Category Archives: Marketing / Tech Interface

Omni-Channel Cost Shifting

One of the great benefits customer lifecycle programs bring to the party is unearthing cross-divisional or functional profitability opportunities that otherwise would fall into the cracks between units and not be addressed.  What I think most managers in the omni-channel space may not realize (yet) is how significant many of these issues can be.

To provide some context for those purely interested in the marketing side, this idea joins quite closely to the optimizing for worst customers and sales cannibalization discussions, but is more concerned with downstream operational issues and finance.  Cost shifting scenarios will become a lot more common as omnichannel concepts pick up speed.

Shifty Sales OK, Costs Not?

Why is cost shifting important to understand?  Many corporate cultures can easily tolerate sales shifting between channels because of the view that “any sale is good”.  On the ground, this means sourcing sales accurately in an omni-channel environment requires too much effort relative to the perceived benefits to be gained.  Fair enough; some corporate cultures simply believe any sale is a good sale even if they lose money on it!

Cost shifting  tends to be a different story though, because the outcomes show up as budget variances and have to be explained.  In many ways, cost shifting is also easier to measure, because the source is typically simple to capture once the issue surfaces.  And as a cultural issue, people are used to the concept of dealing with budget variances.

Here’s a common case:

Continue reading Omni-Channel Cost Shifting

Share:  twittergoogle_plusredditlinkedintumblrmail

Follow:  twitterlinkedinrss

Marketing Jump Ball

Marketing Accountability.

Brand is what you do, not what you say

Marketing Alignment.

Here are 3 free webinars you might want to take advantage of.  You might not agree with these opinions, but hey, it’s a good idea to get out of the echo chamber once and awhile, don’t you think?  Try these online sessions for a little brain stretching:


Moving Marketing From “The Money Spenders” to The Money MAKERS
April 15, 2009  noon ET    Jonathan Salem Baskin, Jim Sterne, Jim Novo

With 10% of marketing executives being perceived as strategic and influential by the C-suite there’s clearly a crisis of confidence.  I’ve mentioned Jonathan’s blog and book before and here’s a chance to hear a bit of the inside story.  You’ll learn how to exceed expectations of both C-suite executives and customers, neutralize political feuds by organizing cross-departmentally, and how to stop thinking like a reporter and start acting like an advisor


Everything They’ve Told You About Marketing Is Wrong
April 21, 2009   1pm ET  Ron Shevlin

Are you sick and tired of reading the same old blah, blah, blah, from the so- called marketing experts who just tell you stuff you already know? Then you need to attend this session as the grumpy old man cuts through the morass of bad advice and introduces you to the must-dos in the new world of marketing.  I know Ron personally (as in offline) and even if you disagree, you will be entertained.


What Online Marketers Can Teach Offline Colleagues (and vice versa)
May 19, 2009  noon ET     Kevin Hillstrom, Akin Arikan, and Jim Novo

A WAA event, open to both members and non-members.  Web analysts are not the first to grapple with multiple channels.  Traditional marketers have always had to illuminate customer behavior across stores, call center, direct mail, etc.  So, rather than reinventing the wheel in each camp, what proven methods can you teach each other?  Three different but aligned approaches on solving the multichannel puzzle, should be something for everyone here.


Take your brain out for some exercise, will ya?


Share:  twittergoogle_plusredditlinkedintumblrmail

Follow:  twitterlinkedinrss

NCDM Show – you going?

Next week I will be moderating a panel at the NCDM show. 

Don’t know NCDM?  If you’re a web analyst interested in what happens in BI from a Marketing perspective, this is the show for you – National Center for Database Marketing

I’m moderating a “shootout” panel titled Web Analytics Solutions Showdown: How Do You Measure Customer Engagement? with panelists Barry Parshall from WebTrends, John Squire from Coremetrics, and David Kirschner from Omniture (Jon Gibson / ClickTracks had to drop out).

No right or wrong answers for this session, mostly a demonstration of how different WA platforms approach the challenge of “Measuring Engagement” differently.  Just tell us what you believe “Engagement” is and how it is measured with your tool using a case study.

Continue reading NCDM Show – you going?

Share:  twittergoogle_plusredditlinkedintumblrmail

Follow:  twitterlinkedinrss

Feed Advertising Sucks Too

As much, or perhaps more, than the rest of Display.

I mean, here’s a chance to get it right. 

You know who the audience is what the context is of readers on a feed.  But no, once again, the brilliant Social engineers go for Quantity, not Quality, which is the mistake the Web has been making since “Hits”.  Quantity only makes sense if you can get Weight from the media, and the web has no Weight.

Here I am, reading the feed for the Freakonomics blog, and I get a dating ad (click to enlarge):


The Freakonomics blog would be a great advertising environment for so many products, whether you are in the Direct camp or the Brand camp.  But instead, we’re just going to Repeat the Past.


Share:  twittergoogle_plusredditlinkedintumblrmail

Follow:  twitterlinkedinrss

Broken Online Model Endcap

I’m going to leave the Requirements / Model issue to simmer for a while; thanks for all your help exploring it.  I get the feeling people might want to connect with more practical ideas right now and not take on the windmills of the Tech / Marketing Interface.

So I’ll wrap up with a few relevant links to what others have recently said about this model / requirements problem.

Facebook COO

Yesterday, Ad Age tells us that Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg said this:

“Google and its competitors have made answering demands for information very profitable by selling ads attached to search requests, or demand fulfillment, Ms. Sandberg a former Google executive herself, noted.  “What no one’s figured out how to do is demand generation,” she said.  “We need to find a new model and new metrics,” she added.

