Published on 07-Feb-2012
"“More of our reporting is now nearly automated, which saves us time, energy and money. We have the ability to focus more on analysis and help drive the bottom line.”" - Manager of Web Analytics Rodale Inc.
Rodale - Explore
EMM - Digital Marketing Optimization, Smarter Commerce, Smarter Marketing
Rodale Inc. is a global media company with a heritage, mission, and authority dedicated to the health and wellness of the individual, community, and planet.
The internal demand for information at Rodale was skyrocketing and the team was struggling to put the right information into the hands of the right people at the right time.
Implemented IBM Digital Analytics Explore for easy ad hoc reporting and analysis and automated the creation and distribution of key information throughout the organization
§Data insights uncovered maximum search engine optimization strategies §Advertising revenue rose as a result of content changes made by the web site editors, based on IBM Digital Analytics Explore reports
Rodale Inc. is a global media company with a heritage, mission, and authority dedicated to the health and wellness of the individual, community, and planet. Through a broad portfolio of leading media properties, Rodale reaches more than 70 million people around the world through multiple distribution channels, including magazines, books, online, e-commerce, direct-to-consumer and video. The company publishes some of the best-known health and wellness lifestyle magazines, including Men’s Health, Prevention, Women’s Health, Runner’s World, Bicycling, Running Times, and Organic Gardening, and is the largest independent book publisher in the United States, with a collection of best-selling titles, including Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth, The South Beach Diet, and Eat This, Not That! Rodale is also a leader in direct-response marketing and has more than 25 million active customers in its database. www.rodaleinc.com
Having too much data is largely the same as having no data, as the web analytics team at Rodale knows all too well. The internal demand for information at Rodale was skyrocketing and the team was struggling to put the right information into the hands of the right people at the right time. With more than 150 stakeholders, the challenge was to deliver useful information, without inundating the recipients with excessive data.
Senior executives needed “big picture” reports across the company’s websites, while content editors needed insight into the most popular content on their respective sites. Subscription sales teams needed visibility into how content translated into magazine sales opportunities, while IT personnel needed to understand traffic patterns and volumes so they could maintain performance and develop accurate capacity plans to support future growth.
Since 2005, Rodale has leveraged IBM® Coremetrics® online marketing and business optimization solutions to understand the channels that drive the most traffic to its websites and the articles that generate the most interest.
Custom views on the fly
Rodale complemented its IBM Coremetrics reporting suite with IBM® Digital Analytics Explore, an ad hoc reporting and analysis application that speeds the generation and distribution of custom reports, with minimal assistance from the company’s IT department. IBM Digital Analytics Explore enabled Rodale’s team to virtually automate the creation and distribution of key information throughout the organization.
Getting more out of search engine optimization
Like many content focused companies, Rodale invested heavily in search engine optimization initiatives to drive site traffic. With IBM Digital Analytics Explore Explore, Rodale was able to quickly organize its search data into major keyword groupings and perform very specific analyses. In particular, Rodale looked at the relationship between natural search terms and the impact they had on key performance indicators, such as page views per session, unique visitors, average session lengths and bounce rates.
Consequently, Rodale was able to uncover hidden search terms, like surprising non-branded keywords, by comparing hundreds of terms to key metrics like page views per session, average session length and bounce rate. Rodale was then able to further optimize search engine optimization efforts.
Richer insight into key metrics
Because Rodale’s websites are supported by advertising revenue, increasing page views per session and attracting repeat visitors are key objectives. With IBM Digital Analytics Explore, Rodale was able to create relevant reports that helped the website editors and producers analyze site traffic and focus on creating and promoting content in high demand.
Promotion across sites
Rodale’s marketing strategy included promotions across its many sites, such as www.MensHealth.com, www.Prevention.com and www.WomensHealthMag.com. IBM Digital Analytics Explore enabled Rodale marketers to quickly analyze the effectiveness of cross-site promotions and adjust them as necessary. For example, Rodale offered a recipe finder promotion on the site Rodale.com, which re-directed traffic to a sister site with the option to sign up for a health-oriented newsletter. Rodale’s marketing team could decide to expand or remove the promotion based on key metrics like newsletter sign ups or average time on site.
Source of traffic analysis
Another area Rodale examined closely was source of traffic. IBM Digital Analytics Explore provided easy to understand reports on the full referring URLs for the multitude of sites that sent traffic to Rodale. Rodale quickly figured out which free referral sites sent over the most valuable traffic—visitors with lower bounce rates and higher average time on site—and then adjusted their strategy to maximize traffic from these sites.
For more information
To learn more about IBM Coremetrics please contact your IBM marketing representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit the following website: ibm.com/software/marketing-solutions
Products and services used
IBM products and services that were used in this case study.
Coremetrics Explore, IBM Digital Analytics
© Copyright IBM Corporation 2011 IBM CorporationSoftware GroupRoute 100Somers, NY 10589 U.S.A. September 2011All Rights Reserved IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, and Coremetrics are trademarks or registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation in the United States, other countries, or both. If these and other IBM trademarked terms are marked on their first occurrence in this information with a trademark symbol (® or ™), these symbols indicate US registered or common law trademarks owned by IBM at the time this information was published. Such trademarks may also be registered or common law trademarks in other countries. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the web at “Copyright and trademark information” at ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml Other company, product and service names may be trademarks or service marks of others.