A small but happy band of web analytics practitioners and friends of the industry met on Thursday, Jan. 24th in Beijing to talk about life, food and the status of the Web Analytics industry in China. 10 people from a wide variety of background came to share their insights and progress. It was in the good tradition of Web Analytics Wednesdays that they sat together in peace and friendship. This is their story.
- Growing from a small basis the attendance increased by more than 300%.
- All the participants came from agencies including MRM Worldwide, OgilvyOne, DMG and WanMo. I suspect this is a reflection of the current state of the industry. While large US companies now often do their web analytics in house, its the global agencies with existing skills and global clients that pioneer analytics in China. I have seen smaller startup and SEM agencies experimenting as well, but larger operations are only sustained by large agencies.
- No vendors joined although Google and Sinotech Media RSVP'ed. I expect them to join next time. With Darryl from Omniture joining as well, we should have a nice vendor panel. I am already looking forward to that meeting
This time the discussion focussed on tools and benchmarks
- Most agencies work with complex corporate tools that their clients license globally. These include Omniture, Webtrends, Coremetrics and HBX. The consensus is that these tools are too complex for the local market. Most analysts are new to web analytics and they have a hard time getting used to complex interfaces, inconsistent metrics and bad setups.
- Google Analytics is the clear winner in terms of ease of use, but expertise is missing there as well
- There is strong interest in locally developed tools, especially for popularizing web analytics with local clients
- Lack of vendor support and the non-existence of experienced analysts or even consultants leads to mess ups in installation and set-up that compromise data quality and analysis. Stronger support from the vendor side is sorely needed.
- While no one knows of existing benchmarks for CPC and CTR in China, the number published by JPMorgan are generally seen as fantasy. (Much like their balance sheet, I guess)
- While there is some value in general benchmarks, data shows that these numbers vary widely across industry. While FMCG campaigns have lower CPC, tech campaigns tend to have higher CPC's
- Most agencies calculate their CPC benchmarks in RMB, others use USD, which can make comparison difficult, when you are not stating the unit you are using
of us were extremely grateful to Eric T. Peterson and
WebAnalyticsDemystified for their generous sponsorship of the event.
The cheap prices of the event resulted in a free for all. (Or maybe we
just didn't drink enough BaiJiu).
We promise to drink more next time. I sincerely hope Eric and his team
find time some day to join us for a session, so we can thank them in
person. Eric, wouldn't the Beijing Olympics be a good
reason excuse to drop by?