Omniture Channel Manager Plugin

By February 18, 2011Analytics, Tips and Tricks

Recently I discussed Omniture’s new Marketing Channels report, and in that post, I mentioned the alternative to this report, the Channel Manager Plugin.  Today I’m going to detail the implementation steps for this plug-in and the advantages of taking each approach.

Channel Manager Plug-In Set-Up

In order to set-up the Channel Manager plug-in you’ll need 3 unused eVars, the ability to edit your s_code, and naming conventions for your campaigns that allow you to easily distinguish between different channels.

Step 1 – You must get the most recent version of the code from your Omniture representative.  They are constantly tweaking this code and it is important to make sure you get the most updated version.  Once you have that code, you will need to place it in your s_code’s Plugins section.

Step 2 –  Set the following variables in the Config section of the s_code:

/* channelManager cofig */

s._channelDomain="Social Networks|facebook.com,twitter.com,digg.com,stumbleupon.com,fark.com," "reddit.com,linkedin.com,myspace.com,buzz.yahoo.com,delicious.com," "del.icio.us,newsvine.com>News Sites|cnn.com,msn.com,nytimes.com," "foxnews.com"

s._channelParameter="External Campaign|CMP"

s._channelPattern="Email Campaign|EMC>Banner Ad Campaign|BAC>Paid Search Campaign|KNC>CMC|CMC"

_channelDomain is a list of name|value pairs (separated by a greater than (“>”)) for all of your channels that are identified solely based on the referring website.  For channels that are comprised of multiple websites, separate the values with a comma (“,”).

_channelParameter accepts one name|value pair only.  The name is the default channel for all visitors that enter the site with the value as a query string parameter.  In the example above, if a visitor comes to mysite.com/?CMP=test they would fall into the External Campaign channel.

_channelPattern accepts the same sort of list as _channelDomain.  The difference is that channels in this variable are determined based on their campaign code.  In the example above, a visitor to mysite.com/?CMP=KNC-test would fall into the Paid Search Campaign channel.

Step 3 – Next, we need to add some code to the doPlugins section of the s_code:

/* ChannelManager *

s.channelManager("cmp");

//if (s._channel=="Direct Load"){s._channel=s._campaign="Direct"}

s._campaign=s.repl(s._campaign,"www.","")

if(s._channel=="Natural Search")s._campaign="organic:" s._campaign;

if(s._channel=="Paid Search")s._channel="Paid Search Campaign";

//if(s._campaign=="direct"){s._channel=s._campaign="Direct";s.referrer="";}

s.eVar1=s._campaign;

s.eVar2=s._keywords;

s.prop1=s.eVar3=s._channel;

//s.eVar4=s.crossVisitParticipation(s.eVar3,"s_atx","90","5"," > ","","1");

if(!s.campaign)s.campaign=s._campaignID

Notice I have commented out three lines of code.  The first two lines of code are designed to label visitors that come directly to the site (by typing or using a bookmark) as “Direct”.  If you have a business need to track these channels then include those lines of code, otherwise, simply remove them.  The last commented line includes a call to the crossVisitParticipation plugin (which Omniture has described here) which can be nicely tied into the Channel Manager Plugin.  In addition, I have included a prop in this code to show an example of how to capture these variables in props as well as eVars.

Step 4 – The last steps are, as always, make sure you enable the corresponding eVars and the reports in the Site Catalyst admin console.  It is up to you whether you want these eVars to have first or last allocation (you can also create 2 eVars for each if you want to compare the differences and have the same functionality that Marketing Channels gives you).  The expiration should also be set to whatever you have set your campaign variable to be.

Channel Manager Sample Report

After you read all of those instructions, and compare that set-up to the Marketing Channels set-up, I”m sure many of you will be asking, “Why would I ever do this instead of Marketing Channels?”  Below are the advantages for each.

Marketing Channels Feature Benefits:

  • Simple set-up
  • Updates require no changes to code
  • Uses no eVars
  • Because this is done during data processing, this has no impact on load times

Channel Manager Feature Benefits:

  • Greater overall customization
  • Easier to configure in complicated situations
  • The biggest and most important reason to use Channel Manager is demonstrated with the crossVisitParticipation plugin.  Because Channel Manager exists in the s_code, you can use those values to populate numerous other reports as well.  You can use it to help determine bounce rate for eVars or to more accurately allocate conversion to landing pages

Which system do you prefer?  Can you think of any other advantages for one over the other?  Having trouble with your particular implementation?  Leave a comment and I’ll get back to you.

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