Analytics vendor aims to give marketers deeper and more specific insight about customers, with new scoring, reporting, and integration technology.
Posted Jul 31, 2007
WebTrends, a provider of Web analytics and marketing intelligence solutions, announced today the release of Marketing Lab 2, the company's next-generation marketing analytics solution suite. Along with upgrades to its existing WebTrends Analytics and WebTrends Dynamic Search, WebTrends is introducing two new products within the suite: WebTrends Score and WebTrends Visitor Intelligence. The upgraded suite aims to help marketers obtain a 360-degree understanding of each individual customer.
WebTrends Score is a response to the increasing demand for even more targeted, relevant, and timely marketing campaigns, according to Matthew Langie, director of product marketing at WebTrends. Marketers can now track the actions of individual visitors--how many pages they clicked on, how many videos they watched, how long they spent on each page, what items they added to their shopping cart--and from that information, marketers can assess the customer's level of engagement with the Web site. Visitors are then assigned a numerical score that quantifies their activity--concrete data that allows marketers to take the next appropriate action, which could include sending a follow-up email or a postcard detailing the searched product or service.
Because Web sites are all unique, WebTrends has granted flexibility for marketers to determine their own thresholds for scoring. "Adding that flexibility there is exactly what people need for the next generation of Web analytics [and] cross-channel analysis," according to Bill Gassman, research director at Gartner.
The other new release, WebTrends Visitor Intelligence, is a multidimensional reporting tool, with automated technology that evaluates prospects and provides a very deep segmentation of the customer base, Langie says. Visitor Intelligence provides detailed information for targeted messaging--e.g., a list of customers from a particular region; or visitors to the corporate Web site within a particular period of time; or those who have been assigned a desirable WebTrends Score; etc.
Marketing Lab 2 (ML2) also includes three new features for its on-demand solution:
- a single user interface marketers can use to customize it according to their preferences;
- text auditing that allows the administrator to fix what's broken.
To tie all these functions together, WebTrends claims to have a very open system based on Web services, allowing for easy integration with any marketing tools such as CRM or email applications. With ML2, WebTrends will also integrate on- and offline data, behavioral information, and demographic information from CRM systems in order to enable marketers to have "a single version of the truth," Langie says.
In other words, customer histories will be stored in one database and real-time updates will be available throughout the enterprise. Gassman recognizes the value of WebTrends' integration efforts: "It's a bi-directional strategy," he says. WebTrends "understands that the Web channel isn't the center of the universe in all cases, so you need to exchange information back and forth"--with the other channels, and with the database.
That level of tracking and recording may seem to cross legal boundaries, but Gassman disagrees: "It's more of a 'creepy' issue," he says. "The challenge for most people using analytics is to take the information that tells you what to do--and to do it."
Many companies are so overwhelmed with the minutia that they fail to recognize that there are tools available to help them move forward with the business, Gassman says, adding that WebTrends users can find resources through the vendor. Langie notes that WebTrends provides professional services to help implement, troubleshoot, and educate its users.
Educating those users may be a major priority for WebTrends, which, despite its strong presence in the Web analytics market and its sophisticated technology, has acquired a negative perception among many of its users, Gassman says. The vendor's not to blame, he adds; WebTrends customers simply aren't utilizing the program to the extent of its capabilities, and tend to prematurely dismiss the solution as a result.
In light of the product releases, Gassman thinks WebTrends will be intriguing to customers and will diminish what had been Marketing Lab's primary obstacle--the lack of what Gassman calls an "intuitive interface."
"They're the only ones in the Web analytics market using scoring," Gassman says. With WebTrends Score, marketers will be able to advance beyond just knowing what people are doing on their Web sites--instead, they'll see precisely who those people are. "It helps people think of Web activity in terms of events, not just pages visited," Gassman says. "It really changes people's thinking in a way that [has] to change anyway."
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