So, today I have some things to tell you.
The first is that we’ve decided on the official product name for Gatineau, and it is (drum r0ll please) Microsoft adCenter Analytics. The name… well, it more or less does exactly what it says on the tin. It’s from Microsoft, it’s available through our adCenter online marketing portal (though see below for some exciting news in this regard), and it’s an Analytics tool. So a pretty good name overall, I think. You will probably find me referring to it simply as “adCenter Analytics” or even just “Analytics” on this blog.
The second, more exciting, news is that we have just shipped a major upgrade to the adCenter Analytics beta. This beta refresh contains a bunch of interesting new stuff, some of which has been seen in demos around the world over the past few months, and some of which hasn’t been seen before. So, what’s new?
It has been mentioned to us that the $5 fee to create an adCenter account in order to access the Analytics beta was a major barrier to adoption. We knew this all along, and as I’ve posted before, it was simply a question of the timing of the release of some enhancements to our user account system which prevented us from waiving this fee from the outset. But as of now, there’s no fee requirement (no need, even, to part with your credit card details) to create an Analytics account, whether or not you already use adCenter. This only affects new account sign-ups, and I’m afraid we’re not in a position to refund the $5 fee that anyone has previously paid.
All your PPC campaign data are belong to us
Ok, not belong; but I couldn’t resist the pop culture reference. adCenter Analytics now allows you to import bid and click data from adCenter, Google Adwords and Yahoo! Search Marketing, so that you can view a report of the ROI of your entire search marketing campaign in one place. The adCenter integration is totally automatic and seamless; Google and Yahoo integration is achieved through a CSV file import (we’re continuing to look at other ways of making this more automated in the future).
I was talking to a media planner for an interactive agency in Seattle the other day who said to me, “you know the question I get asked most often by clients? ‘What’s running?'”. adCenter Analytics’ new Campaign Timeline Report will tell you, providing a visual breakdown of all the marketing campaigns that are running over a given period. It’ll also show you which campaigns are performing well, and which ones aren’t. This report makes it really easy to see how concurrently running campaigns are influencing one another, and if one campaign is ‘cannibalizing’ the conversions from another. Click the image below for a closer look.
One, two, tree
Another of the cool features in this refresh of the beta is the “Tree Map” view of site traffic:
This view is designed to give you an instant idea of which content is popular, and which isn’t; but it also allows you to look at two measures (e.g., visits and bounces) on the same view at the same time. So the size of a box might relate to the number of visits to that page; whilst the color of the box relates to the bounce rate. This way, discrepancies between two measures (showing, for example, apparently popular pages that have high bounce rates) can be spotted quickly. There’s also a version which breaks out inbound referral data in the same way, enabling you to understand if your super-clicky marketing campaign is actually not generating any sales.
Making it easy
When I previewed adCenter Analytics in Washington DC, I showed a tool we’d developed to help with instrumentation by inserting tags into pages automagically. I’ve previously blogged about this, but here’s a little movie of the functionality again for your edification. Instrumentation (i.e. tagging) is the number 1 barrier to web analytics adoption, so this is our attempt to make things a little easier.
Compare & Contrast
In this beta, Gatineau gets the ability to perform period-on-period analysis, allowing to compare one period’s numbers with another’s easily. The functionality’s found in the calendar control:
What’s nice about this is that it’s very easy to compare week-on-week performance (or month-on-month); you don’t have to go and manually select the week start and stop dates. And it works with custom date ranges too. The results look like this (click on the image for a larger view):
The little arrows show whether things are going up or down (in the screenshot above, all the traffic seems to be going down, sadly).
A sense of history
This beta also contains some useful visitor history & loyalty reports – things like new/repeat visits, depth & length of visit, and visit recency:
Show me the money
And finally (for this post, at least – there’s lots of other stuff in this beta that I’ve glossed over), adCenter Analytics now has a bunch of e-commerce reporting, allowing you to specify purchase events in you
r instrumentation, and automatically pass the conversion values from your e-commerce system so that they appear in the reports. It will look a lot like the image below, although with some actual non-zero numbers in it (our demo data set for this functionality is still a bit lame – sorry). Click the image for a bigger version.
That’s it for now. if you’re already up and running with adCenter Analytics, you will see this new functionality the next time you log in. If you’ve previously received an invite but hadn’t activated, go and find the invite e-mail we sent you and click the link. If you would like an invite, fill out the form here (note, this URL has changed):
If you’ve previously requested access via the online form, but haven’t received your invite e-mail, hang tight – we’re planning to invite more folks during March, and you should be on that list.
My colleague Mel has also posted on the adCenter blog with a bunch of extra information about adCenter Analytics-related resources, so go check that out too.