Last week I hit a major personal milestone.  My first report as a Forrester analyst went live!

As thrilling as this is for me, I hope it will be even more exciting for Customer Intelligence professionals.

The report is titled How Web Analytics will Emerge As A Cornerstone of Customer Intelligence, and is based on the premise that the web is the common demoninator for customer experiences and that this information can be harnessed and subsequently applied throughout the enteprise. This report outlines the future trajectory of Web analytics technology and gives CI professionals pragmatic advice about how to use that technology as a foundational component for customer intelligence that fuels multichannel marketing effectiveness.

Marketers today have a dizzying array of online and offline touchpoints at their disposal, but without a doubt all roads lead through the Web. For most organizations, Web sites, microsites, landing pages, communities, and other interactive properties are mission-critical for acquiring, retaining, and nurturing customers and other target audiences. By definition this reality makes the Web one of the most crucial sources of insight for Customer Intelligence (CI) professionals. To put that insight into action, firms must leverage Web analytics beyond isolated Web site marketing and operations to feed analysis, decision support, and execution for the entire marketing function.

I believe that Web analytics will extend beyond the Web site in two phases. 

First – Web analytics platforms will cement their position as the nucleus of online measurement by continuing their current diversification efforts to extend beyond core Web analytics capabilities.

Second – Organizations will utilize the Web intelligence generated by Web Analytics platforms throughout the marketing mix, including offline, as well as leveraging the Web as a laboratory for marketing.

My recommendations in this report are designed to help firms plan for building a Web intelligence hub in a practical manner.  This involves addressing a number of potential organizational, technical and planning challenges, but I believe the effort is well worth it.  Firms who execute on the Web intelligence hub and push that insight into the enterprise will realize tremendous marketing and customer experience benefits.

As the revolution progresses, I'm very interested in hearing from companies who are tackling these challenges and reaping the benefits.  Please get in touch and let me know what you're seeing out there!