Tag Archives: analytics

Getting the Most Web Performance Information with Process-based Analytics

Our 2011 meeting in St. Louis will focus on reaching Customer 2.0 with Web 2.0. To succeed in this effort, we must know how Web 2.0 is performing and how we can continuously improve performance. Even though all effective marketing efforts are part

of an on-going process, typical web analytics focus on providing snapshots and provide little actionable time-based information.

At NWA we use SPC based process analytics to monitor the performance of our website, Adwords, etc. This has given us much more actionable information than simple bar charts or trend lines. SPC charts were designed to separate the signal from the noise in process data and they perform the same task for our marketing response data. If we don’t treat marketing performance as a time based process, we lose incredible amounts of useful information which can help us to be more effective and competitive than our pie chart loving colleagues.

Our Technical Director Dave Shearer wrote a study several years ago that looked at individual web page performance. This appeared in Telesian’s “What’s Working in Marketing and e-Business” and is posted on our website: http://www.nwasoft.com/appnotes/webactivity.htm. Dave’s conclusions are still true and guiding effective decision making as we manage our web-based outreach.

This post was written by Jeff Cawley, VP Industry Leadership at Northwest Analytical. Mr. Cawley founded of Northwest Analytical in 1980. Today, he oversees professional organization relations and collaborates with industry leaders to develop lectures and writings on applied SPC and its integration with large scale information systems. Before founding NWA he was Director of Marketing for Alpkem Corporation, an analytical instrumentation firm. Mr. Cawley holds B.S. degrees in Chemistry and Geology from Juniata College and did graduate work in Geochemistry at Princeton University.

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Which Half of Your Marketing Budget is Not Working?

There’s an old adage, half of your marketing budget IS NOT working…the problem is, you don’t know which half. The only way to know is to examine the analytics of each campaign and keep tweaking to improve performance.

The man who first brought

analytics to our profession wasn’t initially a marketer. In fact, he was an Oxford dropout, a chef in Paris, a door-to-door salesman during the Great Depression, a pollster for George Gallup, a spy for British Intelligence, a farmer in Amish country, then, at the tender age of 38 he became an ad man.

David Ogilvy is considered by many to be the father of advertising. His obsession with research and information-based marketing changed the world of advertising. I’m reading one of his earliest books, Confessions of an Advertising Man . He is credited with many things, including honesty and candor in advertising. According to Ogilvy , “The consumer is not a moron, she’s your wife! Don’t insult her intelligence. You wouldn’t lie to your wife, don’t lie to mine.” He also believed that “unless your campaign is built on a big idea, it will pass like a ship in the night.” For him, a big idea had to last 20 years or more. One of his least known but greatest successes was the Dove (soap) bar. He created the image of the one-quarter cleansing cream that doesn’t dry your skin that is still in use today. And Dove is the largest-selling soap brand in the world.

On the analytics front, I was watching an interview with Ogilvy on the David Susskind show . Ogilvy talked about research. He was constantly challenging assumptions. For instance, he said, do you know how many families say grace before they eat? This was back in the 1960s. Most people assumed it was low, 3-4%. So Ogilvy researched it. He found that the actual answer is 67%!!! What a dramatic difference. It’s a great example of how dangerous our assumptions can be.

For instance, many businesses we talk to don’t track the analytics for their email or enewsletter campaigns. They assume traffic is sufficient. But how do you know which part of your enews is working and which isn’t if you don’t measure? We now have data that shows us how important a video tutorial is because we measure…obsessively. Our clients also tend to have open rates and click-throughs that are much higher than average because we can guide them on where to make improvements. Cut out the non-performing portions and substitute something new and hopefully more engaging.

The bottom line is…marketing is a constant testing process. Do A, measure it, do something different with the pieces of A that don’t produce results and then do B. Measure and repeat.

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Workshop: Inbound Marketing

Magnetic attraction
Jon DiPietro will be hosting this workshop at the Marketing & Sales Summit on Wednesday, September 1st from 1:00PM to 5:00PM. The cost is $195 – visit the registration page today to reserve your spot.

Primary Goal

Participants will develop an understanding of the components of effective inbound marketing and its advantages over traditional, outbound marketing.

Abstract

Traditional marketing approaches like advertising, trade shows, direct mail, and cold calling are becoming increasingly less effective. Peoples’ attention spans are spread thinly across a wide array of media, making them harder to target and they are getting better at avoiding interruptive messages like commercials and sales calls. Outbound marketing is getting harder and more expensive.

Conversely, inbound marketing is an approach that uses the Internet to attract quality attention to your web site, generate leads, and convert them to customers. This workshop will describe how to craft compelling content and optimize it for search, share that content effectively on social networks, convert visitors to leads and leads to customers, and measure it all.

Outline

  1. Introduction and Concepts
  2. Content
    1. Being Remarkable
    2. Blogging
  3. Search Engine Optimization
    1. Off Page
    2. On Page
  4. Sharing
    1. Social Networking (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn)
    2. Hosted Media (Slideshare, YouTube, Flickr, Scribd)
  5. Converting
    1. Landing Pages
    2. Lead Nurturing
  6. Measuring
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Facebook for Businesses Demystified

This post originally appeared on the Domesticating IT blog and is reproduced with permission from its author.

