DoubleClick Enters Web Site Analytics

DoubleClick is looking to parlay its background in ASP-based Web ad serving and management into an offering in the competitive site analytics space, challenging established veterans like NetIQ and WebSideStory.

Like its competitors, New York-based DoubleClick’s new SiteAdvance service is designed to track and analyze user activity on e-commerce Web sites, for use in studying and improving on site navigation and sale processes.

DoubleClick also said the tool could integrate with marketers’ advanced analytics and modeling tools, like SAS, digiMine and SPSS.

The product launches with charter customers including Crate and Barrel, J. Jill and Flax Art & Design.

SiteAdvance will be rolled out piecemeal, with two of the service’s four modules available at launch. As a result, the product initially will offer basic tools like grouping and gleaning information from visitors, and studying transactions.

The remaining two modules, Customer Segmentation and Campaign Effectiveness, will be available fourth quarter. They provide for advanced visitor segmentation, comparative reporting, and — critically for DoubleClick’s pitch to clients — integration with outbound marketing efforts.

With Campaign Effectiveness, DoubleClick intends for SiteAdvance to complement and integrate closely with the company’s existing DART for Advertisers and DARTmail products. In such a setup, SiteAdvance would pull data from the firm’s Web and e-mail serving offerings, using that information to study the impact that advertising, online direct mail and CRM efforts have on site traffic and transactions.

SiteAdvance’s Campaign Effectiveness module also enables users to specify a group of visitors, click a button, and automatically queue an e-mail campaign.

Those integration capabilities are crucial for DoubleClick, which is banking that it can appeal to the large base of clients who are already using its other products, or prospects that would be interested on buying an entire marketing and analysis product suite.

“A lot of the conversations we’ve been having are with prospects who been interested in bundled offerings of the e-mail tool and this together,” said Jonathan Heller, DoubleClick’s vice president of strategy. “We’re hearing very good feedback on an integrated suite of products. You can have one vendor with one integrated set of tools that do outbound marketing and site analytics.”

The firm also said it’s able to leverage its existing DART ASP platform to serve SiteAdvance, keeping implementation costs down.

SiteAdvance enters the market as a challenger to established players like WebSiteStory and NetIQ’s WebTrends ASP. NetIQ also offers a number of software solutions, including its WebTrends Reporting Center — a major update for which, coincidentally, will be announced on Tuesday. NetIQ’s WRC version 5.0 will feature a number of enhancements including customized and comparative reporting, scenario analysis, and automatic campaign and page analysis configuration.

Meanwhile, WebSideStory last week received a patent protecting its ASP-based service.

Still, Heller said DoubleClick is optimistic about SiteAdvance’s prospects, and plans to aggressively pitch against its rivals.

“Three advantages we have are that we think they don’t answer the right questions; they’re too costly; and we have better information — because by not being integrated to the delivery tools, you don’t get the right information in and the right information out,” he said. “I think we won’t be going into clients that have nothing for site analysis. What we did with betas is we went in to someone who had something already … and they said ‘we like this better.'”

The launch is the latest in DoubleClick’s efforts to expand the analytical tools it provides to marketers. In January, the firm’s Abacus subsidiary launched ChannelView, an offering that tracks and analyzes activity from direct mail and catalogs, e-mail, e-commerce and offline sales — helping marketers identify specific campaigns’ effectiveness in converting consumers.

Heller added that DoubleClick began planning its latest project about a year ago.

“Partly, we were looking at what made sense for us to expand into, and the wants and needs of our customers,” he said. “It boiled down to that they didn’t have the right information to make decisions properly.”

News Around the Web