If you have young sons like I do, you might have been exposed to the children’s show “Bob the Builder”. Regardless of your exposure, you most likely have heard the show’s common catch phrase. When Bob and his team are faced with a challenge to fix something that is broken, one of Bob’s friends asks, “Can we fix it?!”, to which everybody in the gang replies emphatically, “Yes we can!!” All is well and good at that point, but in a gesture of doubt or outright rebellion, Bob’s friend Lofty quickly follows-up the famous catch phrase with one of his own: “Uh… yeah, I think so!”
Over the years, retail clients that I have worked with in the past have asked me questions like:
- “Can we track this new special feature that’s on the website?”
- “Can we track how many times people click on this button?”
- “Can we track how long visitors hover over this link?”
- “Can you give me every SiteCatalyst plugin that you offer your clients?”
To these types of questions, I can say with certainty, “Yes we can!!” In my history with the company, I have rarely seen a situation in which SiteCatalyst could not track certain activity that takes place on a website. In other words, if there’s a will, there is a way with SiteCatalyst. But at the same time that I say, “Yes we can!!” I also develop Lofty’s somewhat cynical attitude and have to slightly shake my head at such questions. Now, the problem with addressing these sorts of questions doesn’t come from the ability to address them; rather, the problem is that in many cases, the client that asks these sorts of questions doesn’t have a good foundation in place for their SiteCatalyst implementation just yet. I’m reminded of the movie Jurassic Park, in which Ian Malcolm warned John Hammond against using existing DNA for cloning dinosaurs by saying,”…your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn’t stop to think if they should.”
In other words, SiteCatalyst can track new features on your website but we consultants are sometimes hesitant to offer new tracking solutions if we feel the fundamental solutions currently in place in your implementation need improvement. We’ve found that many clients, for whatever reason, begin their implementation engagements with us by asking for solutions that track “trivial” activity rather than the content and tools that we feel matter the most on their site. We’re happy to oblige the client’s request but when this happens, the implementation usually spirals out of control and will ultimately prevent the most usable and actionable data from ever coming to light.
So, our Adobe Retail Consulting team has a goal to make sure that every client has a good foundation in place for their implementation before the client begins to track something that could be considered either a little more advanced or downright trivial. Once the foundational implementation is working correctly and the resulting data is being used per best practices to help analyze and optimize your site, then we would be thrilled to help introduce more advanced solutions to your implementation.
Implementing the retail fundamental solutions for SiteCatalyst, which will help provide that solid foundation for you to build upon, might seem like a daunting task at first. And definitely, in the past, the methods we in consulting used to get clients up and running were potentially difficult to follow completely. The server-side development work, for example, was hard to pull off due to issues like a lack of developer resources, a lack of familiarity with SiteCatalyst code, lack of quality documentation, holiday code freezes, and so forth. But now, with the introduction of new products and technologies like Adobe TagManager and SiteCatalyst processing rules, not to mention improvements in the standard documentation provided by Adobe Consulting, the Retail Consulting team feels that the list of excuses for not having a solid implementation in place is growing shorter and shorter. This is an exciting time because we can arm you with the knowledge you need to have the most awesome SiteCatalyst implementation possible.
Can we fix it? Yes we can!!