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Bringing a 'business context' to analytics

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BtoB: How can marketers enhance their returns on Web analytics?

Jay Henderson: The most important thing that a marketer can do with their Web analytics data is start to use it to inform their actions, closing the gap between analysis and action. This starts with marketers interpreting reports and making changes to online campaigns and content. However, customer clicks on your website aren't just [for] including in reports but can also inform marketers about an individual customer's wants, needs, desires and interests. Using this information to better match customers to marketing messages and offers will produce amazing results. Smart marketers have already figured out how to evolve this into an automated process, feeding Web analytics data into inbound and outbound marketing campaigns.

BtoB: What are the most effective methods marketers can use to help demystify all the data they gather?

Henderson: You need to provide the business context around what it means when a user sees a particular page on the website. Web analytics on its own is relatively granular, telling you the page name and maybe the title; however, as soon as you can add the business context for what it means when someone requests that page, all of a sudden it shifts the focus away from that page and back to the business—and what the customer is telling you about [his or her] intent and interests. This translation is critical to enabling marketers to leverage the Web data in campaign decision-making. Knowing a customer requested a page doesn't help inform a marketer's decision; knowing that this page means the customer expressed interest in a particular product does. Marketers who've been able to provide this business context to Web data and then leverage these behavioral queues in their campaigns are seeing amazing results.

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