It’s no surprise that the Digital Analytics track at Digital BrainFest 2013 raised many challenging issues and big opportunities that mark the fast-changing space.
Many of the challenges discussed related to multi-platform and cross-channel tracking. Here are four of the biggest trends and most talked-about ideas from this year’s Digital Analytics sessions.
4 Big Analytics Ideas from Digital BrainFest 2013
1. Focus on People, Not Cookies.
Concerns about cookies, consumer privacy and “do not track” have become some the biggest issues for stakeholders across the industries.
Publishers, advertisers and technology providers all recognize the potential for major impacts on their businesses. One key idea that sometimes gets lost in the details is that advertisers are focused on tracking people, not cookies. That makes sense as people are the ones who consume the content, purchase the products and like, follow and friend brands.
Cookies are also falling short in a multi-platform world – they can measure silos of activity for individual devices or browsers, but face challenges in tying it all together. This fundamental fact is beginning to shape the debate about tracking as much as regulatory factors.
2. New Approaches to Multi-Platform Tracking.
As marketers seek a unified view of consumers, they are adopting new techniques to ensure that they can accurately track the lead that starts on a PC and converts on a tablet or phone.
Email addresses, log-in information, and device identifiers are effective means to unify cookies to create persistent profiles of people as they shift channels and switch devices.
There is also excitement about emerging technologies that use algorithms to enable more sophisticated cross-device measurement. The software isn’t quite ready for widespread use, but early adopters are experimenting. We recommend companies clarify their objectives and ensure strong linkage with business strategies as they consider deploying new tools.
3. Consistent Metrics for Video.
As tablets become the primary video screen for many users, the need for consistent metrics has never been clearer.
Advertisers who seek convergent ad buys across TV and digital face different pricing and business models and have difficulty understanding their holistic effectiveness. Hybrid measurement platforms that include panels, meters, and census digital tracking have, so far, proven most effective at gauging audience overlap.
Additionally, the gap between traditional TV industry metrics like gross rating points (GRPs) and digital video metrics like Unique Vistors (“Uniques”) and Impressions needs bridging. The end game for digital video is a unified view of reach and frequency, but it will take some time to get there.
4. The Funnel Is Dead.
What’s increasingly clear is that the traditional marketing funnel is dead.
In his keynote address, Drew Burns of Adobe pointed out that consumers simply don’t follow a linear process through content to conversion any more. Instead, consumers hop around from channel to channel and device to device.
The journey from awareness and interest to intent and action looks a bit like an airline route map these days, with consumers using any variety of jumping-off points to access the content, products and services they want.
The challenge for marketers is to make sure that all the “destinations” and “connecting flights” are coordinated and consistent with high-quality content and compelling offers.
Need help? Let’s talk.
Get more from digital marketing. Check out our solutions for Marketers.