As a gas­tronome (or “gas­trog­nome” since I’m less than 5′ 8″ tall), I love any­thing related to food. That’s why I was excited to speak with the folks at the French Culi­nary Insti­tute (FCI) to hear what’s new since they migrated from HBX to the Site­Cat­a­lyst plat­form. I chat­ted with Raina Bien, Asso­ciate Direc­tor of Mar­ket­ing for FCI, part of a fam­ily of com­pa­nies which also includes the Ital­ian Culi­nary Acad­emy and the Inter­na­tional Culi­nary Cen­ter.

Hon­estly, we didn’t have much in the way of expec­ta­tions for the migra­tion,” said Raina. “Ours is a small staff, and while Web data is impor­tant to us, our report­ing was pretty basic with HBX, mostly just traf­fic and page views. We weren’t even track­ing paid and nat­ural search.” I guess you could say that for French Culi­nary Insti­tute, Web Ana­lyt­ics were on the back burner. Then, an agency with whom FCI works rec­om­mended they take advan­tage of our pro­gram to move onto Site­Cat­a­lyst, cit­ing its advanced func­tion­al­ity and inte­gra­tion with the Omni­ture Suite. They called Omni­ture Site­Cat­a­lyst “the Lam­borgh­ini of Web Ana­lyt­ics programs.”

Our busi­ness is largely based around dri­ving leads more effec­tively and our HBX imple­men­ta­tion sim­ply didn’t allow us to do that,” Raina told me. So, while FCI was start­ing to tag inter­nal pro­mo­tions, a dis­cus­sion ensued about a call-to-action that was under­per­form­ing. Their Omni­ture Imple­men­ta­tion Con­sul­tant was able to show them that they were cor­rect, it wasn’t very effec­tive at dri­ving leads, and he sug­gested a more promi­nent, salient place­ment else­where on the page.

Their Con­sul­tant also pointed out how impor­tant the con­nec­tion is between a call­out and its land­ing page. The word­ing in the call­out needs to match with ver­biage on the lead form. Because the “Get Your Free Infor­ma­tion Kit” tile linked to a rel­e­vant land­ing page, it out­per­formed the call­out in the top nav by 8:1 in leads sub­mit­ted! It has since become a fix­ture on the FCI home­page. Now FCI can track leads in gran­u­lar detail. Not only can they tell what key­words and search engines are dri­ving leads, but also can begin to assess the impact that page place­ment and graphic treat­ment have on lead con­ver­sion. “This is huge for us because now we can allo­cate our mar­ket­ing bud­get accord­ing to lead qual­ity,” Raina said.

Another rel­a­tively new ele­ment to the FCI Web site was online video. As men­tioned in my last post, videos can be costly to pro­duce, so FCI wanted to see what they were get­ting out of their invest­ment. Enter Par­tic­i­pa­tion Met­rics, one of my favorite con­structs of Site­Cat­a­lyst, to mea­sure a page or asset’s influ­ence. By run­ning a Videos report show­ing Par­tic­i­pa­tion, FCI can see how many Views, Leads, and Appli­ca­tions each video drives.

Online appli­ca­tions were also a key area in which we had no good data,” Raina told me. “We needed to under­stand where in the appli­ca­tion process peo­ple were bail­ing out and try to keep them on the path.” There are a few ways to accom­plish this in Site­Cat­a­lyst, but using a Fun­nel report show­ing key Events tells the story suc­cinctly. Now they can track fall­out within the process as well as how it trends over time as shown in the screen cap­ture below.

Com­bined with Site­Cat­a­lyst Pathing reports, FCI is able to see where in their multi-step appli­ca­tions users are bail­ing out; as well as where they’re going and if they return to the appli­ca­tion process or not. Per­haps the most appre­ci­ated func­tion­al­ity of all within Site­Cat­a­lyst is the tool’s abil­ity to dis­sem­i­nate data. Pre­vi­ously, FCI had a resource cutting-and-pasting reports from HBX into Excel for dis­tri­b­u­tion through­out the com­pany. Now, using Site­Cat­a­lyst, key stake­hold­ers can get auto­mated reports deliv­ered to them on a recur­ring sched­ule as part of a lights-out process. Set it and for­get it. Gotta love that. And you have to admire how FCI worked with my team to uplevel their Web Ana­lyt­ics pro­gram. They intro­duced sound, action­able and hereto­fore unre­al­ized data points that help them run their busi­ness more effi­ciently. Just a lit­tle more food for thought if you’re con­sid­er­ing the switch from HBX to SiteCatalyst.