Spies exchanging briefcase

If Facebook were a spy novel, the terms of service would be enigmatic documents stored on microfilm and hidden in plain sight in some local library.  The features are like James Bond’s clever gadgets, but are never at hand when needed and lack any meaningful instructions.  How is one to unlock these mysteries and reach that magical transmitter that can carry your message to those 360 million users?  Facebook fan pages are incredibly useful and effective marketing mechanisms, but it can be frustratingly unapparent where to start, what to do, and how to do it.  Lucky for you, I have the secret decoder ring you’ve been looking for.

Why Bother?

Before decoding these mysteries, let’s talk about why anyone should bother in the first place.  I already mentioned fan pages specifically, and there are three major advantages to implementing fan pages over groups and personal pages:

  1. Link Juice – Fan pages are public, whereas your personal profile and its updates are protected, unless you’ve made everything public in your privacy settings.  But even if you’ve done this, the interactions with others is mostly protected, which means that none of the content is indexed by search engines.  The pages contain links back to your site, which create link juice.
  2. Branding – Anyone can create a fan page in your name, whether it’s an employee, a customer, or a competitor.  Even if your company name is a registered trademark, you do not want to be spending your time firing bow-shots and dealing with Facebook support.  Grab your company’s identity so you are in control and do it today.
  3. Analytics – Facebook calls them “Insights” and you can only get them with fan pages.  They give some basic data to do some trending and metric measurement.

In addition to these benefits over Facebook groups and personal pages, I wrote another blog post that contains “7 Reasons to Include Facebook In Your Marketing.”

The Ownership Dilemma

In order to create a fan page, you need to be logged in to a Facebook account.  But whose account and what kind?  Well, that’s the dilemma.  The account that creates the fan page becomes the de facto owner.  Worse yet, the owner of a fan page cannot be changed (at least not right now).  Therefore, it’s not really desirable to create a fan page using your own personal Facebook account.  Therefore, Facebook does offer the option of creating a “business account” which has a number of limitations when compared to a standard, personal account.  Problem solved, right?  As it turns out, not so much if you read the dreaded Terms of Service for business accounts:

You may create a business account if you don’t already have a standard Facebook account.

Please be aware that managing multiple accounts is a serious violation of Facebook’s Terms of Use. If we determine that an individual has more than one account, we reserve the right to terminate all of their accounts.

Maintaining multiple accounts, regardless of the purpose, is a violation of Facebook’s Terms of Use. If you already have a personal account, then we cannot allow you to create business accounts for any reason. You can manage all the Pages and Socials Ads that you create on your personal account.

Please keep in mind that the fans of any of the Pages you administer will not have visibility or access to your personal account or profile. Any actions that you take as a Page administrator on your Page will show the Page’s name as the actor and not your personal name.

Despite the fact that “we reserve the right” does not necessarily mean they will, these warnings are pretty stark and I am therefore reluctant to advise anything other than creating your fan page from your own personal account, as undesirable as that is.  It’s a bit of a mystery why Facebook would offer such a thing as a business account and then virtually assure there is no way to use it without violating their terms of service, but such is life for the time being.

Getting Started

Facebook makes it a little tricky to get the ball rolling, so here’s a quick start guide to get you going:

  1. Go to the Create New Facebook Page link (http://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php).
  2. Select the type of page you want to create and give it a name.  You can choose to keep it private if you’re not quite ready to make it visible to the world.  This is a good option if you’re just trying to protect your brand.
    Create a Facebook Fan Page
  3. Set up the basic information.  Upload a picture (hover your cursor over the picture area and click “change picture”), and make sure it’s square so that Facebook doesn’t auto-crop it.  Click the link under the picture that says “Write something about …” and put in a brief description of your page.
    Edit your Facebook fan page
  4. Click on the “Info” tab and then the “Edit Information” link.  Be sure to enter a web site and company description at the very least!
    Edit your Facebook page information
  5. Click on the “Share” button in the left margin and invite all of your friends who may be interested.
  6. Promote your fan page on other web sites by creating a Fan Box.  This is another frustratingly difficult link to find.  You can begin from the Facebook Widgets page.  There are two options; Fan Boxes and Page Badges.  You can play around the settings for each to configure it as you like.  When you’re done, save it and then you can copy and paste the code in to your web page.
    Create a Facebook Fan Box

Then, go forth and update!  One word of advice; don’t turn your fan page into a content Doppelgänger.  Try to understand how your Facebook audience wants to interact with you and what sort of content and update frequency is palatable to them.  If you’re not sure, ask them.  If they became a fan, they should be happy to offer their opinion on what they want to see from you.  Don’t simply redistribute press releases or link your Twitter stream to your fan page.  Each social media channel has its own character and user preferences and you need to understand and respect them.

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