Building a Culture of Optimization, Part 2: Good Test Designs

In part 2 of this 5-part blog series about ‘Building a Culture of Optimization’ I’m going to talk about the importance of teaching good test designs. You can see part 1 about educating the basics here. Part 2: Good Test Designs You can’t have a good test without a good test design. One of the first things I do when a new test idea surfaces is sit down with the key stakeholders & test proposers to understand the details of what they’d like to test. We’ll talk through the variables that are going to be tested, how best to setup & design the test, and ensure we are on the same page in terms of potential test outcomes and how to ensure we are testing in a clean and consistent manner.
Continue reading...

Building a Culture of Optimization, Part 1 – Educating the Basics

I’ve presented at several conferences, webinars, and meetings recently on the topic of ‘Building a Culture of Optimization.’ It’s a great topic and something our industry as a whole is still in the process of nailing down – most organizations I see haven’t yet reached maturity here. Given the importance of building such a culture in order to drive testing and optimization across our businesses I’m writing a mini-series of posts on some of the most important things I see, do, and recommend. This will be a 5-part blog series on ‘Building a Culture of Optimization’ with parts 1-3 focusing on education, part 4 on process, and part 5 on spreading the word and shifting the culture. Part 1: The Basics – Educate educate educate! Educating your teammates is the
Continue reading...

I’m not a fan of time metrics or bounce rate – here’s why

How much time do visitors spend on our site? If we make this change, how much more time will people spend looking at our website? Did that change have an impact on bounce rate? As an analyst, do you get these questions a lot? I know I do. And my response is (almost) always the same… I will not report on those metrics and we should look elsewhere for something more meaningful. Why? Well… for many reasons. But first some definitions. Time on page: calculated by the first time stamp of landing on a page subtracted from the next time stamp when going to a new page (alternatively, the time stamp on exit of that page when continuing on to another page tracked within the same analytics account). Time on
Continue reading...

Adobe Summit 2014 Recap

Summary & Key takeaways from Adobe Summit 2014 The Adobe Summit has exploded over the past 3 years as it moved away from the Grand/Little America, where it was still hyper focused on analytics & testing (~2,000 people attending 1-2 years post Omniture acquisition), to a large scale (6,000+ people) pan-digital marketing showcase hosted at the Salt Palace Convention Center. The growth and integration with other tools in their suite has allowed them to shift focus from solely an analytics/optimization product line to a ‘Marketing Cloud’ of tools marketed to the CMO and used across the digital/marketing organization. Here are my top high level takeaways from this year’s Summit: Key themes: Testing, Platform, & Personalization Takeaway #1: Over the past 2 years Adobe has pushed hard on integration & product
Continue reading...

Step by Step: Setting up GA tracking for Marketing Campaigns

Several weeks back I posted a campaign tracking guide on the Official GA blog, now cross-posting it here. See the original post here. As an analytics practitioner, one of the most important things I try to teach marketers is how to properly tag their campaigns so we can report on the success of their efforts. To do this, I’ve created a guide for them to follow to make it easy to choose the proper UTM codes to have consistent campaign tagging across the business. This allows us to begin to assign source and medium values to finance channels and usage metrics to really understand how each campaign performs in terms of our bottom line business metrics. Overview: Setting up tracking and reporting on your marketing campaigns is simple and fun. This guide will
Continue reading...

Guide: A Practitioner’s Tips for Reducing the Impact of Sampling

Do you have large data sets being collected via Google Analytics? If you’ve got more than 250,000 visits within the time period you are analyzing, then you will likely encounter sampling in Google Analytics. Why? Sampling occurs for data sets larger than 250k visits in a single property (or 500k if you maximize the sampling ratio) in order to reduce processing times for data via the interface and allow marketers to view their data and make decisions more quickly. Sampling alert message:     While the speed to insight is great, at times, the sampling ratio can make it more difficult to analyze your data in the most efficient way. In order to get the most out of my data, I’ve invested time and effort in various ways of reducing
Continue reading...

eMetrics Sydney Recap

A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to attend and speak at eMetrics in Sydney, Australia. This was the first conference I had attended or spoke at outside of the US, and a very unique opportunity to see how the digital analytics industry is thriving elsewhere. One thing that stood out to me: the analytics industry in Australia is a tight knit community with a ton of engagement via IAPA which is a similar organization to the Digital Analytics Association (DAA) in the US. It was great to meet and talk with everyone at this event and I walked away very impressed with the level of talent and enthusiasm that I saw. The second thing that stood out to me: Twitter is still an up and coming medium for
Continue reading...

#eMetrics SF 2013 wrap-up

Last month I had the opportunity to attend and speak at the 2013 eMetrics Marketing Optimization Summit in SF. What is always a good conference seemed even better this time around. The sessions I attended were high quality (as always), but the biggest (personal) take away was how close this industry is and how talented a group of people I fairly regularly (via the conference cirucit and a few other random get togethers) get the pleasure of hanging out with. I couldn’t imagine another industry with cooler more talented people. What makes it even better is that we all have the opportunity (and a lot of us do!) to interact on a daily basis via twitter and other social channels which helps foster the awesome relationships you make at these
Continue reading...

Congrats to the DAA 2013 Awards for Excellence Winners!!

The other week I had the privilege of attending the DAA 2013 Awards for Excellence along with 180 of some of the brightest minds in the analytics industry. The talent in the room was unparalleled! A quick recap of the nominees, finalists, and winners: Digital Analytics Rising Star (individual) Nominees (** indicates finalist): Eduardo Cereto Carvalho** (Google) Chauncy Cay Ford (Dell) Rachael Gerson (SEER Interactive) George Lee (AOL) Abbe Lefkowitz (MaassMedia) Mathieu Llorens (AT Internet) Tim Patten (Localytics) Mike Pedicino (Catherine Plus Sizes) Krista Seiden (Google) Himanshu Sharma (SEO Takeaways) Elizabeth Smalls (Abercrombie & Fitch)** Pradeep SV (Cognizant) Jared Vestal** (BrightTag) Tiffany Zimmermann** (MillerCoors) Randy Zwitch** (Keystone Solutions) And the winner is: Liz Smalls (@SmallsMeasures)                 Most Influential Agency/Vendor (group) Nominees (** indicates
Continue reading...