Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Selecting a Sensible Web Analytical Platform For Your Organization

There’s countless blogs, articles, and studies out there that preach about how web analytics is the greatest thing since sliced bread and how it can tie together virtually any marketing effort for an organization and measure their effectiveness side-by-side and against each other. All the features, reports, visuals, metrics, and alerts are great…but only if your organization can dedicate the time, talent, and funds to properly implement and support the platforms.

There’s been more than one instance where we’ve seen a large organization invest in a big and flashy analytical platform like Omniture and WebTrends, and not dedicate the necessary resources to properly implement, support, maintain, or even use it properly. It almost seems like some organizations view these platforms as set-and-forget endeavors, when in reality they are no different than the machinery that is used to make their products or the buildings in which those products are sold. Just because it isn’t tangible does not mean it won’t need ongoing support.

One of the driving reasons these platforms and strategies are improperly executed is because of a lack of budget. Most of the larger analytical platforms use a pay-per-pageview approach to their billing, which for well-traveled websites can add up quickly. After figuring in servers and databases, the total cost for the year can easily stretch into the tens of millions, if not hundreds of millions of dollars a year. This usually swallows up the majority of an analytics budget and doesn’t leave much more room for bringing on talent for proper implementation and usage. So this brings us to the driving point of this blog: Choosing a web analytical platform that your organization can actually afford to support (via either internal talent or external agencies) is a critical step that should not be overlooked.

For some of the aforementioned organizations, selecting a cheaper (or even free) platform like Yahoo! Web Analytics or Google Analytics would have yielded much better insights. We even saw this with one client, as they had both WebTrends and Google Analytics, and the latter platform offered exponentially deeper and more insightful reports.

So whether you are the individual or an agency pitching to the higher-ups of an organization why they should go with analytics, make sure you ask the right questions: What do we really need, and what can we actually afford to support moving forward?

Keep your eye on DaBrian Marketing Group’s website for a more in-depth article on this. Also be sure to follow DaBrian Marketing Group’s new Google+ Page!

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