It’s the Serendipity problem, right?  You can’t Search for what you don’t know about already?

  Continue reading Broken Online Model Endcap

Share:  twittergoogle_plusredditlinkedintumblrmail

Follow:  twitterlinkedinrss

New Online Marketing Model First?

Well, the call for a new Online Marketing Requirements doc to correct the Wrong Model, Dumb Money problem did not get much traction so far.  So I’m thinking maybe you need a new Online Marketing Model first to hang the Requirements doc on.  Fair enough.

Here’s the challenge: I don’t think there is a universal enough agreement on what online brings to the Marketing party.  Sure, it gets explained in tons of ways, but for the most part these explanations are all Tactical stuff – do this, get that.

That’s not good enough, that’s too small, and it’s not unique to online.  CEO’s and CMO’s are looking for the Strategy edge, and they are looking for ways Online is a “logical fit” into the Marketing Mix.  What is online “for”, and perhaps more importantly, what can it do better than what we already have?

This is important because if you can get to this place, then you have leverage, then you have the ability to draw more money into Online Marketing / Analysis – because it is different.

  Continue reading New Online Marketing Model First?

Share:  twittergoogle_plusredditlinkedintumblrmail

Follow:  twitterlinkedinrss

Wrong Model, Dumb Money

I am not a technophobic Marketeer, an old “resistant to change” type.  In fact, I’m just the opposite, and that’s why I can’t understand why Online continues to Repeat Past Marketing Failures.

I was one of those kids that built crystal radio sets and messed around with ham radio.  My favorite place to hang out was Radio Shack, back when they were an electronic parts house.  I built all kinds of circuit board stuff with a soldering iron, mostly bugs and telco hacks.  I was a geek when they were called nerds. 

In 1977 I learned the BASIC language and was writing simple programs for the mainframe at college.  In 1978, I was part of a small group of students who worked on the Synclavier, the first large scale truly digital music synthesizer.  I started working with PC’s in 1987, and had a home computer by 1991.  I was one of those people who dialed up to the CompuServe Forums at 300 baud, primarily talking about computers and music, figuring out how to rewrite .bat and .ini files to get the computer / keyboard interfaces working properly. 

And at the same time, making lots of  “online friends” ;).

Continue reading Wrong Model, Dumb Money

Share:  twittergoogle_plusredditlinkedintumblrmail

Follow:  twitterlinkedinrss

Sherlock Holmes Problem

I think this is probably the last Learning and Teaching issue in Online Marketing (series starts here) before attempting to evaluate and summarize the challenge.  I would like to receive comments from you on the Sherlock Holmes Problem.

“There are two types of minds — the mathematical and what might be called the intuitive. The former arrives at its views slowly, but they are firm and rigid; the latter is endowed with greater flexibility and applies itself simultaneously to the dive.”

Blaise Pascal

In his post How the Skills of a Night Auditor Translate into Web Analytics, Christopher Berry explores a notion we have wrestled with a lot while developing the WAA’s Certified Web Analyst Test – can you teach someone to be curious in a “business analytics” way?  Or are people just born with / socialized into this skill set?  How do you measure and test someone for “analytical curiosity”?

We have referred to these issues internally on the Education Committee as the “Sherlock Holmes” problem.  The issue is not the ability to read and interpret reports, or write up findings, or anything like that.  It’s the ability to see coincidences or oddities in the data, to conceptualize linkage or relationships others don’t see, to follow the data trail (or blaze it) right down to Root Cause.

Continue reading Sherlock Holmes Problem

Share:  twittergoogle_plusredditlinkedintumblrmail

Follow:  twitterlinkedinrss

Consensus Learning Model

My question about whether you learned anything at SES or not didn’t get much reaction.  I suspect the answers were polarized, with half the people thinking “not really, I go there for other reasons” and the other half thinking “of course I did”.

Answers to that question might have been helpful, but…

What I’m really questioning is this: How do people in the web space learn what they learn?  Associated questions are:

1.  Has quantity eclipsed quality as a yardstick for the success?

2.  Implications for Teachers / Course Developers of the answer to #1

There are also some serious implications for “Web Marketing” adoption (in all forms) by the broader Marketing community buried in the above.  To me, this is not unlike the “CRM Problem”, where for years (and still) people confused the Technology solution with the Marketing potential, which set CRM back a decade.

Continue reading Consensus Learning Model

Share:  twittergoogle_plusredditlinkedintumblrmail

Follow:  twitterlinkedinrss

You Learn Anything at SES?

SES = Search Engine Strategies San Jose, for those not in the know.

And I mean the question literally.  Not did you have a good time, see lots of friends, do a lot of beneficial networking, talk to customers, build your reputation, create content for your blog, etc.

Did you Learn anything?

Looking at the stream of blog posts, video, Tweets and so forth – much of it incredibly repetitive by the way, which is a whole other issue for this type of Journalism – I have to wonder if anybody except those new to Search actually learned anything.  You know, walked away with new knowledge they could use to improve their efforts.

I have more than a passing curiosity about this issue from a macro perspective.  As you might know, I am a Co-Chair on the Web Analytics Association’s Education Committee, responsible for creating the WAA’s Core Curriculum and upcoming Certification Testing.  So I think a lot about Learning and Education, especially as it relates to the web.  And that thinking includes different “delivery models” like Conferences.

Continue reading You Learn Anything at SES?

Share:  twittergoogle_plusredditlinkedintumblrmail

Follow:  twitterlinkedinrss