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Bunchball is announcing a new analytics service today — one that measures how well a web site incentivizes and rewards consumers.
The San Jose, Calif.-based company is dedicated to what it calls “game-ification,” or making non-game sites more interesting by adding game-like features like leaderboards, virtual goods, achievements and competitions. Its analytics services go hand-in-hand with that goal, measuring how well the game-ification succeeds at luring new audiences and customers.
Bunchball also announced that Yahoo alum Hongpei Zhang has joined the company to run the analytics division. Zhang, a seven-year Yahoo veteran, will be senior vice president of data and analytics, reporting to chief executive Peter Daboll, another former Yahoo executive.
Bunchball Analytics is powered by patent-pending measurement technology. Zhang said he was drawn to the startup because of its forward thinking approach to engaging consumers, as well as its potential for monetizing that consumer engagement. Alternative solutions measure clicks, page views, time spent on a site and impressions.
But Bunchball Analytics focuses on consumer actions that are better indicators of value. For instance, two consumers may visit a brand web site for five minutes. But one consumer may upload content, invite a friend, post a review or watch a video. The other may leave to get a cup of coffee and come back. The first consumer is obviously much more engaged and valuable. But current analytics systems would value both the same.
“We quantify different actions as having different value for the site publisher,” said Daboll in an interview. “On top of that, with permission from the user, we can track what they do off the page, like when they engage with the brand on Twitter or Facebook or on mobile.”
Bunchball’s engagement platform creates a chance for visitors to interact with a site and engage with sponsors too. They can take actions like compete, accept offers, cash in their points, socialize or contribute content. Bunchball computes the values of these actions and creates things that can further engage these consumers in real time. Its clients include the Syfy channel, USA Network, Hearst, Meredith, NBC, Comcast, Victoria’s Secret Pink, Resource Interactive, Exent, LiveOps, Piczo and the Ultimate Movie Site. The company was founded in 2005 and is funded by Granite Ventures and Adobe Systems.
Bunchball worked on the new technology for about seven months. Daboll said that the new analytics should make users much more valuable to site publishers and it may lead to changes in how the publishers communicate with different groups of users, or even individual users.
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