Free analytics tools free up budget

Maybe there is such a thing as a free lunch…

We just published a case study about reducing a client’s total digital measurement costs while enhancing its capabilities.  How?  By replacing a premium analytics tool with a combination of the free Google Analytics and professional customization and reporting services.  The challenge:

“…with its out-of-the-box implementation of Coremetrics, the company couldn’t track in any detail actual video viewership, product sales, or other conversions on the website, much less usage of its cutting-edge Adobe AIR application [pictured at right]. Additional measurement blind spots included live events, social sharing of content, viral email campaigns, and mobile usage. But the expense of Coremetrics prevented the company from investing in talent to interpret reports or customizations to capture the data needed for decision making.”

This media company isn’t the only one unable to invest in talent to cull actionable insights.  Many organizations tie up the bulk of their web analytics budget in software subscriptions, leading the influential blogger Avinash Kaushik to coin the “10 / 90 Rule for Magnificent Web Analytics Success“:

  • “Our Goal: Highest value from Web Analytics implementation.
  • Cost of analytics tool & vendor professional services: $10.
  • Required investment in “intelligent resources/analysts”: $90.
  • Bottom-line for Magnificent Success: Its the people.

The rule works quite simply. If you are paying your web analytics vendor (Omniture, WebTrends, ClickTracks, CoreMetrics, HBX, etc) $25,000 for a annual contract you need to invest $225,000 in people to extract value from that data.”

Empirical Path has been selected as a partner by the two leading free web analytics solutions, and we have deep experience with premium products as well.  Either model can work for an organization depending on its needs.  In this client’s case, the savings from giving up a subscription tool more than offset the investment with Empirical Path to track what mattered:

“For the Product team, to gain a deeper understanding of content engagement, we initiated measurement of play duration and social sharing in the site’s custom Flash video player. To support a new premium video strategy, we expanded e-commerce tracking to include digital downloads, revealing the channels and keywords that led to purchases. To help evolve their rich Adobe AIR application, we expanded Google Analytics tracking beyond the website to report on content engagement, sales, and social activity within that downloadable application.

Empirical Path’s customizations of Google Analytics gave…the detailed insight they needed of actual video viewership, product sales, and other conversions on the website. We helped the company smartly execute multiple product launches and marketing campaigns by delivering rapid feedback on what worked and what needed improvement.”

Please read more about our work for media and entertainment clients, and contact us to learn more about which mix of analytics resources is right for you.

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