Taking analytics to the Net

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In moves that industry analysts say underscore the rush to add marketing analytics to Web traffic measurement, three companies— Inc., WebTrends Corp. and TechTrader—made key announcements in the Web traffic analysis space this month. confirmed plans to expand its marketing analysis service beyond the music industry and into b-to-b vertical industries. WebTrends added a marketing server and indicated it will announce in the first quarter of 2001 the integration of Web data with Siebel Systems Inc.’s tools for campaign management. And TechTrader released a marketing analysis component to its Scenario Market Transformation Technology (SMarTT) suite of products.

Until now, Web traffic analysis was confined to such measurements as the number of visitors to a site, what they did on the site and where they left. Though the Web promised one-to-one marketing, these applications do little more than aggregate the total audience, analysts said. Now, developers are producing applications that use traditional marketing analytics to create actionable marketing based on an individual user’s behavior, they said.

For example, a potential buyer who dropped off a site during a purchase because contract terms weren’t accessible could receive a telephone call from a call center, apologizing for the gaff, said Dan Vesset, senior analyst with the research firm IDC Inc. Yet integration of marketing analytics and Web site traffic analysis is at its earliest stages, and marketers ought to be skeptical of what software developers promise, he said.

One leader is, which has built a network to track actual sales on the Internet.

The company said it has tracked more than 17 million transactions to date, representing more than $3 billion in sales. Its database covers 60,000 products from more than 6,800 manufacturers and continually tracks purchases for clients.

OneChannel’s President-CEO Karl Hirsch said b-to-b marketers are demanding services aimed at their vertical markets. So far, OneChannel has delivered analytics for the music and software industries, but a new slate of reports will be tailored for b-to-b, Hirsch said.

"We’re going to embrace b-to-b," Hirsch said. "We’ve heard from manufacturers who tell us they’d like to watch for activities and receive active notification when threshold events in price management, inventory management and retail performance are reached," he said. The first b-to-b products will be out in the first quarter of 2001, Hirsch said.

All the right moves

WebTrends took a page from its own playbook to integrate with Siebel Systems. The software company, which used a $99 price to gain a big share of the Web traffic analysis market over the past five years, has been using Siebel’s sales force and campaign management applications internally.

WebTrends wanted a way to trigger sales calls and marketing materials based on sales calls, and adapted its reporting tools for use with Siebel applications, said Len Elias, product manager for e-business intelligence. Now, WebTrends is planning in early 2001 to release code to make it possible for other marketers to use its tools with Siebel, Elias said.

Also, the company has introduced the $100,000 eMarketing Server, which acts as a response mechanism for its Web traffic analysis software. The server analyzes user click streams and other behavioral information and sends out marketing information based on traffic, said Greg Luke, product line manager for the company’s data conduits unit.

TechTrader, which develops software to manage content, transactions and marketing for e-marketplaces, has been aggressive in adding marketing analytics. It has purchased the right to use MicroStrategy Inc.’s Business Intelligence Software in its platform, and delivered to market on Dec. 6 a business intelligence module to its SMarTT suite.

TechTrader CEO, Matt Suffoletto, said adding the business intelligence component to TechTrader’s $500,000 product suite was a critical move.

"There’s very high interest in business intelligence," Suffoletto said. "Anyone who has achieved any level of involvement in the Internet is trying to take the next step, and this is by far our most interest-demanded area."

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