Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Elusive Web Measurement Strategy

Brent Dykes has a very good post on the Omniture blog on developing a Web Measurement Strategy. He notes that "In a recently released report by e-Consultancy, we continue to see that many companies still don’t have a measurement strategy in place. After surveying more than 800 digital marketers, e-Consultancy found “…that just one in five companies (22%) has an internal strategy that ‘ties data collection and analysis to business objectives’ and only 27% say their web analytics ‘definitely drive actionable insights.’”

That's alarming...but seems like a realistic assessment, unfortunately. Why bother with the exercise? Dykes sees "four main benefits to developing a web measurement strategy," which I quote below:
  1. Gain a clearer understanding of your company’s online business performance. Without well-defined KPIs, you’re not going to truly understand business performance and take appropriate action.
  2. Achieve greater buy-in and adoption by involving key executives and stakeholders in the business requirements gathering phase.
  3. Align your organization around shared measurement objectives that are tied to key business goals. Having everyone focused on what’s most important to the business is extremely valuable.
  4. Avoid costly missteps that may require re-implementation and delay “time-to-value”. Measure twice, cut once.
The difficulty seems to lie, however, in the challenge of including the right people in determining an appropriate strategy for conducting online sales. Says Dykes, "At a successful high tech company, I met with 15-20 product marketing managers to discuss their business requirements. After some debate about what they wanted to measure online, the product marketing managers told me to ask senior management what their web strategy was and “let us know when you find out what it is.” Ouch." He calls the process of inclusive strategy building "alignment" (point 3 above) and concludes that what you need to do is summarized in the following chart:

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