OMMA Metrics #2: The full story

For those who were not as fortunate to attend OMMA Metrics in San Francisco, here are my key takeaways from each of the sessions. For those who did, I would love to hear yours.

Yes, it’s long. Feel free to skim what is of interest to you. There is no pop quiz!

Note: below are two fun, random facts that I enjoyed learning!

Evolving Analytics: Measuring and Analyzing the Digital Ecosystem at Lightspeed
Judah Phillips, Sr Director Global Site Analytics, Monster Worldwide

  • Everything in analytics is evolving: the skills needed, the size of teams within a company, the importance in an organisation and exposure to executive management, technology and tools and the scope of what we’re analysing (eg social, mobile, video, and tying traditional media back to the site.)
  • To compete on analytics requirements investment in people and technology.

Digital Measurement: A Retrospective and Predictions for the Future
Eric T. Peterson, Web Analytics Demystified

  • 50:50 rule: invest half your analytics budget on technology, half on people.
  • At scale, a centralised analytics group is all that ever works. Analytics should be in the center of marketing, operations, management, etc, but have “superusers” within each of the other departments. Decentralized analytics does not work.
  • We need to develop faith and trust from stakeholders by having more answers than questions.
  • Analysts are a service organisation. We have forgotten this! We need to serve to provide business intelligence: deliver incredible value to drive revenue; this will build trust.
  • We need to move beyond first generation tools and reporting and need to generate insights and recommendations.
  • Commit to create a measurable impact! “If you give me a testing tool, I will delivery a 5% lift in X.” At worst? If you fail, they’ll fire you and you’ll move on to another position (probably with a salary bump!)

Measuring Social Media: From Listening to Engagement to Value Generation
with Jascha Kaykas-Wolff (Involver), Anil Batra (POP), Jonathan Corbin (Wunderman), Taddy Hall (Meteor Solutions), Rand Schulman (Eightfold Logic and Schulman + Thorogood Group)

  • Think about 1) Reach, 2) Engagement, 3) Impact of social
  • To strategically enter into social, need to identify your objective, pick the appropriate channel (e.g. are the users you’re trying to reach on Facebook? Twitter? YouTube? etc), then find the right KPIs that take into account objective and channel.
  • Scalable measurement and monetisation is what is currently missing from social media.
  • Companies need to identify who the influences are, and who they influence.
  • Integrate social with other channels, and understand it in the context of all your marketing.
  • Don’t be afraid to do something different!
  • To measure success, ensure you take a baseline.

Analysing Across Multiple Channels: What Works and What Doesn’t for Multichannel Measurement
Akin Arikan (Unica), Roger Barnette (SearchIgnite), Casey Carey (Webtrends), Kevin Cavanaugh (Allant Group), Terry Cohen (Digitas), Andy Fisher (Starcom MediaVest Group)

  • Some channels are more involved with certain areas of the lifecycle. E.g. Mass media to attract attention, online to engage consumers and persuade, offline to grow and retain.
  • There are forty years of multi channel experience, but digital breaks all those rules. How do you mix it in?
  • Maturity of multiple channel measurement is mixed – some companies are doing a lot, but many are not, for a variety of reasons (e.g. silo nature of the organisation, perhaps using multiple agencies, etc.)
  • Financial services is ahead of the multi channel game, because they have statisticians, data, tools, etc.
  • Traditional media measurement has 30-40 years experience. In comparison, the techniques in digital are laughable. Digital needs to learn from this. However, in the digital space we embrace change, are fearless, and figure out how to benefit from the change. Need to combine these two: increase mathematical rigor in digital, and embrace change in traditional media. [Aka “Andy’s grumpy rant”]

A Measurement Manifesto
Josh Chasin (comScore)

  • Future of digital is not in selling clicks and click throughs.
  • Digital has a seeming ability to measure everything, but in some ways this hurts us. We’ll never be the most simple medium. The landscape is not simple, and it’s not getting simpler. However, we have opportunity for doing great and ground breaking things with metrics.
  • Strengths of digital: portable, affinity (consumers cluster around content of interest, and even create that content!)
  • Targetability makes audiences small. Affinity makes audiences relevant.
  • 20th century was the generation of the shouting brand. 21st century will be the listening brand.
  • Digital order of operations: Ready, aim, fire, measure, aim, fire, measure, aim, fire, measure …
  • We need to measure: audience size, ad effectiveness (across platforms), attribution, engagement, voice of the customer and brand robustness.

