Who’s That Knocking On Your Web?
Geller - April 25th, 2000
launched its eLuminate visitor analysis service by announcing that more
than thirty customers have already selected it. Coremetrics claims to
analyze the relationship between lead generation, customer acquisition
and retention activities to provide a unified view of the online customer.
provides lifetime analysis of the success of marketing campaigns. This
means that, for example, a website comparing two different marketing campaigns
could determine ROI for the "lifetime" of the customers, rather than simply
for the first burst of usage after each campaign. If one campaign brings
more buyers in the short run but the ones brought by another campaign
tend to be much more loyal and to come back continually, eLuminate will
sort that out.
a customer's site. This code sends information back to Coremetrics' server
farm as a page is loaded. Unlike approaches that rely on web logs, Coremetrics
captures data in real time and can capture views of pages that a user
returns to with the browser's Back button.
data are placed in a relational database and can be viewed by the customer
in a variety of forms that have been developed through best practice analysis
of Coremetrics' initial customers. Coremetrics believes that this ensures
that new customers will be able to use the information that is collected
almost immediately, without any need for development activities of their
eLuminate is another of the many slightly unique entrants into the area
of market intelligence. Like others it has an interesting technological
spin, which the interested target customer will be unable to evaluate.
Its focus on best practices reporting will be attractive, although competitors
can easily adopt it. It is hard to imagine that its data analyses will
not prove useful to customers; there is so much information hidden in
the data collected by a website that any vendor would have to be fairly
incompetent not to be able to provide useful results.
eLuminate may have an extra advantage, beyond feature-by-feature comparisons,
is that it is a purely hosted service. While the work of embedding their
trivial, it will be easier for many sites than buying a new server and
software license to dedicate to visitor analysis. We assume that Coremetrics
will make it very easy, both through technical assistance and initial
pricing, for customers to give them a try.
products major marketing weakness will be that it does not have much native
provision for integrating customer data from traditional retail or direct
marketing operations. It will therefore be most appealing to pure dot-com
merchants - but there are certainly enough of those going around.
If your site is supposed to grow its merchandising volume (or its page
impressions, in the case of content sites that are supported by advertising)
quickly, it needs to understand what campaigns attract users and what
keeps those users coming back. You have to invest in analysis tools. Coremetrics'
eLuminate might well be a good investment, but choosing the tool is not
the first step.
begin with, see how much data you can get out of your web logs, using
fairly inexpensive software. It will be obvious within days or at most
weeks what you can learn from those reports. (Established web sites will
have done this already.)
The next step is to establish a picture of the kind of information you
want to have. We believe that this step should involve marketing, technologists,
content providers, and product line managers. Draw the graphs you want
to see from your software, describe the scenarios in which you think analysis
will be most useful, and write hypothetical reports giving the conclusions
that you'd like to get from your visitor analyses.
these to the vendors and invite them to demonstrate how their products
will meet these essential requirements. If Coremetrics, or another ASP
vendor, ends up on your short list then you may well want to give them
a try first. If the cost of embedding the data tags on your pages is low,
then this will be an easy way to see over a period of months whether you've
asked the right questions and whether this vendor does help increase campaign
effectiveness and overall revenues.