User data as the most important decision-making basis
The share of digital contact points essential for the success of one's own business model is increasingly growing. As a result, the online customer journey has now become an indispensable constituent of customer intelligence strategy. In addition to online advertising contacts taking place throughout the digital customer journey, the own website plays a key role here. Whether as part of classical e-commerce or lead generation, and also for content providers, the user is always at the centre. Digital analytics allow a better understanding of a user's behaviour and needs, thus making it possible to derive sound recommendations for action leading to an improved service, product or customer experience.
To successfully make decisions for all digital contact points, it is important to establish a culture of digital analytics within the enterprise. In close collaboration with all departments such as the product team, online marketing and those responsible for the website and app, the relevant requirements are worked out and an appropriate tracking strategy is implemented.
Success factors related to digital analytics (web analysis, online marketing controlling, digital customer insights)
For a comprehensive, customer-centric perspective, the customer's needs and behaviour must be analyzed across all channels, devices and platforms. An important part of customer-centric communications is thus the analysis of digital channels and associated derivation of specific recommendations for action. Three essential elements have crystallized here for digital analytics.
- Web analysis deals with the measurement of results at a website.
- Online marketing controlling measures the effect of digital acquisition measures.
- Digital customer insights are used to build a bridge between anonymous, cookie-based data and personal data.
Ideally, all three areas should work hand-in-hand to maximize synergies.
The goal of web analysis is continuous control of the success of websites. Web analysis here forms the basis for understanding the behaviour of users at a website and optimizing user experience, also in accordance with conversion objectives. User behaviour includes, for example, dwell time, visited page areas, as well as interaction with elements such as video views and the on-site search function. Conversion objectives depend on the business model, and can relate to sales in e-commerce, just as to gaining a lead in the b2b area, or interaction with an article of an online magazine.
Also assessed in the context of web analysis is which users have visited a web page (e.g. number of users and user quality), where they come from (acquisition channels) and whether user behaviour varies in dependence on the acquisition channel. For this purpose, it is useful to divide the web page into sections and destinations. This makes it possible to ascertain, for example, whether a user also performs a desired action on a page, such as a product purchase in e-commerce, or completion of a contact form, or reading of an article.
An analysis of the process of conclusion (conversion funnel) on the page can provide information about potentials for optimization. For example, it is possible to identify payment methods which encourage users to purchase, or form fields which lead to cancellations. Analysis on pages also includes continuous adaptation and improvement of the pages through tests and conversion optimization. Not only classic web analysis tools which collect user data based on page views and hits can be helpful here; also serving as a beneficial supplement are tools making it possible to record mouse cursor motion and click heat maps, as well as entire sessions of individual users.
Online marketing controlling
Online marketing controlling encompasses evaluation of all online marketing measures as well as their interaction, i.e. the entire digital customer journey. The aim here is the most efficient possible distribution of the marketing budget. Evaluation and optimization of the channel as such are usually performed by an agency or in-house team responsible for operational implementation. More difficult to assess is the interplay between the channels, especially if different parties work together. An all-encompassing perspective across all channels and the corresponding customer journeys are important to evaluate the entire marketing mix and allocate budgets correctly. Different attribution models in addition to the last-click attribution make it possible to optimize the entire marketing mix, save resources and increase budget efficiency. During last-click attribution, conversion is attributed only to the click on the last advertising medium. Other models also take into account contact points (advertising media, and even customer service contacts) in the entire journey up to purchase. The appropriate model depends not only on the channel, but also very strongly on the business model, product and, ultimately, the individual user.
Digital customer insights – from anonymous cookies to satisfied customers
During web analysis, anonymous user data are initially collected and grouped to user clusters, although online marketing in its entirety actually addresses individual customers. The digital and real worlds are merging increasingly. Whereas previously, a complete user journey was considered purely online, a visit to a web page or a view of an online product video today constitutes just a touch point in a far more complex customer journey covering, in equal measure, various digital and real contact points. Furthermore, a use of multiple devices complicates cookie-based assessment. To avoid this, cookie data can be linked to an anonymized user-related identifier in order to comprehensively depict a user journey across all digital contact points.
These data can be used to segment user groups so as to create significantly more relevant targeting options. If a customer informs themselves in detail about a product at a web shop, but does not purchase it online, they are assigned to a re-targeting cluster for website visitors. If the customer later purchases the product at a point of sale, the offline purchase can be assigned to the customer, for example, with the help of a loyalty card as identifier. Consequently, this particular customer can be excluded again from the re-targeting segment for website visitors, to spare the customer the nuisance of unnecessary promotional materials and simultaneously save marketing resources. This also allows placement of genuinely personalized content.
Knowledge lies in the project
It is important for full control of the evaluations and the knowledge thus acquired to be anchored within the enterprise, and not externally. Analyses must arise neutrally and independently of factors such as marketing budgets or preferences concerning website development. It is therefore always advisable to establish web tracking and marketing controlling neutrally and in parallel.
b.telligent covers the entire spectrum of digital analytics: Ranging from requirements analysis and break-up of data silos, through selection of the right web tracking tool and implementation of the solution, to conduction of web analyses and comprehensive consideration of all digital touch points forming part of customer journeys. As a result, data-based decisions in digital marketing and website optimization are established jointly with the customer.
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