Almost Timely News, 12-June-2022: Questions and Answers, Public Speaking Prep, GA4 (6/12) :: View in Browser

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Almost Timely News, 12-June-2022: Questions and Answers, Public Speaking Prep, GA4
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What’s On My Mind: The Questions Are The Answer

This past week, I had the pleasure and honor of speaking at the Spark.me conference in Montenegro about AI in marketing. What was especially revelatory to me was what happened after I finished speaking. Thanks to a lot of caffeine, I had about 20 minutes for Q&A, and it’s in the Q&A that an audience reveals itself, reveals where they are.

The questions people ask show you where they are in any journey, in any profession. If you’re in a session about email marketing and people are asking about whether the word “Free” in a subject line is bad, that shows you where people are in terms of understanding email deliverability. In this example, the question shows their knowledge is about a decade out of date. If you were in the same session and a question came up around the BIMI protocol, you’d know the audience was current in their knowledge.

Or, for example, if you’re in an SEO session, and someone’s asking about bold keywords in page text influencing rankings, you’d know their knowledge was stuck somewhere around 2005-2006. And that’s not a bad thing, not something to be ashamed of. People are where they are in their journeys, and if they’re at a conference session to learn, that shows at least they know they need to acquire more knowledge and are taking steps to do it. That’s laudable, especially today when an awful lot of people seem to enjoy celebrating willful ignorance. Never mock someone for their lack of knowledge if they’re actively taking steps to improve it.

So, what were some of the questions the Spark.me audience asked, and what does that say about them? Here are a few:

“We come from a region with a lot of fragmented markets, small markets, with not enough data to be able to draw conclusions (or use AI). Are we doomed?”

“You’ve mentioned the attribution modeling is one of the key challenges. What we are seeing now is a trend with the demise of third party cookies, as many of the models are reverting to classical statistical models and moving away from AI. Do you see this trend reverting? And how do you see this developing in the future?”

“How do biases in AI happen, and is there any way to safeguard against them?”

“As more and more companies use statistics and machine learning, marketing is likely to become more homogenous. Do you see people going more offline, more guerrilla to compensate?”

What do those questions tell you about the audience, knowing what you know about AI and machine learning?

As someone who does a lot of this stuff – machine learning and AI – those questions are fairly sophisticated questions. They demonstrate current or reasonably current knowledge, the application of knowledge (particularly the question about third party data), and a bias towards action – they’re not theoretical questions.

The questions also dictate the answers. A sophisticated question means you can give a more nuanced answer because it’s clear from the level of question what level of answer a person is likely to benefit from.

So here’s my question to you. In the questions you receive – not just on stage if you’re a speaker, but every day, in your customer service inboxes, on social media, in emails – what level of sophistication are they? And more important, are the questions becoming more sophisticated over time from your audience? I would maintain that if the questions aren’t evolving, we aren’t doing a good enough job educating our audiences and helping them grow – and that means the value we’re providing them isn’t enough.

Second, beware any speaker that doesn’t want to do Q&A. It’s there that speakers show you how much they do or don’t know. And an event that doesn’t permit Q&A? Find a different event to attend. They’re suppressing the most valuable part of the conference.

If you’d like to watch the talk in full, you can find it here.

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ICYMI: In Case You Missed it

Besides the new Google Analytics course I’m relentlessly promoting (sorry not sorry), I would recommend the YouTube video below on how to prep for a talk as a speaker. If you’re relatively new to speaking, this might help a lot.

Skill Up With Classes

These are just a few of the classes I have available over at the Trust Insights website that you can take.

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Folks who post jobs in the free Analytics for Marketers Slack community may have those jobs shared here, too. If you’re looking for work, check out these five most recent open positions, and check out the Slack group for the comprehensive list.

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Thank You Notes

These are the places you’ve had or mentioned me – on your podcast, on your blog, in your newsletter. Thank you!

What I’m Reading: Your Stuff

Let’s look at the most interesting content from around the web on topics you care about, some of which you might have even written.

Social Media Marketing

Media and Content

SEO, Google, and Paid Media

Advertisement: Ukraine Humanitarian Fund

If you’d like to support humanitarian efforts in Ukraine, the Ukrainian government has set up a special portal, United24, to help make contributing easy.

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Tools, Machine Learning, and AI

Analytics, Stats, and Data Science

All Things IBM

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Events I’ll Be At

Here’s where I’m speaking and attending. Say hi if you’re at an event also:

  • MAICON, August 2022, Cleveland, OH – use code PENN150 for $150 off any conference ticket
  • MarketingProfs B2B Forum, October 2022, Boston

Events marked with a physical location may become virtual if conditions and safety warrant it.

If you’re an event organizer, let me help your event shine. Visit my speaking page for more details.

Can’t be at an event? Stop by my private Slack group instead, Analytics for Marketers.

How to Stay in Touch

Let’s make sure we’re connected in the places it suits you best. Here’s where you can find different content:

Required Disclosures

Events with links have purchased sponsorships in this newsletter and as a result, I receive direct financial compensation for promoting them.

Advertisements in this newsletter have paid to be promoted, and as a result, I receive direct financial compensation for promoting them.

My company, Trust Insights, maintains business partnerships with companies including, but not limited to, IBM, Cisco Systems, Amazon, Talkwalker, MarketingProfs, MarketMuse, Agorapulse, Hubspot, Informa, Demandbase, The Marketing AI Institute, and others. While links shared from partners are not explicit endorsements, nor do they directly financially benefit Trust Insights, a commercial relationship exists for which Trust Insights may receive indirect financial benefit, and thus I may receive indirect financial benefit from them as well.

Thank You!

Thanks for subscribing and reading this far. I appreciate it. As always, thank you for your support, your attention, and your kindness.

See you next week,

Christopher S. Penn


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