ClickTracks’ John Marshall Says Search Market Mood is Good

John Marshall is CEO of ClickTracks Analytics Inc., Santa Cruz, CA. A Netscape alumnus with more than 20 years’ experience in the software industry, he regularly speaks on the topic of Web analytics and marketing. Here are his thoughts on ad:tech San Francisco and developments within interactive advertising, marketing, technology and media.

What’s the mood of the market?

It’s really good in general, and actually quite good for us at ClickTracks. Last year, we saw a 97 percent increase in revenue growth, and in the last quarter of 2005, we actually had a 107 percent increase over the same period in 2004. The kind of growth we’ve seen is a reflection of the mood of the market.

We’re also hearing more mainstream buzz about things related to the search and analytics industry — things like click fraud, pay-per-click advertising and search engine optimization — which I think shows a wider adoption and wider interest in Web tactics in general.

What do you hope to see today at ad:tech San Francisco?

You mean besides a lot of visitors to our booth? I’m also keen on hearing all sides of the great Click Fraud Debate, both from the businesses who have click fraud concerns to the pay-per-click providers who are tasked with keeping everyone happy.

Of course, we also have a vested interest in participating in the debate, as our latest version has some pretty cool click fraud reporting technologies. What it comes down to is this: We’ve had too many customers share click fraud horror stories with us — talking about the time, effort and money they’ve wasted trying to get a handle on the issue — that we’re interested in seeing what, if anything, other people have come up with to help combat the problem.

Do you have any news to announce?

We just recently made available version 6.1 of our Web analytics software — our customers are already using the new click fraud reporting technology I just mentioned. In addition to our new click fraud reporting technology, ClickTracks 6.1 also features a new Robot View report that allows marketers to see their site as search engine spiders see it. Because it’s important for your Web site to be both people-friendly and robot-friendly, ClickTracks shows you both views — with areas of importance already highlighted for you — so you can immediately identify problem areas.

ClickTracks 6.1 also features an integrated keyword ranking that shows the actual search engine ranking of traffic-producing keywords. Marketers can then compare the performance of those keywords in terms of number of visitors, time on site, cost, revenue and return on advertising spend.

What has changed since last year’s ad:Tech San Francisco?

The kind of growth we’ve seen since last year’s ad:tech San Francisco really boils down to one thing: marketers are getting smarter. They’re becoming much savvier when it comes to things like Web analytics, search engine marketing and online advertising. We founded this company to help marketers wade through all the noise and wild goose chases and get to the data that matters. The ClickTracks family of software was designed out of sheer frustration with existing Web metrics offerings.

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