After attending a variety of conferences lately, it's refreshing to see the increasing amount of people talking about their successes/failures as they try to get more multi-channel in focus with their data. We all agree that not only is this where our industry is heading, but it's where we need to be as organizations if we want to continue to innovate for our customers.
That being said, I think it's time to take a step back and shine the light on a common mistake happening in the digital channel. It's something that we've come across with a majority of clients that ask us to audit their existing implementations, and something that Adam McArdell has written about extensively. Adam is a Consultant at Stratigent, and is one of the technical geniuses on our team that can come up with a solution for anything. The issue I'd like to discuss is cross-domain tracking. You can read Adam's initial post, "Behind The Smoke and Mirrors of Cross-Domain Tracking" HERE.
If you have multiple domains, even if it's just a sub-domain for your shopping cart, there's a good chance you haven't set this up appropriately. First instinct may be to jump immediately into connecting the offline data warehouses with the digital data, and that puts you at risk of merging bad data with good data.
What do I mean by "bad data?" If not set up appropriately for multiple-domains, you may not be able to analyze the full story. Cross-Domain tracking allows you to set the same cookie for a visitor across the domains such that you can see the entire visit from each site to the next. When you're trying to build a database of a "visitor history," the only way to have the full story is by having this set up.
Now, Adam's examples in his blog post are focused around Google Analytics, but this is actually something that every major analytics vendor has built a solution for. Each one is a bit different from the next, but the end game is the same. So, if you have multiple domains, now would be a good time to audit what you're currently doing. Especially since the season for code freezes and holidays is right around the corner.
Adam is actually in the process of writing a follow up blog post about this topic, and I'd urge you to check back with our BLOG regularly to see what he and other consultants are talking about. As always, if you have a specific question you'd like us to address, please EMAIL US.
Bill Bruno is the CEO - North America, Ebiquity.