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The new face of Web analytics

Finally, it's tempting to get wrapped up in left brain, analytically driven approaches to marketing, but it's crucial to maintain a balance between analysis, execution and content. Analytics must be connected to the practice of marketing, rather than an isolated effort. Content is the tip of the spear that customers relate to and engage with, and execution is the method of delivery that determines whether we get that content in front of customers' eyes, through both proactive outbound and on-demand inbound delivery.

At the end of the day, engaging with customers requires a creative and personal experience. It's easy to see if a campaign worked or did not work, but understanding the drivers of success or failure brings the greatest insight. That requires a very nuanced view of the information, as well as testing and an understanding of the customer and marketing channels to determine the success factors. What are the best channels for displaying a particular message? Do your customers consume marketing through specific channels? What is the customer contact strategy that effectively incorporates digital and emerging channels? Analytics should leverage digital data to answer those questions, providing a nuanced, business-centric understanding of marketing performance that drives the customer experience through relevant content and targeted marketing execution.

The evolution of Web analytics will not be a smooth road for all users. It will involve challenges with new channels, tools and organizational restructuring in a rapidly evolving environment. However, it also marks a time of opportunity and growth in knowledge as well as burgeoning relationships with engaged customers. Savvy companies will use this time to assess their own Web analytics programs and invest in new technologies and skills, experiment with methods, and ultimately balance their approach to analytics. Web analytics is changing. It's no longer just about measuring website activity but instead understanding the entire digital footprint of their customers.

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