eMetrics Conference

For all the web analytics nutcases out there, you should look into the eMetrics conference. They have several of these per year in various locations across the country. Just be aware that each conference is a bit different since they are tailored more to the audience they expect to attend. I’ve heard that the conference near Washington D.C. has a governmental bent as well as the attendees.

Let me give a shout out to a few people before I provide a little info on the conference. Rachel Scotto of Sony, great to see you again! Matt Langie of Omniture, great job as usual! Aseem Chandra of Omniture, great to meet you. Omniture’s future looks bright with people of your caliber on board. Jim Sterne of eMetrics, great event. Thanks.

So, on to what I picked up at the conference.

I’ve been to 3 Omniture Summit’s, but this was my first industry conference on web analytics. The main difference between this conference and the Summit is that the Omniture’s conference is a product/user community conference. eMetrics is and industry conference where several vendor products are discussed and used by the attendees. Discussions are focused more on general practice of web analytics rather than how to use specific products.

A couple of session highlights.

  • Expedia.com by Joe Megibow. Let me start with Joe is an incredible presenter. He knows his stuff and conveys it effectively and with a flair for humor. Joe presented a ton of information, but the main point I took away was how consistently leveraging analytics to fix and correct every problem however small it seems continues to build conversion and customer satisfaction. Keep at it. A later presentation by eVOC compared Voice of Customer between Expedia, Travelocity, Priceline, and Orbitz. While Travelocity, Priceline and Orbitz are suffering during this bad economy, Expedia is doing well.
  • SiteTuners.com – Tim Ash did a couple of great presentations on landing page conversion. He specifically mentioned how graphic designers are drawn to use images of peoples faces, but that actually can hurt conversion. The human face is a very powerful image. By using it, visitors have a tougher time engaging with the rest of the page and conversions can go down. This mainly applies to landing pages.

eMetrics was a great networking event. Each night in the lobby, we gathered, enjoyed complimentary chocolates and music. If you are into web analytics or care anything about website performance, I highly recommend the eMetrics conference.

Omniture Summit 2009 Day 1

It’s Monday February 16, 2009. After several hours on 2 different planes and a short drive to the hotel, I’m settled in. I went out for dinner and scouted the area for other places after the team arrives tomorrow. My wife will arrive Thursday evening after the conference wraps up. We’ll be staying over and doing some skiing over the weekend.

This is our company’s third time to attend the Omniture Summit. In 2007, Brent Spicer, our Internet Marketing Director, and I attended the conference to evaluate Omniture’s web analytics solution, SiteCatalyst. It was part of our research before making our pitch to the executives. Signing up with Omniture was a significant jump for our company. Moving from a virtually free Google Analytics package to Omniture’s offerings presented a sizeable investment. Our attack plan was 3 pronged.

(1) Do all the research possible…think outside the box. Many times software evaluation consists of online research, demos, industry reports, and perhaps a call to a current customer. We took a slightly different route by attending the 2007 Summit. By attending, we were able to talk with 15+ Omniture customers. This gave us a really solid look at the real life pros and cons of the product.  This strategy payed off big for us.

(2) Develop a strategy that would deliver the greatest possible ROI. This meant that some products would get neglected in the effort to cost justify the additional investment in technology. This also meant that we would invest heavily in training. The training at Omniture University ensured that our technology implementation and marketing usage would be as good as possible. We would have no excuses for failure.

(3) Build the case for 1 full time dedicated analytics team member. To get the greatest ROI, we would need at least 1 person focused full time on leveraging analytics.

After 1 year on the Omniture Sitecatalyst product, we saw 579% ROI for the implemenation, software and staffing. A little short of the 800% I wanted, but a success nonetheless.

2009 finds us back in Salt Lake eager to explore new ways we can leverage the tools to reach people online with our message. Because of the work our team has done, we’ve been fortunate to be invited to the MindMeld, an invitation only session. The MindMeld’s purpose is to bring together a limited number of Omniture users to discuss future business needs. It’s exciting to be part of such an effort, and I’m eager to see what new things are dreamed up tomorrow.

Omniture Interview

Our internet business team has been using Omniture Analytics since July 2007. Over the last year, we’ve been able to generate almost 600% ROI on their SiteCatalyst tool. In June 2008, we began experimenting with their Test and Target tool and we accomplished our 60 day goal of 400% ROI.

Recently, I had the opportunity to share some or successes with John Broady, Executive Director at OTTO Digital (the Omniture Test&Target consulting division) in an interview. John posted that interview on his blog this week.

If all goes well, I’ll be able to share some of this information at the Omniture Summit in February 2009.

About John Broady
As executive director at OTTO Digital – the Omniture Test&Target consulting division – John Broady brings site optimization solutions to the Web’s top retailers, marketers and publishers. John specializes in A/B testing, ongoing optimization and content personalization, He advocates an approach of “radical simplicity” to match user experience with user intention.

About Omniture
Omniture is a leading provider of online business optimization software. Omniture’s software, delivered to customers through hosted, on-demand services, offers an easier and more flexible way to manage online, multi-channel and off-line business initiatives without costly investments in IT infrastructure.