December 9, 2004, 12:00 AM

Marketers and IT people are learning to cooperate

Marketers and IT managers are finally communicating with each other on the subject of web analytics, and it’s not a moment too soon, says Jupiter Research analyst Eric Peterson.

Kurt Peters

Executive Editor

Marketers and IT managers are finally beginning to communicate with each other on the subject of web analytics, and it’s not a moment too soon, says Jupiter Research analyst Eric Peterson. The two sides are talking because both have a vital interest in how well a company’s web site works and because companies are finally aligning employees around the central business goals of increased sales and reduced costs, Peterson says. “It’s everybody’s responsibility to sell online,” he says. “We’re seeing more of the right relationships–business saying the data shows these things need to change, and the technical people saying, ‘We can change it for you on this timeline.’”

Web analytics vendors used to sell their services to the IT department, but companies have realized the marketing people needed the information, Peterson says. IT people were dropped from the equation even though their need to know what the analytics reveal didn’t disappear.

As a result, marketers were seeing problems but couldn’t persuade IT to take corrective action, says Peterson. “I talk to business people frequently who say we need to make these changes but IT won’t let us,” he says. “They only do releases four times a year and they’re all full for the next year and a half.”

Companies that made their names on the Internet, including Amazon, eBay and Dell, have known the importance of sharing analytics from the start, but retailers that began life before the Internet have been slower to learn that lesson, Peterson says.

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