September 19, 2007

Multichannel Forensics And Your Online Ecosystem

Please click on the image to enlarge it.

Web Analytics are wonderful! You can analyze the living daylights out of the myriad of ways customers use a website.

Web Analytics are not designed to understand customer behavior over time. In other words, Web Analytics were designed to understand what happened to a customer during a day/session/visit.

Multichannel Forensics are designed to illustrate how customers evolve over time.

Take the online game company in this example. The diagram at the start of this post illustrate how customers interact with product categories on this website.

Most of the new customers like to purchase poker equipment and dart equipment. This is important for search marketers to know ... this is where customer acquisition activities are likely to work best.

A secondary group of new customers purchase arcade games and billiards.

New customers tend to not purchase furniture, air hockey and foosball. These product classifications must require a bit more trust among the customer than poker equipment, dart equipment, arcade games, or billiards.

Once customers purchase from the website for the first time, they begin to migrate to other product classifications.

Poker equipment buyers purchase furniture or billiards.

Dart equipment buyers migrate to many products, including air hockey, foosball, and billards.

Those who buy arcade games migrate to furniture or air hockey.

Billiards buyers are very likely to buy other products, including poker equipment, dart equipment, furniture, and foosball.

Furniture, foosball, and air hockey product classifications are highly dependent upon customers who buy from other product classifications. This is important from an e-mail marketing standpoint --- you don't market foosball products to arcade game buyers --- these buyers are unlikely to migrate to this product classification.

Multichannel Forensics illustrate how customers migrate across a website, over time. The methodology gives tactical leaders in search marketing and e-mail marketing the strategies needed to be successful.

Business leaders benefit as well. If I were the General Manager of foosball products, I would make sure I were best friends with the GMs of air hockey, furniture, darts and billiards.

Incentives can be aligned properly. The GM of darts should be held to a different standard than the GM of air hockey. The GM of darts must acquire many new customers. If the GM of darts fails, the air hockey GM is less likely to succeed (because dart buyers evolve, eventually buying air hockey products).

There will be a lot of examples of this methodology in the new book, along with explanations for the calculations that create these images. Multichannel Forensics are highly complementary to today's Web Analytics packages.


  1. Anonymous6:15 AM


    I just got your note about the new book. Sounds very interesting. THis is a hot area. Following and working through how custeomrs change their shopping behaviors and their message processing behaviors is fascinating.

    I talk about similar things in my blog as well.

    I look forward to getting your book.

  2. Thanks for the message, Mr. Powell, I appreciate it!

  3. Anonymous2:32 PM

    Kevin, almost all web analytics packages are *designed* to track visitor behavior over time.

    Whether people actually use them that way is another question...

  4. For the most part, I agree. You can do a lot of things within the context designed by web analytics packages to measure customer behavior over time.

    Folks don't use the tools that way, I certainly agree with you on that topic.

    There are a lot of subtleties in measuring customers over time that web analytics packages aren't flexible enough to do ... couldn't possibly be flexible enough to do. That's where the work I do for CEOs comes into play.


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