In January of this year I made five predictions about Web Analytics and Behavioral Targeting for year 2007. Since the year is coming to an end, I feel it is time to do a recap of these predictions and see where I stand with these predictions. Let’s take a look at one prediction at a time.
- Prediction: Web Analytics- A Great Career Field– There will be a lot more jobs in this field in 2007. A great year for those who are planning to enter this field or looking to move into better jobs in this field. Most marketing jobs will have web analytics as a requirement. Currently there are 1024 open job on Indeed.com but I expect this number to rise as there will lot more openings than qualified candidates.
Follow-up – This was an easy one, I was hiring at that time (and currently too) and based on my discussion with various folks in the industry it was clear that more and more companies were starting to use Web Analytics and it was becoming difficult to find web analyst. When I made this prediction on January 3rd there were 1024 open “web analytics” positions listed on indeed.om, a job aggregating site. Since making this prediction I did a monthly follow-up on open jobs from Jan – Aug, you can find the last (Aug) follow-up at http://webanalysis.blogspot.com/2007/08/web-analytics-jobs-trend-aug-2007.html
On Nov 20th there were 2045 open positions listed on indeed.com, 99.7% increase since I made this prediction in January. Open positions have been up every month and Oct was the highest month ever with 2085 open positions on Oct 1st. So with this I can say that my prediction number one has come true.
If you are trying to get into web analytics field I recommend reading interviews I did with various web analysts in the field (Yes I am still doing these interviews, if you want to participate please email me at batraonline at gmail.com)
- Prediction: Lot more new writers – There will a lot more bloggers and writers in this field. Can somebody count how many blogs on Web Analytics are currently? This will help me set the baseline.
Follow-up – I don’t know how many total blogs on web analytics were there last year but know for sure that a lot of new blogs on web analytics have started since I made that prediction (If I can locate all the blogs then I will publish a list in near future). Three new books on Web Analytics were published this year. Web Analytics Books by Avinash Kaushik (Web Analytics: An Hour a Day ) and Jason Burby and Shane Atchison (Actionable Web Analytics: Using Data to Make Smart Business Decisions) were planned before I made my prediction so can’t take credit for those. Justin Cutroni also wrote a book on Google Analytics, a great resource and a must read for all those who are using Google Analytics.
- Prediction: Web Analytics won’t be standing alone – Marketers will want 360 view of the customers. Integration of various data sources and tools will be expected from web analytics and other supporting tool vendors. Omniture started the trend with Omniture Genesis and this will continue we will see more acquisitions and partnerships similar to Omnitures.
Follow-up – WebTrends had similar integrations, the latest one is with SilverPop, an email provider. Another example is WebTrends Marketing Lab integration with Microsoft Dynamics CRM to provide online marketers a consolidated, real-time view into both online visitor activity and offline customer information..
Omniture’s acquisition of Offermetica and TouchClarity and integration with Salesforce is yet another step in this direction.
I expect to see this trend continuing in the next year.
(Also see my recap of this and following predictions.)
- Prediction: Web Analytics will be about taking actions – More and more marketers would like to take actions and not just report the findings. It just won’t be about what happened, it will be about taking action to drive sales, user satisfaction, lead generation etc. Incentives and bonuses will be tied to the online KPIs. Optimization and Behavioral Targeting will become a common term used by marketers.
Follow-up: Megan Burns of Forrester Research echoed the same thing in her Report: Web Analytics Market Pumped for Growth. She said “Many Web analytics companies started collecting data about Web site visits and providing reporting tools to analyze that data,” “Now they’re moving to the next level of value, which is enabling people to act on that data and becoming a platform for managing interactive marketing activities.” (Also see the follow-up I did earlier this year).
Acquisition of Offermetica (Optimization) and TouchClarity (Behavioral Targeting) by Omniture are strong testament of my above prediction. Marketers are demanding a seamless way to not only learn from data but also to take actions to improve site performance. Some web analytics experts are now calling this Web Analytics 2.0. Here is what Josh James CEO of Omniture had to say when they acquired Offermetica
“The acquisition is a key part of Omniture’s strategy to deliver the most comprehensive solution for optimizing online business. Offermatica leverages Omniture’s recent acquisition of Touch Clarity as the two are highly complementary and together address the spectrum from A/B testing and multivariate testing to behavioral targeting. Offermatica enables companies to define and test the structure and elements of their sites, and Omniture TouchClarity™ enables companies to deliver the optimal content to any individual at any time….This combination, with Omniture’s analytics as the underlying foundation, provides the industry’s first and only integrated site optimization suite.”..A year ago it became very clear to us that our customers wanted to leverage their data through a range of testing and optimization tools. Once we acquired the leading behavioral targeting technology, our customers continued to validate our thinking that in addition to behavioral targeting, A/B testing and multivariate testing were distinct and critical components of their long-term online strategy. Combining these capabilities into a single, integrated offering, built on patented behavioral targeting and testing technology, answers the market need for a complete optimization solution,”
- Prediction: Behavioral Targeting – Only few main behavioral network players will be left and some of the existing ones with poor networks will either go out of business or be sold. See my previous article on why size of network matter. Behavioral Targeting won’t exist in isolation. Web Analytics tool will have to support behavioral targeting and visa versa. Also, on-site behavioral targeting will become very common.
Follow-up: Several acquisitions happened in Behavioral Targeting since I made the above prediction. Recent acquisition of Tacoda by AOL and BlueLithium by yahoo proved me right. I think Revenue Science is next in line and will be sold in next few months.
Also acquisition of Touch Clarity by Omniture proves that web analytics tools have to support behavioral targeting and visa versa. It also proves my point that on-site behavioral targeting is becoming very common. (http://webanalysis.blogspot.com/2007/09/convergence-of-web-analytics-and.html see my post titled Convergence of Web Analytics and Behavioral Targeting.
Yes, I am 5/5 on my 2007 predictions.
What do I see next? I will be making my prediction soon, but this is what I see coming next
- A tighter integration will happen between ad serving and Web Analytics. Maybe Omniture will buy an ad serving company.
- Oracle gets into Web Analytics. Yes I think this is going to happen soon.(more on this later)
- Google Analytics becomes a strong competitor in enterprise Web Analytics space.