Empirical Path on a mission

“What can we offer to customers that other firms cannot?”

Jim and I had to stop and think when this was posed by a candidate to become our Director of Business Development for the western U.S. It’s a great question that gets to the heart of our value to employees, clients and partners.

Later that week, we stopped and thought again, when we were praised by leading web analytics recruiter Corry Prohens. He laid out “The #measure Consulting Landscape” in his IQ Workforce Blog and mapped us in relation to the pure plays, “Big Boys”, niche players, start-ups, and agencies:

“Over the past few years there have been literally dozens of digital measurement consulting start-ups. Most of the principals accepted full-time jobs as soon as their COBRA expired. One company that has stuck it out and had consistent success is Empirical Path. The company, headed by Peter Howley and Jim Snyder, leverages its founders’ backgrounds in market research, BI and web analytics.”

Empirical Path did outlast my COBRA expiration in 2002, and we do combine multiple approaches to measurement. But what’s that mean to you? So we dug up our MBA class notes and drafted a mission statement:

“Empirical Path offers specific, actionable recommendations on measuring and maximizing markets and marketing from experienced, objective experts, using the best tools, tailored to organizations that do more than just sell online.”

That’s a mouthful, so let’s break it down:


  • “Specific, actionable recommendations”
    • Specific, meaning we’ll write the JavaScript for Google Analytics to track a button click and the questions for a customer survey.
    • Actionable, meaning if WebTrends reveals 20 opportunities, we’ll focus on the three that are doable and impactful.
    • Recommendations, meaning we’ll present the best options and let clients decide.
  • “Measuring and maximizing”
    • First, we measure, which could mean implementing SiteCatalyst or sizing your potential customer base.
    • Based on those metrics, then we maximize by optimizing your advertising mix and targeting the right opportunities.
  • “Markets and marketing”
    • First, we understand the 4 Cs of each market: competition, capabilities, costs, and (our favorite) customers.
    • Then, we recommend the right 4 Ps of marketing: product, price, place, and (our favorite) promotion.
  • “Experienced, objective experts”
    • Experienced, meaning our Principals have been at it since the early 1990s.
    • Objective, meaning we don’t create campaigns or websites, so we can tell you what’s working and what’s not.
    • Experts, meaning we’re certified in leading tools and methodOlogies.
  • “Using the best tools”
    • We’re not a Google Analytics shop and we’re not a WebTrends shop, even though we’re partnered with both.
    • We recommend the tools that fit each client the best, which are often the tools in-house that just need a tune-up.
  • “Tailored to organizations”
    • We’ve served dozens of clients, and no two deliverables look the same.
    • We’re not re-packaging best practices and heading on to the next client.
    • We’re getting to know each organization’s processes, problems, and opportunities so we’re always working on the most leveraged tasks.
  • “Do more than just sell online”

So we’re not the biggest player or the one-stop-shop for all things digital. But we’re also not the newest start-up nor the only game in town for a given niche. We offer big-picture understanding and experience balanced with specialization and hands-on service that few can match.

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