Aug 23, 2011

Web analytics trends: more focused, less bouncing

A recently published study, reported on the KissMetrics Bl, is The 2011 Web Analytics Review. The source of the data is traffic trends from hundreds of thousands of websites across the globe, which have participated in Google’s ongoing study of web browsing behavior.

The study shows year over year differences of a three month time period: Nov. 1 2010 to Feb. 1 2011, versus the same time period a year before. The findings generally show:

* lower bounce rates (leaving from the first page) at 47% on average now
* shorter time on website, at 4:50 average now,
* and fewer pages viewed, down to 4.5 on average.

These figures make good benchmarks for judging engagement of one's own website, although realize that results will differ by country, category, and media mix.

Yet, the trends above hold true worldwide, and also in the USA. There are results for other countries in the report as well.

What might explain these trends, over such a large sample? It can well be the benefit of targeted advertising, combined with improvement of website navigation to be more goal oriented. With this combination, a website has more qualified leads, people with interest and intent, who come to visit. Those interested visits are quickly led to a goal page, or to the information they need.

There are also results broken out by source of website traffic. The most efficient source of all? Cost Per Click paid search, with the lowest bounce rate, the shortest time on websites, yet the highest page totals consumed. This is consistent with the interest of a search initiated customer.

Aug 20, 2011

Pharma professional print ads and FDA compliance

I must say I was astonished to read the assessment (in the online journal PLos One) that well over half of pharma print ads to professionals are non-compliants with FDA guidelines.

Working for an agency that makes such materials, I do know that there is a rigorous review committee process by pharmaceutical company specialists to approve ads before
placing the marketplace. Thus a process exists for adhering to these guidelines among agencies and pharma companies, with the FDA regulations squarely in mind.

The findings are somewhat subjective, but this may introduce a cautionary note into the already existing process. Especially in light of the FDA "Bad Ad" program that so far has resulted in two warning letters.

Aug 14, 2011

Trend: Big Data, Competing on Analytics, and MBA programs

A recent WSJ article pointed out that a wider range of business schoools are adding analytics to the curriculum, core or as an elective.
Indeed MBA graduates need to be more familiar with analytics and its potential. In fact, I can see the increased awareness expanding now due to the popular press of articles like Davenport's Competing on Analytics (Harvard Bus Review Press) and the publication by McKinsey Global Institute on "Big Data" and derivative articles such as this Computer Weekly article for implications.

Note that, even with increased awareness of business executives, the trained specialists in statistics, data mining, and I.T. will always be ever more in high demand, and can have analytics as a career. The MBAs can be their "clients," internal or external, and together they will partner to achieve business impact

Aug 2, 2011

Analytics within a pitch: tying a bow

When a team gives a major presentation (often called a pitch), the analytics leader comes in at two places, typically:

* the beginning, to comment on market sizing or segmentation, and
* the end, to discuss how all that has been presented will "go to market" and be measured for success.

In the case of the mini-presentation at the end, I have received an allotment of anywhere from 2 minutes to 15 minutes to tie everything in a bow, and show confidently how we will execute and measure achievement of business goals.

But in this role one does not sit around and wait one's turn. Actually, I find I have to listen very actively, take copious notes of which of my colleagues has used which phrases and which examples. That way I can "back point" to my peers and show connectons and team chemistry. I am also continually reading the faces of the audience, to determine who is attentive and who is distracted. That helps me know where to direct eye contact at the end.

Thus, always be present in a critical meeting, even if you are bringing up the rear.