Looking back at how 2014 unfolded, a key theme that’s come up time and again has been digital security. eBay, Domino’s Pizza, Evernote, and most recently Sony have in the last year all fallen victim to cyber criminals seeking to exact revenge, make a political point, sabotage, spy or simply make bank. With the Sony hack being a particularly brutal example of how cyber security can put a brand (and people!) at risk, the digital community is increasingly seeking for ways to protect users and businesses.January 5, 2015 by John den Haan Filed in Internet, SEO
In the last month, I went to the Google Analytics User Conference here in Sydney. While I may be a data nerd (as some of you may know), I learned new things and was reminded of a few important insights over the course of the conference.
Namely, data is hard. Processes should have processes and in order to be effective, data shouldn’t be siloed to one area of business but rather should communicate across all boundaries. A company can reach amazing actionable insights with data, but it can be a fight to get there.
It’s 2014; we’re in the future that Marty McFly went back to. We have access to a wealth of data about our website and user behavior, from demographics and popular pages to the best-selling products and product verticals which we didn’t have even 5 years ago. Take it even further and we can integrate offline data from a CRM or point of sale and actually push it into Google Analytics. In order to really move forward, we need to analyse that data and make it work for us and our business objectives.
But I Have So Much Data…
But how do we know what data to look at? How do we not get pulled into a vortex of numbers and lose sight of what really matters?
That’s where process comes in. Process, preparation and action. Data analysis is only as good as the actions we take from it, but we need to have the right process in place to take the right actions. So we need to make sure we start off well.
Before making marketing decisions driven by data even enters stage left, know what matters to the business and how it’s going to be measured:
1. What are your business objectives? Why does your business exist?
2. List out your goals (capture leads, engage community, reinforce offline advertising)
3. Identify KPIs for those goals (transactions, branded traffic)
4. Set targets ($1000/wk, 10% YoY rise in branded traffic)
5. Discover segments (people, sources, behaviour)
While many have 1-4 down pat, a lot can be done now with step 5.
How Can I Humanise It All?
It’s that last step we’re all reaching for and occasionally falling short of, and it’s that element of discovery that feeds into the informed analysis that will be of long-term benefit to any company.
Part of that struggle is because up until now, the capability to discover (demographic) data on users has been limited to companies that could hand over lots of money to market research or enterprise level analysis like Radian6.
Google is in the process of closing that gap, and has stated explicitly the focus in reporting is now on the user rather than the visit. We see this in a few ways in Google Analytics:
● Demographic reporting
● Enhanced ecommerce
● Data upload
Each of these opportunities provides more data around the user and user behavior so we can make informed choices about what users are doing, but more importantly why they’re doing it. Build a process around data, take full advantage of the tools that Google is offering and make more informed choices for your business in 2014 and beyond.October 3, 2014 by Amanda King Filed in Analytics, Data
Over years working with clients of all shapes and sizes (and budgets), I’ve realised something interesting. The relative value clients get from agencies varies greatly. Some get manage great value, well beyond their investment, some don’t. Logic would suggest value correlates with how much the client pays, or perhaps how interesting the business is. But that’s not the case at all. I found there to be three big influencers on how much value clients get from their agency. As a client, you want to get these right.
1. Define a clear objective
A clearly defined objective is critical to reaching clearly defined success. For direct acquisition channels (search, affiliate) this usually means revenue or sales targets by a certain date, at a certain CPA. For brand awareness channels (social media, display, influencer marketing) it means brand search volume or engagement. Clear objectives allow the agency to be more strategic in its approach, and make better micro decisions along the way. It is also more motivating for the people working on the account, when a clear goal is in sight. Always make sure to set clear objectives, or work with the agency to define them.
2. Be agile
One of the biggest hurdles to a client’s success is lack of technical agility. I’ve seen multinational brands take 12 months to change a title tag, and even longer to set up proper tracking – making it almost impossible to test, optimise and improve. Clients with fast implementation processes gain a critical edge over the slow and cumbersome businesses. Some businesses such as Commonwealth Bank have realised this and introduced the Agile Software development methodology, allowing employees to dramatically speed up their technical implementation and gain an important advantage over their competitors. If you’re going to invest good money in marketing, also invest in the internal processes necessary to best capitalise on that investment.
3. Communicate activity and share data
Offline marketing affects search, which affects social, which affects conversion rate, which affects eDM, which affects search again. All marketing channels have a cause and effect relationship one with another. The better we can understand this relationship, the better we can influence outcomes. While you don’t necessary need (or want) one agency running all your marketing, it’s important to share activity and data so that agencies can make better decisions, and provide stronger strategic recommendations. The data should be accessible to everyone.
At Switched on Media we make it a priority to establish clear objectives, technical process and healthy communication with our clients. Ultimately it’s a two way street, and clients must get on board too. Success is much more likely when they do.August 19, 2014 by Daniel Bailey Filed in Client, General, Marketing
Twitter has recently rolled out a series of updates, giving the new platform a facelift for the better. This profile redesign puts visual content at the forefront giving brands the opportunity to transform their Twitter profile and optimize engagement. You might need to make a few tweaks to your existing content to keep everything looking schmick, but more on that later.
What exactly has changed, you ask?May 9, 2014 by Leesa Gallaher Filed in Marketing, Social Media
When Facebook purchased the Oculus Rift last week, a flurry of questioning ensued about how the social network could possibly integrate the virtual reality experience into the platform.
News of a leak was announced this morning and after undertaking our own investigation, we can exclusively reveal the groundbreaking plans that Facebook has in place for this new purchase.April 1, 2014 by Georgina Haigh Filed in Data, Social Media
On January 20th, 2014, Matt Cutts, Head of Webspam at Google issued a warning about guest blogging, the most common scalable form of link building used by many SEOs today.
We anticipated this long ago. In September 2012 I wrote an opinion piece on Moz offering 7 alternatives to guest blogging.
Yesterday, Cutts took it one step further by announcing on Twitter that Google has penalised a large guest blogging network.March 19, 2014 by Daniel Bailey Filed in Content, Display, Marketing, News, Online Strategy, SEO, Social Media
Heart rate, steps, mood, location. Why are we so intrigued by extracting cold numbers from warm flesh? Smart technology has turned the quantified self into a whole new ball game. And it’s one worth paying attention to.
The quantified self is a movement towards using technology to collect data about aspects of an individual’s life – attributes of “the self”. It could be anything from heart rate, blood oxygen or sleeping patterns to less tangible bits and pieces like mood or social connections. Some people call it body hacking, life logging, or self-analytics.March 7, 2014 by Leesa Gallaher Filed in Data, Internet, Mobile
Visual content. New definitions for social ROI. Integrated marketing campaigns. An algorithmic focus on quality content for SEO.
It’s evident that 2013 has been yet another big year for digital marketing. From the launch of Instagram video and Vine to Google Penguin and Hummingbird, the past year has given brands more tools to utilise than ever before – and placed a renewed focus on quality rather than quantity.
The developments of 2013 will feed into what the digital landscape will look like for companies in the coming year. We’ve rounded up our predictions for where digital marketing will head in 2014…December 22, 2013 by Kelly Teng Filed in Content, PPC, SEO, Social Media
Today, the world mourns the loss of one of its greatest inhabitants. At the grand age of 95, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela passed away and left behind a legacy that will live on forever.December 6, 2013 by John den Haan Filed in General