Q&A: Webtrends Alex Yoder on Analytics and Independent Tag Management, Part 1

Web trends, Alex YoderAs CEO of Webtrends, Alex Yoder is responsible for worldwide operations and the overall strategic vision of the company. Since joining Webtrends in 2000, he has focused on expanding the brand and delivering business value to global enterprises. Prior to Webtrends, Alex served as Vice President of Sales for Touch Clarity, a behavioral targeting company.

To say that he fully understands web analytics and where the industry is headed is an understatement. We recently caught up with him to discuss how his business is doing, how mobile analytics is growing, and the importance of an independent tag management system.

Q: It looks like the Webtrends relaunch a couple of years ago has proven successful, considering your recent record results. What would you say have been some of the highlights of the past year?

A: We are outpacing the market in terms of SaaS growth with growth over 23%.  Our leadership in digital analytics and optimization is confirmed by Forrester in their recent Wave Report and we received the highest marks of any vendor (as rated by their own customers) in the categories rich and emerging media support, openness and access to data, services and support satisfaction and product performance.  We were the first to market in unified Facebook Ad-Serving, Application Management and Analytics, allowing us to uniquely provide pure attribution to the ad, whether the conversion is on Facebook, or on the site.

Q:. Do clients have to use all of your products together or are you offering more of an a la carte service based on their business needs?

A: Our philosophy is that we have the most compelling digital marketing suite in the market today, but that we are not going to force any customer to use the entire platform to get value.  A customer may utilize any single, or multiple elements of our award-winning solution set including Facebook Ad Serving, Social Apps, Social Analytics, Mobile Analytics, Optimization and Personalization, Web Site Analytics, to individual customer behavioral segmentation.  We do it all together, or as a stand-alone.  The more solutions that are leveraged together, the greater the value that the customer will be able to leverage, as our suite is intended to easily build value on value by utilizing common tags, pushing customer segments into targeting engine, pushing customers from Ads to Apps, etc.

Q: Webtrends has a lot of expertise around mobile analytics, are the lack of standards making tagging more complex?

A: Webtrends has, in fact, consciously invested in mobile analytics technology and expertise. Industry research and our own customers tell us that mobile is likely to be the next growth market for digital marketers and we feel that we’re well positioned to serve that. To answer your question, in short, no, lack of standards in mobile tagging is not necessarily making things more complex.

There really are no standards currently about what metrics are most key for mobile measurement. However, we think we’ve been in front of the industry on developing capabilities to capture whatever data customers find most valuable. Additionally, we’re working with some leading brands in mobile, including Fandango and Telegraph UK, to determine and capture what’s most valuable to them. We’re helping customers to understand, appreciate, measure and, most importantly, derive ROI, from going beyond simply the app download and deeper into usage of the app into more tangible – or subtle – transactions and engagements.

For instance, some of the tagging techniques we have developed include our lightweight SDK’s built specifically for mobile, which we think are the best in the industry, and our async tag built specifically for mobile websites.  We certainly plan to continue to innovate and remain an industry leader in mobile moving forward.

In Part 2 of this two-part interview, Alex Yoder will discuss tag management and the benefits of working with an independent system. 

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