How will the digital analytics market evolve?

by bold-lichterman

A complex environment

Today, prospects / customers use a multitude of devices (PC, phones, tablets, TV, etc.) to connect to a variety of media (websites, mobile sites, applications etc.) through a growing number of channels online communication (sponsored links, emailing, display etc.). Added to this are the offline media (written press, TV, radio, etc.) with which advertisers must juggle in harmony.

The whole forms a complex ecosystem which makes it difficult to market and market the products / services of advertisers:

digital-ecosystem-complex (2)

Fortunately, one of the specificities of online communication media and channels (compared to offline communication media and channels) is that they are fully measurable and therefore controllable by performance. The major objective of all advertisers today is to understand their ecosystem in order to know how to manage it, optimize it in a semi-automated way and provide their prospect / customer with the most personalized experience possible.

Digital analytics, (that is to say the qualitative and quantitative analysis of the data of a service and its competitors), is one of the components making it possible to achieve this objective.

The events that marked the history of digital analytics

The evolution of digital analytics is closely linked to the evolutions of the Web.

Three major evolutions of the Web have upset digital analytics: two technological evolutions, the arrival of the JavaScript language and new storage technologies and a legal evolution, the European directive on cookies.

The arrival of JavaScript has revolutionized the discipline by making it possible to collect new data in a more precise way compared to the method of collecting data by analyzing logs.

The democratization of new storage technologies has made possible new uses such as access and use of data in real time for the purposes of optimizing digital performance both in terms of traffic acquisition and personalization.

The application of the European directive on cookies in the countries of the European Union has obliged advertisers to request the consent of their visitor before using a solution to track their behavior. Advertisers now have to strike a balance between being in compliance with the law and always collecting more data.

In the field of digital analytics, following the creation of the market by the webtrends solution in 1993, two major events marked the evolution of the discipline: the release of the free audience measurement solution Google Analytics and the release of the first Tag Management System (TMS). These two events changed the market.

The Google Analytics solution has greatly contributed to the development of the discipline. It is known to everyone and rare are the advertisers who have not already used it.

The digital analytics market today consists of seven major solutions:

C:  Users  Brice  Downloads  solution-leader-digital-analytics.png

Each of these solutions try to constitute a suite of solutions aimed at meeting all the needs of advertisers, from data collection to analysis and optimization. Three solutions remain independent today on the market: webtrends (American solution), AT Internet (leader on the French market) and Webtrekk (leader on the German market).

The next big trends

The maturity and needs of advertisers have evolved. They no longer simply want personalized or non-personalized reports to track their web performance. Among other things, they want to have the possibility of taking optimization actions, ideally semi-automatically, to optimize the objectives of their site / application.

Digital analytics solutions must evolve from the status of a solution for measuring and monitoring visitor behavior to the status of a solution for optimizing digital performance. This development, already difficult, has in addition to technological prerequisites. In addition, there is competition, ever fiercer between existing solutions, and the arrival of new, more agile competitors, resolutely focused on optimization and having a technological base already based on new standards.

Only digital analytics solutions that are geared towards these new needs will be calm, will retain and develop their market share by 2018.

Beyond digital analytics, certain types of solutions should be followed in particular:

  • Data Management Platform (DMP): BlueKai, Krux, Lotame, Exalate etc.

  • Tag Management System (TMS): Tealium, Ensighten, Signal, TagCommander etc.

  • Personalization and testing: Optimizely, Qubit, A / B Tasty etc.

  • Data visualization: Tableau, Qlik, Tibco Spotfire etc.

Here is a diagram presenting certain evolution hypotheses:

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The digital analytics market is mature, all the solutions attempt, by creating or buying solutions, to compose a product suite made up of at least one product in these major areas: DMP, TMS, Testing and customization and visualization of data. This is to go towards optimizing digital performance. As always, the majority of these markets will be concentrated: DMP, TMS (pursuit) and personalization and testing. The digital analytics and data visualization market is structured and mature enough to continue as it is today.

It should also be noted that CRM and BI solutions (SalesForce or SAS for example) will surely come closer to the world of digital analytics by buying one or more players in these fields. For now, only Oracle has gotten a foothold by buying DMP BlueKai in February 2014 for an estimated amount of $ 400 million in order to converge CRM and DMP.

Brice-BottégalBrice Bottégal started his career at Hub’Sales, an agency specializing in digital analytics consulting, as a digital analytics consultant. He later took on the responsibility of pre-sales. He then joined the publisher TagCommander as a product manager. Brice Bottégal has also been professor of digital analytics at the HETIC school for 6 years.

This article is an overview of the study Brief history of digital analytics written by Brice Bottégal. Its objective is to make a historical return on the discipline, the main events which marked its evolution and to try to predict the next trends. The full study can be downloaded here: http://bit.ly/1mexZEv .

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