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April 2018 Recap – Winning Holidays in Paid Search with Rob Barto

It was Christmas in April at CBUSWAW! Not because it has been snowing again, but because Rob Barto from Search Discovery came down from the far north (Cleveland) with the gift of paid search knowledge for any big event on your business’ calendar. But really, it can also stop snowing now.

Speaking of calendars, before Tim introduced his fellow Discoverer Rob he ran down our local upcoming analytics events:

First Rob ran down some quick hits on overall strategy like: plan ahead as far as you reasonably can, but be prepared to pivot quickly once your campaigns actually get going (so is he Santa Claus or Clausewitz? I’m getting my metaphors mixed up). Then Rob ran through a set of 3 detailed case studies showing some pretty incredible holiday results in both paid search and SEO.

Rob pointed out that while indeed some of these results were pretty eye-popping (1,000% lift anyone?!?!) good results are not usually the result of a single magic marketing bullet, but a full-court press across all possible angles of paid search and SEO. Want to do great on Black Friday? Well, you better start thinking about how you might approach that this Friday, and start thinking about all the different things that might help you do so, like maybe:

  • Offline conversion tracking
  • AdWords dynamic search ads
  • Timers in ads showing how long until an event happens or how long an event has left
  • More logical and actionable account structures
  • Smarter retargeting (like not showing ads to someone who has already purchased, or bidding more on existing customers, etc.)

Getting fantastic results like the ones Rob showed might require getting all of those items right and then some, or it might be something totally different for you! It’s a question of taking best advantage of the tactics that might fit your campaign and product best and then testing those ideas and working with the client.

To complete the holiday theme Tim then proceeded to hand out gifts for good questions from the audience, though let’s face it, they all were pretty good questions!

March 2018 Recap – Facebook Offline Measurement with Monish Datta

To celebrate 10 years of Columbus Web Analytics Wednesdays we realized there could be no better speaker than CBUSWAW legend Monish Datta. Sure, Monish might now be the Monetization Product Marketing Team Manager at Facebook, but we knew him way back when — and he hasn’t forgotten his Ohio roots. Managing to escape from New York just ahead of yet another late season snowstorm on the east coast, Monish stopped by to drop a whole bunch of knowledge about how Facebook is dealing with offline measurements such as store visits and offline conversions.

Despite our feelings that online commerce is taking over everything, online retail only accounts currently for about 10% of all transactions! This is why understanding what happens in “the real world” and bringing that gap between offline and online activity is so important. This is tricky stuff — not because there is any one piece of the technology puzzle that is so complex, but because there so many different data sources, touch points, and privacy concerns.

An engaged crowd asked some tough questions about how this type of measurement works and Monish was ready with answers. As a group many of us had experience working with Facebook Ads of multiple types, but very few had ventured into this area of offline activity. Despite threats to pivot to talking about himself — there were many answers to be had, and only a couple of “we can’t disclose that”s.

Ultimately, Monish described this sort of real-world activity as an “offline pixel” where, with the right data integrations, we can start to think about offline activity in some of the same ways we think about online activities — as those two different arenas continue to overlap more and more.

We hope to see everyone next time at Rev1 in April when Rob Barto from Search Discovery will talk about holiday paid search planning! It’ll be Christmas in April, with hopefully some less Christmas-like temperatures.

 

February 2018 Recap – Segmentation with CBUSWAW

For February we did something a little different. No speakers, but instead a bit of group introspection… in the form of Dave Culbertson asking questions and the audience going into different corners of the room depending on their answers. No dunce hats, not even for those who are clearly using the wrong type of phone while eating the wrong type of candy. It was a fun time, we swear!

But first, a quick run-down of upcoming analytics events:

We’ve done this kind of segmentation report before, back in May of 2014, so we decided to ask the same questions again and see how things have changed. Turns out it’s a pretty hard thing to keep asking the exact same questions the same way each time (props to Gallup, asking the same questions in the same way for over 80 years), but we did our best.

Some interesting findings:

  • Analysts continue to come from a pretty mixed background! “None of the above” remained our top first career job (chart #1 below).
  • We were split 50%/50% on iPhone vs. Android, whereas last time we were significantly more iPhone, 65%/33% (#4).
  • LinkedIn is where it’s at for professional social networking, at 92%! (#6).
  • For tools – our percentage of Google Analytics users was down, but “Other” was way up. This “Other” includes people who considered analysis tools like Tableau or R to be their primary rather than a traditional web analytics data platform like GA (#8).
  • A “What’s the deal with Nutella…?” bit is part of Dave’s standup routine he’s currently workshopping (#18).
  • Email reigns supreme for our desert island marketing channel (#17). Not sure how we’ll be receiving that email on that desert island, but we’re working on it (literal mail chimps?).
  • The distribution of our birthdays (#15) show either analysts tend to be Geminis at very high rates — or possibly one needs to be careful about drawing too many conclusions from small sample sizes.

So without further ado, let the data puking commence!

2018 vs 2014 CBUSWAW Audience Segmentation

 

See everyone next time, when Facebook’s Monish Datta returns to town to talk about how Facebook is exploring offline signals that consumers generate.

January 2018 Recap – Truth in Attribution with Clarivoy

We welcomed in the new year at Web Analytics Wednesday with a further exploration of one of the toughest topics around, attribution. In spite of the cold temperatures, the crowd gave Chris Kerr and Rick Otten from Clarivoy a warm welcome — and were rewarded with a wide array of information both about attribution in general and the challenges of marketing in the automobile space.

Chris picked up from where Jason Packer left off at our November event with a further discussion of the need to move past single-point attribution models to multi-touch. Chris also discussed the some of the details of the user journey in the car purchase process and stepped through some real-world examples with data.

Knowing the effectiveness of your different marketing channels is always a good idea — and car dealerships show some great examples of why this is so important. Many dealerships spend significant amounts in a wide variety of different channels to reach a buyer for a “high consideration” product that is bought offline — so these issues that we all face can be magnified in challenging ways.

Rick then took to the stage to present his 3 “W”s to WAW:

  1. Who is using the site?
  2. Where did they come from?
  3. What are they doing on the site?

Knock-knock jokes aside, Rick hit us with a lot of specifics of how tracking can work from the legit and well-established (you know, cookies) — to the scarily sketchy (hidden auto-completes, etc.).  Then took us through some analyst catnip with a few interesting data visualizations, including a crowd favorite dandelion chart crated by Gephi.

Truth in Attribution: Building the Bridge Between Hype and Reality

Truth in Attribution: Building the Bridge Between Hype and RealityIt’s a new year, but we’ll be looking at the oldest and toughest of questions in marketing: which ads work and which don’t? We all want solutions, not speculation, but how do we get there to find some truth amongst all the hype?Clarivoy is the auto industry’s most trusted source of truth for marketing campaign optimization (and stalwart CBUSWAW sponsor).Join VP of Engineering Rick Otten and VP of Sales Chris Kerr to hear about how Clarivoy blends offline and online automotive consumer activity into actionable reports for their clients. They will discuss some of the TV and sales data models they have developed as well as some of the challenges faced in collecting and processing large volumes of data every month.All of our Columbus WAWs are free of charge thanks to the generosity of our sponsors:TeamBuilder Search | Wittenberg University | ClarivoyA/V support, including a Facebook Livestream of the event, provided by Mixt Media (mixtmedia.co)

Posted by Columbus Web Analytics Wednesdays on Monday, January 22, 2018

Video courtesy of Mixt Media.

We also welcomed two new sponsors for 2018. Continuing sponsors Clarivoy and TeamBuilder Search were joined by the Wittenberg University M.S. in Analytics Program and Search Discovery.

Please join us next month when we will do some segmentation experiments on the group itself!

 

October 2017 – Brand Measurement with Brian Aubert

For October, we had Brian Aubert from Ohio State University Marketing talk about brand measurement on a shoestring. “On a shoestring? We are talking about the Ohio State University, right?” you might ask, but as we learned back at our August event from Brian’s compatriot Elaine, OSU is a big complicated place with a lot of different units to serve and a lot of different messages to get a across with limited marketing resources.

It’s OK to be a Hufflepuff

We know that brands are incredibly valuable, and OSU is no exception to that — so how do you measure brand health?? It would be nice to have a single number with a red or green change arrow, but as Brian’s journey has informed us it’s a long road to that kind of simple-seeming metric. Perhaps if you are like Brian’s previous employer Chase with giant piles of cash and backrooms filled with statistics PhDs it can be a little easier, but it’s a challenge for anyone.

Brian laid out some of the components of OSU’s brand measurement strategy including:

  • Comparing OSU to benchmarks: both highly comparative (let’s beat Michigan in Twitter shares too!) and aspirational… but maybe not too aspirational.
  • Getting visibility into social activity by segment. OSU is a brand with a very disparate set of “products”. Teasing out individual units from athletics and big news events is a tricky task requiring a lot of hard work.
  • Moving into more survey-based research.

 

 

OSU has upgraded “the 3 Rs” to 4: Reputation, Recognition, Relevance, Resonance.

