Tagged analytics

Marketing Doubleshot Podcast – Ep.8 – Digital Marketing Career Trends & Online Engagement Driving Offline Action

In this episode, Jonathan Barrick and Josh Muirhead discuss three recent trends in digital marketing careers and an initiative by Google to more effectively measure the effects of online engagement (specifically SEM) on retail store visits.


Links and resources mentioned in this episode:

Fast Company -> www.fastcompany.com/

Search Engine Land -> Google Launches “Store Visits” Metric In AdWords, To Help Prove Online-To-Offline Impact – searchengineland.com/google-store-v…adwords-211254

Search Engine Land -> AdWords Brand CPCs Rising? Here’s Why And What You Can Do About It –searchengineland.com/adwords-brand-…res-can-225648

 

Marketing Doubleshot Podcast – Ep.7 – SEM Reporting with Causation & Some Brands “Going Dark” on Social Media

In this episode, Jonathan Barrick and Josh Muirhead discuss how marketers can get better understanding of their SEM efforts by mapping actions and events in their reporting and finding true correlation and causation, and explore why some brands have made the puzzling decision to ‘go dark’ on social media and shift to an advertising-only model.


Links and resources mentioned in this episode:

3-Part Introductory Guide to Adwords & SEM by Sean Clark:

  1. http://seanclark.com/pay-per-click/a-guide-to-adwords-making-ppc-work-for-your-business/
  2. http://seanclark.com/google/a-guide-to-adwords-creating-your-first-adwords-campaign/
  3. http://seanclark.com/google/a-guide-to-adwords-launching-your-first-adwords-campaign/

Sean Clark’s website: http://seanclark.com and on Twitter: http://twitter.com/seanclark

Digital Marketing & Analytics: Five Deadly Myths De-mythified! on Occam’s Razor Blog by Avinash Kaushik: http://www.kaushik.net/avinash/digital-marketing-analytics-deadly-myths-de-mythified/

Avinash on Twitter: http://twitter.com/avinash

5 Promises Every Living Marketer Should Make to Themselves

by Jonathan Barrick

imageMarketers, I hate to say this, but we kinda suck. There’s an awful lot of stuff that we’re doing every day that is simply no good. It’s awful, in fact, and we’re better than this. At this point in time, we should be WAY better than this. We have the ability to connect to our customers in real-time, and understand them on a unprecedented level. We have the ability to send out complex information in formats that make it easy to consume and understand, anytime anywhere.

We have the ability to turn business around to a point where it’s no longer the brand with the deepest pockets who wins customers, but the brand who is the most awesome. Yet, we still trudge along doing things that hold us back like a ball and chain. I say, NO MORE. It’s time to break the bonds, make some new promises, and move forward.

1 – I will not make statements the brand can’t live up to.

Stop fibbing. Stop embellishing. Stop over-promising. Do these two things instead: Make realistic statements AND/OR Improve your product/service so that you deliver on your promises. People are sick and tired of being let down, disappointed, and underwhelmed, and they’re not hesitating to tell their friends. Falling short of expectations is no longer an option. Meet or exceed, or be called out.

2 – I will not view my customers as simply a means to an end.

Your customers aren’t there so you can ‘leverage’ them. I hate that word. Is there any term less respectful of your customers? They’re not numbers, they’re people that you have relationships with. Social media is helping to ‘humanize’ business, so Marketers need to humanize along with it. The value is in the relationships, not simply in the numbers.

3 – I will not pretend that ‘there is no ROI’ of social communications.

Everything you do has an impact, good or bad, that can be measured. Is this impact ALWAYS measured in dollars and cents? No. But it CAN be measured. The key is to identify what area of your business the impact takes place, and then measure the ROI as it relates to that specific area. Saving time on customer service? There’s your ROI. Getting new product development ideas? There’s your ROI. The dots are there for you to connect, so grab your pencil and start connecting.

4 – I will not brag about meaningless metrics.

Fans, likes, followers? No good. Decreased bounce rate, higher share of search, improved sentiment? Good. Give some context to your metrics, and they actually become worth talking about. “Because of X, we achieved Y, which led to Z.” This ties directly in to the ‘ROI’ situation, making it far easier to see what’s helping and what’s hurting. If you’re measuring something that doesn’t give you some kind of insight in to why something worked (or didn’t), then why are you measuring it?

