Integrated View of Visitors = Multiple Data Sources

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I attended the Foresee Results user summit last month, and John Lovett of Web Analytics Demystified was the keynote speaker. It’s a credit to my general lack of organization that I wasn’t aware he was going to be speaking, much less keynoting!

John showed this diagram when discussing the importance of recognizing your capabilities:

The diagram starts to get at the never-ending quest to obtain a “360 degree customer view.” A persistent misperception among marketers when it comes to web analytics is that behavioral data alone can provide a comprehensive view of the customer. It really can’t — force your customers to behave in convoluted ways and then only focus on behavioral data, and you can draw some crazily erroneous conclusions (“Our customers appear to visit our web site and then call us multiple times to resolve a single issue. They must like to have a lot of interactions with us!”).

Combining multiple data sources — behavioral and attitudinal — is important. As it happened, Larry Freed, the Foresee Results CEO, had a diagram that came at the same idea:

This diagram was titled “Analytics Maturity.” It’s true — slapping Google Analytics on your web site (behavioral data) is cheap and easy. It takes more effort to actually capture voice-of-the-customer (attitudinal) data; even if it’s with a “free” tool like iPerceptions 4Q, there is still more effort required to ensure that the data being captured is valid and to analyze any of the powerful open-ended feedback that such surveys provide. Integrating behavioral and attitudinal data from two sources is tricky enough, not to mention integrating that data with your e-mail, CRM, marketing automation, and ERP systems and third-party data sources that provide demographic data!

It’s a fun and challenging world we live in as analysts, isn’t it?

(On the completely off-topic front: I did snag 45 minutes one afternoon to walk around the University of Michigan campus a bit, as the conference was hosted at the Ross School of Business; a handful of pictures from that moseying is posted over on Flickr.)

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