As I said in the Heavy Lifting post, I think the Web Analytics community is becoming increasingly insular and should be paying more attention to what is going on outside the echo chamber in Marketing Measurement. I also think the next major leaps forward in #wa are likely to come from examining best practices in other areas of Marketing Measurement and figuring out how they apply to the web.
For example, did you even know there is a peer-reviewed journal called Marketing Science, which calls itself “the premier journal focusing on empirical and theoretical quantitative research in marketing”?
Whoa, say what?
This journal is published by the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences, and articles are the work of premiere researchers in visitor and customer behavior from the best known institutions around the world. In case you didn’t know, “peer-reviewed” means a bunch of these researchers (not including the authors, of course) have to agree that what you say in your article is logical based on the data, and that any testing you carried out adhered to the most stringent protocols – sampling, stats, test construction, all of it.
And, most mind-blowing of all, they show you the actual math right in the article – the data, variables, formulas, graphs – that lead to the conclusions they formulate in the studies. You know, like this:
So, the opinions coming from Marketing Science are probably a lot more reliable than say, the average blogger in the echo chamber. Know what I’m saying? And here’s a surprise, the findings in these articles often contradict what is passed off in the blogosphere as “common knowledge” by the digerati.
In case you are thinking, “Well, these lab coats can’t possibly be exploring anything that would be interesting to me“, take a look at some article titles in the Mar – Apr 2009 edition of Marketing Science:
* Website Morphing
* Real-Time Evaluation of E-mail Campaign Performance
* Optimal Bundling Strategies in Multiobject Auctions of Complements or Substitutes
* Path Data in Marketing: An Integrative Framework and Prospectus for Model Building
* Click Fraud
Or article titles for the Jan – Feb 2009 edition of Marketing Science:
* Quantifying the Long-Term Impact of Negative Word of Mouth on Cash Flows and Stock Price
* Going Where the Ad Leads You: On High Advertised Prices and Searching Where to Buy
* Content vs. Advertising: The Impact of Competition on Media Firm Strategy
* My Mobile Music: An Adaptive Personalization System for Digital Audio Players
Tell me you want to put more faith in your RSS feed than in what these folks have to say in Marketing Science. What blogger shows you the math? What Research for Press Release piece passed around the echo chamber shows you the survey questions, the sample distributions, the confidence intervals?
But wait, there’s more.
The Research Committee at the WAA has been working hard on a program to open up some of these influential resources to WAA members. You can see the beginning of those efforts here. Expect more in the future as the effort ramps up. The knowledge sources currently in the hopper are these:
- Journal of Advertising
- Journal of Advertising Research
- Marketing Science
- Journal of Marketing
- Journal of Marketing Research
Now, you don’t have to agree with what folks who publish in Journals like these have to say, but as an analyst, I sure want to know what they think, see how they arrived at those thoughts. And gut-check my own reality against them.
Because the analyst’s mission is truth seeking, finding better truths.
Can you afford to ignore some of the most respected Marketing researchers in the world when formulating your hypothesis?