The first session of the last day was a panel featuring Alan K’necht of Digital Always Media and Tom Critchlow of Distilled on the convergence of online marketing and analytics. Sounds like a good, geeky session, so let’s get down to business!
Alan kicked things off using an analogy between a fire and social media. What is Social Media? Instead, it’s really Social Marketing. Alan compared social marketing to a fire — it draws you in.
Fire draws people together. It was the original social media. Cavemen gathered around the fire to exchange ideas. The same is true today, just around computer screens. So how big is your fire and how do you measure it?
For fire, you need three things:
Tom was up next and focused his presentation on data-driven marketing. Tom started by saying that data is a marketing asset — it drives insight for marketing and beyond. Business Insider publishes their analytics for public consumption. We’re still in the early stages to be able to have live analytics.
If you’re going to use data for marketing, consider using data visualization vs. infographics. It’s not just text that looks pretty in a layout… it’s actual data presented graphically.
Tom said to be sure to measure everything. Having a set of metrics helps you stay clear about your goals. There are few metrics you need to care about, but the ones that you should care about you should watch closely. You have to feel the metrics are key drivers of your success.
Be sure to manage what you measure. Monitor things you have control over so you can figure out what is working and what is not so that you can affect change.
Data should drive your actions. Create a hypothesis, then test it. If you just look at analytics, it might not give you the insights you need. So test!
So how would you measure page quality? Tom compared two types of product pages. How can you compare them in analytics since they have the same URL? You can use custom variables to drop in information into analytics. For instance, on one page you might measure the number of reviews on the page because that one would likely be better for SEO. Another good idea is to measure the number of users coming to your site who are Facebook users.
Finally, as a marketer, you want to use feedback too. Surveys can give you actionable information. In one case, Tom showed how a survey was used on a website to measure if visitors felt the site was considered an authority site by visitors. So many said no that it really should be investigated given the Panda updates from Google.