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Analytics Platform Focuses on the Only Stat That Matters: Revenue

Analytics Platform Focuses on the Only Stat That Matters: Revenue
Image credit: gomonews.com

Page views are so five years ago. Same with unique visitor counts and app downloads. In fact, according to Suhail Doshi, CEO of Mixpanel, those are nothing but "bullshit metrics." Instead, Mixpanel tracks and measures the action of individual users across a site and/or app and quickly determines how much each one is worth as a customer.

Mixpanel offers small businesses an easy way to install a customized analytics program on their site, pulling information from a variety of calls to action and spitting out granular information on who searched where and what they did. With the company's new People Analytics product, a client can segment customer data, such as gender, age and location, and compare behaviors of different groups. This allows a company to respond with special offers to, say, customers in Chicago or those who buy the most expensive products. (The People service is free to try, up to the first 1,000 customer profiles generated.)

But it's the Revenue Analytics tool that really sets Mixpanel apart from other software. It allows businesses to measure a customer's "lifetime value," or the total amount they will spend throughout their relationship with the company. The tool can also tell users how valuable their PR efforts are by showing the lifetime value of a group of customers based on how they were acquired, such as through a link, banner ad or social media article. Armed with these figures, companies can make smarter decisions about how they execute their marketing programs.

Joe Stump, CEO of project management software startup Sprint.ly in Portland, Ore., used Revenue Analytics to learn that new customers who used his site's e-mail gateway were worth 170 percent more in terms of lifetime revenue than those who didn't. Now all automated follow-up e-mails include a video on how to use Sprint.ly tools, a tactic designed to boost click-through rates.

"Mixpanel doesn't tell you what you need to fix, but it does tell you there are problems, and where they are," Stump says. "It has fundamentally changed every aspect of my business."

When Christopher Moyer, vice president of technology for the content syndicator Newstex, was asked by his media clients to make a mobile app, he chose Mixpanel to handle analytics. He now tags every article and tracks every view of it, so that clients can see exactly how many people read their stories, as well as where they are located, by state, region and country. "You can get that information quickly," Moyer says. "And if you throw more data in there, you find even more useful things to track."

If this sounds like the type of research strategy employed by enterprise-level firms, it is--and that's by design. "If you're competing with larger companies, we give you the sophisticated analytics they may have already figured out," Doshi says. "The data you get from us makes it easier to level the playing field."

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This article was originally published in the June 2013 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Cut the Crap.

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