Behavioral Targeting Resources: Ask Anil Batra

A friend of mine and a regular reader of my blog asked me about the resources that are available for someone to learn about Behavioral Targeting. Since I get a lot of questions via emails, I thought that I should answer it via a blog post so that others, who might be interested in the same topic, can benefit from it as well.

With this post I am also officially starting a column called “Ask Anil Batra”. Please send me your question on Web Analytics and Behavioral Targeting and I will try to answer them in my blog posts.

Now back to answering the question. Here is a list of Behavioral Targeting Resources that I know of:

Behavioral Targeting vendors have a lot of information and whitepapers on their own sites. I will do repost in future with a list of vendors and any whitepapers that might be of value. If you are a Behavioral Targeting vendor and would like to be included in this list then please contact me.

If you know of a resource on Behavioral Targeting then please leave me a comment or email it to me and I will add it in my future post.

Got a question on Web Analytics, Optimization or Behavioral Targeting? Send it to me at batraonline (at)

Looking to fill your Web Analytics or Online Marketing position? Try WebAnalytics Job Board

New Position
(Web Sales) Conversion Marketing Manager at Hewlett Packard (American Fork, UT)

Multichannel Marketing: Book Review

We live in a multi-channel world today. Customers are everywhere Online, Print, Mobile, Email, TV etc. Marketing efforts in one channel have an impact on the other channels. Customers interact with various channels before they take the final action i.e. to buy from you.

Mutli-channel customer behavior poses a problem for marketers who need to analyze impact of various marketing efforts and decide how to allocate their budget. It is one of the biggest challenges that face the marketers today. Akin Arikan provides a very practical approach to Multi-channel marketing measurement and optimization in his book Multichannel Marketing: Metrics and for On and Offline Success.

This book shows how to effectively measure and optimize the multi-channel marketing efforts using web analytics. Akin looks at multichannel measurement methods from web analysts, brand marketer and direct marketers point of view. He then takes these various methods to create cross channel analytics.

I highly recommend this book to all the marketers and web analysts. Great Job Akin!

Have you read this book? What do you think? Chime-in.

Here is a list of other books that web analysts recommend.

Mobile Analytics

According to Nielsen Mobile the adoption of the mobile web has reached a critical mass. Nielsen says that, as of May 2008, 15.6 percent of mobile subscribers in the US make regular use of the mobile Internet on their devices, totaling some 40 million subscribers. This is just a subset of the 95 million US mobile subscribers who pay for access to the mobile Internet (through data plans or some other setup) but don’t use it quite so regularly.

Despite such a surge in mobile internet usage business are lacking in measuring the mobile traffic. A recent survey by Omniture found that 71% of businesses are not measuring mobile traffic to their sites. It also found that 50 percent of businesses do not even know how many unique users landing on their sites originate from a mobile device.
Measuring Mobile internet traffic, also called “Mobile Analytics” is not easy, we are still dealing with the accuracy issues with web analytics and now Mobile analytics provides its own set of unique challenges.

Judah Philips in his post on Metrics insider covers a comprehensive list of challenges that Mobile Analytics faces.

Some of the key challenges he lists are

  • Data Collection –JavaScript is the most common way of collecting data for web analytics, but not all the mobile browsers execute JavaScript.
  • Unique visitor identification – due to lack of cookie support and the changing of IP addresses it is a challenge to uniquely identify a user.
  • Traffic source detection – Determining the source of traffic, such as search, email, direct entry, RSS feeds, and marketing campaigns can be challenging in the mobile space.
  • Geographic identification – Where are the visitors viewing your site coming from? But not all devices enable geographic detection because the gateway’s IP address is used, not a GPS signal.

