I’m all for capturing data and analyzing it six ways till Sunday. But just because you have the tools doesn’t mean you should use them at the expense of everything else. I remember getting my first lesson on the golden ratio in design school. For the next three years after that, every project I created was guided by the golden ratio so much so that you could almost see Pythagoras himself peering back at you. My work started looking as stiff as the square root of five. Eventually, I laid off the math formulas a bit and allowed myself to think and create without a T-square and calculator at my side and, what do you know; my work began to take on a fresh new life. Till this day I carry around the knowledge of the golden ratio in the back of my mind when designing, but by no means do I rely exclusively on it to guide my process. But is this what’s happening in the online world? Are we relying too heavily on the fact that we can track clicks and behaviors online to guide us in crafting marketing messaging? In a recent Mediapost article I read that some companies who are experts in the neuro-marketing research field actually use CAT scans to collect data on reactions to ad campaigns. Yes, the same CAT scans you find in hospitals and neurology labs. Do we really need input on eye-tracking or facial recognition technology just to make an ad? Or how about a blog? By the way, if you are reading this far, I’m watching your every move.
There’s a lot of buzz about Microsoft’s new search engine, Bing. But is it that much different than Yahoo and Google? After only a short time, experts are beginning to see how Bing may affect analytics for companies tracking how their customers find them on the internet. In a recent Mediapost article Brian Cummins, product manager for search marketing at Coremetrics said, “preliminary data suggests that bounce rates on Web sites have declined from people originating on Bing.” This may be attributed to the way in which Bing serves up search queries. When you do a search on Bing, you don’t just get a list of websites. Bing is designed to serve up various kinds of content along with listings to help the user find what they are looking for more quickly. This means that the journey that once took three or four steps to get you where you want to go is now taking only one, only now the in-between steps aren’t being tracked. So this also means that the keywords that drive traffic from Bing are going to be different than the keywords driving traffic from Google. For now, it looks like Bing is bringing something new to the table. How significant these features will be, only time will tell.