Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Woopra Grows from Web Analytics to Multi-Source Customer Data, Insights and Actions

I stumbled over Woopra in their tiny booth during last month’s Dreamforce conference, where I was intrigued enough to let them scan my badge and promptly forgot why.  Fortunately, a diligent sales rep followed up by email and I remembered it was worth a closer look. If you’ve been reading my recent posts, you won’t be surprised that I’ve decided they are yet another Customer Data Platform.

In fact, the people most surprised by this news will probably be the folks at Woopra itself, which positions itself as “an insight company” and has deep roots in traditional Web analytics. On the other hand, Woopra does distinguish itself from conventional Web analytics vendors by stressing the fact that it tracks individuals, not Web pages. In fact, one of its tag lines is “easily track, analyze, and take action on live customer data”, which is a pretty decent statement of the CDP value proposition.

Tag lines notwithstanding, Woopra wouldn’t qualify as a CDP if it only tracked Web behavior. But Woopra offers the core CDP function of building a multi-source database.  It does this by directly capturing behaviors from Web site visits and mobile app interactions (via Javascript tags and API calls from iOS or Android) and by loading operational data such as purchases and customer service interactions. As its Dreamforce presence suggests, Woopra can integrate with Salesforce.com to both import CRM data and to display the information it has consolidated from multiple sources.  The system can combine data with different identifiers, such as a cookie ID, mobile device ID, and Web session ID, although – like many CDPs – it relies on the client to figure out which identifiers belong to the same person.

Woopra stores its data as a combination of customer attributes and time-stamped individual events. The event data lets it report on individual movement through funnel stages, performance of start-date cohorts, and paths through a Web site or app, in addition to the usual profile reports. It stores the information using proprietary technology that allows continuous real-time updates and ad hoc segmentations, so users can run any report against a subset of the customer universe. Users can also design their own custom reports.

Woopra provides an API that lets external systems access its database, although it places some limits on volume to avoid performance issues. This access meets the minimum requirement for a CDP.  The system can also continuously scan for user-specified events or conditions and execute user-specified actions when these occur. The actions can run Javascript on the client Web site, add tags to a customer record, send an email or push notification, or a call an external system via a Webhook. This allows marketers to manage some basic customer treatments within Woopra itself. But the system doesn’t have any predictive modeling or recommendation engines, so more advanced approaches would require external assistance.

Woopra was founded six years ago and relaunched in 2012. It has more than 3,000 paying customers in a wide range of industries, including many small businesses and several large ones. The system is offered in three editions with different sets of features, including a free version for simple visitor tracking. Pricing is based on activity volume and starts at $80 per month for the mid-level edition.

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