Pubcon Vegas: Convergence of Online Marketing and Analytics

By Janet Driscoll Miller | Nov 10, 2011
More Articles by Janet


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 K’necht

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:

  1. kindling/fuel source
  2. spark/heat
  3. oxygen
These can be “sort of” measured. Not all measurements can be exact. The earliest measurement tools included:
  • the cubit
  • hands (show of hands, hands high for a horse)
  • feet/paces
  • milestones
  • heads
  • What are we measuring now? We’re making a big mistake. We’re still measuring:
    • Heads = followers, friends, fans, etc. (meaningless number out of context — what is a “good” number?)
    • Paces = posts, tweets, updates, etc.
    • Nothing has changed but the tools
    What are the tools of today? Some you might include in your toolbox are:
    • Klout
    • Twittalyzer
    • PeerIndex
    • Webtrends 10
    • Radian6
    • Trackur
    • Raven
    • And many more
    To measure your fuel, track your fans, followers, etc. and you can measure the quantity and quality (more or less). Scoring tools like Twittalyzer and Klout help you do this. It’s not for comparison, but it does tell you how big of a fish you are relative to your pond size.
    To measure your oxygen, find the people who are industry influencers, brand advocates. Look for the right fish for YOUR pond. You can use the tools to find the right fish.
    To measure the spark/heat, you’re measuring your content. Don’t measure quantity, measure quality! You want to grow engagement with +1s, likes, etc. That gets the fire growing. To measure it, get back to basics. Use traditional analytics ratios and measure if people like what you’re saying through retweets per tweets, comments/likes/shares per post and so on. Be sure to use analytics tagging on links to track or use URL shorteners to get the analytics data.
    Finally, bring all of your data together and measure over time. Remember: Bigger fires don’t always mean:
    • more site traffic
    • more in sales
    Measure the attraction, not the heat of the flame. We want to build campfires, not forest fires. Draw people in… don’t drive them away.

    Tom Critchlow

    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.

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