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Friday, Feb. 17, 2006 at 2:12 pm

Conversion Funnel Folly, Part 1

By Bryan Eisenberg
February 17th, 2006

Would you make a radiologist responsible for all of your health care?

Of course not.

Even the world’s finest radiologist, employing x-rays, MRIs, and all sorts of complex technology, can still only spot, and occasionally diagnose, an abnormality. When it comes to treating the total patient, assessing health, or creating a regimen, radiologists are ill-equipped.

This doesn’t diminish radiologists; their role is critical. But that role is only part of the whole picture.

Optimizing an e-business is not unlike treating a patient. Each business is a unique, complex organism with preferences, goals, character, and history. General health can be determined by vital stats, or key performance indicators (KPIs). But businesses also require a more comprehensive data set (some of which Web analytics can provide) that can be analyzed to optimize marketing processes or halt a plummeting KPI.

In business, an incorrect diagnosis, unnoticed abnormality, or improper treatment can literally cost millions. The Web analytics expert, the radiologist of our industry, typically hasn’t the insight or training to carry out this responsibility. This requires doctor types who can pool comprehensive data, analyze it, determine cause, and suggest a holistic strategy for maximum extraction of dollars.

The industry loves Web analytics techies. That’s part of the problem. It loves overly simplistic breakdowns of conversion funnels and formulaic answers. It lusts for a black box.

Continue reading my column at ClickZ…

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Bryan Eisenberg, founder of FutureNow, is a professional marketing speaker and the co-author of New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling books Call to Action and Waiting For Your Cat to Bark and Always Be Testing. You can friend him on Facebook or Twitter.

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