Friday Aug 10, 2012

The Butterfly Effect in Web Experience Management

Today’s guest post comes from John Prince, founder and CEO of DreamFire Interactive (http://dreamfireinteractive.com). He has extensive experience in strategy, product management, marketing and sales for internet businesses. DreamFire has delivered its comprehensive internet marketing services and solutions to Fortune 100 brands and is an Oracle partner specializing in the web experience management solution, Oracle WebCenter Sites.

I was recently on a vacation, a much needed and deserved one at that, to Cape Cod to celebrate Independence Day along with friends. I decided to take a bus after considering various options and booked my tickets for a 9:00 AM bus that departed from the Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York City. I had some calls with our India office that were scheduled to end by 8:00 AM. I was impatiently trying to conclude my final call before I could take off, but the call got prolonged by 12 minutes. As a result, I managed to miss the bus to Cape Cod and found myself two and half hours later writing this blog. A seemingly small , 12 minute delay, ended up pushing my departure by two and half hours. But this was not the end of the story. Because of this initial delay I was met with increased traffic and reached the Cape after the sun set . This was not part of my original plan, but no big deal. I was on vacation.

You are just reading one small instance of what is called the Butterfly Effect. The phrase, Butterfly Effect, refers to the idea that a butterfly's wings might create tiny changes in the atmosphere that may ultimately alter the path of a tornado or delay, accelerate, or even prevent the occurrence of a tornado in another location. Sounds crazy, but it is not.

I would like to relate the Butterfly Effect to digital marketing to see how seemingly small things could cause significant effects. For example, let us look at the effects of ‘contextual relevance,’ the concept of delivering the right information, to the right person at the right time, in your digital marketing efforts.

Studies have shown that in the publishing industry, contextual relevance helps improve the average time spent by users by up to 300%. Recommendations can phenomenally improve average revenue per customer on eCommerce sites.

Contextually assembled home pages reduce bounce rates by 60% and improve customer engagement dramatically. Smart phones and tablets with geo-location take contextual relevance to a new dimension. Social media adds a new dimension of relevance to the user.

Real time decisioning can help drive contextual relevance of your online content. When used with Oracle WebCenter Sites, Oracle's Real-Time Decisions (RTD) platform combines both rules and predictive analytics to deliver a contextually relevant web experience to your users.

I have heard business clichés like 'make it rain' and 'think big' in terms of digital marketing. The truth, however, is that we can accomplish remarkable results by applying the Butterfly Effect and initiating small actions setting your initiatives in the right course. But chasing the storm hoping for lightning to strike you is rarely the best use of your money.

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Oracle WebCenter is the center of engagement for business—powering exceptional experiences for customers, partners, and employees. It connects people, process, and information with the most complete portfolio of portal, Web experience management, content, imaging and collaboration technologies.

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