5 – I will not ignore how people feel about typical marketing actions
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Banner ads suck. We all hate popups. Opt-in is good, opt-out is bad. Yet marketers continue making terrible choices in spite of overwhelming data that says ‘STOP!!!’. Make the commitment to yourself to stop doing things that people hate, and do more of what people love. Remember ‘do unto others as you’d have them do unto you?’ Well, replace ‘do’ with ‘market’ and run with that. If you ignore popups, blow past banner ads, and junk spam mail as fast as it comes in, then your customers are doing the same. Stop wasting time, money, and energy on stuff that sucks. Go for the stuff that’s awesome instead.

Simple stuff, don’t you think? You can boil it all down to this: Stop sucking, be awesome, and prove it.

This should be the mantra of every marketer alive today. Now, place your right hand on your business card, and repeat after me: Stop sucking, be awesome, and prove it.

This article originally written for http://crowdshifter.com

Share of Search – How much interest are you capturing?

by Jonathan Barrickimage

Web metrics are in a constant state of evolution. As we gain access to more and more raw data and behavioural reports through tools like Google Analytics, the necessity of using more effective metrics rises to put all that data in to some kind of useful context so that we can truly understand what the information is really telling us about our business and markets.

One of the most powerful metrics that I’ve been experimenting with more frequently lately is what Google Analytics wizard Avinash Kaushik refers to as ‘Share of Search’ (number 6 on his list of key metrics). In simplest terms, ‘Share of Search’ can be defined as the portion of overall online interest in a particular keyword that you are capturing. That is to say, if there are 100 searches every day for your product category, how many would your site receive? 10%? 20%? 50%?

If your ability to be found online is important to you, then taking a look at what your current estimated share of search is, and making changes to potentially improve this metric, could have dramatic effects on how you approach your online activities. Fortunately, this is a relatively simple metric to calculate, requiring only a few points of data which are easily obtained.

Here’s how simple the formula is:

Your monthly search referral traffic for a specific keyword or phrase / Google’s average monthly searches for that specific keyword or phrase x 100 = Your estimated % share of search.

You can easily obtain your sites monthly search referrals for specific keywords or phrases from your Google Analytics dashboard. To get the average overall searches for that phrase or keyword through Google, you can use the Google Keyword Tool. Simply make sure that you’re comparing apples to apples by setting the same criteria and restrictions in both tools (country/region, keyword vs. phrase, etc).
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Once you’ve obtained your estimated Share of Search, you can begin to monitor it for changes. As your share of search rises, you should try to determine what factors this might correlate to. Did you do a big advertising push? Is interest in your product seasonal? Did you publish strong new content such as blog posts or educational articles? Is there a trade show coming up?

If your share of search decreases, take a look at what might be causing it. Are competitors making big changes to their websites or publishing strong new content? Is your industry seeing an overall decline? Are your ads or marketing messages misaligned with market needs? Is your product becoming obsolete?

Continually monitoring your Share of Search allows you to keep tabs on how ‘findable’ your business is, and how effective your web properties are at capturing the interest of your potential customers. Remember: Search performance is all based on RELEVANCE. The more relevant your content, the more you should see your share of search increase. In theory, an increase in share of search should correlate to an increase in market share as well. Hence, by measuring changes to your share of search and comparing to changes in your market share, you can see if there are disconnects or misalignments in your content, marketing messages, and product offerings.

The real key to effective web metrics is CONTEXT. Simply looking at big numbers like page views and number of visitors doesn’t give you any insight in to how you compare to the rest of the world out there. By looking at more context-driven metrics like share of search, you can begin to understand how your actions impact your performance in the market.  However keep in mind that there is no one magic metric that answers all questions. Share of search is just one more gauge of performance for you to look at. There are many more, but hopefully the simplicity of share of search and the insight it can give you will inspire you to dig deeper in to your data and see the real story that it’s trying to tell you. Big numbers mean nothing. Big context is everything.

This article originally written for http://crowdshifter.com

Analytics? More like Psychology!

Sam Fiorella, whom I connected with at UnGeeked Toronto, recently posted some thoughts on his blog, The Social Roadmap, on the evolution of how we measure social media success. Sam brings up some interesting points about how the metrics we currently use are really just scratching the surface of what these interactions can tell us.

Of course, Marketers are always under fire from ‘upper management’ to show the real ROI of Social Media. Therefore, it’s only natural that we default to the metrics that can be gauged numerically. X number of followers, Y number of comments, Z number of retweets, and so on. Numbers make people feel comfortable, because they can derive simple conclusions from them. “Well, if our followers went up by 15% this month, we must be 15% more successful! YAY!”, and everyone feels all warm and fuzzy, high-fives all around, and everyone goes back to work.

