2014 has ended which turns our full focus on business and budget in 2015. We embraced the new year with fireworks at midnight on the 31st of December. We should embrace the business opportunities with a digital firework as well.
Here are my strategic thoughts on the Digital Analytics year 2015.
When IT met Marketing
Imagine Harry as IT and Sally as Marketing. We all hope it will get to the same happy ending as in the movie with the beautiful Meg Ryan and the funny Billy Crystal. These two departments have been living in a parallel world for the last few decades.
Now, they need to turn their heads and look into each other eyes, before they start looking into the same direction: business success based on digital performance. And they will. We all know the prediction, that the CMO will have a higher budget for IT sources than the CTO himself. This is already a reality with some of my clients no matter whether they’re in Europe or Asia; eCommerce or Finance; if Start Up or Blue Chip company. The same goes with the Analytics tool and the “user” – they can also be friends.
Many are in love with Google Analytics, as soon as they find out in what currency they are paying for this “free” tool. Data has to be protected. Your data has to be safe. Using it might be easy, understanding the price you pay isn’t something many users are aware of. Getting used to more complete solutions also leads to more complexity. Big analytics vendors will have to simplify their software. For the User.
In 2015 you will see a lot of development around the simplicity and user experience for the tool usage. Be afraid of the login no longer.
Observing an Unexpected Change of Strategy
Google Analytics is free. Google Analytics Premium is $150,000 USD (with a 50% commission for the agency selling it, if Google is not approaching the clients directly …).
I might be wrong with this assumption, but in 2015 we will see the free version of Google Analytics Premium coming. Maybe not as an official marketing action by Sergey & Larry but definitely as an incentive to use the Google version due to decreasing market share by Google.
I am not considering a drastic decline, but I am sure Google’s analytics tool will lose market share in 2015. The market is developing. Paid solutions can keep up the development pace while most free solutions don’t have the same big resources to drive development.
In 2015 the free solutions will lose market share due to the advanced knowledge of the Analyst performance/knowledge.
Is Big Brother watching you?
It has been discussed in all aspects now. It has been blogged about back and forth. And still it does not have the justified ranking in the Analysts mind set: Data Privacy.
2015 is hopefully another year of further education on this topic. And hopefully a year with more transparency on different data aspects, different country approaches to privacy and different priority settings for companies in need of a new solution.
If data is the new oil (and trust me I am sick and tired of this comparison) then the machine drilling the oil should be a machine you trust. This machine is your web analytics system.
In 2015 we will see more discussions around the understanding of data privacy and more trust in reliable tools.
Good Things are Never Really Gone
My blog post about the potential death of web analytics got a bit attention on LinkedIn due to the fact of the headline and content.
Creating a strong argument for pushing the knowledge and performance of Web Analytics forward and showing the new rise of Analytics in business. It has never really been dead, but many users saw it as a technical commodity and as a standard tool to count statistics, not to act on the analytical knowledge provided by the reports.
And yes, soon it will become a technical commodity, but still many companies should do their priority homework first:
- Get a qualified analytics solution before spending money on testing
- Enable employees to understand and analyse the data before spending budget on “cool” Social Media channels
- Act on data
2015 will be the year for trustful reports that show more than statistics or a handful of KPIs. It will be the year for analytics improvement.
Data knowledge doesn’t kill creativity, which has been predicted by some experts, but instead stresses the importance of creativity based on data … Coloured Data if you will.
Coloured data should get a synonym for creative campaigns through Analytics and should be known by everybody when turning data insights into an advertising strategy. It is not about the colours. It is about the data.
If data says, go black and white, you better not listen to the Creative Director. You better listen to the figures in your analytics dashboard. Coloured data describes the synergy of creating relevant and successful (colourful) campaigns with the knowledge of data-driven analysis.
Analysts are the new Creative Directors. Or at least they are needed data-consultants. No longer is gut feeling a trusted source. No longer is the creative director the holy grail of campaign performance. It is data. Again.
With data you can invent a whole new world of creativity. 2015 will be a colourful year due to coloured data.
Keeping a C-Level Eye on Data
Attention is an often used word or description for private life and is also as shown on the movie poster. If you do not pay attention in extreme situations it will have a very direct and painful impact on your next steps in life.
Maybe you even won’t get to next steps anymore if you go to the edge of extremes. In business life it is the same for the role of a CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) or CDO (Chief Digital Officer). This person has to have a very high attention rate, and a competent team around. Otherwise this C-Level member will miss out on many current or ad-hoc situations in the digital surrounding of the company.
This role needs a one-stop solution to make sure the data has the same source, the same validity and the same logic. You can not live with sampled data by Google Analytics, combined with testing data from your Testing-agency combined with the Customer Journey logic from your Customer Journey vendor.
This will mix data. This will cause chaos. One source for relevant decisions. The same source for the CMO or CDO.
2015 will be the year of the CMO focus. Being responsible for big business, marketing and IT budgets, this person also has to make a clever choice when selecting the right partner to enable company optimisation on a digital (or even offline-)level.
I’m very much looking forward to receiving your feedback and thoughts on your personal point of view on 2015 development around Digital Intelligence.