My conference journey started out on Thursday, when I hooked up with a couple of Belgian clients at the eDay in Rotterdam, before heading back to Brussels together with Eric, after his brief radio interview, where I was lucky enough to play around with his iPhone. To be quite honest, I’m not really an early adopter but if you touch it, believe me, you want one and leaving your credit card at home doesn’t really seem to work 😉
The car ride back home went fast – as we both like to drive fast – and discussed on the way recent evolutions of the Web Analytics industry, including Megan Burns’ latest Forrester wave that had been officially released a couple of days before.
To be quite honest, the night was short and the next day promised to be quite long as I picked up both Dave and Eric to head to the Federation of Enterprises in Brussels in order to have breakfast around 8 am.
When setting up the Web Analytics Day in Brussels, our intention was mainly to get practitioners from major Belgian companies – and picked up a couple of international attendees in the process – in order to allow them to get a full review of what Web Analytics is actually about, looking beyond the pure acquisition of a web analytics tool. As Eric’s Web Analytics is Easy presentation also emphasized, using his RAMP analogy, the first letter stands for Ressources which include both technology as well as people. The other acronyms respectively stand for Analysis, Multivariate testing & Processes.
I’m happy to say that the people I talked to indeed felt that their vision of Web Analytics had expanded following the different presentations they had attended, with a twist a vendor presentations and support from our sponsors as they were also there to answer questions the attendees might have.
The day was really building up towards more in depth knowledge and certainly reflections about what Web Analytics actually is and where it’s heading, with the last 2 presentations – Dave Rhee’s about Influence Analytics for Social Networks and Eric Peterson’s about Web 2.0 and his vision of Web Analytics 3.0.
Stephan Loerke’s presentation was therefore the gentle introduction to the accountability theme, more heartwarming to marketeers and the inevitable glue between web analytics and marketer’s increased ad spend in the online channel as repetadly reported by the IAB for many consecutive years now. Let’s say that today, online investment can’t be brushed off as minor anymore, for the pleasure – and possibly misunderstanding – of many traditional marketeers. It was therefore a great pleasure to have the World Federation of Advertisers express their interest in the topic.
My own presentation was meant to hit the audience on the head about what Web Analytics is all about, recapitulating birskly all that would be talked about during the day. I must admit I was really nervous and tired so I won’t linger on my own preformance.
Neil Morgan’s Omniture did a great job at presenting Omniture‘s vision and strategy, while comenting on the recent acquisition of Offermatica and, a bit less recent but highly actual, integration of Touch Clarity, thus covering both aspects of A/B testing and behavioral targeting. During the entire day, our platinum sponsor was also very helpful with great people such Jean-Claude Muratore, Patrick Chancelier and Anne Delhumeau, answering questions and discussing with attendees about their solution. For the French Omniture team, this week was a marathon as they were also present in Paris during the week for a very succefull 3 day event. They remain professional and so friendly that I can only hope their week-end was salutary and they found some time to relax.
The morning introductory presentations ended with Eric’s Web Analytics is Easy presentation, thus rapping up for those that could only attend the morning sessions, assuring attendees they got a full perspective of what Web Analytics is all about.
After a brisk lunch and some very interesting discussions with practitioners, we all headed for Eric’s KPI presentation in order to support practitioners in their reflections to go beyond canned reports. This blog, and I’m sure a lot of other professional web analytics support sites, have always seen that KPIs remain a very hot topic. The Big Book of KPIs remains a very actual and useful tool if you are also struggling to get ideas for your own online business.
the Gold Sponsor presentations. Tracie Caroopen’s WebTrends did a great job at presentation WebTrends’ recent release (August) of Marketing Lab 2 with useful features such as Visitor Intelligence and Score. We’ve been playing around with the solution for over a month now as Guillaume installed it on our own servers and ML² is indeed a good step in the right direction as Score is a very powerful module.
Gatineau has already been commented upon on different blogs, following Ian’s presentation. I just wanted to add that integration of more qualitative data and their campaign related Gant type chart is, in my eyes, a great answer for real issues such as measuring and attribution of results to campaigns as up until now, the only choice vendors proposed was attributing the campaign to the first or last visit, either through Google Analytics’ no overide setting or WebTrends’ specific reports. I’m really looking forward, and I’m sure the team joins me in this, in setting up this solution for a couple of clients.
Dave humbly introduces the last part of the day with his Influence Analytics for Social Networks presentation that he already blogged about.
And for those that are really passionate, Eric’s last presentation was an eye opener about what we could expect in the near future in Web Analytics, trying not to get depressed when thinking about the issues that lie ahead. On the other hand, as we say in French “un homme averti en vaut 2” so we are all very well placed to start building for the future, making sure measurements beyond our basic desk-or laptops will be well though of in order to pick-up the needed measurements to support smart decision making today and in the future about your online strategy.
The Internet remains the most measurable medium. With this unique Web Analytics Day, we wanted to once again prove that point and help attendees set-up a roadmap of reflections about their measurement strategy.
Special thank you to sponsors, journalists/bloggers & attendees, including those coming from abroad. I hope you had a safe journey back home. CU next year!