Category Archives: Marketing Research

Offline Path Analysis

It’s always a treat to work with bright, committed people and I’m happy to say this was the case with the folks at the Oriental Institute.  These higher ed environments can be exceedingly complex from a Marketing perspective, and the OI is way up there on the complexity scale.  So much to do, so few resources to do it with.

That said, we came up with a crackerjack plan that should significantly boost paid Membership at the OI without additional time or money resources.  How?  Path Analysis.

Personally, I have never understood why many web analytics folks don’t care for Path Analysis; I can only surmise these folks are simply not doing it correctly.  For one thing, Paths don’t make any sense without the context of a behavioral segmentation – entry page, campaign, etc.  Just like any other web data, Path is useless without segmentation.  Or perhaps these folks don’t know how to interpret the data they see because they can’t survey a Path for the answers. 

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Online Stat of the Year?

Over on the Rimm-Kaufman Group blog was a report on what Forrester’s Carrie Johnson had to say at Shop.org’s Marketing Workshop.  There are quite a few interesting tidbits, but here’s the pair that blew me away:

Correlation between Google Gross US Revenues to US E-Commerce Growth: .96.

Correlation with Yahoo Display Ad Sales and US E-Commerce Growth: -.04

Now, I understand that Correlation does not imply Causation but at some level when you get directional spreads like this you have to sit up and take notice.

One explanation is this:  e-Commerce sites do not buy any Display to speak of, but we know that’s not true – don’t we

Other questions:

1.  Another conclusion would be Yahoo matters very little to e-commerce activity.  Sure, less than Google, but to this degree?  If in fact Display enhances Search performance, you would think Yahoo would have more of an effect.  Perhaps folks see Display on Yahoo and then Search on Google?   Wouldn’t that be a trip…

That scenario would really provide a whole new twist on the measurement of view-throughs.

2.  Google gross rev’s include AdSense, of course.  So we’re not really comparing PPC to Display here, though one could argue AdSense is more targeted than Display.  So what we are discussing here is the relevance of ads, not PPC versus Display.

3.  Does Yahoo Display include Travel ads triggered by selection of Location?  Auto ads triggered by selection of Model?  Etc.  Etc.  You could argue those ads are really “Search” if you look at it from a behavioral (customer) perspective.

Sure would like to find the source on this, and see what we are actually talking about here.

Other questions you would ask / data you need to make a judgment on this?  How about wild speculations on what this data means, if anything?

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