Posts Tagged ‘Free’
I’m continuing on this week’s big meme, the FREE debate, and looking at the obvious parallel that we have in the world of Web Analytics today: Google Analytics vs. Omniture/Webtrends and all the other tools.
It’s a debate that’s been done to death in the Web Analytics universe. A simple search throws up 452,000 results on the phrase ‘Google Analytics vs. Omniture’. I used Omniture because it’s arguably the biggest and most popular paid Web Analytics tool around right now. Some links to the salient points of the debate, in case you need to catch up: Web Expectations/Conversion Works, Jonny Longden, Eric Hansen, Four Digital, Bawaal…
As it stands now, ‘Paid’ and ‘Free’ coexist – both the Google Analytics free package as well as the host of paid-for products and services. And I don’t expect things to change drastically. While Google is free, delightfully simple to use, and easy to set-up, Omniture has some functions like segmentation, live support, etc. which are useful for a full-service online firm or website. Google itself provides additional services and support if you pay them for it, and then there’s the bunch of Google Authorized Analytics Consultants who can step in when things get hairy. This model works well because those who really need an indepth understanding of what’s happening on their website will probably be willing to pay for the solution (and Omniture provides a truckload of additional stuff in their costlier implementations). The rest will be happy with GA because it’s effective and functional. The market is currently in a well developed Freemium phase – and this is where I see a lot of services going. And as for coexistence, an increasing number of folks are putting both on their website. Check this out!
Coming back to the debate, this is where I see that Anderson predicts a Freemium for the newspaper industry, since that seems to be one of the focal points of the debate.
My Point of View:
I believe that Free (the concept) is here to stay. In fact, what I’m doing on this blog, to some extent, is converting some amount of ‘Paid’ to ‘Free’. I am involved in work that is ‘Paid’ and read books, which are essentially ‘Paid’ but convert it to ‘Free’ when I blog it here (yes, yes, the blog is in it’s infancy yet, there’s some content on the way). You don’t pay to read and use it. When I read Seth’s blog, it’s ‘Free’. When he collects his posts into a book and I buy it (I have, in the past), ‘Free’ is getting converted to ‘Paid’.
This interaction, between the ‘Paid’ and the ‘Free’ worlds is not new. Very often, a friend would read a book, and then tell me about it. I might not read the book, but I got some part of the message for ‘Free’. Another version of ‘Free’ is what marketers called ‘word-of-mouth’ or ‘viral’. Marketers pay good money to put their advertising up where you can see it and be convince to buy it. But when a colleague recommends a movie to me, the marketer is reaching me for ‘Free’. Again, it’s not new, but the Internet just makes it easier for the conversion to reach a larger group of people.
However, ‘Paid’ is not going to go away. It’ll have to exist, but in a different way that I’m not sure of, right now.
No, I still haven’t read the book.