Thursday, April 17, 2008

Infopresse day on Web Analytics: post scriptum

We've come a long way!

About 4 or 5 years ago, while working for a web agency with worldwide offices and very well known clients, I was mandated to build up a "web analytics practice". The idea was simple: if we measure success of the web sites we build for our clients, we will be able to come up with facts & recommendations to do repeat business and sustain the relationship.

I was supported by the Sales VP and we became reseller of one of the top tools. I did a couple of implementations, did reporting & analysis. Built dashboard and presented to clients. It was a hard sell... Issues were clients who didn't see why they would pay to fix something that was supposed to be built right in the first place because as a web agency "we were the experts". There was also those who didn't see the value of spending thousands of dollars a year to measure success. Or the ones still contemplating monthly hits, page views and visits and being Ok with that. You get the idea...

Now is the time!

Yesterday there was 350 Montreal-based marketers from dozens of companies attending a full Infopresse day dedicated to web analytics. As my friend Jacques Warren said, 5 years ago he presented to a dozen of people...

I was glad to learn that same agency I worked for is now pushing to enhance their web analytics practice, as are all the agencies I know in Québec and dozens of companies. There are some challenges ahead, notably from the staffing and education perspective...

The day in point form

  • Jacques Warren: introduction. An very well done presentation. Good insights, good anecdotes, lots of tips.
  • Your humble: implementing a web analytics program. I wanted to do a presentation in two steps:
    • Context: challenges found in most organizations,
    • Food for thought in 8 points: WA Maturity, Trinity approach, Mutliplicity, Multidisciplinary Team, A Winning Approach, Defining Goals & KPIs, The Process and lastly, the Tools.
  • Agency VDL2 did a case study of Via Rail & Great panel about the two things we talk the most those days: weather & hockey (Go Habs! Go!) We rarely witness companies who are ready to "open the kimono" and show their metrics, their KPIs and their dashboards. I'm sure this was revealing for a lot of people in the room.

Avinash: hero of the day year

It’s always a pleasure to see Avinash Kaushik. His willingness to help on his blog, in person, trough personal emails, trough donations to The Smile Train and Médecins sans Frontière, his friendly and humanistic approach as revealed by the pictures of his kids in his presentation, by providing honest comments, by doing more than just a formal shake of hands, Avinash is unique. His personality not only makes him an amazing speaker, but someone trustworthy of our most honest respect and admiration.

To piggy back on a well know commercial: I first met him at last year at eMetrics SF: it was a revelation. I saw many of his appearance in videos and interviews: he was great. Yesterday: priceless.

So allow me to declare something here: if there is such a thing as “web analytics person of the year” Avinash definitely deserves it!

You might also want to check out the great review from Mitch Joel review: Every page is your home page.

See you at eMetrics San Francisco!