Posted by KeithMacDonald

April 18, 2012

12:21

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What Does the Digital Self Mean for Analytics?

The annual Adobe Summit in Salt Lake City concluded a couple of weeks ago.  The big idea presented at this conference was the digital self – the idea that every time we interact online, we reveal a bit more of who we are.  Think of what you recently browsed on Amazon.com, the music you’ve told iTunes you’re interested in, the pictures you’ve shared on Panoramio, the content of your tweets – the collection of these signals is the digital you.

“Our relationship with technology has changed.  You walk into a living room now and see fingerprints on TVs left by 3 year-olds trying to swipe them and interact.”  This was the framework for the conference laid out in the opening keynote address by Brad Rencher, Senior VP and GM, Omniture Business Unit.

“What it really means is that the digital self has gone from academic to actionable…  Everyone who engages in digital is exposed to a message, but what if those messages are not generic?”  Put differently, in return for the information we release online about ourselves, we demand personalized experiences and content tailored specifically for us.  This is the new quid pro quo of the internet.

What this means for your digital analytics strategy is two things:

First, your analytics must mature and keep up with the signals users are sending out about themselves: how they’re interacting with and what they expect from our websites, mobile apps, marketing campaigns, digital products and user experiences.  If you’re still focused on “the big three” (unique visitors, visits and page views), top ten reports and click-through rates, you’re trailing the curve.

Users are sending out signals through a variety of digital channels, and it’s up to analytics to collect and measure those signals. “The digital self doesn’t live in a single product or channel, and neither should your solutions or your marketing.  [Adobe is] focused on how all of [the Digital Marketing Suite] products come together,” explained Brad Render.

Second, businesses must adapt to respond to those signals.  Users are telling you what they want and what they expect, so if you’re still serving a one-size-fits-no-one digital property, you’re trailing the curve and it’s time to move forward.  It’s time to start taking the data users give you to identify key users and develop strategic responses.

Your users don’t just show up and browse through your site anymore; they’re referred from social media, on a weekday, in the afternoon, on a tablet device, for their third visit this week.  And how they interact with your site (and what they expect from you) is very different from other types of visitors.  Even within the group, individual users behave differently from each other.

This is the “So what?” test writ large. It’s not enough just to measure; it’s what you do with that measurement that really delivers value and impacts your bottom line.

Unilytics is focused on delivering the value that the Adobe Digital Marketing Suite promises to our clients.  If you’re among the businesses struggling to move ahead and keep up, we’d be happy to have a conversation about your needs.  As a closing thought from the keynote, “analytics underlies everything – it’s the key to bringing all of this together.”

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