Engagement the Mobile Experience: Effective Mobile Measurement Strategies
Raj Aggarwal (Localytics) , June Dershewitz (Semphonic), Joy Liuzzo (InsightExpress), Evan Neufeld (Ground Truth), Virgil Waters (Acceleration), Jamie Wells (Microsoft Mobile Advertising)

  • Mobile often has different methods of data collection, as the common javascript tags may not work.
  • Some mobile metrics are the same as site analytics, but some are different. Mobile web is similar to desktop web, but applications can be unique.
  • Benefits of mobile analytics: you can have a more accurate reach metric, since there is a device ID, and people rarely share devices. Location is more granular and valuable.
  • Mobile is unstable right now – we are trying to figure out mobile analytics in a shifting environment. E.g. What will succeed: mobile web or apps? Will one succeed the other? Will there even remain a distinction between them?
  • Tools for mobile analytics: 1) Traditional web analytics tools and 2) Niche vendors (or a combination of both.) The benefit of traditional tools is the integration with your site analytics. The benefit of niche tools may be higher-value, mobile-specific data.
  • Third party measurement and Apple: feeling from the panel is that Apple will be forced to play by the market, and likely change its policies over time.

Metrics and Measurement at eBay
Bob Page (eBay)

  • eBay has a huge range (and volume!) of data (e.g. marketing, finance, customer service, user behaviour, web analytics, etc.)
  • There is no silver bullet. No one product will solve all your needs.
  • They have a huge datawarehouse that contains virtual data marts for different groups (e.g. marketing vs. finance) rather than silos.
  • They also have an internal web analytics community, building a type of “Facebook for analysts”: an internal social network where analysts can subscribe to each other’s feeds, look at the latest videos, discuss issues in forums, share PPTs etc.
  • Have a centralised technical team under the CTO, who is responsible for infrastructure, support etc.
  • Centralised business analytics team under the CFO, responsible for common, standard “north star” metrics.
  • Distributed product analysts in each business.
  • Note: size of the technical teams to support this is similar to the size of the core analysts.

Managing Analytics: An Executive’s Perspective on What Works, What Doesn’t, Best Practices and Lessons Learned
Phillips (Monster Worldwide), Matt Booher (Bridge Worldwide), Yaakov Kimfeld (MediaVest), Dylan Lewis (Intuit), Jodi McDermott (comScore), David L. Smith (Mediasmith)

  • Executive sponsorship of analytics is changing: “We used to have a megaphone, now we have a seat at the table.”
  • Centralisation enables standardisation, and helps with the evolution of analytics.
  • Where Analytics lives in the organisation: sometimes with the CFO, sometimes within marketing – differs within different companies. Analytics needs to own the technology and the data, though technical teams may actually implement.
  • Challenge: Lack of standards, lack of an organisational body.
  • Challenge: Executive distrust in the data or its validity. Jodi at comScore spoke of 4-6 months of having to explain data capture and constantly evangelizing before executives would place faith in data over gut.
  • Challenge: Hiring/recruiting. Companies want to find everything in one person: a technologist, a marketer, a statistician. Region can make hiring even more difficult. General sense is to find the right individuals/hire for instinct. You can always teach people the finer points of being an analyst (e.g. how to use a particular tool.)
  • Project management: Ticket-type system, scrum process. But no matter the project management used, requires ruthless prioritisation

Online Measurement: The Good, the Bad and the Complicated
Joe Laszlo (IAB)

  • The good: Online measurement is competitive, we have many vendors options. Vendors have integrity and are continually innovating. We can measure nearly anything.
  • The bad: Contradictory metrics from vendor to vendor, and changes in methodology can render dramatic fluctuations in measurement.
  • Online is managing to capture direct-response dollars, but not branding dollars. This is because brand marketers want to understand what their spend did for brand awareness, purchase intent, etc. What they get is “engagement”: view throughs, time spent, etc. There is a disconnect between what measures of success digital offers them and what they want.
  • Traditional media measurement allows calculation of reach and frequency. Also has years of experience of what matters, and has well-accepted metrics.
  • Lack of online measurement standards makes accurate data comparisons impossible. This can not be solved by any individual company, therefore the IAB is tackling through a cross-industry task force.

