Thursday, September 20, 2007

Serving Up Context with Analytics

Coremetrics released the latest version of its digital marketing suite this week with a focus on “Powering Contextual Marketing”. Their solution keys in on behavioral patterns across the multi-channel environment to target customers through email, banner ads, organic search and web browsing to seize them during critical cycles within the buying and consideration process. The general idea is to place the right offer in front of the customer at the right time. They’re attempting this by taking behavioral information collected during online sessions and mapping it against the Coremetrics LIVE Profile database to develop more targeted segments and more relevant content for visitors.

The contextual marketing concept utilizes the behavioral information and extends that to include predictive modeling, which drives relevance. For example, information gained about customers such as; what they left in their shopping carts, what they purchased and additional products they browsed during a session is coupled with user profile database information. The contextual marketing solution indicates which products sold to other visitors with similar demographic characteristics who also viewed similar products. Using this knowledge, contextual messaging can be delivered to prospects via email or other channels to draw them back to the site.

Advanced segmentation is a hot topic among analytics vendors lately as WebTrends also recently announced their Visitor Intelligence for Commerce solution. Primarily for merchandising, the solution targets customers based on their demonstrated interactions and interests. Similar to the Coremetrics solution, the WebTrends Visitor Intelligence platform uses real-time clickstream data and has the ability to tie in aggregate customer information from their Marketing Warehouse to drive relevance and probable sales using a segmentation strategy. Both products are likely to be a hit with retailers struggling to provide targeted messaging and relevant promotions to customers. The differentiators for marketers and merchandisers applying these tactics will emerge in the level of automation of each solution and the ease of use within the respective user interfaces.

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