Thoughts About SES Today – Converging Applications and Roles

Written by Rand Schulman. Posted in Convergence Analytics

I’ve been thinking a lot about SES this year. I’ve been thinking that the name is so last decade, “Search Engine Strategies,” and, in fact, the conference sponsor Incisive Media seems to agree. When I asked Mike Gerhan , the show’s producer about the name, he said it doesn’t really mean anything anymore. So why not?

One of the major themes to come from the event this year is the great example of “convergence.” Not only are applications converging, but people and processes are also converging. Over the years, SES has been growing to cover such topics as analytics, conversions, mobile, and predictive models, as well as the newer topics of local SEO, social media marketing and, of course, enterprise search – both paid and organic.

Perhaps the most salient factor in convergence today is the speed at which companies from every sector are converging on it and the similarity of the problems they seek to solve. In a phrase, it seems that everybody is mea­suring everything…and telling the world.

As new powerful channels have emerged, like social and mobile, new BI (business intelligence) tools and attribution models are taking the stage. Plus, it seems “big data” is driving it all. For this reason, ClickZ and Evectyv launched the first report on Convergence Analytics on stage at SES New York last month with Google, which just launched Universal Analytics at the show. Convergence analytics: that’s a name for the confluence of digital marketing, big data, cloud computing, data con­nectors and sophisticated presentation-layer capabilities.

The rush is on among marketers for nearly every company that ever mea­sured anything (and many that never have) to claim they’ve got what it takes to provide the best single-view into all marketing data. We expect Google’s Universal Analytics, along with Google Tags and Attribution, to combine for even more influence than Google Analytics, as there are few entrenched mid-level players in the convergence space today as compared with the web analytics space when Google Analytics was launched.

Think of convergence analytics as the marketing equivalent of “one ring to rule them all.” Many application vendors are claiming that within a single application they can, by connecting data from multiple sources, provide marketer with a 360-degree view of their customers’ behavior, as well as supporting data from resource planning, pricing, demo­graphic sources, and more.

This has long been a request from the market, and now application vendors are able to combine technologies in an attempt to meet that request. Rio SEO is a good example of a company that represents a convergence analytics vendor with its integration of social marketing and local search with analytics and its SEO automation technology. In addition at SES New York, Rio SEO announced the integration of Facebook Open Graph with its local SEO software tool, unveiling a first-of-its-kind software upgrade that enables the integration of Open Graph Markup into hyper-local website landing pages for multi-location businesses. If you’re a big retail outlet with lots of stores this is critical.

Convergence analytics is still in its infancy as a discipline. But according to our survey results (referenced above), there are a multitude of players in the market already, and many of them are pulling together data sources from Web usage, call centers, client relationship management (CRM), campaign data, demographics, competitive data, and anything that gets captured off a click, keyword, mobile tap, or any number of other customer touch points. Clever marketers also using advanced data gathering and data normalization strategies to create a dashboard-like experience.

Yet, challenges driven by this convergence will drive new thinking and will provide marketers with a more well-rounded view of the fac­tors affecting actual ROI. This has proved to blur the lines between roles in the organization – and in an environment where every tool measures everything, whose role expands? Does the website man­ager take over more of the mobile aspect? Does SEO move into content management? Does email marketing move more into social media responsibility? Does the sales department take more responsibility in the marketing cloud? Or per­haps content managers take control of all of it. For sure, software analytic and automation tools can help them, all but are they ready to take advantage?

The Gartner research firm goes so far to predict that, “The chief digi­tal officer will prove to be the most exciting strategic role in the decade ahead. The chief digital officer plays in the place where the enterprise meets the customer, where the revenue is generated, and the mission accomplished. They’re in charge of digital business strategy.”

This role will surely use convergence analytic tools.




Convergence Analytics at eMetricsSF 2013

Written by Efectyv. Posted in Convergence Analytics

Last week, Andrew Edwards of Efectyv Digital explained Convergence Analytics to an audience at the eMetrics Summit in San Francisco. To further understand this important and emerging topic, Download the Free Report.

Convergence Analytics at eMetrics SF 2013

what is convergence analytics?

eMetrics Summit SF 2013





4 Key Facts From Convergence Analytics Showtime at SES NY

Written by Andrew Edwards. Posted in Convergence Analytics

Andrew Edwards | April 8, 2013

On Tuesday, March 26, 2013 we launched “The Dawn of Convergence Analytics” to a packed house. Thanks to ClickZ, Efectyv, my co-Author Rand Schulman, editor Melanie White, and our research associate Ron Labau, the 40-page report was released during our lively session at the SES New York show at the Marriott Marquis.

We were honored to have been joined by Google Analytics executives Adam Singer and Justin Cutroni on our panel. Additional notes of serendipity were piped by the announcement just days earlier of Google’s Universal Analytics tool, which, by all available evidence, is a convergence analytics tool extraordinaire.

The report is sponsored by Anametrix, Tealium, and Rio SEO. All three vendors offer powerful digital measurement tools applicable to a converged environment.

For those who didn’t seen the link at the bottom of every ClickZ article last week, you can download the free Convergence Analytics report here.

1. What is convergence analytics? Convergence analytics is both a class of vendor applications and holistic approach to digital measurement.

The tools combine cloud computing, big data, agile data connectors, sophisticated algorithms, and elegant display layers in order to help marketers gain new insights into the effectiveness of their digital content.

The approach comes from the marketer: wanting to know more about her customers, sooner, and with more dimensions than ever before.

Convergence analytics tools in the market today (many are listed in the report) allow the marketer to make use of this information in ways never before possible.

2. How does convergence analytics affect me? If you are a digital marketer or a vendor to digital marketers, then convergence analytics will change everything. No longer will a single silo of data suffice to say you’ve done the job of analytics. In the new convergence analytics paradigm, “everybody is measuring everything” (so says the report); and that means the inclusion of multiple streams of data formerly kept dark in rather useless silos deep inside the organization.

3. Attribution and lifetime value. During the session last Tuesday, Justin Cutroni said, “Attribution will get a huge lift because of convergence analytics”; and this is indeed the case. One of the most likely outcomes of convergence analytics may be the enhanced ability to trace the customer journey from campaign through conversion and beyond. The “beyond” is often referred to as “lifetime value” or “LTV” and is one of the important metrics tied to convergence.

4. Practices are as important as applications. One of the most important topics at the session was the ways in which convergence analytics applications will be best put to use for the customer. There was clear consensus that success would not be achieved just by signing up for a SaaS application. More than one panelist (myself included) stressed that having a method for deploying convergence analytics applications, and taking action on the data, is as important as having the tools themselves.

For instance, a dashboard is just a display layer. The marketer has to command content changes based on what the data in the dashboard is suggesting. In fact, process is so important that building a proper practice around these tools may be the next opportunity in analytics professional services.

Finally, it’s fair to ask what is the key element in convergence analytics. It’s you. It’s me. It’s us. The people who have to make decisions. Google is working on a self-driving car, but it’s still got some kinks. And analytics doesn’t drive itself either. At least not yet. So slide in behind the wheel and keep your eyes on the road (and the dashboard!).




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