E-commerce has taken a broad, mainstream approach over the years. Marketers were throwing the idea behind the idea of a wall, just to see what was left. Black Hat SEO teams will try to play with search engines that bring them traffic. Your ego has been added to even more “uniqueness” and all levels of the organization obsessively focused on the amount of traffic.
In short, Internet marketers have adopted the telemarketing approach. The conversion rate was low, but if you called (or served) enough people, you would end up selling. With the ever-expanding frontier of the Internet, coupled with a relatively small number of companies selling online, this mass market or dragnet approach seemed like the best way out.
Then everything changed. Not only did search engines start to defeat black hat SEO techniques, but the online marketplace has become as busy as the physical one. Soon after, the online store quickly overtook the physical store, as the cost of maintaining a digital showcase is much lower than the cost of a single physical space. And thanks to the global decline of the digital kingdom, companies now face stiff competition from relatives around the world.
Business Intelligence has begun to move from raw “visits” data to more advanced metrics, such as click-per-click, keywords, and impressions. The set of available tools has expanded, and each consulting firm seems to be publishing its own guide to SEO. The landing page and keyword browsing tools began to appear left and right, and ‘checking your funnel for leaks’ became more than what you did before the university barrel.
The acceptability curve for all these new parameters was relatively flat. Business people understand fractions and proportions, and metrics provide simple ways to measure not only how well your website works, but also the staff you hire to manage and promote your website. Everything is neat, neat, fits perfectly on the dashboard.
However, these previously “advanced” analytical and marketing practices are recognized by the masses, and I have no doubt that “SEO for Dum-Dums” is present on many digital marketing shelves. The next frontier in web marketing is to focus less on macros and more on micro, and as the masses learn about “advanced” analytics, industry leaders go even further.
The purpose of the website, the only reason the business has a digital presence, is to meet the needs of customers. Whether it’s a product, a service, or just content (such as Wikipedia), customers visit websites to meet their needs. The next important indicator of online success for business is meeting needs.
Current economic intelligence does not assess this very well. You may know where they came from, how many pages they viewed and how they reacted to your site… but you can only infer the motivation (“why”) of their visit. The only way to access needs is to ask.
That’s where many companies are hesitant to measure. As soon as you start asking people for feedback, you leave a convenient world of facts and numbers. Verbatim comments are not easily placed on the dashboard and too often require significant investment in human resources or hardware/software. Companies see this as “soft science” or simply too complex.
What only penetrates into the collective consciousness is known to the leaders of public opinion a few years ago: the satisfaction of needs is directly related to loyalty. Simply put … why would anyone contact a competitor if their needs are met on your website?
The future of economic intelligence is not an activity, but the future of thinking and feeling. The company that is best able to understand the thoughts and feelings of its target audience is the company that is best suited to succeed in its particular field. The dashboards will never disappear, but I think you’ll be surprised how they will change because the importance of meeting needs extends from opinion leaders to the Internet as a whole.