October 20, 2009

eMetrics: Accelerated Darwinism Online & the Evolution of Web Metrics

By Li Evans

I've gotten the opportunity to attend the eMetrics conference in the Washington, DC area this year and already the first two presentations have really impressed me.  The first was Jim Sterne's which I'll be blogging about a bit later over on Social Conversations, but the one I wanted to tell SMG readers about was the presentation given by Foresee Results.

It was all about the evolution of web metrics in comparison to what customers are doing online.  How did we really get here?  So much data, but yet so little true meaning for a lot of companies.  So little actionable data because of the data overload web managers are stuck under.

Larry Freed of ForSee Results gave a great presentation.  He started off with defining "Darwinism" and how its change over time that makes only the strong survive.  We see it in humans, we have seen it in animals and now we even see it with online businesses.

 With online shopping the evolution started with pre-technology, back when you had to travel to the store by foot or horse, or cart to purchase your wears. Retailers relied on manual ways of stocking, restocking and accounting for sales. Eventually technology came into play giving us real time inventory.  Then came the internet which allowed even the smallest mom and pop store to reach a global audience.  Now we have mobile where with a few touches of a screen and a minute amount of time you can have something you want delivered to your doorstep.

Along with this evolutionary cDSC_2891hange, there's another one going on it's one where we're moving from a push message to a pull message.  Where the customer is in control, rather than the business.  The internet has enable so many things, the cost of "Switching" has gone down, the barriers to entry have nearly gone to zero, and customer are now more informed than ever.

Only a few years ago our economy on the internet was basically "build it and they will come".  That no longer holds true with these new changes.  It's now becoming a lot more like the traditional business environment where only the strong will survive.  The results of this evolution is that we are now in one of the most ultra competitive environments, ever.

But how does this impact web metrics?

It makes us a lot more accountable for the changes that need to be made to improve and keep the business alive.  You cannot manage your company if you don't measure, and measuring is what you need to do if you want to improve the bottom line.

Customer satisfaction at the end of the day is a huge piece of the measuring puzzle but it's really tough to accurately measure.  Very few plans or measurement strategies that tie in measuring customer satisfaction tie that measurement to the bottom dollar.  The American Customer Satisfaction Index is likely the most reliable source to look at when looking to measure sanctification.

Metrics Must Have:  Accuracy & Precision, Validity, Sensitivity, Realiabitiy, & Credibility

DSC_2893 Freed goes on to explain the "Ecosystem of Metrics"

  • Measure What Happens - key performance indication - behavioral data (looking backwards) - clickstream, financial, tasks
  • Satisfaction - predicts what will happen
  • Observation - tells us how it happens
  • At the center is the customer

At the end of the day, it's the customer satisfaction that rules.  Satisfaction = What you get + What you Expect (what did you think they were going to do compared to what they really did).  If your customers aren't satisfied, then your business is not going to survive.

Freed leaves us with 10 tips:

  1. You cannot manage what you cannot measure
  2. What you measure will determine what you do
  3. Measure what matters most - your customers
  4. Knowledge is power - the customer is now in charge
  5. Turn data into information and information into intelligence
  6. Satisfaction will drive conversion, loyalty, retention and word of mouth
  7. It only takes two things to survice, satisfying your customers and be fiscally responsble
  8. Measurement is hard, don't fall for gimmicks
  9. Integration of web metrics magnifies the value
  10. You are in the fight of your life, if you satisfy your customers you'll be around to fight the fight!

October 25, 2008

eMetrics: Search From Now On

By Li Evans

Emetrics_search_from_now_on_1 The last session of the eMetrics Marketing Optimization Summit in Washington DC that I attended before hitting the road and heading back north to Philly was on the Acqisition Track, entitled "Search from Now On".  None other than my great friend Mike Grehan of Acronym Media was presenting.  If you didn't know, Mike's writing his 3rd book on Search Marketing, as well as a white paper about search engines and their new listening signals.

A Bit of Search History

Mike starts of by showing a slide of a quote from Vannevar Bush, then summarizing what was on the screen as "information can become lost and all over the place and it would be great to put it all together."

"As We May Think", is a piece that Vannevar Bush wrote that questions, instead of making the weapons of mass destruction, couldn't we instead create something great for mankind? 1945 Bush invented the fax machine, computer and the internet, MEMEX - is really the world wide web.

Bush argues that as humans we should turn our scientific efforts from increasing physical ability too making all previous collected human knowledge more accessible. Now take a look at Google today.  Google's mission is to organize the world's information to make it universally accessible and useful.

Continue reading "eMetrics: Search From Now On" »

October 24, 2008

Fun Friday Photos: Matt Williams & Amanda Watlington at eMetrics' Web Analytics Wednesdays Meeting

By Li Evans

This week's fun photo comes from this past week's conference, eMetrics Marketing Optimization Summit in Washington DC.  I was glad to see a few of my search friends there, including the very charming Matt Williams of No Possum Consulting (you gotta see his business cards!) and the always fun Amanda Watlington of Searching for Profit.  Before I had to scurry off to another dinner with local friends I attended the Web Analytics Wednesday meeting at eMetrics and hung out with Matt & Amanda, they kindly obliged me with their smiles when I asked for pictures!

