Category Archives: advertising research

The Encima Group Donates Tag Management Referrals, Maintains Neutrality

The latest from Encima but a long-time in the making….hopefully more digital analysts and marketers will consider Piwik as an open source alternative to sharing their precious customer data with G. And of course, the DAA is doing some great things for the industry and we want to be a part of that. Special thanks to David Clunes for his vision and support on this initiative.

Encima Group LogoNewark, DE – August 18, 2014 – Analytics consultancy The Encima Group, is pleased to announce the donation of several thousand dollars in referral fees earned through the recent recommendation and subsequent implementation of Signal’s technology platform. Signal’s Tag Management system (formerly BrightTag) was chosen by two of Encima’s major pharmaceutical clients as the best-in-class tag management solution. For one Encima client, their prior tag management system took too much time to use and was expensive. It was replaced with Signal and the client is already seeing ongoing tag maintenance now taking less than 10% of the time that it did before. For another client, Signal was deployed together with an enterprise site analytics solution across several high-profile Web sites making ongoing tag maintenance a snap.

David Clunes, CEO and Founder of The Encima Group explains, “With technology vendors often jockeying on new capabilities, we prefer let them do what they do best without getting caught up. We purposefully do not recommend the technology platforms that make us the most money, instead we recommend what is best for our client’s long-term analytics success. Donations like this help us continue to maintain our neutrality – all while doing some good for the industry.”

The Encima Group, known best for its independent analytics and digital operations services often finds itself recommending platforms for clients. Sometimes viewed as another value-added reseller, The Encima Group sees itself as an extension of their clients’ organizations and vigorously maintains its “Switzerland” status. That sensibility extends from the firm’s analytics practice which uniquely eschews agency media buying and creative services to focus on providing clients with both objective performance reporting and unbiased campaign optimization recommendation.

Clunes continues, “When it comes to analytics, more objectivity is always a good thing. We feel that this is a great way of paying it forward and that hopefully other firms get the idea.” By sharing the referral fees that it earned, Encima is simultaneously investing in two worthy causes known to analytics professionals worldwide: The Digital Analytics Association, a global organization for digital analytics professionals and Piwik, the globally popular open source Web analytics platform.

“The Digital Analytics Association is thrilled by the Encima Group’s donation,” said DAA Board Chair, Jim Sterne. “The funds will be added to our general fund to benefit all members of the DAA. We hope that others in the space will follow Encima’s leadership in this area.” For Piwik, the funds will be used to facilitate continued development of this open-source platform. Available as an alternative to sharing with 3rd parties, Piwik allows digital marketers to control their Web site behavioral data. Maciej Zawadziński, of the Piwik Core Development Team says, “This is great and will help us to further develop an alternative free Web analytics platform.”

About The Encima Group

The Encima Group is an independent analytics consultancy that was recently recognized for its successful growth in the Inc. 5000 (ranking in top 25%). The Encima Group’s mission really is about actionable analytics and flawless execution. Offering an integrated suite of services around multi-channel measurement, tag management, dashboards, technology strategy consulting and marketing operational support, The Encima Group pioneered the notion of Data Stewardship. The Encima Group is based in Newark, DE with offices in Princeton, NJ and Chicago, IL. Its client roster includes leading pharmaceutical companies like Bristol-Myers Squibb, Shire Pharmaceuticals, Otsuka, AstraZeneca and Novo Nordisk.

For more information about The Encima Group, visit www.encimagroup.com. For more information about Signal visit www.signal.co, for Piwki visit www.piwik.org and for the Digital Analytics Association visit www.digitalanalyticsassociation.com.

Media Contact(s)

Jason Mo, Director of Business Development (jmo AT encimagroup DOT com); phone (919) 308-5309; Domenico Tassone, VP Digital Capabilities (dtassone AT encimagroup DOT com); Phone (312) 492-4652.

 

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History of Web Analytics…Annotated.

Most history of Web analytics postings and stories routinely cover Analog by Dr. Steve Turner a rather simplistic log file analyzer. Others mention i/Pro, netGenesis, Interse, NetCount and WebTrends.

