Convergence of Online Marketing and Analytics

November 10, 2011
By Lisa Barone in Internet Marketing Conferences

OMG, you made it to Day 3 of Pubcon Vegas? Can you even BELIEVE IT?  It seems like just yesterday that we were, well, not hungover and had voices instead of pounding headaches. Huzzah! If you’re just finding us, make sure you check out our first two days of coverage because there’s some great stuff in there. For now, let’s dig into Day 3.

Up on stage this time we have Tom Critchlow and Alan K’necht. I’ve never seen any of these two gentleman speak (nor met them) so I’m psyched to get to listen in on this one.

Up first is Alan.  He says he’s been doing this since 1995, which makes him an “old shit” in this industry.  Okay, then.

What is social media?  He says he hates the term. Media is a device. You pick up the phone and you call someone. Is that media? You’re being social. What’s new? The fact that we get on Twitter, we get on Facebook, we have blogs? Is that any different from what we used to do? (yes?)

He prefers the term Social Marketing to Social Media. Because that’s what we are, we’re marketers.  When he thinks of social marketing, he thinks of a fire. Fires draw people in and that’s what the goal is of social marketing campaigns. We want to draw people to us, to our organizations, to our brands.  Fire was the original social media because, since the days of the cavemen, people gather around fires.

The tool has changed and that’s all it is. A hammer from 200 years ago looks different than what a hammer looks like today (does it?). Both are meant to drive a nail into a piece of wood.

So how big is your fire? And how do you measure it?  By how many people you can get around it? By how high it reaches?

For fire you need three things:

  • Kindling/Fuel Source
  • Spark/Heat
  • Oxygen

You need all three and that’s a key point.

Earliest Measurement Tools

  • The Cubit
  • Hands as in a “show of hands”
  • Feet/paces – Milestone
  • Heads – People used to measure battles by how many heads the warriors came back with.  You had to cut off more heads than you were losing. Isn’t that heartwarming? I thought so.

What are we measuring now?

  • Heads = Followers, Friends, Fans, etc. Out of context, numbers are meaningless.
  • Paces = Posts, Tweets, Up Dates, etc.  We’re gonna write one post a week, 10 tweets a day, etc.  It’s meaningless if people aren’t engaging back with it.

Nothing has changed but the tools. We still need to measure victory and success (ROI, RT, References).

Measuring Fuel

These are your fans, followers, etc. We can measure quantity and quality.

Scoring Tools: Klout, Twitalyzer, PeerIndex

They tell you how big a fish you are relative to your pond size.

When using scoring tools use them to measure how successful you are in your pond. Don’t use it compare between people in other ponds.

Measuring the Oxygen

Do you use Scoring Tools to find the Oxygen.  These are people who are industry influencers. They’re brand advocates. They’re the right fish in the right pond.

Measuring the Spark/Heat

This is your content. Don’t measure quantity, measure quality.

How do you measure fire? Get back to the basics?  Traditional analytics use ratios. Must use them to measure success in social media.  Do people like what you’re saying.  RT per tweets, comments/likes/shares per post, etc.

Take links as campaign element for your analytics

  • Measure are they clicking on links
  • Use URL shorteners with good analytics.
  • Do they click on links to other sites

Bring all the numbers together to measure the fire.  Look at increase in references. Correlate to changes in traffic.  Does this increase proportionally relate to change in sales?  Is there an exponential increase? Is there no change?

Bigger fires don’t always mean more site traffic, more in store sales, more online sales, or more profit.

Measure the attraction not the heat of the flame. Are you able to draw people in and have everyone communicate? We want to build camp fires, not forest fires. Don’t drive people away.

Next up is Tom Critchlow. He apologizes if he looks ridiculous. He’s trying to grow a mustache for Movember. Hee.

Data is a marketing asset. One of the things thats great about the modern Web is that we can use data in many different ways. Analytics is less about measuring things and more about driving insight and driving activity in fields other than modifying pages on your Web site.  He asks how many people read the OkCupid blog. Not that many. Which is a shame.  That blog is pretty kickass.  They gather a lot of data and then write posts like sexual activity by smart phone brand.  Tom admits he uses an Android, which has the lowest sexual activity of them all.

Well…now this is awkward.  We move on.

Data is marketing. If you have data, you can use it in marketing. That’s a growing trend. Business Insider publishes their chart beat analytics so you can look at their analytics for free. That’s fascinating marketing.  We’re using it as a way of reaching out to people. We’re really in the early stages of this.

If you’re going to use data in marketing, he strongly  urges people to think of data visualization instead of infographics.  When they create infographics, they try to always include proprietary information. Because if someone else had access to all the information, then it’s probably not very useful. He shows an infographic about average donations by mobile device. Once again, Android is low on the list. Tom says he’s not getting laid OR donating to charity.  Fantastic.

Measure Everything

Measuring leading indicators can be a great way to measure success before it happens. Manage what you measure. Monitor things that you have direct control over, such as numbers of new pages published, can really help you figure out what’s working and what’s not.

Data Should Drive Actions

Data is difficult to get insights out of it without creating hypothesis and then testing them.  We rarely do this as marketers. We just look at data and try to glean insights by looking at it.


Use custom variables to help you get a better understanding of how pages are performing.   If you’re testing page quality, you can use custom variables to see how having lots of reviews on a page affects quality.

Measure the percentage of Facebook users coming to your site. As marketers, rather than wasting time working on Facebook integratiions, why not see how many active users come to your site in the first place. Your audience may not even be there.

User feedback is data too.   Ask them questions and then act on what they’re telling you.

And that’s it from these gentlemen. We’ll be back in a bit.

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