If you measure the momentum of an industry by how many people you have to squeeze by on a tradeshow floor, then interactive marketing as evidenced by ad:tech, is on fire. The conference in New York this week had as much buzz as anything I've seen since 1999. The sessions focused on the typical themes of past ad:techs (affiliate networks, search, email, etc.), but the rooms were all packed. The tradeshow area is what really blew me away, though. A few years ago, it was one section on the second floor of the Hilton. This year, it went on... and on... and on... for several floors, and into the hallways. Wow. Tons of new companies were there, as well as a bunch of familiar names.
I spoke on a panel about the integration of Web analytics and email. We had a great audience, and the questions kept coming until we were kicked out of the room. A few of the take-aways from our panel:
- David Baker, the moderator from Avenue A / Razorfish did a great job of pulling this together. He talked a lot about dashboards, and how to create a single view on your marketing data.
- Margie Chiu, also from Avenue A, shared some great real-world experience on these integrations. One of my favorite points from Margie is the idea that the single, simple, ultimate measurement to use for online campaigns is revenue per campaign. Then, starting with such a high-level view, you can look at why revenue has changed from previous campaigns. I liked this a lot because it gets right to the heart of things and only highlights the drill-down metrics that are affecting the changes (e.g., larger list, reduced opens, etc.).
- Jay Kulkarni from Theorem talked about many of the specific technical challenges in moving email data into analytics systems.
- I talked about how integration between email and Web analytics can occur at several levels: link data (so the analytics tool knows which campaigns to assign clicks to), triggered communications (like shopping cart abandonment) and bi-directional reporting (looking at the data in a single view). And since Silverpop has done integration work with all the major analytics players, I provided a quick overview of our experience with the vendors as well as their relative strengths.
My hat is off to my fellow panelists and the audience for a successful and fun session.