The list of indignities we suffer online every day is significant. Our bank hits us up for a high-yield checking account ... while we're in our high-yield checking account. We have to navigate four levels deep at our favorite sites to get to what we want, every single day. Even when a site should know you, the experience is one size fits all, and frankly, dumb. The Web doesn't know you at all.
The antidote comes from a company called Omniture, which helps thousands of companies get smart by letting them view what's happening on their Web sites in real time, and then make the changes, increasingly automatically, that produce dramatic results.
About 2,000 companies benefit from Omniture's window into their business. "Before we had Omniture, we did a project trying to customize some things and it was a disaster," says John Peebles, VP of online marketing for Avis. "We needed much more info."
A&E Television Networks uses Omniture to guide its content development. "Previously, we produced just 20 Web video clips to go with a new season of shows," says Lee Boykoff, director of analytics, digital media. But after seeing how fans of shows such as Intervention and Ice Road Truckers would watch seven or eight shorts in a row after an episode, "now it's almost 100." Boykoff also updates the home page every hour during primetime so those videos are easy to access. Video traffic is up more than 1,200% over last year.
The future is in automating these moves. Bank of America, for example, uses Omniture's latest tools to target customers based on their behavior, so home-equity loan customers can be offered $20 a month savings if they have the payments deducted from checking instead of being pitched a product they already have. "The goal is not a pretty report," says Josh James, Omniture's CEO. "We want to change the online experience, because if consumers are happy, everyone is happy."
James certainly is. Omniture grew about 80% in 2007, banking more than $140 million in revenue for the young company.