We’ve still got a few posts remaining in our “15 for 15″ series, but today I wanted to highlight some features that haven’t been covered elsewhere in a short “potpourri” post with no real theme, other than that there are some great things in SiteCatalyst 15 that you might not know about yet.

Key Metrics report

SiteCatalyst 15 introduces a new report called “Key Metrics.” You will find it in the Site Metrics area on the left navigation menu. The purpose of the report is to allow you to add up to five site-level metrics (such as Page Views, Unique Visitors, Revenue, Registrations, Leads, Internal Searches, etc.) and compare these metrics against one another so you can easily identify divergent or convergent trends. (There is a normalization feature which puts these widely varying metrics on the same scale.)

Graph showing metrics trended against one another in SiteCatalyst 15

In the graph shown above, I’m comparing total Unique Visitors, Checkouts, Orders, Store Locator usage, and Registrations. I turned on normalization, so it’s clear to me how these metrics trend compared to one another. Next, I can do a few things.

  • First, I can apply a segment. This is where the report begins to become really powerful. I can see how these five metrics (or any others) trend differently against one another for mobile users (as an example) compared to other users, leading to questions like, “Why are checkouts way up among mobile users while revenue is flat?” Any of the segments that you can build and use in SiteCatalyst 15 can be applied in this report, making it as easy as possible to see the relationship between metrics on your site for key visitor or customer segments.
  • Second, I can add this report (with or without a segment applied) to a dashboard for distribution throughout my organization. Why distribute five dashboard reportlets showing critical metrics when you can distribute just one that allows any user to see trends overlaid clearly? Instead of having to build these dashboards manually using Excel Client or ReportBuilder, you can use this feature to begin to tell a story that leads to the kinds of questions and answers that really move the proverbial needle.

Report Suite-specific Calendar Events

One of the most popular ideas in the Idea Exchange since its inception has been the suggestion to make calendar events—the ability to overlay your line graphs in SiteCatalyst with notes detailing events that occurred on certain dates so that your data is always in context—report suite-specific. Previously, they had been company-specific, which means that an event which pertained to a particular area of your business would be displayed on all graphs containing the given date range, even in report suites which had nothing to do with the event. This was confusing and, in some cases, misleading for organizations with more than one or two production report suites.

As one user told us, “Recently, I tried to mark a calendar event in SiteCatalyst to note a promotion we did for one of our sites. I quickly realized that marking a calendar event marked that date on every report for every site we track. This is not useful. The fact that I ran a promotion on Site A is of no relevance whatsoever to Site B and actively makes all reports except one harder to understand.”

We listened! With the release of SiteCatalyst 15, you now have the option of making a new calendar event specific to a single report suite; alternatively, you can still apply calendar events to the entire company if desired. And the best news of all? This feature is available to both SiteCatalyst 14 users and SiteCatalyst 15 users. Every one of you can use this feature today.

Report suite-specific calendar events

When you go to Favorites > Calendar Events, you will see that there is a link allowing you to choose a report suite. Currently, this feature allows you to select either a single report suite or an entire company. Now your users can see these contextual nuggets of insight at a much more granular level, leading to far greater clarity and better unearthing of insights.

Variability of Last-Touch Marketing Channel override

Sounds confusing, right? Here’s what happened.

The original release of the Marketing Channels report gave you the ability to define whatever channels make up your online marketing mix, then compare those channels side-by-side visually on both a first-touch and last-touch basis. (Why be limited to just one, right?) One of the limitations that we quickly heard was that the “Direct” (no referrer on first page view of visit) and “Internal” (internal referrer on first page view of visit) channels were overwriting other, more salient channels simply because they happened later in that visitor’s history.

Let’s say a user came to your site three times. The first time, he came via paid search. The second time, he came via an e-mail campaign. The third time, he came directly, and then purchased. Users wanted the ability for that purchased to be tied to the E-mail channel, rather than direct.

As of the release of SiteCatalyst 15, you now have control over this overwrite. (And yes, this one is also available in SiteCatalyst 14!) If there are channels that should not overwrite an existing last-touch value, you have the ability to ensure that they don’t. In the example just given, you can decide whether the purchase should be credited to Direct or E-mail. Here is that example represented visually:

Three visits with three different channels

As an admin user, I can go to the Marketing Channel Manager in the Admin Console and uncheck the box in the “Override Last-Touch Channel” column for any channel that should not override an existing value. Typically this will be “Direct” and “Internal,” as described above, but in theory you can turn this off for any channel if you want it to receive credit only if there isn’t a previous last-touch value persisting from a previous visit.

Uncheck these boxes to ensure that these channels do not overwrite

To make things clear, we also added a message that you will see whenever you define processing rules for a channel that won’t override an existing channel. It will say, “Only with new engagements (won’t override existing channels)” clearly in the rule setup, so there will be no doubt how this rule will function when it begins to act on your data.

Conclusion

I really could keep going, but in the interest of time and word count, I’m going to stop here. I want to re-emphasize—even though I’m sure you are sick of hearing it from me—that we really are listening to your ideas and your comments and votes in the Idea Exchange. Each of these three ideas came directly out of feedback we received there and elsewhere.

Also, it’s worth pointing out that two of these three ideas are available to all SiteCatalyst users today, regardless of access to SiteCatalyst 15. You can begin using calendar events at the report suite level and controlling how your conversions are allocated to marketing channels immediately.

Please leave a comment and share with us any other favorite features in SiteCatalyst 15—or recent additions to SiteCatalyst 14—that we haven’t covered here!

As always, if you have any questions about anything in this post, or about anything else related to the Adobe Online Marketing Suite, please leave a comment here or contact me on Twitter and I’ll do my best to get you the information that you need.

2 comments
Herbal Potpourri Bulk
Herbal Potpourri Bulk

All the information above really caught my attention and it really helps me a lot. Keep posting!

Tomas Balciunas
Tomas Balciunas

"you can turn this [Override Last-Touch Channel] off for any channel if you want it to receive credit only if there isn’t a previous last-touch value persisting from a previous visit." Since the last touch value is set on the first visit then it means that first touch and last touch will look exactly the same? However, I'm more concerned about last touch channel rules being checked on every single page view during the visit. Not too mention I had to find this out in a very painful way I don't really see the logic behind it. It creates massive problems because each rule can be matched on any page. Therefore the rule hierarchy becomes not important (only if two or more rules can be matched on the same page). Most importantly it is very difficult (unless you use default rules) to create your own accurate rules because you have to think not about the last VISIT before purchase but about every single PAGE VIEW during that last visit.