Casting a Wide Net, Anametrix Offers Big Clients Holistic Analytics
As an estimated 2,000 online retailers gather in Palm Desert, CA, today for the eTail West Conference, San Diego’s Anametrix says it’s introducing a new mobile app to give its corporate clients mobile access to cloud-based analytics data about their customers.
The Anametrix Mobile App, available for iOS, Android, and BlackBerry platforms, is intended to give digital marketing executives an additional tool for getting to the big data that is the real focus of the company’s technology. As Anametrix CEO Pelin Thorogood told me recently, “We are all about selling to marketers.” She sees their target customer as the chief marketing officer of a global 2000 corporation who is focused on its consumer business.
Anametrix provides its software analytics as a service, enabling digital marketers to better understand what factors are contributing to sales conversions, and to optimize marketing strategies by testing various ways to get consumers to push the button.
Former WebSideStory founder Blaise Barrelet started Anametrix three years ago, acquiring analytics technology that former WebSideStory system architect Anders Olsson developed to take a more integrated approach to analytics services. The startup raised $4.4 million in October from TVC Capital, a San Diego private equity firm. TechCrunch reported at the time that Anametrix had previously raised $2.3 million from Barrelet’s Analytics Ventures, Airtek Capital Group, WMAS Management Group, and Alain Schreiber.
Thorogood, a marketing and analytics strategist who also worked at WebSideStory, succeeded Barrelet as CEO at the beginning of the year. She says the company has been generating revenue from a variety of media, retail, and automotive customers, including Condé Nast, the UC San Diego Health System, and one of the big three U.S. automakers, Thorogood says.
Thorogood says the question that digital marketing executives are asking is whether the money they are spending on marketing campaigns results in actual sales—whether they are spending their dollars on traditional TV and print advertising, or on Web, social media, e-mail, and other digital marketing channels.
It’s not a question that can be answered solely by Web analytics or some other specialized analytics technology, because consumers often use different channels to “shop” before they buy. “There are so many touch points for consumers now,” Thorogood says. “There is no longer a straight line to making a purchase.”
Anametrix is focusing its technology on the trail of digital “breadcrumbs” that consumers leave in different channels, which consist of recommendations, shares, “likes,” Web searches, e-mail, and mobile geo-location data.
What the industry is missing, Thorogood says, “is a holistic view of consumers across all these different channels, a much more multi-dimensional view.” She maintains that Anametrix is the first company to provide this holistic view, pulling data from different marketing channels into cloud-based analytics that can be used by consumer marketers to see if their campaigns are working in real time.
“Lots of vendors who do social media analytics say they provide a holistic view, but they’re really just analyzing their own silo,” Thorogood says. “There is nobody else out there who provides this sort of holistic view across all digital sources.”
Anametrix also can be used to pull in data from other sources, Thorogood says. The company has developed a plug-in for Microsoft Excel (introduced in late January) that enables clients to pull in marketing data from any source connected to the Anametrix platform, including Web analytics, advertising, e-mail marketing, social media, search engine marketing, surveys, live chat, sales software, marketing automation, U.S Census, and third-party research.
“Microsoft Excel is still the primary analytics tool that most mortals use,” Thorogood says. Rather than trying to force customers to use the Anametrix Web-based interface, the plug-in enables customers to use the familiar Excel format. Unlike analytic tools that only allow users to export data into Excel, Thorogood says the plug-in is “bi-directional,” enabling users to see how changes would affect consumer behavior.
The Anametrix technology can be used to assess what would happen by adjusting key variables—by spending more or less on Google AdWords, for example—to see which option makes more money. The model also could be tweaked to show how different discount offers or other types of incentives would affect the profit margins related to particular marketing campaigns, Thorogood says.
Such technology ultimately enables corporate brands to optimize the efficiency of their marketing campaigns by identifying “micro-segments” and “micro-targeting” them in ways that maximize the conversion of shoppers to buyers. In this way, ads become increasingly customized to become more relevant to the viewing, search, and purchase patterns of consumers.
Thorogood says the companies that thrive are the ones that can do the best job of measuring these touch points of consumer behavior from different channels.