Seth Godin, in his masterful and highly entertaining keynote presentation at the Omniture Summit, made the point that marketing should be considered in relation to any business activity rather than as a cherry on the top. We need to rethink our definition of marketing, he says. Perhaps, when we express concern that web analytics has been "hijacked" by marketing, we're really just thinking about the old definition of marketing, not Seth's new one.
As if Day 1 of Summit wasn't action-packed enough, I've got notes from sessions I attended on Day 2:
Leveraging User-Generated Content to Increase Consumer Interaction & Loyalty
The presentation included some very practical examples for building a community of content contributors, although it was all based on the assumption that the UGC activity actually occurs on your own site. This is not always the case. Reviews happen everywhere, ratings happen everywhere, media uploads happen everywhere. If you are only focused on measuring on your own site activities you are missing a big chunk of the action. See Dennis Mortensen's great post on the Online Business Measurement Quadrant for more on this topic. I've written about Flickr stats in the past, and I intend to continue writing about UGC measurement.
Using APIs to Get the Right Data in the Right Place
When I walked in 10 minutes late the powerpoint slide on the screen read, "Reporting Web Services: So easy, even a marketer can do it!!" This new API is bidirectional - you can push data into SiteCatalyst and also pull data out. I thought the push component was interesting, but by the time I arrived, and through the rest of the hour, the presenters were discussing how to pull data out. Make Mac dashboard widgets, create Flex applications, the sky's the limit. Developers in the room were salivating. There were a lot of questions about billing, which is based on somewhat nebulous "token" usage.
Closing Session: Product Road Map
Everyone told me that this would be a highlight of the Summit, and it certainly was. Brett Error, the ironically-monikered Omniture CTO, lead a town hall session where audience members got to suggest product improvements. Maybe it's a sign of our field's maturity: most of the suggestions were either quite minor or already available (but perhaps not obvious enough). My favorite suggestion was the ability to see the open rate for executive reports sent via email. Laughter from the crowd; it's an issue we all face.
Here's a picture I snapped out the window at the fantastic Salt Lake City Public Library, where I've written this post: