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Custom Data on the Fly

Cutting out the middleman when analyzing online data.



By Matt Kinsman
10/01/2008

Driving traffic is no longer enough. Nor is knowing how many reads a particular story has. As Web sites mature, publishers must recognize the behavior of their viewers and optimize their sites accordingly.

As a longtime client of Coremetrics, a provider of digital marketing optimization solutions, Rodale has been able to identify which channels drive traffic and which articles generate the most interest. Now Rodale has adopted Coremetrics Explore, which allows the publisher to segment customers, analyze behavioral data and generate detailed custom reports on the fly without requiring the involvement of IT or going directly through the vendor. “Previously, this information would have required us to go through Coremetrics to get a custom report,” says Rodale manager of Web analytics Seth Holladay. “This cuts out the middleman and lets us grab it on a whim, which makes things easier for me and my team and saves us a lot of time.”

Extracting Custom Data

Rodale can pull “custom data,” which can range from merging standard traffic reports to tapping into more data-intensive information such as referral URLs and destination URLs. “There is obviously a lot of data processing to make things pretty and manageable when you’re dealing with the volume of Web traffic that we are,” says Holladay. “But every now and then you want to get into the details if you’re troubleshooting or looking to solve a specific problem. This lets us get into the raw, non-cleaned up data, like full URLs.”

Rodale can now slice the data by visitor segment. For example, Rodale could find that video viewers are most interested in fitness content when not looking at videos, which opens the possibility of offering more fitness-related videos on the site. “We’ve always had that capability but it’s time consuming to a degree that’s prohibitive,” says Holladay. “This gives us good ideas on how we can tweak the Web pages to give them more of what we suspect they’re looking for.”

Promotional Pricing

To gather data, Coremetrics clients put a Javascript call on each of their Web pages. The Javascript looks for variables and passes the information to Coremetrics, who then processes it for the client.

Coremetrics is currently offering promotional introductory pricing of around $600 per month and pricing can get into the tens of thousands of dollars depending on the scale of the client and the services they want.

 

SIDEBAR:

Choose Your Own Leads
Publishers cherry-pick offers and leads with LeadServe

Lead generation is a priority for publishers, particularly as some of their online products like Web channels and Webcasts mature. Still, much lead generation remains random and generalized—funneling the names and titles of registrants for videos, Web casts and Webinars without targeting demographics.

New York City-based Opt-Intelligence has introduced LeadServe, a service that enables publishers and advertisers to target opt-in offers on their Web site as well as select specific types of lead generation (provided the publisher is attracting that audience in the first place).

Publishers implement Javascript into their site and select advertisers for the service. Offers are displayed in the publisher’s registration path. Opt-in offers can also be placed throughout the publisher’s site by cutting-and-pasting JavaScript.

LeadServe is an option for smaller publishers that may not carry enough weight for the larger services. “Our opt-in lead gen is not built to replace Google AdSense or similar services but as a complement to that model,” says Opt-Intelligence co-founder Dan Felter. “Google doesn’t work with small advertisers or publishers that are very small and granular. We do work with smaller publishers.”

Audience Selection

One LeadServe client, magazine Idea Living, uses the service to target five states in order to locate specific demographics.

PollingPoint.com is an online community where members can express opinions on topics such as politics and entertainment and uses LeadServe to identify specific demographics for surveys. “We use it for campaigns in smaller states,” says director of panel measurement Justin Hill. “You can go in and say, for this campaign, we only want to generate leads from 15 states, and only from people ages 14 to 24.”
Hill says he’s seen a better response from LeadServe than similar programs. “It’s been pretty good in what’s it’s delivered,” he adds. “I like the fact I can do everything at my own pace. If I change something, I don’t need to go through 50 hoops. I’d like to see it target even more specifically than it does now—such as identifying minorities of a certain age.”

Price By Lead

For magazines looking to drive people to their environment for hard offers, pricing tends to be around $1. For magazines looking for soft offers within the system, the cost averages $2.50 with at least a 20 percent pay-up to make it work. Financial publishers have a higher price point that might run closer to the $5 to $8 range.

By Matt Kinsman
10/01/2008







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