Several questions came in on the ability of surveys to predict actual behavior, covered in the post Measuring the $$ Value of Customer Experience (see 2. Data with Surveys). My advice is this: if you are interested in taking action on survey results, make sure to survey specific visitors / people with known behavior if possible, then track subjects over time to see if there is a linkage between survey response and actual behavior. You should do this at least the first time out for any new type of survey you launch.
Why? Many times, you will find segments don’t behave as they say they will. In fact, I have seen quite a few cases where people do the opposite of what was implied from the survey. This happens particularly frequently with best customers – the specific people you most want to please with modifications to product or process. So this is important stuff.
You’ve Got Data!
Turns out there’s a new academic (meaning no ax to grind) research study out addressing this area, and it’s especially interesting because the topic of study is ability of customer feedback metrics to predict customer retention. You know, Net Promoter Score, Customer Effort Score and so forth, as well as standard customer satisfaction efforts like top-2-box.
The authors find the ability of any of one of these metrics to predict customer retention varies dramatically by industry. In other words, you might want to verify the approach / metric you are using by tying survey response to actual retention behavior over time.
Continue reading Do NPS / CES Feedback Metrics Predict Retention? Depends…
Marketing IS (Can Be?) an Experience
Early on I discovered something from the work of leaders in data-based marketing business models: they were always very concerned with post-campaign execution – not only from marketing, but also through product, distribution, and service. I thought this strange, until I realized they knew something I did not: when you have customer data, you can actually identify and fix negative customer value impacts caused by poor experience.
This means you can directly quantify the value of customer experience, budget for fixing it, and create a financial model that proves out the bottom line hard money profits (or losses) from paying attention to the business value as a result of customer experience.
And critically, this idea becomes much more important as you move from surface success metrics like conversion and sales down into deep success metrics like company profits. Frequently you see the profit / loss from “marketing” often has less to do with campaigns and more to do with the positive or negative experiences caused by campaigns.
You might think taking the time to provide special treatment to brand new customers would always encourage engagement and repeat purchase. You’d be wrong. Sometimes this works, sometimes this does not work, depending on the context of the customer. Does it surprise you to find out customers often do not want to be “delighted”?
Continue reading Measuring the $$ Value of Customer Experience
Is it possible the mainstream digital marketing space is about to finally move on from a focus on front-end measurement (campaigns, etc. ) to creating knowledge around how enterprise value as a whole is created? And actually enabling action in this area?
Judging by the material coming out of the recent Martech conference in Boston, one would think so. And it looks to me like I’m not the only one thinking “it’s about time”.
A couple of years ago I lamented:
It’s been very popular among marketing types to talk about “the customer” but seek metrics for affirmation other than those based on or derived from the customer. Digital analysts have followed their lead, and provided Marketers plenty of awareness, engagement, and campaign metrics. As I’ve said in the past, this is a huge disconnect. Does it make sense (analytically) to have discussions about customer centricity, customer experience, customer service, the social customer, etc. and measure these effects at impression or visit level?
If you’d like to review some commentary on the conference, see a list of 5 posts here. I found the list of tweets here particularly indicative of Martech’s potential, for example:
Continue reading Digital Customer Analysis Going Mainstream?
Hypocrisy in Web Analytics?
Before every eMetrics (I’ll be in San Fran teaching Basecamp, at the Gala, etc.), I try to ask myself, what is the most critical issue facing the web analyst community right now? Then, at the show, I ask everyone I run into what they think about this issue.
There’s lots of issues to choose from. Career path I think is a big area of discussion, given the mergers in the space and trend towards outsourcing. Then there’s the “we don’t get no respect” thing; senior management doesn’t seem to listen / understand / act on the information provided. And one of my favorites from the past is still out there, data torture – people being pressured to manipulate data to reach a predetermined analytical outcome.
But seems to me, more important at this juncture is trying to resolve why there is so much written about the importance of “the customer” but very little measurement at the customer level. Think about it. Customer experience, customer centricity, the entire social thing, it’s all about customers.
But when folks wants to trot out “proof” that this or that approach is the road to the promised land, they analyze impressions, visits, clicks, etc. Visitor-level stuff. Does that seem like the correct approach to you? Seems to me, if you want to provide knowledge about customers, you should measure customers.
Continue reading All Talk, No #Measure
In the early days of Home Shopping Network (live TV, not online), we were doing some ethnographic research and started to find “physical clusters” of customers – neighbors or people who worked together. For example, one of these groups was nurses at hospitals, especially nurses who worked the night shift.
We looked for the most active member of the cluster (our “thought leader”) and asked them if they would help us with a “member get a member” program. Would they be willing to distribute discount coupons to their friends, especially ones who were not already customers? Time after time, the answer was:
“Honey, all my friends are already customers of yours”.
We launched the program anyway, because it was a pet project from upstairs – I was a junior marketer at that point so I couldn’t kill it ;) The program never, ever worked, no matter how hard we tried. It generated very few new customers while giving lots of discounts to people who were already active buyers. Basically, the cost of those discounts overwhelmed the value of the new customers generated.
