My wife and I have an Interactive Agency in Belgium (OX2) and her dream has always been to work with numbers and KPIs. Before creating OX2 Aurélie has worked in the Insurance and Banking sector in Internet related projects but she was always complaining that whenever she was requesting something to the Technical guys the most common answer was ‘it’s too difficult’ or ‘it’s not possible’. Sick of the technical burdens, when she discovered our team she was thrilled by the fact that ‘Impossible’ wasn’t in our vocabulary and she decided to work on the ‘agency’ side.
OX2 was created from the ashes of Oniros Illusions Studio a company devoted to Gaming and Internet developments that I joined in 2001. I was head of the Internet division and in 2003 after a bankruptcy (we had problems selling a game that was in development which made us run out of cash) I decided to buy what was left of the company to continue the Internet activities which were profitable and in line with my aspirations. This is how OX2 was born. The Internet team was hired again by the new company and all of our Internet clients remained with us. The main characteristics of the team back then were their technical capabilities. Since 1999 our team has been building Content Management Systems used by RTL Group, Bridgestone Europe and many other of our clients. Their technical skills are extraordinary and this is what pushed me to create OX2. What I’ve seen very often among my competitors is that they are very good in marketing and design but when it comes to build what they had in mind problems arise. With my team I’ve never experienced a project that they weren’t able to complete.
One year after we created OX2 we launched our Web Analytics services by partnering with WebTrends, which was for us the best tool in the Belgian market (I know that you’re going to say that there are other tools as good as WT but their support in Europe and specially Belgium wasn’t convincing us). When we took a look at the version 7 my reaction was ‘Wow! Finally a WA solution for business users’. Then we started our pilgrimage in order to push Web Analytics in Belgium. A few months after the ‘debut’ of our partnership with WebTrends we won a tender in order to implement WebTrends at Belgacom, the former state telecommunications monopoly company. From there clients started to knock at our door and since then we have helped a couple of dozen of clients (mostly multinationals as Bridgestone Europe, Toyota Europe or Stanley Europe and top Belgian companies as Atlas Copco, Barco or Isabel).
Last year we really created a Business Unit devoted to Web Analytics (we are the only Interactive Agency for the moment in the Belgian market having done so) and created a website www.webanalytics.be. We were also named Top Partner WebTrends 2004 South (don’t ask me why but Belgium was considered by NetIQ/WebTrends as part of south of Europe ;-)).
In June Aurélie and I got married (view the amount of work we had, our honeymoon was shared with our mobiles and laptops, but we enjoyed a very pleasant stay at Colletta 100km north from Genova in Italy).
In November we organized a Web Analytics Day at the Federation of Belgian Enterprises which attracted over 120 registrants (for a country as Belgium we consider this a great success as Web Analytics is not yet as mature as in other countries, and usually WA seminars attracted less than 20 people). During that day we presented WebTrends but also a more general view of how to launch a Web Analytics project among large organizations. The afternoon was devoted to Workshops around Web Analytics and SEO, Emailing Campaigns and Conversion.
Then Google sooner than expected launched Google Analytics (a few days after our Web Analytics Day) and this pushed the awareness of Web Analytics all of a sudden worldwide. We couldn’t remain without reaction so the first thing we did was to test extensively GA in order to better understand its capabilities. After having two of our WA specialists analyzing GA for 2 weeks, we decided to create a package in order to assist clients in their GA implementation. Even though GA doesn’t go as far as WT in many things (view our GA vs WT quick explanation) it is a perfect solution for companies that want to start the Web Analytics learning curve but that don’t have the budgets in order to buy a WT license. We called that package ‘GA Start‘ and it allows beginners to start the journey of Web Analytics the right way.
This year we have concentrated our efforts in integrating WebTrends with our CMS in order to ease the configuration of WT directly from the CMS. You can define translation files to avoid unmeaningful IDs in the reports, Content Groups and even conversion funnels.
Well, I’m getting a bit long in my explanations (must be my Spanish side ;-)), let’s get back to the question of why this blog now that you know a bit more about ourselves.
This Blog has been created to allow our team members to share with you and the rest of the world their ideas thoughts and views on Web Analytics. It will also allow me not to get awaken at 2 in the morning by my wife when she has had a new idea or thought about Web Analytics. From now on she will be able to write it here and I’ll enjoy the reading in the morning with my cup of coffee 😉
Our aim is to make the market going forward and adopt Web Analytics. The era of websites seen as purely cost centers is over. Now we need to define business objectives and measure in order to report the ROI on the one hand and optimize the online initiatives on the other to maximize the returns.
We are also conscious that the Web Analytics learning curve is long and this is why we try to feed our clients with our knowledge to help them reach self sufficiency.