Hitwise now updates its audience tracking hourly
The higher frequency steps up the pace for tracking opt-in audiences across searches and websites.
In December of 2015, digital marketing platform Connexity — formerly known as the comparison shopping site Shopzilla — bought marketing data provider Hitwise from information services firm Experian.
Hitwise’s AudienceView platform tracks the online behavior of 8 million users in a US-based panel. Those users agree to have their online searches and website visits tracked on their computers and mobile devices, in exchange for free or freemium apps.
This week, Hitwise announced it was moving to hourly tracking of that data, with reports every four hours. Previously, that user behavior was reported to clients — such as retailers or publishers — on a daily basis.
The higher frequency, Hitwise Audience Solutions SVP and GM Giles Longhurst told me, means that clients can more quickly modify their real-time ad campaigns or their content choices. He added that Hitwise’s number one competitor, comScore, issues less frequent reports.
For instance, a publisher might see that certain topics on competitors’ sites about an ongoing event are gaining more traffic over the last few hours, so they can re-orient their editorial focus if they choose. Or web traffic might vary throughout a day when there’s a major news event, such as shown in these two screens for Inauguration Day and the day before:
A retailer might discover online shopping trends throughout a key shopping day, like Black Friday. Or the retailer might find out how many visitors from the Hitwise panel visited its website from its marketing emails, since Hitwise can track where a visitor came from.
The reports, drawn from visits to 20 million websites and more than 500 million searches, include such metrics as total visits, market share, upstream traffic sources and search clicks.
The more frequent updates and reports are part of Hitwise’s ongoing additions to its service. In the last year, for instance, it began to track its panel users according to interest segments, as determined by their searches.
It also works with its sibling company, Simmons Research, which is owned by Connexity’s parent, Symphony Technology Group. Simmons maintains its own US-based panel of 25,000 users, some of whom are paid. That panel responds to surveys about shopping attitudes and similar topics, and the results can be matched against similar segments in Hitwise’s panel.