Matt Williams & Amanda Watlington at eMetrics' Web Analytics Wednesday Meeting

If you like this photo of Matt Williams & Amanda Watlington at eMetrics' Web Analytics Wednesday Meeting, feel free to comment and favorite it on Flickr, Sphinn or Fetch this photo as that's how we'll be judging the photos at the end of the year! Check out the rest of the fun at eMetrics Marketing Optimization Summit 2008, there's over 140 photos for you all to check out.

emetrics: Web 2.0 Measurements in Today's B2B World

By Li Evans

Emetrics_web2.0_b2b_1 The last session in the Social Media track on the 3rd day of the eMetrics Marketing Optimization Summit was presented by Joshua Siler of Babcock & Jenkins.  Then session focused on Web 2.0 and how B2B business can utilize and measure the success.

Joshua starts of the session with a slide that says 75% of Fortune 1000 companies with websites will have some kind of online social networking initiative for marketing or customer relations purposes, 50% of those campaigns will be classified as failures.

Continue reading "emetrics: Web 2.0 Measurements in Today's B2B World" »

October 23, 2008

eMetrics: Key, Relevance Factors of Expanding Followers, Friends & Fans, In Your Online Community

By Li Evans

The last session of day 1 (technically it was day 2) here at the eMetrics Optimization Summit was the most engaging of all the social media tracks.  It had three different presenters and they all had some great information for the audience on how they use different social media to build their audience of fans, friends and followers and how that also affects other social media mediums they are in.  Each had very to the point, key, relevance factors of how you can utilize these social media tools.

Beth Kanter of Beth's Blog - How Non-Profits Can Use Social Media

Emetrics_beth_kanter First off, Beth is a ball of energy and enthusiasm about blogging and social media.  Seriously, her enthusiasm is contagious!  You could tell this the minute she stood up and greeted the audience.  What Beth is known for is using her blog to raise money for non-profit causes, such as sending kids to school in Cambodia.  Not only does she raise money through her blog, she also raises money through her Twitter account too.

At the Gnomedex Conference, Beth launched a fundraising campaign from the podium on Twitter.  Within 45 minutes she had raised over 2,500.00.  By the end of the day, she raised over 4,500.00.  This was also lived streamed over the TV on one of the cable networks.  

What is the ROI of Blogging?

Beth started of this segment of her presentation with "the sum of time and money saved plus money earned or donated plus benefits translated."  But in all honesty, although the numbers are what people judge campaign by, there are intangibles that can't be fully measured by numbers ..... it's more than just math.

Continue reading "eMetrics: Key, Relevance Factors of Expanding Followers, Friends & Fans, In Your Online Community" »

October 22, 2008

eMetrics - Navigating a University Website

By Simon Heseltine

EMetrics DC 2008 017 Surely the smartest people on the planet can know where to click? Vicky Brock of Highland Business Research aims to answer that question, providing she doesn't succumb to the arctic temperatures in the room.  She's starting the session off by threatening the audience with calisthenics in order to ward off the prospect of frostbite (did I mention that it's cold in here?).

The presentation is based on a case study of one of her clients - Durham University, one of the top UK, and top European universities.  The tale starts with the university cutting the marketing budget...

Continue reading "eMetrics - Navigating a University Website" »

October 21, 2008

eMetrics - The View from the CMO's office

By Simon Heseltine

Emetrics_dc_2008_002Having just arrived at the eMetrics conference in DC, I've gone straight into this session presented by Liz Miller of the CMO Council, (well, ok, I did take advantage of the free pretzels and drinks on offer in the press room first, but it was on the way there).  This session is all about the evolution of the role of the CMO, and contains data from several CMO Council studies.

So the first thing to do is to introduce the CMO Council.  It currently has over 3500 members in 57 countries, with control over $100 billion of annual marketing spend.  They all work together to find out what's going on in the marketing world, helping to identify those areas upon which CMO's should focus their efforts.

Continue reading "eMetrics - The View from the CMO's office " »

emetrics: Social Network Analysis Session Highlights

By Li Evans

Socialnetworkanalysisemetrics1 Fred Turling, SHS Viveon AG presented one of the first session of the morning here at the eMetrics Marketing Optimization Summit.  Fred's topic was on Social Network Analysis, which starts off the Social Media Metrics track here at the conference in Washington DC.

Social Network Analysis (SNA) can become a pretty deep subject.  Looking at the value of participants in social networks such as networks is becoming a pretty hot topic.  It's no longer about which community can best benefit from the relationship building in a social network, but honing in on which community members are the most valuable to build the relationships with.

Fred went on to describe that there are three main approaches to analyzing social networks: 

  1. Web Analytics - metrics & analytics of  reach, interest, conversion funnel;
  2. Business Intelligence (community platforms)  user generated content, user characters detailing daily usage patterns;
  3. Social Network Analytic & Data Mining - focusing in on social patterns, etc.

