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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 (

Posted by Columbus Web Analytics Wednesdays on Wednesday, January 17, 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!



November 2016 Recap – Attracting Talent to Columbus

Our November 2016 event was a highly engaging panel discussion talking about how to build analytics talent right here in Columbus, Ohio. The panel was made up of:

  • Jen Wells — President at TeamBuilder Search
  • Nora Gerber — Talent Engagement Specialist at the Columbus Chamber of Commerce
  • Michelle Reese — VP, Chief Talent Officer at Columbus Collaboratory


And, it was moderated by cbuswaw’s own Dave Culbertson of Light Bulb Interactive — a veritable digital analytics James Lipton right here in the San Diego on the Olentangy.


The discussion covered topics including:

  • How to present Columbus to out-of-town folk, including how to help make sure when your visitor is here that they have a good experience.
  • How to improve the perception of Columbus on the national stage, and how to deal with misconceptions that may arise.
  • How to nurture our own talent in the region and continue to grow.

Thanks very much to all our panelists!

September 2016 Recap – Analysis Tools Beyond Excel with Drew Goettemoeller

The Landscape of Reporting and Analysis Tools beyond Microsoft Excel with Drew Goettemoeller

Rather than re-cap, this month we introduce the capacity to re-watch!

Have you ever wondered if it’s time to move beyond Excel and the native interfaces provided by your web analytics platform to a more robust business intelligence (BI) platform? Columbus WAW organizer emeritus Drew Goettemoeller from Search Discovery, Inc. might have left Columbus, but he has continued to dig into that very topic.

August 2016 Recap – SEM Best Practices with Joe Ebbeler

August’s cbuswaw found us back at Rev1 Ventures hosted by Clarivoy to learn about search engine marketing from Abbott’s Joe Ebbeler.

First things first, thanks to everyone for turning out — one of our best crowds in a while! And, while we all enjoy free food and beverages, it’s clear that the real draw was the topic. Search engine marketing, SEM, (which does include SEO y’know!) is responsible for most sites’ traffic, so hearing the approach to it from someone who deals with SEM every day for well-known brands like Ensure and Pedialyte made for a session with a return on investment too high to pass up.

In addition to the Chinese food, we were promised digital marketing sandwiches. That promise was fulfilled, in your choice of regular or open-faced:

Please join us again next month, when Drew Goettemoeller* returns to Columbus for a session on business intelligence reporting beyond Excel.

*Helpful spelling mnemonic from Drew – There’s an ‘e’ every third letter.