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TECHNOLOGY: Web analytics

Customer data is key to developing a profitable business that has a sustained competitive advantage. Increasingly, business intelligence is being sourced from operational systems such as websites instead of from trusted third-party data providers. But are you taking full advantage of the information you gather every time a potential customer enters your website? This is a question that B2B enterprises are increasingly asking themselves as their markets become more aggressive.

Tracking website visits seems a simple piece of business intelligence to collect, but as Akin Arikan, who heads up Internet marketing and web analytics at Unica, provider of marketing management software, explains, many B2B enterprises have yet to fully exploit what web analytics offers. “Successful B2B users of web analytics pay at least enough attention to the metrics in order to optimise their advertising spend for attracting visits or in order to optimise the site for converting visitors to leads,” he says. “However, fewer B2B companies have web analytics solutions in place that allow them to go down to the level of individual prospects visiting the site, such as contacts within organisations.”

Helping to understand who your clients are and how they behave when they visit your site is at the foundation of what web analytics can offer businesses. Marcos Richardson, director of web analytics agency, WebtraffIQ says, “The B2B company has a much deeper relationship with its customers. Customers can log on to a website and make use of any number of online applications. Tracking what they do and with what frequency generates a large amount of significant behavioural data, Amazon Web Analytics abilities with direct targeted messaging from user profiling makes most Web Analytics Vendor offerings look like a toy.'