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History of Digital Marketing Analytics

Web counters

Our service started in 2002 with a web coutner designed to count and analyse user activity on the website. At that time counters were used mostly by web developers and web masters to have a broad view whether their site is popular or not. Counters were called in different ways - hit counters, logs, statistics - and all these words reflected that these counters were used either for technical monotoring of the website or for ratings and rankings. Web counters usually had catalogs of their users' websites and ranked them based on the number of hosts (visitors) hits (clicks).

As the Internet grew and the number of websites increased the positions in the rakings were not very relevant to access websites performance or values. Groups of web counters sites had a difficult time to reflect the chaning segments of Internet and real economy. Also as the number of websites grew exponentially the numbers in the ratings were not usefull enough except of those sites that manages to be on the very top. If you website is #1000 or #1500 in the retail category was not usefull enough to understand its business performance.

Gradualy web couters started to move from a rating tool to a marketing tool. Marketologists joined the game. They started to track and analyse user movements around websites, actions like purchacing, devices they used to access the website and many other granular metrics. So web counters addedd a lot of functionality to reflect these needs. And the term analytics started to be used inspired by Google. Google analytics started about the same time in November 14, 2018.

In parallel to that application development moved to web development. Web page is much less functional than a customised application for Windows but web application is much easy to deploy, support and train users for. This increased the imporance of web conters as big business was moving to the web.

Email tracking

In parallel to those developments email was replacing paper mail and started to become a cheap and thus powerfull marketing tool. And the level of spam skyrocketed. If in late 1990-s people were reading almost all the emails they got then later on they started to open only every 10th email and read every 20th or so.

As web marketologits were already present in companies and startaps they started to ask question on how can we know that users are actually reading our emails? Email tracking services started to appear. The initial idea was the same as with a webcounter - just add a 1x1 pixel to html version email. But it never worked quite well. In the early 2000-s many email clients were text-oriented and didn't open HTML versions of emails. Then there was a period of several years then email cleints added capabilities and started to show HTML versions of emails. But then privacy concerns let email clients developers add a question to the user whether he or she wants to download pictures for this email. As many users didn't press these buttons email counters didn't count many email views.

So other ways to monitor emails appeated like Outlook or Gmail plugins.

App analytics

Smartphones were invented. They are too small for a prudctive work with infomation but are so conveneint that the clients started tp move their time from laptops and PC to smartphones. They became a "compromise" device - small but easily available.

So it became necessary to optimise every part of the screen to make users life a bit more productive on this tiny (vs. laptop monitors) screns. Websites every optimised for web had a lot of limiations and as it many times happened in tech history the old technology became popular again: applications. The trend reverced. Applications started to get market shares from websites.

But this reversal has a cost: as we mentioned above, websites are cheaper to develop and support. And the same applies to counters. To implement a proper counter to your app you would need bacisly to add counter's code to evey client-facing function. Compare to web counters - you just need to put standard code to header and footer and you get any analytics you want.

We understand this complexity of Digital Analyhtics Data collection and develop technologies which help achieving your marketing needs.