Tom Webster on what you’re not measuring in marketing analytics

At a recent Social Media Breakfast, Tom Webster, co-author of The Mobile Commerce Revolution, urges us to get out more and stop relying so heavily on digital marketing analytics data only. In this short 11 minute talk, learn why Google Analytics, Hootsuite, Hubspot, and other digital marketing tools only give you part of the whole picture. If you enjoy this, please pick up a copy of The Mobile Commerce Revolution, and learn how mobile devices are helping us complete the marketing analytics picture in the offline world.

If you enjoyed this, go get The Mobile Commerce Revolution, as I have!

Photo on 10-21-14 at 6.16 AM #2


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Justice and order

Over the weekend, I was mulling a few different concepts over, and one got stuck and wouldn’t go away until I wrote it out. In the news, we see lots of stories about police brutality and the police state. We see lots of stories on social media about companies that rule over their employees with an iron hand or berate customers that step out of line. We see the United States government intruding on personal rights and privacy in countless ways, from NSA spying to the dispensing of military equipment to school districts.

Why do we see these patterns? It’s easy to blame politics, race, and a variety of other surface factors, but there might be a bigger concept to pay attention to. When we see behaviors that we identify as unjust, what we are seeing is the triumph of order over justice.

Order and justice can sometimes be correlated, but order does not necessarily mean justice. In small communities, justice is implicitly built in. In a small town, justice occurs to some degree because everyone knows everyone else’s business; you can’t hide for long. In small companies, it doesn’t take long to ferret out the people who are not pulling their own weight. (and yes, this can be perverted – a white community can behave unjustly towards black citizens, and vice versa).

Once a community, an organization, a company, or a country grow beyond a certain size, justice gives way to order. People want order. They crave order, because order begets stability and predictability, even at the expense of justice. Most importantly, the average man on the street cares less for justice than he does order. Order means the market is predictably open, even if it’s not well stocked.

Ideally, justice and order work together, but very often, they diverge. This occurs because beyond a certain point, one sub-group’s concept of justice is not the same as another sub-group’s. Order becomes the priority, and justice takes a back seat.

When police are buying military hardware to patrol schools, order is in the driver’s seat.

When peaceful dissenters are spied upon, harassed, and even harmed or killed, order is in the driver’s seat.

When a minority is oppressed even when expressing a just viewpoint, order is in the driver’s seat.

Dr. Martin Luther King speaking against war in Vietnam, St. Paul Campus, University of Minnesota

When you look at the news today, you are seeing the triumph of order over everything else. Those who are at the top of the pile, those who are in power (regardless of party or perspective) will champion order, because the current conditions are what brought them to power, and they’d like to stay there.

If that’s not okay, if what’s in the news isn’t just and you want justice, you have to be willing to accept disorder. You have to convince your fellow citizens to accept, embrace, and even foment disorder, because only through disorder can you re-emphasize justice. (obviously, being a practicing Buddhist and a lawful citizen, I strongly recommend peaceful, non-violent disorder)

Disorder means the trains may not run on time. Disorder means that people aren’t where you need them to be. Disorder means that things don’t run as well as they should, and that emotions run hot. Disorder means heated disagreement. But disorder is essential in order to re-organize around a more just order.


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Benchmarking your site in Google Analytics

Have you ever had your CMO/CEO/Head Cheese ask you, “So how does our marketing program compare to the industry average?” Despite the fact that industry averages are notoriously questionable and generally a waste of time, when the boss asks, we typically need to answer with something more than a “stop wasting my time”.

To provide a slightly more meaningful answer, Google Analytics now has the ability to display industry average benchmarks inside the application, to compare your web analytics to other typical sites in your vertical. You’ll find it under the Audience menu on the left side; once selected, you have to choose your industry and subcategory from the top submenu:

Channels_-_Google_Analytics

From there, the software will attempt to match your traffic pattern to the pattern of the size of businesses in your peer group. For example, for marketing websites like my blog, there are 292 other sites with 100-500 sessions per day:

Channels_-_Google_Analytics

This is useful for getting a little closer to apples-to-apples comparisons; it would be grossly unhelpful for me to compare my personal blog to, say, a major content site like MarketingProfs or Content Marketing Institute.

Once you’ve got the basic settings in place, the red/green grid shows you where you’re ahead of your peers and where you’re behind.

Channels_-_Google_Analytics

If I were running my blog as a full time business, I would judge from this table that I need to add some paid search advertising into the mix to acquire new audiences, some display ads, kick up my email marketing efforts, and hire a PR firm to get me some more referral traffic. Conversely, I know that I’m doing a better job than average with social media and search, so I don’t need to remediate those right away.

Try out benchmarking to see how your website compares to others in your peer group and see if it gives you any quick ideas about what else you might want to pursue in terms of marketing tactics to bring in more audiences, as well as where competing sites are ahead of you.


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