Modeling Attribution: Practitioner Perspectives on the Media Mix
Cesar Brea (Force Five Partners), Gary Angel (Semphonic), Jason Harper (Organic), Drew Lipner (InsightExpress), Manu Mathew (VisualIQ), Kelly Olson (Red Bricks Media.)

  • Attribution: What campaign/medium is responsible for the sale?
  • But there are more questions now: Is it better for someone to touch campaign a and b? What about b first then a? It’s not just the attribution, but do the two campaigns contribute together, in what order, or are two overkill, etc? E.g. Evidence that display with search adds value to search: someone searches after seeing a banner ad.
  • Can get a lot of benefit from evaluating click attribution, but even more from impressions optimisation.

Understanding the Multi-Screen Consumer: What’s on their Screens, What’s on their Minds
Alison Lange-Engel (Microsoft Advertising)

  • We now access online content via a variety of screens: computer, mobile device, TV, gaming consoles. We are always on and always connected.
  • Microsoft Advertising conducted survey to answer these questions.
  • The most active segment is 24-35 year olds.
  • Consumers are rapidly adopting technology and want control of the experiences.
  • Online gamers are the “game changers”. They do more of everything, all the time, social influencers. They spend the most time blogging, viewing, texting links. They view their game console as a communication device.
  • A linear funnel is not relevant anymore, as all screens impact purchase and allow an impactful story to be told.
  • Computers and smartphones are the key points of purchase.
  • The younger segments are accepting of advertising across multiple screens, actually want information and entertainment. They find ads helpful when they are targeted to their preferences and interests. They want a consistent experience across screens, and like the ability to access content across multiple screens – it actually improves their opinion of the content provider.
  • The key to success is: Consistent messaging + connected to other mediums + relevant = engagement and results.
  • Full report at

And fun facts for the day:

  • The birthplace of web analytics is Hawaii!
  • Web Analytics is still small. All the web analytics companies sold for less than DoubleClick!

For those who did not get to attend this event, I highly recommend checking it out next year. It was interesting, informative, with great choice of speakers and a nice mix of presentation vs. panel discussions. Learning has never been so fun!

What time of day do web analysts tweet?

Thanks to @menggoh (and Virgin America‘s wi-fi) I have been thoroughly entertained on a red eye between LA and Boston with Twitter analytics from The Archivist. Which means naturally, I was curious: based on when the web analytics community is active and tweeting (based on tweets to the #measure hashtag) when is a good time of day for me to post new blog posts?

The cool thing about The Archivist is that they give you tons of fancy charts about who the top users our, our daily tweet volume over the past few months, topics discussed etc. (Seriously, check it out – so much fun!) However, what I couldn’t find was a breakdown of total tweets by time of day. The even cooler thing about The Archivist is that they allow you to download an Excel file of the data. (Insert cry of geek joy here!) So naturally, I took the data and DIY’ed it.

So as it turns out, the peak of #measure tweets is between 6-7 pm. We’re primarily an evening/night owl community (insert HootSuite joke, anyone? Get it? Owl? Hoot? My apologies – I blame the red eye flight…) with much lower activity in the morning. Possibly we work on being a peaceful community by waiting for the coffee to set in before communicating too much!

Here is total tweet volume to the #measure hashtag for 5/11 through 7/2/10.
[Ideally, I’d like to overlap total tweet volume to see whether we follow the overall Twitter trends. I’ll update when I have further data.]

*Note: Time of day is based on United States EST

So what does this tell me? I theorize that I probably don’t want to post my tweets at 6pm, right when a huge volume of tweets are flooding in (too easy to be missed in the midst.) However, perhaps noon/1pm would be a good time, so my tweet is recently posted as we start getting more active on Twitter for the day.

Now, I’m off to test some time-of-day theories …

[This adventure in geekdom was proudly brought to you by The Archivist and Virgin America‘s wi-fi service.]

To follow, or not to follow?

