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Analysts, and executives, and monkeys! Oh, my! (Part 2)

Originally written 3 years ago…. prepare to be potentially underwhelmed – only time references have been updated.

For those of you that don’t check my blog every day in hopes of part 2 being published here is Part 1.


In my last post a couple months years ago I detailed my hate filled presentation at Accelerate 2011 in SF. The presentation wasn’t about the shock factor but rather how I think we, as an industry, are destined to fail or be relegated to the bottom rung of the corporate ladder if we continue to only be “web analysts”.

Since the last post some great news was announced, and what I consider to be the first step in the right direction, the Web Analytics Association (WAA) has rebranded as the Digital Analytics Association (DAA). As a former committee co-chair in the WAA, and a longtime member, this was a change that should have happened years ago but the members were not ready for it.

That brings me to my key point.

We are not done yet.

In speaking to a number of people since the WAA became the DAA, nothing more than changing their job description on LinkedIn and starting to describe themselves to friends and family members as a “Digital Analyst”, many people haven’t changed what they are doing. Even worse, people haven’t even approached their manager about what the change means regarding their career. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t expect the day after the announcement that people would barge into their boss’s office and demand a raise along with a new lofty title, but there should be an honest discussion about the direction the company is going and how they, as a contributor, can play a broader role in the business’s analytics efforts – beyond just web.

If you are presenting the results of your analysis and you are only speaking about the most effective campaigns/landing page conversion, paid keywords ROI, content downloads, and the number of people/% that made it through funnel X, Y, or Z, then you are wasting time. Yes, that is a blanket statement. Yes, there are lots of people that only do that. Yes, they should all reconsider their career goals.

The disappointing part, aside from the lack of discussion between you and your management, is that companies have been doing multichannel analytics for years but keeping the groups that support the multi-channel effort separated from other groups in the organization that are doing analytics. This isn’t an excuse for you to suck it up and blame it on ‘the man’. This is a sign to get up off your duff and prove your worth. You have all these teams and limited daily interaction (either with people or data) – the web team, the CRM team, the transaction analysis team, the inventory team, and potentially the most influential of them all – The A Team (original cast). For many companies the net result of each team’s effort is a dashboard that ends up in the lap (inbox) of management or perhaps a once a quarter presentation. The “Inbox Dashboard Report”, the most unholy disconnect between insight and action since.. since… I don’t know – something bad that disconnects insight and action. Once the report is handed off it then becomes the problem for someone. The responsibility of the recipient is to try to put all this together and come to an assumption relying on their experience and best guess. Bad news – your experience and best guess should have told you already that someone else distilling and trying to take action on your distilled report/dashboard will end up sucking.

If you are unsure how to take your company to the next level, or perhaps you’ve been around for a while and have ‘become one’ with your current approach, you may want to consider taking some time and signup to be a student or mentor with Analysis Exchange or something similar. This will not only increase your karma points but also help you understand what other companies are doing, hopefully spurring a couple new ideas for your company. Best of all – it is free.


Ultimately you cannot wait for your company to push you to do the right thing, unless you want to be pulled into something you don’t want to do. Now is your chance to be the hero for yourself, your team, your manager, and the company – if you are willing to expand your scope of work and integrate your efforts to align with the bigger picture of the company.

Analysts, and executives, and monkeys! Oh, my! (Part 1)

Last week I had the great honor to present at the first ever Accelerate event hosted by Web Analytics Demystified, sponsored by Ensighten, OpinionLab & Tealeaf.

Having been to many events over the years, I can safely say that this type of event is one that hasn’t been done before in the context of the web analytics industry. There were two forms of presentations, 20 minute / 10 tips and 5 minute / 1 big idea. The list of speakers in both formats was fantastic and the resulting votes for best speakers, Ben Gaines & Tim Wilson, could not have been more accurate.

Originally I was very disappointed that I was not going to be able to attend. Luckily, at the last minute someone dropped out of the 5 minute presentation part of Accelerate and my travel plans changed which resulted in me being in the San Francisco area.

Having presented a number of times in the past there were a couple topics that I could have rehashed but having only 5 minutes is tough (especially for me) and this audience was not going to put up with another boring presentation. As a result my wheels started spinning and it didn’t take long. The day I found out that presenting could happen I was training a class (this will matter later) and the topic was web analytics, digital marketing and competitive knowledge.

It then hit me.

This sucks.

Click to continue reading “Analysts, and executives, and monkeys! Oh, my! (Part 1)”

(Ex) Customer Satisfaction – The Brand Implications

I’m going to stray away from the normal digital marketing/analytics type of post and bring up what I consider to be a relevant marketing factor that is overlooked from time to time.

It should be pointed out that in this post I am calling out specific companies but they are not the only ones guilty of what is described. The ones named were the most recent offenders that I’ve run into.

The Crux:
Companies need to understand that marketing is not just comprised of outbound communication (e-mail, ads, etc) but also customer satisfaction – even with customers that no longer want to do business with them.
No request for an account to be canceled should be treated as a personal attack on your business, rather an opportunity to prove to the (ex)customer that you are a respectful company that is willing to stand on the merits of your offering.

If your company is willing to treat former customers just as well as you would a current customer there could be a chance that the ex-customer would mention your company to a friend that has a need for your solution.

Click to continue reading “(Ex) Customer Satisfaction – The Brand Implications”

Stop looking for the scapegoat

This post originally started is a comment to the post on Michele Hinojosa’s blog about “Whose responsibility is online privacy?“… but I got a little long-winded, so here we go!

First off… Yes, I work for a vendor but with regards to this topic I am an equal opportunity (vendor, implementor, business, etc…) offender.

That being said, we all suck… but not because we mean to, but rather because we are all trying to either offer the best, do the best or create a competitive advantage – ALL of us, not just vendors.

It is the goal of the consulting / analyst groups, or internal deployment teams, to create sophisticated solutions to help solve a business problem. Some of those business problems are attempts to gain some additional level of information that would put them ahead of their competitors.

Do you blame the business for trying to be successful? No

Do you blame the consult/analyst/deployment teams for doing the job they are asked? No

Click to continue reading “Stop looking for the scapegoat”


In today’s fast paced world of technology there are few events or devices that catch the world’s attention and certainly not for three days.

Below is a small story which I’ve “borrowed” from (on 17 Feb, 2011) that is a rather interesting – Matrix-like – look at the future, with a little humor sprinkled in.
Some parts were removed as they pertained to the deal of the day on Woot.

Click to continue reading “TELL US THE STORY AGAIN, PATERNAL UNIT (from”

WAA Awards Gala Nominations

Let me start this out by saying, I am not looking to bribe people with this post.
The intent of this promotion is to simply motivate people to get loud and support your peers, vendors and agencies!

At this up coming eMetrics San Francisco in March the Web Analytics Association (WAA) will be hosting an inaugural Spring Awards Gala.

This gala has been a long time coming and to ensure that it is successful the WAA Membership Committee has tapped the best and brightest amongst us to make this go off without a hitch. To this point, things have been going rather well.

The one part that I have been COMPLETELY surprised by is the lack of love with-in the industry for the nominee voting.

To nominate someone or a group you don’t even need to be a WAA member but for some reason we are only seeing the same 5-6 people or groups being nominated per category. I honestly thought that we would have 10-15 different nominees per category which would result in some massive battle for greatness.

Obviously there are people and groups that standout but we can’t ALL be sheep and think that they are the only ones.

So…..  In hopes of creating a little diversity and to get the competitive juices flowing I am putting my own money up to get people to vote. I don’t care who you vote for (except Pee-wee Herman and Howard Stern… they won’t count), but I want to see some piranha-like fervor.

What do I mean by putting up my own money?

The person that submits the most (valid) nominations will get a $100 Gift card and a $50 Amazon Gift card for the person with the second most.

**Valid (in my eyes) is, a nominees full name (or company name), email OR twitter id and your details. Aside from that, fill the rest in with something relevant.

There are five categories and I expect to see people voting for at least all five once.

  • Web Analytics Rising Star (individual)
  • Most Influential Industry Contributor (individual)
  • Most Influential Agency / Vendor (group)
  • Client / Practitioner of the Year (individual or group)
  • Innovator of the Year (individual or group)

Nominations are due by 10 Feb, 2011, so HURRY.


Web/Behavioral Analytics 2011 Wishful Resolutions

Well, it is that time of year when everyone starts making new resolutions or attempts to abide by ones from years past.

As with most resolutions, they sound great at first but not too soon after they are forgotten and the excuse making is not too far behind. Whether it be to go to the gym more often, quit smoking, spend more time with the family, etc… Our regular day-to-day lives eventually “get in the way” of our not so lofty hopes.

Click to continue reading “Web/Behavioral Analytics 2011 Wishful Resolutions”

The begining of the end…

As with most of my presentations and ramblings, I will start with very little content and simply deliver “fluff”.

It has been a long time since I have blogged and the reason is rather simple. My style of writing is much like spoken word and therefore it doesn’t always translate well to the published word.

If you are willing to put up with all my nonsense and frequent digressions of (partial) insanity then I thank you.

Online Marketing in the eyes of a madman!