as a Service model did. NetSuite has the BOS network, Omniture has the Genesis partners, Droid has andoid.com and the list goes on. The widespread adoption of the “crap apps” out there will be a major reason that the victor will emerge, and I predict that Apple will continue here for several years to lead. While Droid has flash, and an open network, I heard once that “average products well marketed will beat good products with average marketing.” And the iPhone is no average product, they have the first mover advantage for having created the category and they don’t appear to be letting off the accelerator in terms of innovating both their software and their hardware associated with the iPhone and iPad. I for one have been impressed with their advances the last three years and I am eager to see what they launch in the summer with their next generation iPhone and iPad.
3. Net Neutrality – Ain’t
Net Neutrality in 2010 allowed one standard for wireless providers and another for landlines making, in essence 2 playing fields. This was an unfortunate ruling that would allow certain wireless providers to block features that don’t need to be blocked for any other reason than it would cannibalize the cell phone companies revenue. Central to the issue is Skype’s video chat and voice chat using the 3G network on the major carriers. Verizon allows it, AT&T does not.
2. Personalized Online Experiences Based on What You’ve Done on the Internet
The improvement in web analytics to allow for personalization of ads and content based on prior site visits. Solutions such as Omniture’s Test and Target, Recommendations, Merchandising, Survey, and Search and Promote became more widely adopted and this notion of personalizing experiences on the web is the future of online experiences. The increased integration of your entire totality of information available to digital marketers will allow them to develop a more complete picture of an individual’s online behavior and interests than ever before. Armed with the profile information collected from social networking sites such as Facebook, linkedin, Twitter, youtube, and others they can present more relevant content and online experiences. The first to adopt these technologies will be media companies and ecommerce marketplaces. read more
- Adobe will buy Responsys
- 8 Ways Lima Consulting Group welcomes our new team members
- The Marketing Model Continuum
- 10 Digital Marketing Trends for 2013
- Exciting growth in e-commerce throughout Latin America
- May 2013
- February 2013
- December 2012
- November 2012
- October 2012
- September 2012
- August 2012
- July 2012
- June 2012
- May 2012
- April 2012
- March 2012
- February 2012
- January 2012
- December 2011
- November 2011
- October 2011
- September 2011
- July 2011
- June 2011
- May 2011
- April 2011
- March 2011
- February 2011
- January 2011
- October 2010
- September 2010
- August 2010
- June 2010
- May 2010
- April 2010
- March 2010
- Business Intelligence & Analytics
- Business to Business Marketing Funnel
- Business to Consumer
- Cloud Computing
- Content Management Systems
- Customer Relationship Management
- Digital Agency
- Enterprise Applications
- iPad apps
- iPhone Apps
- Latin America
- Latino and Hispanic Digital marketing
- Multilingual Sites SEO
- Online Marketing Strategy
- Pay Per Click
- Personalized URLs
- Search Engine Marketing
- Search Engine Marketing Research
- Search Engine Optimization
- SEO Best Practices
- Social Media
- Social Media Engagement Funnel
- Software as a Service
- The Product Cycle
- University Admissions
- University Alumni Affairs
- Web Analytics
- Website Development