What Sam brings to light here is the fact that those metrics, while easy to obtain and understand, don’t really provide the insight that you need to make decisions for the future growth of your business. What you need to do is look beyond just how many people are talking, and delve in to what they’re talking about, and more importantly how they’re saying it. Their demeanor in their posts goes a long way to telling you just how your business is performing, not just in Social Media but everywhere.

If you take the time to interpret what’s being said about your brand beyond just what’s on the surface, and use this as the basis for your actions, you can cater more effectively to the advocates of your brand, essentially turning your committed fans in to hardcore evangelists.

For more good stuff from Sam Fiorella:
http://twitter.com/samfiorella
http://www.socialroadmaps.blogspot.com/

iCollage

Here’s a fascinating visual representation on who dominates the web in terms of traffic:

http://nmap.org/favicon/

What would be even more fascinating is if they had done retroactive versions of this, lets say going back every 5 years. It would be very telling to see the current social media powerhouses eclipsing the previous web champs by such large margins.

It also shows how the web has changed its emphasis from sites built by corporations to sites built by social communities. What will this chart look like in 5 years I wonder?

Analyzing Analytics

I started working with website analytics back in 2004. At the time our company’s online efforts were very rudimentary. Basically they consisted of a simple website, dabbling in pay-per-click advertising, and that was about it. We also had a very small team in Marketing. There was really only me, my boss, and one other person working in a different location. As a result, all the web stuff basically fell on to me, as far as content creation and maintenance, but I had very little influence in the visual aspect or strategic objectives of the site. Those factors were, of course, determined by the ‘higher-ups’ at the time.

We’d also had a change in the company name in the previous 12 months, so naturally there were some drastic changes in the online presence of the company. All the search engine rankings we had built up under the old company name basically disappeared when we went to the new domain name and site. Incoming leads through the website fell off significantly. It was almost as if the whole thing was starting from scratch. Sure, we had the benefit of the old domains referring traffic, but it just wasn’t performing the way people had become accustomed to.

The problem was that there was no data to compare against. No historical performance on any web metrics, not even basic traffic counts. Nobody knew where the problem was, or what to do about it. Then, during one particularly beneficial web browsing session, I stumbled upon the WebCEO site. I was immediately intrigued, although naturally a bit skeptical. Since they had a free trial there was no reason NOT to try it, so we fired it up and checked out what it could do.

The results were dramatic. Using the SEO section of the program, we were able to get our rankings on all the most important keywords to hit top-5, and many other secondary terms had us consistently on the first page of all the search engines. The traffic also shot up within the first 6 months. Within a year, we’d easily doubled the monthly traffic compared to what we were getting that first month, and it continued to grow.

For a long time, that was it. WebCEO served us well in those first few years, but eventually things started to plateau. The company had changed, too. I was now the Marketing Manager, with my own staff and a new set of objectives for the future, many of them web-related and focusing on what could be done to grow our web presence. Now, the economy going in to the toilet didn’t help anybody, but we suspected that there might be other factors at work that were limiting the growth we were so used to.

First thing we realized was that it was time for a complete overhaul. Not simply a facelift or a fresh coat of paint, but a total rebuild. So we did. Brand new site, much more elegant navigation and significantly improved layout. In addition, we started to look again at what we were doing with our analytics. More specifically, what we weren’t doing. We had the numbers, but had no context to put them in to. Our site had Xnumber of hits? Well, that’s great, but what does that mean? Are we overachieving or underachieving?

The Canadian Marketing Association Conference 2010 provided an answer, but would it be THE answer? Not sure, but Google Analytics appeared very enticing given our situation. A new way to look at the numbers? That sounded pretty good, and Avinash Kaushik‘s presentation at that conference just helped to convince us that there was a lot more we could be mining from that data.

So, a couple of months later and we’re swimming in a sea of new numbers. The question now: Can we provide the kind of information that our business can use to make some positive changes? Finding the metrics to determine if you’ve designed a good site is relatively easy. But finding metrics that the accounting team can use, or the production team can use, or the engineering team can use, or the customer service team can use? Therein lies the rub.

Website analytics has moved far beyond ‘improving the website’ and is now becoming a key factor in ‘improving the business’. My new objective: Prove that to the rest of the company.