Context Means Everything
Note: This series of articles features technologies demonstrated at Summit Sneaks Night during Adobe Summit, the Digital Marketing conference. Sneaks demonstrations are a preview of the ideas and technologies percolating inside Adobe Labs, and should not be viewed as a representation of product plans or features.
Mark Twain popularized the saying, “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics.” It’s often assumed that Twain was referring to the intentional misrepresentation of data. But he was actually talking about the folly of fooling himself with the wrong figures — something that’s all too easy to do.
That’s why context is critical when it comes to analyzing your own business data. You can check your site metrics and see that sales are up twelve percent; but is that good? It might seem so at face value. But what if the rest of your industry is up thirty percent? What seemed like good news suddenly turns sour. Context matters.
That’s why Adobe publishes the Adobe Digital Index (ADI), a collection of research about digital marketing based on the analysis of anonymous, aggregated data from over 5,000 companies worldwide. With the ADI, marketers can gain valuable context, including historical and predictive trends for their industry — from retail to publishing to mobile marketing and more — and apply it in the analysis of their own business data.
Unfortunately, even with the ADI, it’s not always easy to gain a complete contextual understanding of your industry. It’s a manual process that requires cultivating reliable sources for industry data, consistent reading of the latest reports, and constant searching for new articles, analysis and insight.
Adobe wants to make it easier. That’s why we’ve been working on a concept technology called Benchmarker. Demonstrated for the first time as part of the Sneaks session at Adobe Summit, the Digital Marketing Conference, Benchmarker combines contextual data from the ADI side-by-side with a marketer’s individual business data in a single, visual analytics tool.
During the demonstration, Tamara Gaffney, principal analyst for the Adobe Digital Index, showed the crowd how Benchmarker can quickly and easily filter combined data by industry, geography and individual data trends, and visually highlight trends such as revenue growth, revenue by day, acquisition sources, mobile share and even the different steps of the conversion funnel.
“If you’re like most marketers, you’ll find that some of your data looks really small — perhaps your social media referrals. And some of your data may look really high, like your bounce rate,” Tamara explains. “Last year, for example, search referrals traffic started going down and direct traffic started going up. But most marketers lacked the context to know that was happening to everybody.
“Wouldn’t it be nice to see that the same trend is happening in your segment, or perhaps that a trend that is happening to you, is not happening to others? We want to put this kind of information at your fingertips.”
Benchmarker is just one example of Adobe’s dedication to improving the value of business data in the Adobe Marketing Cloud. With better context comes more accurate analysis and improved decision making — helping digital marketers avoid the very folly Twain so aptly described a century ago
Check out other sneaks previewed on the Summit stage: