Over two days last week, I enjoyed spending time with the WhatCounts team at their Digital Marketing Summit. One of the most striking things I noticed in the questions asked during my session on Google Analytics was that the nature of questions had changed.

Two years ago, even a year ago, people were asking about basic metrics and measurements, from audience numbers to rudimentary conversion tracking. This past event, marketers indicated by their questions that they are being held accountable for much more sophisticated tracking, from longitudinal customer information to sophisticated cross-channel tracking and indirect conversion.

This is a welcome change! These kinds of questions indicate a level of sophistication in this particular audience (and I’ve worked with this audience for over three years, back when it was still the Blue Sky Factory audience) and a level of awareness of what is possible, even if the questioners weren’t necessarily able to do the technical implementation themselves.

An increased level of sophistication in what is being asked of marketers also means that there will be some shaking out of practitioners, a thinning of the field. If more marketers are being held accountable for complete funnel metrics (not just top or bottom), then those folks who position themselves beyond what they’re capable of may find themselves unable to meet what is being asked of them.

The challenge is on, the heat is on for us to understand marketing metrics better, develop better methods, and ultimately generate better results.

What’s been your experience in people’s questions about analytics?

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