Looking at the background of where Social Networks come from, it's not new at all.  The term social network was introduced in 1954 by JA BArnes and refers to a social struture, in which individuals are connected to each other via relationships.  That can take on a variety of meanings from written letters, to post it notes and now even to emails and IM's.  In the contet of current media networks 4 distinct types can be identified:

  1. Communication - directly targeted communication (email, im, chat, sms), discussion oriented (message boards, blogs)
  2. Contact Management (social software - facebook, linked in)
  3. Interaction - nline games (world of warcraft), commercial or service auctions (ebay)
  4. Collaboration - collaborative indexing (digg, delicious, flickr), Wikis (Wikipedia)

Continue reading "emetrics: Social Network Analysis Session Highlights" »

October 20, 2008

eMetrics: A Morning in Google Analytics University

By Li Evans

eMetrics Marketing Optimization Summit - Day 1

Emetricsgoogleuniversityjustin This week SearchMarketingGurus is at eMetrics for a 2nd year.  This year, myself (Li Evans of Key Relevance) and Simon Heseltine will be bringing you all the great highlights of the sessions here at eMetrics being held at the Hilton High Mark here in Alexandria.  I'm actually excited to be here after all of the great things that Mike Grehan & Bryan Eisenberg have told me about this event.

This morning I arrived bright and early, set on finally sitting in on a Google University class.  It's running all day, and I'm stepping in for certain segments of it, while attending to normal "work" things. 

This Google Analytics session is being presented by Justin Cutroni of EpikOne and really opened my eyes on some major things I'm missing out on.  I love data, and you don't realize just how much data there is afforded to you by Google Analytics until you sit down with someone who can show you everything.  I'm a big fan of Avinash Kaushik (like no one didn't know that already) and have read his book, but still, there's something about sitting and having someone present it too you in this type of fashion that opens your eyes even more.

Here are some of my quick take aways:

Continue reading "eMetrics: A Morning in Google Analytics University" »

December 11, 2007

Search Marketing Conferences & Entertainment Options

By Li Evans

Dsc_2344 Over the past two weeks that I've been on the road, I've covered different states, 3 conferences and one vacation destination.  So as I'm sitting here in the O'Hare airport, tethered to my Treo for internet connection (because O'Hare fools you into thinking their WiFi is free) as I wait for my flight home which is delayed by two hours (imagine that!), I've been reflecting on the more fun times of my extended business trip.

As search marketers we get to go to some great conferences.  From Search Engine Strategies, Pubcon, AdTech, eMetrics to eTail and Shop.org, there's no shortage of great venues to attend to learn more about our industries and what our colleagues are doing that is successful.  We learn a lot and we share a lot at these conferences, and there's no doubt each and every one of us comes away with a few nuggets of great information to utilize with our clients or employers.

With that said, there's also the "fun" aspect of what we get to do when we attend the conferences.  Every year at SES San Jose, everyone looks forward to the Google Dance at the GooglePlex and the Search Bash that Webmaster Radio puts on.  At SES Chicago, it's going for a great steak or some awesome Chicago style pizza and hanging out in an awesome blues bar.

Dsc_2277In Las Vegas at Pubcon there are shows, this past conference I got to attend Spamalot at the Wynn hotel and casino, and the Blue Man Group at the Venetian hotel and casino.  Both excellent shows, appealing to different sides of things I like (Monty Python and percussion music).  The Blue Man group was a lot more than I expected, and dinner with friends before the show added a great touch to the evening entertainment.

Even after the Blue Man group's show ended, the entertainment went on.  A meet and greet was arranged and search marketers ended up with blue noses and a bunch of pictures (even some lip balm and a CD).  It was a nice added touch, but I think what impressed me most about the Blue Man group was the care they took for the audience members that were disabled.  I can't tell you how it can touch your heart to see the attention and care a character who doesn't speak a word, can convey such caring.

Dsc_2364 Then in Chicago a night of fun, food and music.  From great pizza at Giordano's to hanging out at Kitty O'Shea's to finally arriving at Buddy Guy's Legends it was another amazing night of run.  Buddy Guy's Legends (just right around the corner from the Hilton), was another great venue to hang out and just network with friends as we listened to the amazing Lindsay Alexander (someone correct me on that spelling if I got it wrong).  This guy is so talented and amazing and had an awesome band to back him up.  From his amazing guitar playing, to his raspy blues voice, it was a surprising night of great music that I'm glad I was able to enjoy.  Mr. Alexander's interaction with the crowd was so fun, and I'm sure Becky Ryan of Trellian can back me up on that! :)

No matter which conference you were at last week, you likely had a lot of fun.  I can tell you though, from experience, getting to all the conferences was definitely something I was glad I was able to do, even though I'm still recovering!

Special thanks to Joe Morin for the Vegas entertainment, to Brandy and Daron Babin for introducing me to Buddy Guy's Legends and to Becky Ryan for driving me down Rodeo Drive in her convertible.

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