Columbus WAW July 2009 Recap — Bizwatch and More!
We had another great Columbus Web Analytics Wednesday last week at Barley’s Smokehouse and Brewpub. This month’s sponsors were Bizresearch and the Web Analytics Wednesdays Global Sponsors. We had right at 30 people attending:
Laura Thieme of Bizresearch presented on search marketing and the challenges of trend analysis therein. She walked through one in-depth case study and sprinkled examples from other clients into the discussion as well.
Bizresearch has a product called Bizwatch that, when combined with some fundamental best practices of SEO and SEM, looks like it can yield some handy insights in a hurry! Laura is a self-professed constant tinkerer with her presentations, but I think the one below is pretty close to what she walked us through:
As the group grows, I’m finding that the evenings wind down and there are people I didn’t even get to say “Hi” to — both new attendees and long-timers. But, some of the discussions I had included:
- Chatting more in-depth with Chris Dooley of Foresee Results. I’m looking forward to a future WAW when Chris will be challenging the group to think about the offline and post-visit behavior of site visitors and how often that doesn’t get considered by internet marketers. I also picked up a new blog to follow, as Chris mentioned that Kevin Ertell had joined Foresee Results and recommended his www.retailshakennotstirred.com blog. Ertell only started the blog last month, so it remains to be seen if it has legs. So far, his posts look to be pretty in-depth and grounded in real experience. Chris also mentioned that Eric Peterson wrote a white paper for Foresee Results, which had me poking around on the White Papers area of their site — it looks like there are some really good reads there! I’m not sure which one Eric wrote…so I may just have to download several of them!
- Chris also mentioned a new “session replay” tool that Foresee Results just introduced called CS Session Replay. It sounds like a direct threat to Tealeaf, but it is apparently wayyyyy slicker. I don’t know if Chris (right below) was extolling the virtues of the product to Scott Zakrajsek of Victoria’s Secret or not. They might have just been discussing who put those half-drunk beers down next to the glasses of water they were drinking…
- I chatted with Paul Hall of the Mastery Marketing Group about the work they’re doing to drive a “360 degree view of the customer” using data from multiple systems (CRM and other). That discussion led to me bringing up Webtrends, Omniture, and Eloqua all as tools that I know of that have very real capability to do user-level tracking and analysis of web activity.
- Our “farthest travelled to attend” award (not really an award…just me pondering after the fact) went to Kim Merritt-Butler of TheURLdr.com. Kim was in town from Cumberland, Maryland, and is very interested in getting a similar group started up in the Washington, D.C. area. So, if you know of anyone in that area whom Kim should get in touch with, please let me know and I’ll pass the information along! We were both surprised that there is not already a WAW — even an older/dormant one — in that area already.
- I didn’t get to chat with him much, but Gareth Dismore could’ve made a case that he’d actually travelled the farthest, as he’s now based in Colorado Springs with SearchSpring. He was back in town for a couple of weeks, and he didn’t move away long enough ago to count. Or so I decided. After the fact. For an award that exists merely as a construct within this blog post.
- I talked to several people who were new to web analytics — were starting to see it crop up and are attending WAWs as a way to dip their toes in the water (which is a great place to start!). I found myself giving my standard recommendations on that front: Occam’s Razor blog, Eric Peterson’s Analytics Demystified blog, and Web Analytics: An Hour a Day. I know scads of blogs and books have cropped up over the past few years…but these still nail the basics, IMHO.
I wrapped up the evening with a lengthy discussion in the parking lot with Bryan Cristina and headed home thinking Thursday was going to come awfully quick. Then I spent an hour getting my neighbor’s garage door unmangled, as she’d backed into it with her minivan before it was fully open and was leaving on vacation the next morning. I am clearly not as young as I used to be, as I didn’t fully recover until I cratered at 9:45 PM on Thursday night and got in a solid eight hours!
Next month’s Columbus WAW is already scheduled. It will be on August 12th at 6:30 PM, again at Barley’s Smokehouse and Brewpub. The event is being sponsored by IQ Workforce, and Corry Prohens will be presenting on job hunting and career management in web analytics and search marketing. I hope to see you there!