Here’s a riddle for you: given the choice between buying three guinea pigs for $35 and buying one goat for $100, when is the goat the most commonly selected option? When visitors to World Vision Canada’s website are choosing what charitable gifts they want to make, that’s when.

Just ask Elias Hadaya, the director of support insight at World Vision. He spends a lot of time thinking about what animals – or other types of donations – the visitors to World Vision’s website want to make and lately he’s been putting more of that time into a focus on digital channels. His 14-person marketing team that develops predictive models around donations now has two people dedicated to digital. So he knows all about World Vision’s website content funnel, right down to goat vs. guinea pig granularity.

“The guinea pig and the goat are in the same category on the gift catalogue. It’s a big category with a bunch of different items you can gift,” he says. “But drill down and you find out no one clicks on the guinea pig and everyone buys the goat. Instead of cluttering your site with a lot of information and options, you can expose the items with the highest ROI.”

To drill down to that level and create a reflexive website, Hadaya and his team are using Webtrends On Demand. Until about a year ago, World Vision was using the on-premises software made by Portland, Ore.-based Webtrends. But he moved to the cloud-based version after realizing his local installation had fallen two full versions behind the latest offering. Hadaya wanted to get access to the software’s new capabilities.

“The biggest difference is the way reporting is done,” he says. “There’s more out-of-the-box reporting available in the on-demand version. There was more of a need to build things from scratch before.”

World Vision goat
If you’re like most visitors to World Vision’s website, you’re interested in donating a goat to a family in need.

Webtrends doesn’t shy away from the fact its On Demand version is more powerful. Because it can tie in to social media APIs, integration with Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube allows for social measurement, for example. Marketers that have a growing need for multi-channel analytics and sophisticated data have been going with Webtrends On Demand lately, explains Jeff Seacrist, vice president of product strategy at Webtrends.

“We’re actively moving many of our on-premises clients over to the cloud for all the benefits that come along with that. They are heeding the call,” he says. “We found that a lot of the teams using on premises were spending time just upkeeping the infrastructure around analytics and not really delivering results.”

In the case of World Vision, Webtrends delivered hands-on help to deal with the migration of its Heatmaps analytics product to the cloud and to understand the new capabilities. Hadaya says Webtrends professional services helped shorten the learning curve for his team and also assisted to implement tags that helped with analytics tracking. They recreated a dashboard that World Vision’s internal team had made to the new cloud version.

Guinea pigs World Vision
Fewer visitors seem interested in donating guinea pigs, even if they are cute.

Webtrends collaborated with both technical and business users at World Vision for the migration, says Tony Gray, director of consulting services at Webtrends. His team made many trips to World Vision’s Mississauga, Ont.-based headquarters, lead interactive sessions via conference calls and video chats to help guide them on making use of the new capabilities.

“The easy part is collecting the data, the hard part is making some good decisions to take advantage of the data,” he says. “We are serious when we say we partner with our clients and we will help them get the most out of our product.”

World Vision uses Heatmaps as a complementary and more precise set of analytics than Google Analytics, Hadaya explains. It provides metrics on length of visit, bounce rate, and traffic to individual pages, and identifies broken links. It also goes beyond that and allows for more sophisticated user tracking using special tags.

Tags are snippets of JavaScript code that are embedded into webpages to enable software like Webtrends to collect data about how visitors are using the site. While World Vision originally had WebTrends deploy the tags used for tracking, it has since moved to tag management software Tealium, which provides a user interface that marketers can use to update or deploy tags to different pages without the need to make a work order to their tech team. Tealium has a module that plugs into Webtrends analytics.

“We can pick up things like what the page is about, or what type of page it is and how pages work together,” Seacrist explains.

That’s how Hadaya and his team can drill down to not only see whether the goat is selling better than the guinea pigs, but to offer dynamically designed pages based on what a user wants to find. Rearranging navigation to involve fewer clicks towards the pages a visitor is trying to find.

For example, if World Vision recognizes a visitor has been looking at its careers page often, it can make that easier to find on their next visit. Or when visitors enter their income into the tax calculator tool that World Vision posts during tax season, they could be referred to charitable gifts matching what they are likely to donate.

“We were navigating a little bit in the grey. Now we have a better grip on what matters,” Hadaya says. “It’s pointing us towards the direction we need to continue our work on our digital strategy. What we need to do now is see where we bring more information and see where we bring more information and see where we need to be more e-commerce driven.”

He won’t have to do it alone. The Webtrends professional services team is still working with World Vision to help it understand better how visitors are moving through its online donation process and identify reasons they might not be completing it.

With that sort of help and in-depth analytics, Hadaya likely isn’t afraid of the next riddle he’s going to face – whether it involves goats or otherwise.

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