Why should you consider Omniture as Web Analytics Platform? | Publications

Beginning 2014, Adobe announced that his Omniture suite will be renamed “Adobe Analytics”. Concretely, it does not change a thing in the data processing and the interface. It just gives more Adobe brand impact on the platform. So let’s focus back on what Omniture is and how it differentiates from other platforms to be able to see what’s in it for you, shall we?

1. What is Adobe Analytics?

When Adobe bought Omniture in 2009, they add a pretty strong asset to their suite. Not only Omniture includes a strong Analytical platform but also provides Market(ing) insights, Content/Website updates and management tools. This is to say that it tackles the website complexity by different approaches. It makes Omniture a complete and global tool for any marketer looking for web improvement:

1. Analytics platform

The most important is SiteCatalyst (SC) that enables you to create reports on web traffic of your website. The next tool come hand-in-hand with the SC feature. It is called the DataWarehouse but is much more than a simple backup of your reports. It stores every raw data and makes it available for advanced report (such as a breakdown Navigation and Conversions variables – not available in SC). Discover was only launched with v15 but fulfilled the platform by providing segments on every reports. If you wish to analyze your traffic sources interactions, Omniture also released in its v15 the Insight tool which enables multi-channel reporting. Then comes Test & Target that tackles his version of A/B testing. Lastly, the platform also enables personalization of data’s through its VISTA tool.

2. Market(ing) platform

Four interesting tools available in Omniture give you tips to optimize your Marketing campaigns. Firstly, the Search Center+ assists you with paid search campaigns by giving you a unique interface for all marketing platforms. Secondly, it is possible to integrate 3rd party data’s with the Genesis tool. It helps you improve your reports with external data’s (such as external cost data). Recommendations is aptly named because this tool will give you automatic hints about products or content of your site. Finally, to test your visitor sentiment, you should consider the Survey tool.

3. Content/Website management platform

Another tool called Site Search enables you to improve the search box in your site by ensuring that visitors can easily search, find and access content. Aside, the Merchandising tool optimizes shoppers’ experience on the site by promoting the right product based on average order value and navigation history. Should you need to change content on your website, you can do it through the Publish tool. Lastly, if you drown in a multitude of tags, you will enjoy the DigitalPulse tool that helps you manage and improve your tagging structure.

2. How does it differentiate from other Analytics Platform?

Well, the first thing that differentiates it from other platforms is its price. The cost of such a platform can exceed the hundred thousand dollars a year while Google Analytics (GA) is available for free. On top of that, the implementation is quite advanced for Adobe metrics (eVar. / Props. / …) and needs specialists to maintain the platform. Hopefully, with great costs comes an excellent SLA that helps implement and interpret the data’s/metrics. In addition to that, as the implementation is advanced, the metrics calculated are more precise and sometimes more relevant than those in GA suite. Last but not least, tracking in Omniture is a great source of troubles. Each link to and within a website should be tracked to be able to capture external/internal campaign performances. It means that if no tracking code is added to a certain link, visits from this link will fall into a default category “untracked”. While adding tracking codes is important, classifying these might be the key of a good Omniture reporting. It means that if tracking is not well implemented, the classification of a tracked visit will not fall into the right traffic category (traffic source / campaign / content / …). To wrap things up, there are three things to consider when moving to Omniture:

  1. Does my business can bear the heavy price of Adobe Analytics?
  2. Do I have the relevant resources to implement/understand advanced tracking?
  3. Will I be able to manage internal & external tracking (codes)?

Let’s now focus on what differentiate Adobe Analytics from other platforms in terms of features available:

Features

Adobe Analytics

Google Analytics

KissMetrics

MixPanel

Global overview

Yes

Yes

No

No

Traffic sources

Yes

Yes

No

No

Conversion Funnel

Advanced

Simple

Action-based

Action-based

Dashboards

Advanced

Simple

Yes

Yes

Mobile devices traffic

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Unique user focus

No

Not yet

Yes

Yes

A/B testing

Yes

Advanced

Yes

Yes

Real-Time

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

e-Commerce

Advanced

Yes

Yes

Yes

Remarketing – Retargeting

No

Rem. Lists

User-based

User-based

3rd party integration

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

The key advantage, as you can see on the table is the advanced intelligence you can subtract from Omniture data’s. Conversion funnel integrate behavioral informations, dashboards are customizable and e-Commerce reports give you better insights thanks to the advanced custom metrics.

So, Omniture is an advanced data platform but lacks in two domains. Firstly, it does not have a user-centric report that enables to view data’s with a unique visitor approach (despite his traffic source or his device). Secondly, remarketing as such is not available through the platform itself. Nevertheless, you can integrate CRM data’s and then re-target your audience with analytical data’s.

These two domains are well tackled in KissMetrics and MixPanel platform. On the other hand, they do not integrate general trends of website traffic to focus more on user-centric behavior. In a way, it gives complementary information to traditional Analytic platform such as GA or Omniture. However, GA is trying to kill two birds with one stone by launching Universal Analytics (and its unique ID) which tend to focus more and more on user but is also keeping an overview of global trends.

3. How to make the most of Omniture?

Depending on your needs and resources, you will decide to opt for Adobe Analytics, former Omniture. I truly hope that after reading this article you will feel able to understand the role and the ends of each product suggested by the Adobe suite.

My advice is to start with SiteCatalyst because it’s the heaviest and the most complex option. As a matter of example, I selected some top features and commented their intelligence:

  • Dashboards

Creating a dashboard is as easy as pie. When you decide which metrics of which report you want to follow, you just need to add to Dashboard and then configure the layout (via a drag & drop system) along with the date rage. Then you can also plan a regular/punctual e-mailing or download it as PDF to share with colleagues/client. The only bump in the road is the number of metrics in a report: it is limited to 5 metrics per report.

  • Campaign reports

If you manage to have good tracking codes for your external/internal campaign and classify it regularly, you will be able to export campaign reports. This will help you quickly spot low performance or campaign success and adapt your strategy according to results. Let me insist on the tracking step that is not to be underestimated. Indeed, it will impact the results and reports available in your suite.

  • Calculated metrics

If you feel stuck with strict metrics in GA (not anymore in Universal Analytics) you will really enjoy the calculated metrics in Omniture. A practical example would be the conversion rate per product page. While not available in GA, Omniture let you calculate it and use it in all reports. Well, beware for what you are calculating; you could end up with an irrelevant metrics depending on your initial implementation.

  • Marketing Channels

Still trying to figure out what investment drag you the best ROI? Well you are probably missing the point of marketing channels. As traffic sources work together as a team, Omniture tried to help you understand the role of each source with its Marketing Channels reports. It gives you a detailed overview of marketing/non-marketing channels and their performances as First Touch Channel or Last Touch Channel. The granularity of marketing channels let you even see the difference between your branded keywords in search vs. generic keywords so as to separate behavior from one to the other.

To conclude, making the most of Omniture is a long and difficult journey that involves specialists that are ready to push further the limits of tracking. They will also need time and resources above expectations because you will always need more time than planned to go deeper into data’s in Omniture. It is said that internet and the online world have created loads of new strange jobs and functions and with the complexity of Adobe Suite, the giant just proves it is true!

written by Sylvain Thirionet

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