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One of the most common questions we get from marketers is, “How much of my website content is being consumed by my audience?” In order to truly answer this question, my colleague Alex Clemmons and I created a metric called Page Velocity to measure content consumption, as opposed to the traditional pages per session.

The principle of Page Velocity is as follows the number of pages seen after the current page is viewed / unique page views to the current page.

To get the full breakdown of how to tailor Page Velocity to measure content consumption on your site, read the complete article on Online Behavior Measuring Page Velocity with Google Analytics.

Image Attribution: Online Behavior, Measuring Page Velocity with Google Analytics, Dec 2015

Image Attribution: Online Behavior, Measuring Page Velocity with Google Analytics, Dec 2015 http://online-behavior.com/analytics/page-velocity
Image Attribution: Online Behavior, Measuring Page Velocity with Google Analytics, Dec 2015 http://online-behavior.com/analytics/page-velocity

 

 

Andrew Edwards
Andrew Edwards

Cardinal Path consultant, industry thought leader, author and co-founder of the Digital Analytics Association, Andrew Edwards discusses the importance of moving to a tag management system paired with a data layer in his latest ClickZ article. Using a TMS removes some of a marketer’s dependency on developers, and improves data accuracy leading to company-wide adoption of data-driven decision making.

Also, check out our on-demand webinar for 10 Mistakes Uncovered in Analytics Audits which could be keeping you from fully trusting your data.

Online-behavior

As a web analytics and implementation consultant with Cardinal Path, I work with enterprise-level clients with many properties and hundreds of views, which means I may end up making tens of thousands of clicks when performing maintenance, resolving issues, or making global changes.

To save myself time and clicks with those repetitive tasks I have created a solution that applies good old JavaScript directly inside the Google Chrome Console.

Google Analytics Management API

The resulting semi-automated tasks can add annotations, check for campaign data, check and edit view configurations, and are useful for other cases too.  You can go to online-behavior.com for my step-by-step process for setting up such a task, including an example of code I use to add the same annotation across different views and properties.

 

“Predictive analytics is nothing more than a way to help identify the likelihood of future outcomes based on historical data.” In his last Marketing Land post, columnist David Booth discusses the ways you can apply predictive analytics to increase performance throughout your organization.


If your company is well on its way to not only collecting data, but also trusting its data, you can start using that data to drive decisions about the future of your business. Read the full article, to learn how to utilize predictive analytics across key business initiatives including customers, marketing, web, risk, and operations.

Want more Predictive Analytics? Hear more about how U.S. Cellular prioritized its website testing using insights from purchase intent analysis in this Purchase Intent Webinar On-Demand featuring U.S. Cellular’s Digital Analytics Manager, Katie Birmingham.

Purchase Intent Webinar On-Demand

A recent article in CMO.com quotes Omnicom CEO Jonathan Nelson saying, “We have too much data, and not enough people”. But it isn’t just a lack of people that is holding back marketers, and CMOs in particular, when it comes to making data actionable.

In some cases there are gaps in strategic goals that lead to a lack of focus. It’s fairly straightforward for an organization to define its key business objectives, as these often hold true for the entire business rather than just a digital property. But too often there is little connection between those large goals and the measurable goals that can be set up on a web site or app.  

In addition to volumes of data now available, there is also an uneasy sense that the data might not be reliable. In numerous digital analytics implementations I’ve seen, the more senior the executive, the less they trust the data.

There’s a general lack of visibility into how an organization arrives at its metrics. Too often, there are more than one system measuring the same properties; and different systems mean different algorithms, different assumptions, and different parameter definitions. These differences lead quite naturally to non-matching data. Data discrepancies often sound the death-knell for an analytics project, even where the comparison itself may be ill-advised.

Perhaps most glaring is that CMOs and other senior marketers are inundated with pitches from vendors. The graph below from Scott Brinker shows the very crowded universe of marketing analytics vendors.

Marketing Technology Landscape - January 2015 by Scott Brinker @chiefmartec http://chiefmartec.com
Marketing Technology Landscape – January 2015 by Scott Brinker @chiefmartec http://chiefmartec.com

 

As of January 2015, this graph shows over 1,800 vendors. In web and mobile analytics alone there are, in addition to Adobe and Google, Clicktale, CrazyEgg, Mixpanel, Webtrends, Localytics and many more. In various flavors of display and remarketing there are several dozen, including offerings like Bronto, MailChimp, Klout, Influitive, AdRoll, RocketFuel, and Urban Airship. We don’t have space to touch on SEO, Data Science, CRM or Social. It’s almost impossible for CMOs to tune out the noise and find tools that really work. Often the result is an overinvestment in technology—sometimes even the right technology!—without any way to make good use of it.

Many CMOs and their senior team-members find themselves adrift in a sea of data (and vendors).

But there is a “lifeboat” of sorts in these choppy waters. And if the team can execute on the plans outlined below, the lifeboat can become a speedboat.

