[Manoj]: What are the key business issues your customers face today (related to web analytics)?
[Jim Bennette]: Well, obviously we are in a difficult economy, and that has had a huge impact on small to medium businesses. More than ever before, companies in the SMB and SME category need to cut costs and drive efficiencies in all areas of their business. This can be especially true for their online initiatives, which are usually a significant expense, but also a key driver of sales. In fact, many of these companies are strictly online businesses, so it is critical that they leverage this important resource to its full extent. Many businesses automatically assume they need to increase marketing spend to drive traffic, but they can actually do much more at existing spend levels if they increase certain efficiencies. Its shocking to me how many online businesses lack clear visibility into what is really happening with their websites and online marketing on a day to day basis.
[Manoj]: Do you believe most companies have a clear understanding as to what can be achieved through web analytics?
[Jim Bennette]: Not really. I think most have a general understanding of what basic web analytics tools such as Google Analytics can do, but there is really so much more that can be done. I also think that many SMB/SME companies are a bit intimidated by some of the large enterprise solutions such as Coremetrics and Omniture, and rightfully so. While these are powerful solutions, they are specifically designed (and priced) for the enterprise market. As I mentioned before, lack of visibility is a big problem for many companies, but analytics can make a big difference. Some web analytics solutions are so complex that it can be very difficult to extract information that is simple and actionable.
[Manoj]:What are the latest advancements in web analytics technologies that we should know about?
[Jim Bennette]: I think one of the more interesting developments is in the sophistication of identifying and tracking of anonymous visitors and their behavior. There has been a lot of front-page news and some controversy around this subject recently. Some see this as a privacy issue, but that’s referring more to tracking tools gaining access to sites without the publisher’s knowledge, and to tracking tools that attempt to collect personal information. Our solution does not capture any personal information, and our customers certainly know they are using it. We simply identify the name of the company that is visiting, and through our integration with Jigsaw (Salesforce.com’s business contact directory) our customers can gather specific contact information to pursue as a new sales lead.
[Manoj]: In general, what trends are you seeing in the web analytics space?
[Jim Bennette]: For the most part, web analytics solutions can be very powerful and generate a lot of really great information. As web analytics solutions become more and more sophisticated, they also generate a lot more data and information. A big and growing problem that we are seeing today is that the sheer volume of information can be a bit too much to process, especially for a small business. That presents a big problem for these companies; they have a whole bunch of great data, but now what do they do with it? Sometimes you can get bogged down by the data and lose sight of the big picture, namely – how is my website and other online initiatives really performing? New prospects ask us this question every single day, which is why our main area of focus and innovation has and always will be in finding ways to make things simple for our customers.
[Manoj]: Where does VisiStat fit in the web analytics ecosystem, and what is your vision for the company moving forward?
[Jim Bennette]: Our solution is really designed specifically for the small to medium businesses and small to medium enterprises. In fact we have over 34,000 SMB/SME users of our solution to date, and that number grows every day. We believe we have a very comprehensive solution that offers a one-stop shop for our target audience, combining a powerful analytics package with lead identification tools as well as online campaign tracking tools. Our mission is to empower and amaze our customers with mission-critical information from their website, and deliver it in a clean, simple format that is easy to understand so they can take immediate action to drive sales and improve marketing ROI. We think that is a pretty powerful value proposition, especially in today’s economic environment.