Mobile Analytics Solutions

A lot of Mobile Analytics solutions have sprung up in past year or so and more are coming up (See my prediction for 2008). Some of the established web analytics vendors are also now offering Mobile Analytics solutions. These solutions widely differ in their technology, process and capabilities. Which solution will work for you will depend on your needs (In future I might compare some of these vendors on this blog, but meanwhile if you would like help in evaluating a solution you can email me at batraonline at Below is the list of current mobile analytics vendors that I am aware of.

Other Resources you might be interested in

Did I miss any tool/solution? Email me at batraonline at

Looking to fill your Web Analytics or Online Marketing position? Try WebAnalytics Job Board

Yahoo Web Analytics – Let’s Get Started

IndexTools was bought by Yahoo earlier this year and yesterday they rebranded themselves as Yahoo! Web Analytics.
Dennis Mortensen, Director of Data Insights at Yahoo, writes:

The re-branding also includes the launch of a new website and changes to the analytics product itself. It also includes a few enhancements to the tool, beyond making it scalable and compliant with the Yahoo! stack. From a user perspective, the first most noticeable fact is that we are moving to a single sign-on provided by Yahoo! and your account will be tied into your overall Yahoo! account.
As part of this announcement, we are also opening up further access to the tool and are now actively supporting:
• Yahoo! Store
• Yahoo! Developers (Y!OS)
• Yahoo! Head Advertisers (Microsites)
And for these, this is not just random access as in handing out 15000 logins, but well thought through integration with the platforms themselves. If you e.g. are a Yahoo! store owner you can enable enterprise-class web analytics by simply ticking a box and we then automatically inflate the correct tracking script variables at runtime. You are of course allowed to turn this off and take control yourself if needed. If you are a developer you will probably not even notice that it is us, as we fully instrument on the fly and create reports through the YWA API. All very exciting stuff I will elaborate on in future posts.
As you can read, this is not a free-for-all-come-and-get-it launch, but a carefully planned controlled access launch, which will keep all of our functionality in place and even enhance it. There is no dumbing down of the tool in any of the engagements above – and we will be working hard to add to the list of customers who can get access. So expect the above list to grow rapidly over the course of 2008. Anywho; The official PR message is:
Yahoo! Web Analytics will be released in stages to various business units and eco-system partners!

Some blog posts and articles (e.g. Yahoo Web Analytics claims faster updates than Google Analytics) are comparing Yahoo! Web Analytics to Google Analytics. In my opinion this tool is a lot better than Google Analytics and there is no real comparison between Google Analytics and Yahoo! Web Analytics. Yahoo! Web Analytics (IndexTools) compares more to the likes of Omniture SiteCatalyst, WebTrends Analytics etc. There are a lot of Omniture, WebTrends, Coremetrics customers who do not use (or need) the full functionality of these tools and Yahoo! Web Analytics tool could be great fit for these companies.

But how do you get Yahoo! Web Analytics?

ZeroDash1 (now Ascentium) is Yahoo! Web Analytics partner and can get you started on this tool. If you are interested in learning how we might save you thousands of dollar on web analytics tool email me at batraonline at, make sure to put “Yahoo! Web Analytics” in your subject line.

(As I was writing this post I saw Eric Peterson’s blog post that you might want to check out Yahoo Web Analytics does not compete with Google Analytics)

Looking to fill your Web Analytics or Online Marketing position? Try WebAnalytics Job Board

Direct Marketing Association’s Behavioral Targeting Survey

Direct Marketing Association (DMA) is seeking marketers from companies with behavioral targeting programs to take a 10-minute survey on their companies’ experiences. The survey contains 24 questions and aims to answer:

  • How much companies are spending on behavioral targeting
  • How much revenue it’s producing
  • What are implementation issues
  • Which behaviors they are using

All respondents will receive a top line report of the results of the survey. I will also post the results on this blog. If you are currently engaged in Behavioral Targeting, this is a great way to contribute to a report that will clarify the state of behavioral marketing today.

Take the DMA’s Behavioral Targeting Survey

Looking to fill your Web Analytics or Online Marketing position? Post your open jobs on WebAnalytics Job Board