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)
Open your mind for a minute.
What if what the media / agency complex has been telling you all along about online advertising is not really true. What if Advertising – from the end user (visitor) perspective – performs a fundamentally different job online than it does offline? What if the entire game is different than you think it is? Might that explain why it’s so difficult to get any agreement on the value of online advertising?
Please bear with me; see if this makes any sense to you.
Offline, it’s important that you remember an ad. That’s because you are rarely in a position to take advantage of or act on the ad when you are exposed to it – unless you are sitting in front of a computer. Awareness, Recall, all those nice measurements the offliners do are important for offline Advertising, because the job of offline Advertising is get you to remember it so you can Act on the Advertising when you are in a position to do so.
Online, you can immediately investigate the products or services advertised, get 3rd party opinions, and so forth. You can convert Awareness to Intent and Desire in a matter of moments, if not take Action as well – if you are interested in what is being Advertised.
The fundamental answer to every question you have about online advertising might be really simple, if you think this way:
Online Ads are Navigation
They are not Advertising, in the traditional sense of offline Advertising.
Content sources serve the role of traditional Advertising online.
Not the ad itself.
Online, the Web Site is the Ad.
Continue reading Online Ads are Navigation
It’s always a treat to work with bright, committed people and I’m happy to say this was the case with the folks at the Oriental Institute. These higher ed environments can be exceedingly complex from a Marketing perspective, and the OI is way up there on the complexity scale. So much to do, so few resources to do it with.
That said, we came up with a crackerjack plan that should significantly boost paid Membership at the OI without additional time or money resources. How? Path Analysis.
Personally, I have never understood why many web analytics folks don’t care for Path Analysis; I can only surmise these folks are simply not doing it correctly. For one thing, Paths don’t make any sense without the context of a behavioral segmentation – entry page, campaign, etc. Just like any other web data, Path is useless without segmentation. Or perhaps these folks don’t know how to interpret the data they see because they can’t survey a Path for the answers.
Continue reading Offline Path Analysis