How Digital Marketing Metrics are Gaining Influence

The role of online metrics teams is expanding across many organizations. The wealth of information that companies are collecting about web visitors, combined with better technology for analyzing and predicting behaviors, is enabling some web analytics teams to break out of their silos and influence everything from product development to CRM.

It wasn't always this way. The early days of web analytics - meaning the past 10 years - represent a classic case of measuring what you can instead of what you should. Tools that provided frequent updates on page views, unique visitors, return visitors, time on site and other measures of website visitors were great for churning out reports, but they failed to provide any real relevance to business outcomes.

As a result, web analytics teams tended to be segmented from the general population of strategic thinkers and business functions - including marketing - and often left to crunch data that no one else really understood or acted upon. While just about any organization with a public-facing website now uses some form of web analytics, web analytics in many companies remains “an isolated discipline focused exclusively on the website,” said John Lovett, a senior partner with Web Analytics Demystified, a digital measurement consultancy.