Wednesday 22 May 2019, London

Ciaran Rogers has 20 plus years of experience in digital marketing. He’s the co-host and producer of The Marketing Podcast, Marketing Director of Target Internet and dad of two.

A story about a pub…
Two guys walked out of the pub (it’s dark, they spent time in there) and one of them crossed the road, stopped under a lamp post on the other side of the road and started looking at the floor. The other one asked:
‘What are you doing?’
‘I tripped earlier and lost one of my contact lens’

It doesn’t take long to realise that the guy won’t be able to find his contact lens…It’s dark (and obvious).

We look at where the light is (the lamp post) but we know as digital marketers we can’t measure everything, we like to give precise numbers but we tend to be obsessed with what we can’t measure. There are things you can’t measure; word of mouth for example.

You can’t measure everything and it can be a problem. You have to learn to take your data out of the darkness.

Problem and obsession…

Image For May 2019 Report

Source Pixabay – free to use

The picture above tells a story, but if you don’t have the keys you can’t really understand what is happening. The same happens with an analytics report.

People not working in a marketing function and looking at an analytics, report may not understand it. An analytics report is a lot more than just only digital.

One of the problems we have is we think of our customers as digital customers. We simplify things too much. The customer will not think ‘I’m a Linkedin customer’, ‘I’m a Facebook customer’; they are just customers and they will do what customers do: they will chose the most convenient moment and way to engage with the business and it can include many ways.

The modern age is obsessed with digital but it’s not only about our online content. People still watch TV, read books, listen to the radio, but that can’t prove Return On Investment (ROI). It’s always interesting to combine online and offline campaigns.

We are obsessed about sending emails but mail can be a powerful tool too. The two can be combined using a CRM and some of the most engaged customers can be hand-picked.

An experiment…

This experiment targeted 3 groups with 3 different marketing strategy.

Group 1: was sent a catalogue
Group 2: was send a catalogue and targeted with online ads
Group 3: was only targeted with online ads

The results show that it hardly made a difference to the group targeted only with online ads, but people who got the catalogue and the ads had a better conversion rate, 3 out of 4. It’s not only about being digital, it’s about the customer.

Thinking broadly…

Brand campaigns are always working in Adwords and we tend to spend a lot of money on Pay Per Click (PPC) ad. We need to take time and think about it. Why does it work? People already know you, so they will type your name.

Being smart when investing money means you need to look at the broader picture. It’s hard to measure ROI on social media because the interest in your brand develops over time. The way analytics work, we only look at the final click and not at what happened before that.

We think that all the good comes from ONE click but it doesn’t work like that and we need to start looking further, way before people click.

For example, Google Analytics reports don’t report bookmarked pages on phone, so it will appear as a direct segment / none in analytics.

The same happens with the Cookies which can created a new or returning user. A new user may just be a returning one but he’s using a different web browser.

The addiction to (any) metrics…

We are addicted to any metrics. For example, the Facebook like. People randomly like pages, so your page may have a lot of likes but what does that really means? How is this actionable?

You have to pick the Key Performance Indicators (KPI) which are working for you. If it’s not, you have to change tactics.

We need a better way to measure things because most of the reports work on last click. The system track every single visits you made but the last click gets all the credit.

Read an email > Click on it > Made a search > Convert = the search will get the credit in the analytics report. This wouldn’t have been converted without the email.

What about online / offline divide?

The online / offline divide is challenging but we need to take time and to map things together. All these things are very different but the goal is the same.

What drives everything together is content. Content needs to be tailored for each channel to create real engagement from the customer.

If people struggle to understand an analytics report, we have to recognise there is a problem and take steps to rectify this. We need to walk on a the shoes of a customer, it’s always very easy to look at ourselves and not to speak to a customer.

There is no perfect solutions for this, you can’t measure everything. We can do simple things, for example, using annotations in Google Analytics. We can annotate when we send ou an email, or have any TV coverage, etc… This helps understand the report, and the spike that might happen over time.

Another tool to use could be the multi-channel funnels report. Rather than looking at the last click, the report will show any stage of the customer journey. The total number of conversions per channel can be compared against the last click.

Use the Pixels from social media platforms. It’s worth getting the pixel on every single page of the website

Let data tell a story

We are obsessed about the point of conversion but we need great campaigns to convert people into customer during their journey. We need to try maximise the impact.

Some useful questions to ask:

What are you trying to achieve?
Which channels matter to you?
Which metrics in those channels really matter?
How regularly will you measure things?

Business and marketing objectives can work alongside each other. The channel used depends of the objectives, it doesn’t have to be a digital channel.

by Camille Mari, Marketing and Communications Executive
Oxera Consulting