I was in Vancouver for a presentation to CAUCE [kay-yoose, thanks Raquel] and was able to grab a quick dinner with fellow WAA BaseCamp stakeholders Andrea Hadley, Raquel Collins, and Braden Hoeppner. We’re rolling out a new 2-day format for BaseCamp and got to talking about web analytics education in general.
We started talking audience segmentation and content at the eMetrics Summit, and specifically the “shootout” format from the old days. You know, 10 vendors on the stage at the same time taking questions from the audience. Those sessions were both educational and hilarious at the same time, as the vendors side-swiped each other on topics like accuracy, how visitors are counted, cookie structures, and so forth.
But that was back when the technology was in flux, and now that issue has settled down a lot. Braden brought up the concept of returning the “shootout format”, but more on the business side. You know, get some practitioners, vendors, and consultants up on stage and have them thrash out stuff like:
1. Attribution – does it really make sense to even bother with attribution at the impression / click level when there is often not a strong correlation to profit? I mean, just because someone sees or clicks on an ad does not mean the ad had a positive effect; in fact, it may have had a negative effect. Why not go straight to action or profit attribution, instead of using creative accounting?
2. Why is there so much focus on real time measurement and so little “taking action” in real time? What’s the point of reporting in real time and then having monthly meetings to take action on performance? Why not take a gut check on the numbers at noon each day and if you are behind target, do something now? If your org will not “act now”, then why measure what happens “now”?
3. Does tracking page views and visits really matter in all but a few models? If your KPI’s are worth anything, why would you look at visits or page views except “forensically”, to troubleshoot a problem revealed by the KPI’s?
4. Why do people spend so much time measuring really small, insignificant ideas while ignoring the “big levers” they could pull that would really make a difference? Is it possible people don’t really understand the business model they are operating in and just measure a lot of meaningless stuff “because they can”?
The panelists could define the problem (if any) and provide potential solutions and work-arounds for these challenges. What do you think?
Would you like to see “shootouts” between experts on these topics? What other business / marketing topics would you like to see shootouts or group discussions on?