Apparently a similar thing happens online with Social marketing.
As part of a WAA program that reviews academic research for WAA members, I was able to take a look at a paper titled: Firm-Created Word-of-Mouth Communication: Evidence from a Field Test by David Godes and Dina Mayzlin.
Continue reading Awareness versus Persuasion
I was in Vancouver for a presentation to CAUCE [kay-yoose, thanks Raquel] and was able to grab a quick dinner with fellow WAA BaseCamp stakeholders Andrea Hadley, Raquel Collins, and Braden Hoeppner. We’re rolling out a new 2-day format for BaseCamp and got to talking about web analytics education in general.
We started talking audience segmentation and content at the eMetrics Summit, and specifically the “shootout” format from the old days. You know, 10 vendors on the stage at the same time taking questions from the audience. Those sessions were both educational and hilarious at the same time, as the vendors side-swiped each other on topics like accuracy, how visitors are counted, cookie structures, and so forth.
But that was back when the technology was in flux, and now that issue has settled down a lot. Braden brought up the concept of returning the “shootout format”, but more on the business side. You know, get some practitioners, vendors, and consultants up on stage and have them thrash out stuff like:
1. Attribution – does it really make sense to even bother with attribution at the impression / click level when there is often not a strong correlation to profit? I mean, just because someone sees or clicks on an ad does not mean the ad had a positive effect; in fact, it may have had a negative effect. Why not go straight to action or profit attribution, instead of using creative accounting?
Continue reading eMetrics “ShootOuts” We’d Like to See
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:
Continue reading Marketing Science (Journal)
Speaking of Web Intelligence, if you are interested in experiencing what the world of web analytics looks like when it meets Business Intelligence, the WAA and our Certificate partner for Web Intelligence, UC Irvine, are doing a Free webcast on this topic.
Jim Humphrys has the research on salaries and demand in the sector, Shaina Boone of Critical Mass is the practitioner who has both taken the Certificate classes and is applying this knowledge in the real world, and Bernie Jeltema is a UCI Instructor for the Certificate classes.
Here’s the official description:
UCI Webinar: Certificate in Web Intelligence
Wednesday 19-Nov-08 2:30 PM to 3:30 PM EDT
Web Intelligence is a combination of web analytics and business intelligence. As companies expand their reach into the global marketplace, the need to analyze how customers use their web sites to learn about products and make buying decisions is becoming increasingly critical for survival and success. Wondering how to position yourself for these career opportunities and how specific coursework can be valuable? This planning session will provide pre-registration educational and career advancement advisement. Also learn more about the web intelligence certificate program, courses being offered in upcoming quarters, and career planning resources available through the UC Irvine Extension and the University of British Columbia, Continuing Studies
Jim Humphrys, WL Gore, co-chair, WAA Research Committee
Shaina Boone, Critical Mass
Bernie Jeltema, Instructor in Business Intelligence, consultant in field
To register visit: http://unex.uci.edu/certificates/it/web_intel/
On this page, you can either sign up to “Stay Informed” about the program (green bar) or Register for the webcast in the box below this bar, which is called Web Intelligence Education Planning Session.
I’ll be speaking at the eMetrics Marketing Optimization Summit on Wednesday, October 22 at 1 PM after lunch with the Summit Advisory Council. How is it that I get scheduled in that “after Council” speaking slot every year? Jim Sterne must not want me hanging with the Council too long…
I’ll be speaking about LifeCycle analysis and providing “how to act on the analysis” for the Marketing side. If you are being asked to cut back Marketing budgets, LifeCycle analysis is a great way to understand the Financial ramifications of Marketing budget cuts and start getting Predictive.
Coming in on Tuesday so will miss the WAA event on Sunday for the first time. On the flip side, I will be there through Friday afternoon ’cause I am presenting at the WAA Board meeting.
So, for the first time since probably 2004, I will actually be there when the shindig closes.
Who’s doing what Thursday night?
Friend and fellow blogger Alan Rimm-Kaufman spent some of his valuable time asking my opinion on various online marketing issues in a far-ranging interview and podcast.
We met in person for the first time doing a presentation together at the DMA show in Chicago this fall, and because he used to work at Crutchfield – a truly customer-driven remote retailer – we share some experiences and beliefs.
For those of you who might be wondering where a lot of the Marketing Productivity ideas I post here come from, this interview-podcast is probably a pretty good backgrounder. We talk about a lot of stuff, including:
Monetizing customer experience
Importance of Control Groups / Source Attribution
Multichannel Marketing Strategy
LifeCycle Contact Strategy versus Calendar-based
Retail Business Models / Lab Store
Search box or not? / Serendipity
How to tell if online customers are really engaged – without web analytics
Here’s another link to the Interview-Podcast. Enjoy!
That was lots of fun, thanks Allen!