The Quantitative to Qualitative Spectrum of Marketing Data

The Quantitative to Qualitative Spectrum of Marketing Data

A couple weeks back, the Web Analytics Association hosted a webinar entitled “Web Analytics is Easy!” along with Eric Peterson’s Web Analytics Demystified. The title was ironic on purpose. Web analytics is complicated and just beginning to evolve. One of the most interesting slides called “Web Site Optimization Ecosystem Technology” prompted me to do a little quick and dirty research.

The idea of the slide was that pure web analytics tools measuring quantitatively (”where” a visitor went and “when”) were not enough. Moving along a continuum to more qualitative data are technical tools for “customer experience management” (which can tell “what” and “why” certain behaviors occurred), and “voice of customer” (which tells “who” they are and “how” they are likely to respond).

But how many marketers are familiar with the elements on this continuum? I did a Google search on each of the categories and their respective companies listed on the slide. Here are the results of the Google search – mind you, this is not scientific at all but you still get hit in the face with the numbers:

Under “Web Analytics” (24,100,000) were Coremetrics (203,000), WebTrends (4,130,000), and Omniture (1,100,000). Under “Customer Experience Management”(1,210,000) were Keynote Systems (253,000), Coradiant (67,900), and Tealeaf (304,000). And under “Voice of the Customer” (90,700) were Usability Sciences (16,400), OpinionLab (19,400), and ForeSee Results (60,600).

As you can see, “web analytics” are on everyone’s mind, but as you move to the right on the slide’s continuum from quantitative to qualitative, you see that the technologies are less popular in terms of search hits.

So is the qualitative part of web site optimization ecosystem technology less valuable, harder to master, or just newer and unknown? Who will step forward to be the evangelist for “Voice of Customer” technologies so they are up to par with the web analytics technologies?

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