Written largely by Paul Legutko, it's titled “In the decade of the customer, knowing your customer means owning your data.” It’s a terrific piece; the format makes for easy consumption and Paul has created a thoughtful AND provocative piece that gets to the heart of one of the core dilemmas in digital analytics – how do you take advantage of and own the data you create? Especially for publishers and high-volume Websites, it is or ought be one of your main concerns. It’s your content and your Website that draw visitors, but often enough, the data produced by those visits is turned over to third-party networks who create segmentations and sell the resulting product to others. It’s not unusual for Websites to end up buying back their own data from 3rd Party networks.
Worse, when you lose control of the data, you lose control of the customer.
But how do you “own” your data – and how do you maximize the depth and value of the data you own? That’s actually a surprisingly complex question with a host of different answers. Paul walks through the advantages of creating deeper data using first party cookies. That’s no trick for single domain sites, but for the enterprise (or organization) with many domains, first vs. third party collection still represents a significant trade-off.
Tying the customer across sites (and across devices) takes hard work.
Indeed, one of the biggest takeaways I got from Katie Reagan’s X Change Huddle on Tying Customer Devices Together is how many different techniques it takes to create a comprehensive approach to data collection. From domain consolidation to single sign-on to integrated call-tracking and ip/user-agent visitor identification, you need to WORK to both deepen and own your customer data. There isn’t a single magic bullet – just a set of techniques that each fill-in one part of a very large and fast growing puzzle.
Which is whyoOne of my favorite sections of the Whitepaper comes near the end when Paul (helped by a whole team of us arguing back-and-forth) considers a range of tracking options across dimensions like scalability, ease of implementation, robustness of data capture, and preservation of brand identity. It’s a concise, powerful way to think about and compare a whole bunch of tracking options and what each might bring to (and cost) your organization.
If you have an interest in multi-domain tracking, the impact of 3rd party tracking, and ways to better take control of your own data destiny, drop me a line and I’ll send you a copy.
I also wanted to mention the presentation I gave at Impact13 this past week in Vegas. People who know me can probably guess that Vegas isn’t my favorite city in the world. And despite a number of spectacular properties, I’ve always steered X Change elsewhere. Nothing really changed my opinion on this latest visit, but it was fun to be lounging in my room on the 51st floor of Aria pressing the button that alternately opens and closes the curtains on the panoramic view of the city. That’s me – Mr. Nightlife.
Anyway, the presentation went pretty well and I’m thinking it might make for a good webinar. It’s a strong “point-of-view” style presentation on the things that I think actually make a difference when it comes to creating a good measurement program (from an analytics perspective – it’s not about governance or organization). It probably shows better than it reads (of course I hope every presentation is that way), which is why I’m thinking a webinar might be good. I’m trying to put together a webinar on our work tying Digital Analytics to Experience Design, but I’ll try to slot in the Analytics as the Key Excellence right behind that one.