I have been using Twitter for a few years, but more on a personal basis (private account, that was essentially the same stuff as my (also private) Facebook status updates.) It’s only in the last few months that I’ve explored Twitter for more professional reasons. I wish I’d caught onto this earlier. At least for my work, being in the online space, I find that Twitter is an amazing educational resource. There’s an entire web analytics community out there posting their experiences and interesting blogs and articles, some of the gurus of web analytics (@erictpeterson, @avinashkaushik) sharing their thoughts with us without a price tag, and even client-support people sitting on Twitter all day ready to answer questions. (@OmnitureCare)

The one thing I am trying to get my head around is Twitter “etiquette”. As a fairly pragmatic person, here’s how I am approaching the “to follow or not to follow” question.

If someone follows me, great. I’ll check out their recent tweets. If they sound like someone who I want to hear from, then I’ll follow. If not, it’s very nice they’re following me (thank you!) but I don’t feel obligated to reciprocate solely because they followed me.

Things that make me want to follow you:

  1. The majority of your posts are relevant to why I’m on Twitter (web or business analytics, social media, new gadgets, the online space generally, etc.) I’m fine with some more personal stuff interspersed, but I won’t follow you if 9 out of 10 posts are unrelated to my interests.
  2. You share some of your unique thoughts about the industry. I don’t want to follow someone who does nothing but RT others. I’m following you to hear your thoughts, not to hear you habitually regurgitate others.
  3. I am, however, interested in useful RTs, to help me find others I might want to hear from and article posts.  RTing is great, it can help distribute interesting content, and I like reading interesting RTs. And hey, I like being RTed! But per #2, if that’s all you do and share none of your own thoughts, I’ll figure why not just follow the people you keep RTing and take you out of the mix?
  4. You post regularly but not too regularly. I don’t want to hear from you every 30 seconds. I find it hard to believe you can post super frequently and still be posting quality information. Quality over quantity.

Things that will make either pass on following you, or un-follow you (if I already started):

  1. Too many posts. If you post so frequently to take over the feed, I’m likely to unfollow you, unless they’re absolute gems (again, this seems unlikely. PS Why aren’t you working?)
  2. Useless posts. I’m very sorry, but I don’t care if you just ate a ham sandwich, and I definitely don’t care about sports. If you tweet every two seconds of the World Cup, I’m going to un-follow you. It’s nothing personal, I just don’t care about sports. If I wanted to read about it, I’d follow some sports-type-people. (Can you tell I’m such a … uh … sports uh knowledgeable person?)
  3. If you write in a language I don’t understand. This one is absolutely not personal. I actually wish I could follow some people who are posting in German, Spanish, etc. It’s just the reality that there’s not a lot of point in me following you if I don’t know what you’re saying. Blame that one on me for not understanding every language. (That would be nice.)

I would love to hear anyone’s advice of some good dos and don’ts of Twitter etiquette. You can find me at @michelehinojosa. Feel free to follow me, but only if I meet your follow criteria.

Protect YOURSELF [Facebook Privacy]

Amidst debates about Facebook privacy, I can’t help but being amused.

Don’t get me wrong. I am concerned about my online privacy like anyone else. As much as possible, I have tried to set up my Facebook account to be private and secure, and continue to check my settings as the privacy policy changes. I check how my profile looks to people in certain groups of permissions. I am cautious about who I accept as a friend. I am careful with what I post, and even careful about what comments my friends post on my wall, photos or statuses. I have Facebook configured so that people I work with can only see certain content.  I have two Twitter accounts, one private (personal) account, and one public account.

But at the end of the day, I am acutely aware that information you post on the internet is public. What I find interesting about the Facebook privacy debates is that it seems we have forgotten this.

Where did this naivete come from? Why do we think that the internet is suddenly a secure space, where corporations will build their business around protecting us? (And corporations we’re not even paying!)

I remember early users of the internet being conscious of this, perhaps even concerned or paranoid about their privacy. Internet banking and online shopping had to convince users they were a secure way to transact online. We knew that emails weren’t Fort Knox and were warned not to share confidential information openly online.

When did we get lulled into this sense of false security? And why did common sense fly out the window?

If you want the benefits of the internet and social media, you have to accept the downsides too. It’s rather simple. Don’t pose for photos you wouldn’t want posted. Don’t post photos you wouldn’t want shared. And don’t write, say or do anything that you couldn’t comfortably show your grandmother or your boss. Take responsibility for your online privacy. A corporation will do what is in its best interest, and we must do what is in ours.