OSU’s brand health measurement is still in its nascent stages, so at the end of the talk we then had an extended Q&A session when alums and non-alums alike got to pepper Brian with good questions about how OSU got where they are with brand measurement and where they are going.

Brand Measurement on a Shoestring

Brand Measurement on a ShoestringHave you heard of The Ohio State University? Of course you have! But which marketing investments move the needle on brand recognition? How does Ohio State recognize (and quantify) that movement?So many digital analysts focus on sales, leads, conversions…but why not brand health?It’s another Web Analytics Tuesday at Rev1!Join Ohio State’s Brian Aubert, Senior AVP of Strategic Capabilities in University Marketing, as he describes his personal journey from driving direct response to embracing brand health measurement. See what he’s learned along the way and how you can start developing measurement frameworks (and a little digital analytics elbow grease) to understand the brand impact of your marketing efforts.

Posted by Columbus Web Analytics Wednesdays on Friday, October 20, 2017

Thanks to Darin at Mixt Media for the livestream video!

 

 

Join us again in November when Jason Packer will give us an intro class on attribution!

August 2017 – Email Marketing with Elaine Armbruster

Email! No really… email!!!

For our August event Elaine Armbruster, director of email marketing and marketing automation at Ohio State, came by to share her passion for email.

Whatever we think about all these johnny-come-lately marketing channels that garner all the hype, it’s email where people overwhelmingly say they want to get brand communication.

Elaine shared a study from Bluecore showing that 68% of consumers listed email as their preferred communication channel. Even amongst those hard to pin down kids in gen z with their snapbooksagrams and instachats, 65% preferred email. Yes, people still read their email!

Sexiness of email now firmly established, Elaine also encouraged us to test well and test often. Email is a great medium for learning what works and what doesn’t for your marketing campaigns when you read the results correctly.

There’s a lot of different parts of OSU and a lot of different messages that these different groups within OSU are trying to get out. That’s clearly a challenge (well — maybe not the emails about football tickets), but many of the lessons learned in other verticals are applicable at OSU, and the info Elaine shared is probably applicable to your email campaigns as well. I know we were taking notes about our cbuswaw emails!

What did Elaine’s boss and upcoming October cbuswaw speaker Brian Aubert think about the talk? He was pretty restrained in his praise:

So come back in October to see the OSU marketing sequel!

Live feed by Mixt Media captured in process.

 

June 2017 Recap – Presentation Upgrades with Lea Pica

How to Present Results to Get Results with Lea Pica

For our June 2017 event, we had a great crowd show up to learn how to present our findings to really catch and hold people’s attention. To guide us on this journey we had none other than that priestess of presentations, that vizier of visualizations, Lea Pica! In addition to our regular sponsors, we also want to give a shout out to Search Discovery for flying Lea out to Columbus.

We all know there’s a lot of bad presentations out there, perhaps we’ll even admit to giving some clunkers ourselves. So how do we get better? Lea gave us lots of practical tips on how to rethink how we present, and ultimately how to be better understood by our audiences. It’s going to require some work and learning, but why would we spend all this time and effort doing good analysis only to have our results ignored and un-acted-upon by our target audience because we presented it poorly?

Lea reminded us to put ourselves in the position of our audience, though not let our audience drive the details of what we do. If our audience asked for a report on a specific metric, what’s the question behind that request? How can we present a real insight that answers our stakeholder’s questions, not just a data dump of results.

The books Lea recommended on visualization were:

So we know what we’re all reading this month! (cbuswaw bookclub anyone?)

You can find many more resources on Lea’s site here.

And, for an abridged version of her presentation, check out the video below courtesy of Mixt Media:

Please join us again next month, July 12th at Nationwide Arena with Jeff Eldersveld from the Columbus Blue Jackets!

April 2017 Recap – Conversion Rate Optimization with Adept

For April, conversion optimization gurus and sponsors Adept Marketing presented a session all about CO: how it integrates into your organization, case studies, tools, best practices, etc.

Want to see the presentation? Get the slides from Adept here.

Want to read more? Adept has published a full ebook on CO here.


Sara Kear and Dave Boroi played presentation tag team: starting with a history of the field (including this experiment from the 2008 Obama campaign that lead to Optimizely) and moving on to the details of how a testing strategy might fit into your site or application no matter what size your company is.

