RIA Analytics: Three Features I Expect

In a previous article discussing Adobe’s acquisition of Omniture, I pointed out some evident applications of a prospective Web Metrics platform dedicated to monitoring and analyzing the overall online performance of Adobe-specific software.

Although the business models of the two companies seem rather antithetical, they can also be regarded as complementary. Omniture sells technically sophisticated software-as-a-service to data analysts, while Adobe brings creativity to the table. Now, as Jason Burby of ClickZ recently predicted, outside of improved integration for designers building the sites, there are a few positives and a couple of negatives that could arise from the Adobe-Omniture pairing. But I would like to dismiss the obvious and embrace the utopia of a soon-to-be-released data tracking solution for Flash content, PDF files and vector images.

Within Adobe’s by-the-book PR feed (including a Press Release, the two companies’ financial data and official statements) there was a diagram detailing the ideal merger of the two dissimilar business models:

Being an incurable dreamer, I took the liberty of deducing from this simple schematic that the dawn of a new age is upon us: the age of the SWF Analytics systems. Deepening this thought, I came up with a list of at least 5 features a potential RIA performance measurement platform should include to really make a difference in the Internet Marketing business:

1. PDF Drilldown. This setting would not only allow Marketers to track the number of downloads of a particular PDF file, but also provide details about the post-download usage of said file. More specifically, you would gain insight into who accessed your PDF, what their browser of choice was, where they came from geographically, as well as how far they got to read the text if they clicked on any links or acknowledged certain calls to action within the document if they revisited the site after reading the PDF and so forth. This feature may not seem too appealing to traditional SEOs, but I am a Document Optimization aficionado, so for me, the aforementioned information would prove invaluable.

2. Flash Game Event Tracking. This function of the RIA Analytics system would be another treat for Web 2.0 freaks. This report would enable you to track the behaviour of players accessing your Flash games. As with the PDF files, you would be able to learn what areas of the game are more popular, which call to action works and which doesn’t, and what kind of games are more likely to be played by people belonging to a certain social category, what the abandonment rate is for your games and last, but certainly not least, if your Advergaming campaign has achieved the desired results.

3. Video Segment Analysis. I know Tracy Chan, Product Manager at YouTube, keeps promoting their reporting tool as being the equivalent of Google Analytics for video content, but I feel that YouTube Insight still has a lot of shortcomings and that it is far from being an advanced video performance monitoring instrument. In this respect, I think the market is still very much open to the arrival of a real monitoring system for Flash videos. With the Video Segment Analysis feature of the Adobe-Omniture RIA Analytics program, one would learn about the most viewed segments of a video, the frequency of buffering skip, and the number of clicks obtained (if clickable captions were used),  behavioural patterns of users who leave comments to videos etc.

I know Adobe and Omniture have just settled into their marital home and that they have a long way to go before gracing us with any revolutionary Marketing product – if they ever will. Still, it is every Marketer’s right to dream, is it nought? Preserve the Union (of Adobe and Omniture, that is)!