June 15, 2016 | Written by: Matt Keenan
Categorized: Customer Analytics
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With IBM Tealeaf and Dynatrace
Marketing relies on IT more than we probably appreciate, whether it’s CRM systems, custom web applications or data warehouses. The problem is, IT and marketing rarely track the same metrics, analyze the same datasets or even speak the same language. Marketing lives in a world centered on customer reach, experience, behavior, segmentation, personalization and conversions. IT is still predominantly governed by ticketing systems, tiered support organizations, number of resolutions by support tier, ticket resolution times and availability percentages.
This is exemplified even when IT and marketing are talking about the same topic. Take customer experience (or CX) for example. CX is a multi-faceted concept that our broader industry could do a better job of defining, and a significantly better job of ensuring customer organizations understand where vendor products fit.
If we look at products that we often find in our retail and online commerce customer base, Dynatrace Application Monitoring (AppMon) and User Experience Management (UEM) with IBM Tealeaf, both Dynatrace and IBM promote CX as minimizing customer struggles to maximize conversions. However, peel back the curtain and you’ll find that while the products sound similar they focus their lens on very different aspects of CX.
The Dynatrace lens for CX combines the view of browser side performance (via UEM) with application side performance into a single visit. This connects the delivered experience to a customer via something we call a Purepath. Here’s how it works:
UEM provides hi-fidelity data concerning each and every discrete user transaction across complex and single page web, mobile web and native mobile apps providing insights into device/OS/browser combinations, individual and 3rd party object performance, page performance and overall visit health.
AppMon provides hi-fidelity data concerning the server side (or remote micro-service) code that executes, down to each web request, method statement, sql and messaging call and its impact and contribution time to the overall transaction or user visit.
This data is used primarily by operations and dev/test teams to identify, prioritize and optimize performance that underpins the most important CX facet: Speed, via a continuous feedback loop.
The Tealeaf lens is focused firmly in the domain of marketing and customer analytics (journey and site designers) who wants to capture and manage visitor interactions on websites and apps. It provides extensive visibility into customers’ online experiences and insight into customer behaviors within web and mobile browsers. By using Tealeaf, marketing teams are able to actively replay user experiences to determine the aspects of the site, page and content that contributed to a user struggle.
Use Case: Personalization
During one of the IBM Amplify 2016 sessions covering CX, the following scenario was outlined as a way that Tealeaf provides marketers with insight into user struggles:
A marketing team is executing an outbound email campaign when Tealeaf alerts a lower than expected conversion rate. The marketing team realizes that real-time personalization is not enabled for a specific user segment which is impacting conversions. The marketing team is able to alert IT to enable personalization which immediately sees conversion rates within their expected thresholds.
In this marketing-centric scenario, while the problem is easily rectified by ‘calling IT,’ the impact of personalization not working would have a significant impact to revenue in the real world.
The reality of day-to-day marketing and IT operations is, however, much more complex. Typically, IT is the last to know of user problems, issues and struggles. And without actionable information from marketing, IT does not have a starting point to identify and isolate the fault domain(s) which delays root cause analysis, are blind to business impact which impacts prioritization calls, and does not know where to begin with remediation activities. In the personalization example above, what if “turning RTP on” wasn’t the problem? What if RTP was slowing the rest of the site or delivering content to the wrong persona groups? Starting that generic conversation with IT is super frustrating.
The outcome of this is frustration from marketing about extended resolution times, damage to conversion rates, revenue and brand image, and extremely inefficient use of IT resources taking a scatter gun approach and mobilizing various teams to a war room.
This challenge of Marketing and IT working together became even clearer at IBM Amplify 2016 when numerous attendees at the Dynatrace booth inquired about integration between Dynatrace and Tealeaf with the objective of understanding the relationship between application performance and CX.
Breaking down the Marketing and IT silos
Wouldn’t it be great if we could easily tie each and every Tealeaf ID with a Dynatrace PurePath so both Marketing and IT have a single reference point and break the silos – a complete view across CX and application performance? When a problem is detected in Tealeaf, what if IT could immediately see the corresponding Dynatrace AppMon & UEM PurePath(s) to identify the issue and put plans in place to resolve? How about if this was all automated?
Well that’s exactly how AppMon & UEM, and Tealeaf work together. For the technically inclined, you can follow 3 simple steps to setup Tealeaf ID capturing in Dynatrace and explore screen shots that highlight the information being captured and what it means.
Unifying Performance, Journey, and Experience Insights
Once Dynatrace is setup to capture Tealeaf ID’s, you’re ready to start exploring the new unified world of Marketing and IT that covers the Performance, Journey, and Behavior paradigms of CX.
Some of the immediate insights and capability Marketing and IT will gain include:
- Response times, including failed transactions, for each and every single Tealeaf session ID
- Pro-active alerting for response times and transaction failures that exceed thresholds
- Errors related to each Tealeaf session ID with the ability to drill down into the application code call stack to determine root cause at granular fidelity such as line of code and SQL call
- Ability to export all transactional data from user sessions which can be sent to Dev for rapid remediation of the issue
Marketing and IT working together in productive harmony is the new reality Dynatrace and Tealeaf enable for organizations that care about CX. However, when exploring products to understand and improve your customer’s experiences, it’s always worth scratching below the marketing jargon and understanding use cases. And where multiple products need to work in the same environment, checking interoperability and the history of the products working together. Happily, Dynatrace AppMon and UEM are formally certified for IBM WebSphere Commerce and IBM WebSphere Portal, and we have many customers using AppMon and UEM with IBM Tealeaf to successfully deliver awesome CX.
You can find more information on Dynatrace for IBM WebSphere Commerce and access a free 30-day trial at www.dynatrace.com/en/ibm.