Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Web Analytics and Behavioral Targeting Predictions for 2008

Last year I made 5 predictions about Web Analytics and Behavioral Targeting. I was pleased to find that all of them came true by the middle of the year.
Now it’s a New Year and time to make fresh prediction about Web Analytics and Behavioral Targeting. So here are the 5 predictions for 2008

  1. Offsite Analytics – With proliferation of Widgets and Rich Media ads a need to measure, understand and optimize the user interaction with widgets and Rich Media ads will become important. Web Analytics will include offsite measurements i.e. user interactions with widgets and Rich Media Ads

  2. Google Analytics – Google Analytics will mature further and start taking customers from other analytics tools like Omniture, WebTrends, Clicktracks etc. The configuration will become little complicated (and hence need for Google Analytics Expertise will grow) and Google will also expose more APIs to allow companies to pull and merge different kinds of data with Web Analytics Data.

  3. Mobile Analytics – Mobile sites and mobile advertisings gains momentum. Mobile Analytics will be become a requirement to understand how the sites and advertising is performing. Currently you can either use log files, WAP gateway logs if you are one of the mobile carriers (this is what I did back in 2001 -2002) or use services from Amethon. This year we will see more players in mobile Analytics. The reporting will become better than what has been offered to date.

  4. Online and Offline Data Integration – A need for integrating offline data and web analytics data will become a priority. ZeroDash1 founders saw this need in the market and hence started this company. More companies will push in this direction including web analytics vendors. Oracle bought a Web Analytics companies (I predicted this also). I can see them integrating CRM and Web Analytics into one package.

  5. Behavioral Targeting – Behavioral Targeting will continue to grow this year, however, there will be greater push for protecting consumer privacy. The privacy concerns will result in two things:

    1. Clear instructions (or links) on Behaviorally Targeted Ads that will allow behaviorally targeted visitors to opt-out of Behaviorally Targeted advertising

    2. Opt-in system – Some networks (maybe new ones) will move towards opt-in rather than opt-out (I favor opt-in over opt-out as I wrote in past. So I am making this prediction that this year networks will pay attention to it). A new types of networks or services might come up which will allow users to be an active participant in BT and control who can use their online behavioral data and how they can use it.

    What do you think?


    1. Regarding Offsite Analytics, I've been unable to find a vendor who "gets" measuring widgets, viral tools, etc. If you - or anyone reading this! - has recommendations, I hope you'll post them in the comments.

    2. We at Baynote agree that BT's big issue in 2008 is going to be Privacy. Check out our CEO Jack Jia's guest blog on Web2Innovations

    3. It will be intreesting to see how retailers and ecommerce merchants tap the potential of on-site and off site retargeting.

      Another aspect is the balance between automated optimization and human-assisted "behavior-based media planning"


    4. Apart from the legal connotation between opt-in and behavioral targeting, there is also a very strong sales importance.
      If you have the contact details and the product interest and you have also the permission to contact this person via another channel then the web (call center f.ex) you have such a strond sales environment.

      behavioral targeting and interaction


    I would like to hear your comments and questions.