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Analysing web analytics: Adobe, Steak, Webtrends and others discuss key trends


By The Drum Team | Editorial

April 17, 2012 | 4 min read

As part of The Drum’s special report on analytics, we spoke to a number of agencies operating in the space to gain an insight into the key issues surrounding this heady topic.

In a series of features, we’ll be looking at the industry’s responses to the questions we posed, to determine the challenges and trends facing analytics in 2012.What do you expect the key trends in the web analytics industry to be, going forward into 2012?James Holding, PPC analyst, Epiphany SolutionsIntegrating social into a web analytics package, due to the way social and search has shifted recently, will be a key step forward in the coming year. As social becomes more important, companies are going to have to justify an increased spend in this area, which will required improved measurement of both direct and indirect response generated by this channel, which is likely to advance in 2012. Attributing a value to social for both sale/lead generation and especially customer service, will be key.Visitor centric traffic as opposed to visit centric – grouping a certain individual’s visits to a site across any platforms they use and however many times they visit the site – allows for much better behaviour analytics and will provide more actionable feedback for improvements as well as determining future marketing strategy.Mike Quinn, product marketing manager, Adobe2012 will see a big rise in predictive marketing. Marketers therefore need a solution that not only lets them easily sort through ‘big data’ to find impactful insights, but one which lets them leverage the vast amount of historical data to predict future results. Through this insight, they can then improve a variety of digital marketing strategies, including personalised engagement, multi-channel campaign execution and media monetisation. Personalisation is another key trend for 2012 – this is driven by customers wanting an online experience tailored to them and their needs. Analytics solutions therefore need be able to leverage information from customer interactions in order to deliver personal online experiences. As social media continues to dictate and drive change in the way we connect with customers, marketers will also look for solutions which simplify social media measurement and link it back to business objectives. Conrad Bennett, VP of technical services, EMEA, Webtrends2012 is going to be all about privacy. We’ve had 12 months grace from the EU's Privacy and Communications Directive (EU Cookie Law), but that ends next month on 26th May when the ICO says it will start to look at enforcing the law. In addition you have the EU Justice Minister, Viviane Reding, discussing a complete rewrite of data protection laws across the union. So the topic is going to stay in the news for some time yet.Elsewhere you’ve got discussions around multi-channel analytics and ‘big data’ as businesses seek to integrate multiple data silos (online and offline) from across business units in the hope of seeking greater insightsThe key to success in all cases is to have the internal expertise to interpret your data that allows for data driven decision making.Duncan Parry, COO, STEAKClients don't want to worry about learning multiple tools, implementing multiple tags, paying for them, deducing and figuring out how to integrate the resulting data sets.Analytics vendors know that clients want an all-in-one solution across web analytics and campaign tracking that covers impressions, clicks and social metrics for all channels and platforms - with data about multiple visits to allow attribution analysis.So the vendors are in an arms race to chase new revenues and protect their customer bases from each other - and Google. It's only a matter of time before ad serving, PPC and display campaign tools, social campaign tools and tracking and SEO ranking reports are in the same interface.Seth Richardson, CEO of DC Storm The industry will change as companies recognise the value of data integration and tuning tools to fit business specific requirements.

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STEAK is an International digital marketing agency with offices in Europe, Asia Pacific and North America. We were founded in 2005 by search engine pioneers who saw the need for a specialist digital agency that understood marketing and technology – and could talk the language of both worlds to help brands increase their online presence. Today the STEAK Group brands, STEAK and Minute Steak ( operate at a global level with two of the original founders continuing to manage the company. In 2011 STEAK became part of Dentsu, the World’s fifth largest marketing communications agency, with over 100 offices in 27 countries. The company’s range of services have expanded since it’s early days as a search agency to encompass integrated digital media and creative, but the focus remains the same: to deliver digital campaigns that generate a return on budgets, whether measured against sales targets or brand and engagement metrics.

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