Conversion Optimization: The Missing Link in Your Marketing Pr…

Conversion Optimization: The Missing Link in Your Marketing ProgramIt’s Web Analytics Tuesday again, we’re keeping everyone on their toes this year!Driving traffic to your site through marketing activities such as paid search or email marketing is essential, but if your site is not built to convert the visitors you get, you may not see the results you want. This is where the often overlooked science of conversion optimization comes into play.For April our cbuswaw sponsor Adept Marketing steps up to the mic; this time feeding our brains as well as helping pay for the food and drink.Join Sara Kear (VP of Digital Strategy) and Dave Boroi (Manager of Conversion Optimization) to hear about the importance of conversion optimization, and how both B2B and B2C organizations can use it to drive more conversions, and, ultimately, more sales.We’ll learn:- The definition and background of conversion optimization- Why a conversion-oriented website is so essential to a marketing strategy- The research tactics and process behind managing a conversion optimization effort- How to set up a conversion optimization program with and without a marketing partnerAll of our Columbus WAWs are free of charge thanks to the generosity of our sponsors:TeamBuilder SearchAdept MarketingClarivoyAudio/Video support and livestream provided by Mixt Media

Posted by Columbus Web Analytics Wednesdays on Tuesday, April 4, 2017

 

As if to further illustrate their conversion rate wizardry, Sara and Dave’s presentation had the best registrant-to-attendance conversion ratio we’ve ever seen! We’ll have to have them back to explain how they pulled that feat off.

Join us next month as Tony Zara from Rogue Fitness talks about Direct Response Conversion. It will be on a Wednesday, but it won’t be at Rev1.

March 2017 Recap – Influencing the Influencers with SEEN

First, Tim noted these upcoming events of note:

Then, for March’s presentation we took a dive into influencer marketing, lead by a triumvirate of influencer marketing gurus from SEEN. Brian Zuercher got the standing ovation part of the session out of the way early, so we could focus on learning what influencer marketing is and how real practitioners (Alex Ditty and Ami Murphy Iannone) get it done.

Influencer marketing poses an interesting conundrum for us analysts: because while there are certainly metrics to be had and plenty that can be measured, the true value of this kind of marketing sits early in the customer sales cycle where meaningful hard numbers do not abound. Metrics like “reach” or the unfortunately named “potential impressions” can easily lead one down the wrong path and should mostly be ignored. Engagement metrics can be valuable, but they don’t tell the whole story.

The most important message was that a marketing strategy based solely on metrics optimization will lead towards increasing just those metrics themselves. In other words, focusing on increasing clicks and impressions can lead myopically towards just looking at marketing channels that directly affect those channels like PPC. This approach ignores the huge strategic benefits of increasing other (harder to measure) factors like brand awareness and affinity.

Is There Really Influence in Influencer Marketing?Influencer marketing isn’t new, but how it’s done is. Today the list of influencer content, formats, and platforms is becoming longer and longer. A variety of data and information is used: from the discovery of these creators to the measurement of the impact of their sharing. Marketers and their teams are faced with the wondering and explaining how and why this works.For March’s cbuswaw (yes it’s really on Wednesday this time!), join Brian Zuercher and Alex Ditty from SEEN, an influencer marketing software & services provider.From SEEN’s work with brand powerhouses like Hershey’s, Reebok, Hilton, and more — they’ll provide insights and tools to help answer questions about influencer discovery, influencer impact, ROI, and what’s trending.

Posted by Columbus Web Analytics Wednesdays on Wednesday, March 8, 2017

 

Join us back at Rev1 again next month when Sara Kear and and Dave Boroi from Adept Marketing will talk about Conversion Optimization!

 

January 2017 Recap – Google 360

For our first cbuswaw of the year (since it was on a Thursday though was it a cbuswat or cbuswar?) we got to hear about some of the new tools offered by Google as part of the Google Analytics 360 Suite.

Andrew Dodenhoff from Google’s Chicago office was our guide through the different parts of the suite, specifically diving into Google Optimize (the testing platform) and Google Data Studio (the dashboard solution). Both tools have free versions, you can start using Data Studio today or sign up for an invite to Optimize.

We learned that GA itself is the core on which the rest of the suite builds upon, for example when using Optimize on a site properly tagged with Google Tag Manager you can easily use segmentation data from GA to create experiments in Optimize based on Goals that you probably already have setup in GA.

Similarly Google Data Studio can very easily pull in data from GA for reporting purposes as well as data from many other Google services and MySQL.

We’ve got a full year of meetups coming up, for those who might like to plan ahead we have a list of all the dates available here:

  Download 2017 Upcoming Events Calendar

Finally, thanks as always to our sponsors, all of whom — Clarivoy, Team Builder Search, and Adept Marketing are repeat sponsors from last year!