**Posted on behalf of Jason Klapmeier, Global Analytics Capabilities Leader at 3M***
Your only limit in Adobe Analytics is your analytical creativity, so keep a creative mindset! You should watch videos, read articles, and experiment in the tool until you are an expert. To give you a taste of what you can look forward to as your expertise in Adobe Analytics grows, I want to walk you through some of the interesting features we’ve been able to leverage to maximize the capabilities of Adobe Analytics.
In late 2017, 3M underwent a transition from using a web analytics tool we’d been using for the past 20 years to Adobe Analytics. Later, we added Adobe Audience Manager and Adobe Target. Sounds straight forward enough, right? Here’s the challenge: 3M is a Fortune 100 company with over 80,000 employees worldwide, a website with tens of millions of pages, and a complex business model with over 60,000 products simultaneously selling in the b2b and b2c spheres. In meeting this challenge, my role is to ensure our analytics community gets the most out of Adobe Analytics and our various analytics tools. Here are a few advanced use cases Adobe Analytics has unlocked for us:
Creating complex segments
Previously, I mentioned the sheer size of our website. One feature that’s very useful within Adobe Analytics is the ability to create either basic or complex segments. In Adobe, a segment is simply a data filter which allows you to slice n’ dice the data however you’d like. I often recommend analysts and marketers determine how they want to look at the data. That is, from a page perspective or a visitor perspective? Using segmentation, you could identify a part of the URL and look at only pages with “/en_us/products/autoparts/” in the querystring. Or maybe, you want to look at all pages that have a specific piece of metadata. You can choose to investigate however you wish! Furthermore, maybe you want to create a segment (filter) to analyze a certain type of user behavior. You can even do that, as an example, by creating a segment of people who visited your homepage, then went to a product page within three pageviews, then clicked on a “buy now” button. The take-home point here is you have the flexibility to create data segments without the need of having programmer knowledge. Use your imagination!
Defining your most important metrics
Speaking of user behavior, we often find tremendous value in having the ability to define what we think are important metrics. Obviously, you have many metrics available to you out of the box. However, all implementations of Adobe are a little different. With the flexibility to create custom calculated metrics, we have been able to integrate a customer experience tool with Adobe Analytics to calculate things like Net Promoter Score, Customer Satisfaction Scores, Promoters, and Detractors. Combine this with the audience-building capabilities of Adobe Audience Manager and you can reduce your customer churn, increase visitor loyalty, and improve conversion rates. It all leads to objective and measurable improved business performance!
Creating your own engagement index
You might ask, “what about looking at high-level performance?” It’s clear we can really get deep in the flowers looking at every tactic and detail on the website, but sometimes we need something to guide a larger strategy. The tremendous flexibility of Adobe Analytics has enabled analysts and data scientists at 3M to create ingenious engagement indices. Remember when we discussed creating segments and calculated metrics? You can take any number of segments and metrics to create your own engagement index. Perhaps you want to give weighted value to specific on-site behaviors, or maybe you give greater value to specific video views or file downloads. Combining various metrics allow you to create a score of on-site behaviors to give you insight into who your most valuable customers are. You’re now moving beyond descriptive analytics!
Venturing into predictive analytics
Let’s bring each of these features together into what really makes Adobe Analytics powerful. Most analysts and marketers get stuck at descriptive analytics (what happened). But what if you could automate a number of these features, bring them together, and venture into predictive analytics (using patterns to predict outcomes)? You can combine the raw analytical power of Adobe Analytics with Adobe Audience Manager and Adobe Target to serve your customers a fully-integrated, personalized experience. Adobe can integrate with many technologies, and we’ve done so with powerful visitor intelligence tools to identify who our most valuable b2b accounts are when visiting our sites. Bringing the full tech stack together, we can identify who comes to the site, serve them content tailored specifically to them, and retarget them based on their behavior on the site. It’s about creating a unique experience!
Even with an organization as large and complex as 3M, Adobe Analytics allows the creative analytics professional to harness tremendous insights. But remember, you don’t need to go all-out with account-based marketing and tailored content right away to get a lot out of the tool. Just keep learning and growing, and over time you’ll get used to having such a wide-open selection of options at your disposal, and you’ll be able to do truly incredible things in Adobe Analytics!