What they often miss is Lilypad, a marketing and adertising oriented Web-based analytics application. Lilypad was developed by Streams Online Media Development in 1995 and announced in the Falle of 1995. Unlike most of the other technical log file analytics tools, Lilypad was original in that it focused on promotional measurement. Importantly, Lilypad utilized its own database of activity and was coded in Perl leveraging server-side inludes the predecessor to JavaScript page tags.

Lilypad was programmed by James Allenspach under my direction during dowtime in-between client projects. Dave Skwarzek and I worked to brand and promote the product in  way that marketers could appreciate. A seminal offering by a scrappy Web boutique start-up to be sure, Lilypad was influential as an early site metrics tracking application:

If you are doing research on the history of site analytics, digital media tracking or online media measurement, you can learn more about Lilypad here.

Response to Who Will Rid Us of this Meddlesome Click?

Great post by Gian Fulgoni of ComScore and very timely!

After over a decade in the digital advertising industry, I don’t find the click emphasis to be a fascination as much as a perpetual crutch. Continuing to nibble at our heels, clickthrough has really just been the path of least resistance. I’ve heard this from many colleagues:

Ad sales execs seeking to close business tread uneasily and rarely bring up alternate success measures that require too much thought or set-up

Agencies attempt to educate clients about such matters but that doesn’t always work (relationship/credibility/pick your battles/technical complexity)

Client-side marketers are all too often organizationally overwhelmed and only now starting to internalize meaningful digital measurement process

Technology vendors who often have the most expertise, ironically tend to be perceived as the most unreliable sources with their marketing often ahead of actual capabilities

For some reason, easy-to-measure clickthrough are meticulously collected, analyzed and reported. It is as if through the mass willing suspension of disbelief that somehow the display clicks might conceivably convert or are implicitly valuable. The ongoing independent reports from ComScore suggest otherwise to anyone listening. While this post rightfully educates all of us about the troublesome reliance on clickthrough, it also raises the opportunity to raise awareness about passive incremental response.

Instead of skipping down the funnel past post-view response and straight on to purchase, consider the in-between, i.e. non-clicker viewthrough. Even in Gian’s post, viewthrough is not mentioned explicitly but post-view reponse is only suggested in the context of conversion – this is part of the problem. Yet, in practice we all know that very few clickers will convert (super promo-oriented messaging aside).

This measurement incongruity routinely happens whenever post-view activity is mentioned. In so doing, the more executionally challenged, but likely valuable viewthrough response remains unmeasured and therefore invisible.

It is analogous to calculating auto mileage looking at RPMs (engine speed) and not MPH (land speed).

The reality is that implementing an alternative quantitative measurement like viewthrough pushes many marketers to the edge, requiring patience, precise technical set-up and methodical execution. To Gian’s point clickthroughs are fast, cheap and easy to measure; they’re also potentially misleading for all the reasons ComScore and others have researched. What’s more, viewthrough impact accrues over time, which flies in the face of the commonplace action bias to optimize campaigns on something.

So while probably not that final Canterburian cleric’s foot-on-the-neck of clickthrough, viewthrough might at least be one of the assasinative knights.

An industry appeal to standardize or define viewthrough can be found here http://goo.gl/LA8Iv

Reponse to Commenter Jaffer Ali’s "Driving In The Rear-View Mirror"

Jaffer Ali, the semi-retired CEO of EVTV1, and a jovial industry colleague is usually good for some creative commentary and periodic fire-starting.

Today’s piece “Driving In The Rear-View Mirror” published in Mediapost, required a response as I completely disagreed with it.

http://www.mediapost.com/publications/?fa=Articles.showArticle&art_aid=113117

This notion is nothing new. In fact, I know it has been on the radar since the Web 1.0 days; check out the original 1997 Lilypad white paper discussing time-shifted response-behavior and measurement:

http://www.seicheanalytics.com/consulting/lilypad.html#bapm

(See Figure #C.)