For quite a while, the concentration in online analytics and tools to optimize results based on analytics revolved around ad optimization. It was a world of sellers. The focus was always on systems which could improve a company’s ability to recommend relevant products, increase conversions, and acquire traffic with increasing efficiency. The solutions were skewed towards helping the sellers sell their ads, while putting less emphasis on the delivery of primary content.
This was always a strange disconnec,t considering the fact that the placement of offers, in fact the whole world of advertising, is at the end of the day completely dependent on the delivery of quality content. A marketer may have the most optimized ad ever, but if the content providers are dropping the ball, where is the ad going to show? Consumers are usually not going to seek out advertising (Old Spice commercials would be the exception here).
What excited me about this year’s summit was the increased attention to optimized content delivery. This is of particular interest to content providers like media companies, but advertisers should pay attention as well, since their success will many times depend on their content partner’s performance.
Undoubtedly a product of Adobe’s creative DNA, the first Summit since the acquisition of Omniture has shown the closer marriage between Adobe’s creative content creation tools and the tools brought into the fold via their flurry of acquisitions over the last couple of years.
It’s going to take way too long to go into prose about some of the products Adobe highlighted for content optimization, so I’ll try to give the main points here:
1) CQ5: Adobe’s content management system’s integration with Omniture has gone flawlessly. Melding CQ5’s ease of creating new pages (drag and drop fully live webpages), with tracking code is impressive. But what is even more impressive is their ability to change unlimited amounts of page content according to data the site might have about a visitor. This data can be native to the organization, or integrated with external data sources like data from Experian, social networks, or even internal CRM systems.
2) Audience Manager: Hailing from the acquisition of Demdex, the Audience Manager unveiled at Summit is taking look-alike segmentation of content to a whole new level. Instead of relying on manual building of segments, Audience Manager now brings a complex set of algorithms which will mine both internal and external data patterns to identify segments for you first, not just react to segments you want it to find. This information can then be used to optimize content delivery, as well as ad buys. The insights that come from such an application are bound to surprise more than a couple of CMOs out there.
3) Discover 3: This is an extremely abbreviated list, and Discover 3 doesn’t fall directly into the “content providing” arena, but in a way it does. The next iteration of the popular Omniture data analysis tool has leaped forward, much like SiteCatalyst did from version 14 to 15. Adobe’s DNA is obvious in Discover’s new ability to visualize user consumption of content, allowing non-digital markets a much easier way to understand how their content is consumed. And then for those who want it, the ability to execute unlimited correlations, pivot with a click of a button, modify and cross-analyze different segments, add or subtract metrics and breakdowns, is more than enough for any content provider to find out how to best engage their audience.