Let’s look at some of the best practices that comprise the lifeboat.

I credit Digital Analytics Association Director Emeritus Rand Schulman for coming up with the “4 Ps” of digital analytics and marketing, and they are enumerated in the following order of importance: People, Purpose, Process and lastly, Platform.

People

As illustrated above, there are not enough people involved. It can be argued that there simply aren’t enough experts to go around, and that may be true enough. But the industry in general shows a tendency to look for automated solutions that are designed to take people out of the process. And to hear some vendors tell it, all you need to do is add this one snippet of code and you won’t need anything else to reap the benefit of their offering. This is almost never the case.

People who understand the landscape and most importantly, know how to implement the tools and analyze their output are primary in any success story. Sometimes it’s difficult to field a successful team in-house and it may make sense to hire out to an organization that makes its living by delivering value with these tools. Either way, people have to come first—otherwise very little else can happen.

Purpose

Of course the purpose is to engage more, to convert more, to sell more. But how do you translate those objectives into measurable goals? And do you know exactly what you are trying to achieve on your digital properties? Most likely you will need to spend some time getting into the details of what success really looks like.

Often, success is measured by determining your ability to deliver on Key Performance Indicators. KPIs are at the heart of any digital marketing effort and drive all of the development and technology towards getting what you want out of your efforts. KPIs, once defined, must be mapped to detailed measurements—page views, events, engagement funnels and more. All of these details must be crisp and well-documented before you can expect a successful analytics deployment.

Process

Once your people know where you want to go, this is how to get them to the destination. Even the best-laid plans come to naught without execution. Experienced people need to be working on setting up data collection protocols, instrumenting sites with code, defining filters and reports, working with developers, checking in frequently with each other (and with the plans), performing Quality Assurance and making sure the internal audiences for data and reporting are able to understand what they’re looking at once the project is done.

When the execution is well-handled, data-uncertainty is reduced. In other words, the numbers “make sense”. We should add that, in general, it’s inadvisable to try to compare the measurements of two systems too carefully. As mentioned above, under even the best of circumstances, they may not match. In any case the CMO and senior marketers will want to make sure there is a solid, well-tested process in place before putting anyone to work on the data collection project.

Platform

It’s a good idea to have the above three well-understood or well in preparation before choosing technology platforms. Vendor pitches can be tempting, and there’s often a sense that it’s really the tech itself that’s solving the problem. Make no mistake that technology is bedrock, but you’ll be wise to keep your penny in your pocket before making sure you’ve invested in the first three items shown above. Too often, the technology is purchased and then it is either badly configured, misunderstood, underutilized or even left in a zombie state where it’s costing money and resources but in terms of delivering value, is dead to the organization. Make sure you are ready to use whatever platform you invest in.

As you might have guessed by now, the process of making data actionable is multi-layered and fairly difficult even for the most prepared organizations. There are teams and strategies and plans and tools to coordinate. But with the right approach, you certainly stand a good chance of engaging and converting more customers—because you have optimized your digital channels for success by deploying the four “Ps” of digital marketing. 

 

Technology

How much of your web content is being consumed?

One of the most common questions we get from marketers is, “How much of my website content is being consumed by my audience?” In order to truly answer this question, my colleague Alex Clemmons and I created a metric called Page Velocity to measure content consumption, as opposed to the traditional pages per session. The … Read Full Post

3 Changes That Will Re-make Your Analytics

Cardinal Path consultant, industry thought leader, author and co-founder of the Digital Analytics Association, Andrew Edwards discusses the importance of moving to a tag management system paired with a data layer in his latest ClickZ article. Using a TMS removes some of a marketer’s dependency on developers, and improves data accuracy leading to company-wide adoption … Read Full Post

Running Semi-Automated Tasks on Google Analytics

google-analytics-automated

As a web analytics and implementation consultant with Cardinal Path, I work with enterprise-level clients with many properties and hundreds of views, which means I may end up making tens of thousands of clicks when performing maintenance, resolving issues, or making global changes. To save myself time and clicks with those repetitive tasks I have created … Read Full Post

5 Ways Just About Anyone Should Be Leveraging Predictive Analytics

  “Predictive analytics is nothing more than a way to help identify the likelihood of future outcomes based on historical data.” In his last Marketing Land post, columnist David Booth discusses the ways you can apply predictive analytics to increase performance throughout your organization. If your company is well on its way to not only … Read Full Post

A Lifeboat for CMOs Adrift in Data

Lifeboat for CMOs

A recent article in CMO.com quotes Omnicom CEO Jonathan Nelson saying, “We have too much data, and not enough people”. But it isn’t just a lack of people that is holding back marketers, and CMOs in particular, when it comes to making data actionable. In some cases there are gaps in strategic goals that lead … Read Full Post

Benchmark Your Marketing Analytics Maturity

See how your marketing analytics performs against thousands of organizations. (Approx. 5 minutes).