WebTrends Aims For Relationship Marketing

    March 13, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

The WebTrends Marketing Lab continues the genesis of analytics in shifting the focus from broadly-aimed campaigns based on general website usage to a more discrete relationship based on the specifics of individual visits to a site.

Many Webmasters know where visitors end their visitors. They can use software to follow a user’s path through a site and see all the point hit from start to finish. What they have not been able to see were how those visits may relate to one another.

I took in a demonstration given by WebTrends for their Marketing Lab product. It’s as vastly different from the earliest incarnations of their product that I have used as Yahoo’s revamped portal is from its days as a two-person driven directory of websites.

The company wants to succeed with the “what if” scenarios. C-level executives have always been good at asking the “what if” question, which generally leads Webmasters into using tools like Crystal Reports to try and figure out the answer to that question.

For WebTrends, it isn’t about looking backwards anymore, but looking forwards. And what everyone is looking at is the individual visitor. Web analytics deals with crunching a lot of data, and shifting the focus to the individual imposed a heavy challenge on WebTrends and its creation of the Marketing Lab.

They had to develop a “marketing warehouse” to store this higher-level data. The structure they created allows for bringing in user registration information as well as campaign data from AdWords, Overture, adCenter, and other marketing efforts.

And they had to make it work quickly. WebTrends noted after the demo that the hardest challenge to develop the new analytics and the data warehouse was re-defining the balance between the tremendous scale of web data and the responsiveness that users need to get the answers they need faster.

In the demo, WebTrends showed how their approach can help a business do more targeted types of marketing based on user activity. The scenario considered a travel agency website, where users moved through the site on various paths.

What the product can do is permit the business to drill-down from the multitudes of user information for all visits to those that follow particular paths. The example displayed how the ersatz travel agency could see how users interested in Hawaii and cruises there abandoned their searches upon hitting the airfare page.

The agency could then send those registered users a promotional email with sweeter airfare offers than those publicized on the website; that type of communication represent a sample of relationship marketing. This could extend someday to RSS, as WebTrends indicated there was some interest in RSS feed marketing from some of the company’s advanced clients.

WebTrends also claimed its solution gives its application users a better opportunity to improve their marketing spend. With the common metrics framework that is part of the Marketing Lab, the business can look at all of its campaigns to see which ones generate demand and which ones need a tweak.

The company will have its new software available on March 20th, with more details available at that time from their website.

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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.