Infinitive Difference Blog

Get in the know and keep current with big-picture thinking and actionable insights.

5 Page Tagging Best Practices

We believe that effective Web analytics requires both the right big-picture strategy and a focus on the important details. The strategic part starts with making sure your online operations and analytics programs are aligned to core business objectives.

The details are more about specific implementation steps for your analytics software and page tagging. In fact, page tagging may be the most important and powerful detail in ensuring your Web analytics approach pays off with tangible value. The following five best practices reflect our successful experience and proven approach to managing the common risks and issues associated with page tagging. [Read more...]

Listening & Understanding with Social Intelligence Tools

When I was a kid, my parents always encouraged me to be a good listener. They wanted me to listen to them, of course, but also to teachers, other adults, my siblings and playmates. Little did they know that one day listening would become a big part of the business I’m in.

Listening is a hot topic in Web analytics today primarily because companies in all types of industries are coming to terms with social media platforms. Facebook and Twitter give customers a place to talk, connect and share their feelings and ideas about anything and everything, including brands and businesses. Because they don’t control the conversation, many companies aren’t sure what these new channels mean to their business. (Here’s our fundamental perspective on the issue.) [Read more...]

Wall Street Journal on Privacy Concerns: Is It Really That Scary?

A WSJ series about data privacy is causing quite a stir in analytics circles. In general, the articles are accurate. For instance, flash cookies are very difficult to get rid of, and we advise our clients to steer clear of them.

But all the scary language is a bit too provocative for our taste. The series is entitled “What They Know,” as if some sinister entity is out there ominously collecting our data in order to commit mass identity theft. The articles make claims that “your secrets” are fast becoming common (and lucrative) knowledge for Web marketers. Again, it sounds ominous, but most sites track what you do, not who you are. There’s a big difference. [Read more...]

Back to School with Web Analytics Education

It’s back-to-school season all across the country, which got me thinking about just how important education is to analytics success. Because Web analytics is a fast-moving subject that evolves constantly, analytics practitioners must do a little homework to keep up with industry standards, best practices and technology advancements. [Read more...]

Getting to a Gold Standard for Web Analytics Measurement

The announcement that the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) is trying to drive toward a “gold standard for Web measurement” is good news in many ways. Theoretically, standards are a desirable goal, but implementing IAB’s standards won’t solve several fundamental challenges in Web analytics. [Read more...]

Soccer in America & Web Analytics Adoption at Your Company

Like a lot of people, I enjoyed watching the World Cup this summer. Everybody knows soccer is world’s most popular sport, but the game remains a second-tier sport in the U.S. Sure, millions of kids play youth soccer here and a few American players compete in the top European leagues—and certainly, the U.S. national team has improved enormously in the last 10-15 years. While we can’t claim to be a truly elite side (as they say), we’re almost always ranked in the top 20 globally. We advanced to the knockout round in the World Cup and could have – probably should have – gone further. [Read more...]

Churn Is the Enemy of Successful Web Analytics

One of the more serious challenges companies face as they seek to establish and mature their practice of analytics is “systems churn.” That is, companies regularly switch out web analytics tools and software, replacing old systems or adding new ones for new business units. For instance, a 2009 Forrester report found that the majority of organizations surveyed have had their analytics solutions in place for fewer than four years, and nearly half (46%) for fewer than three. We suspect that even higher percentages use several different tools.Given that analytics is a relatively new discipline, this may not sound like a big deal. In reality, it’s a formidable barrier to effective analytics. For one thing, it highlights that many companies haven’t embraced analytics as a standard part of the management toolkit. For another, constant “solution-hopping” suggests that analytics is all about the technology; if only you pick the right solution, you’ll gain magic insights across all your online properties and campaign and start making perfect decisions about how to boost traffic and engagement. [Read more...]

Apple as Walled Garden: the Risks of Exclusivity

In one of my past professional lives, I worked in IT for a mid-sized regional bank. For a number of years, we were an Apple shop. Nearly everyone used Macs, including some of our front-line staff in the branches and most of our back-office managers, lenders and administrators. We had all the desktop software and applications we needed.

In IT, we loved the simplicity, security and ease of use. Yes, the individual hardware units were on the pricey side, but we more than made up for it with much lower maintenance and user support costs and higher user satisfaction. Our staff loved using Macs. And many corporate customers noticed, too, which helped our brand in that we seemed a bit smarter and leading edge. [Read more...]

Adobe vs. Apple: What’s Really at Stake

We recently wrote a full Executive Brief on the state of video on the Web, but the intensifying of the Adobe vs. Apple war over online video formats bears further comment. Some believe Steve Jobs is willfully misrepresenting – okay, lying – about this being a “technology” debate.  Adobe has done some finger pointing, too.  And “lawyering up” looks inevitable. (Apple’s official position is here and Adobe’s here.)

This is a compelling horse race to be sure, but it’s a lot more than VHS vs. Betamax Part II, or Coke vs. Pepsi for online video. There’s no doubt that this is a major platform battle, as well as for video delivery standards and advertising on smartphones, mobile devices and tablets. [Read more...]