Mobile Analytics

Cisco Visual Networking Index

Cisco’s Visual Networking Index is an eye opening list of statistics that shows the growth of mobile networking. Between global mobile data traffic increasing 70 percent in the last year alone to average smartphone usage growing 81 percent, it’s clear that more information is being consumed on mobile platforms at a higher rate than ever before. I think the most interesting statistic though is that the top 1 percent of mobile data subscribers generated 16 percent of mobile data traffic, down from 52 percent in 2010. This shows how much more countries like China and India are consuming mobile data compared to a few years ago. In fact, mobile phones are even common in many third world countries where electricity is not. In the future, mobile data statistics will continue to surprise the average person. In 2017, it’s expected that mobile network connection speeds will increase 7-fold and tablet data usage will surpass all current data usage.

QR Codes

QR or Quick Response codes are used to serve as offline hyperlinks to take people to a website without having to use a URL. For older Americans, they are very handy as they are not as used to typing in URL’s. QR codes can be made through a number of websites and Google also has their own creator. The codes can be highly useful as you can see how many people have clicked on a QR code to run rudimentary analytics. Many do question the effectiveness of QR codes though. Most Americans do not have a QR code reader on their phone and do not want to use them on items where it’s easier to just Google the company name. For select uses like on palm cards for politicians, QR codes may be useful, but for the most part they have proven to be overhyped technology.

Apsalar

Apsalar is a mobile analytics startup who changes the way the app works based on the consumer. This can be done by location engagement level, operating system, or others. They argue this can go much further than analytics and can lead to greater sales.  They seem to have others believe in this model as they recently raised $9 million for international growth.  One potential hiccup for this company though is ease of use. There are many tools that professionals can use today to help boost data driven sales. The issue remains though that many “use analytics,” but have a hard time understanding what it all means.

 

Questions

1. How do you think companies like AT&T and Verizon will react to the increase in data usage? Do you think they will keep their rates the same forcing consumers to spend more money or will they raise the typical amount of data in packages?

2. Have you ever actually used a QR Code? If so, what made you decide to use it instead of type in a URL?

3. Do you foresee Apsalar having success or do you see the ease of use issues coming into play too much?

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Digital Ethnography

Digital Ethnography is something I’m very familiar with. When I was in middle and high school, I was a professional level Call of Duty player for the computer and there was a community. This was a community as real as those you experience in college or otherwise and many of the people actually met up with each other in real life. This community was also a significant buying market for computer hardware companies as they tended to both spend quite a bit of money and be vocal about their support for certain products. As a result of my past experiences, I can relate somewhat to Second Life. 

 

Tom Boellstorff: Coming of Age in Second Life

As Boellstorff explains Second Life as a combination of The Sims mixed with World of Warcraft, it’s very easy to relate to anyone who has been a part of the online community. As he grapples with trying to make distinctions between virtual and game or how many who are not within the community tend to denigrate it, I can’t help but wonder if he’s forgetting much simpler comparisons. Unfortunately these communities are not the positive life-like experiences that he shows them to be, but from personal experience, they aren’t much different than the documentaries done on groups of friends with bad addictions. Many of those in Second Life or similar communities see their lives drastically impacted by the virtual world and generally not for the better. Some can handle it, but many become hopelessly addicted and their “real-life” relationships suffer significantly. While I understand he does not want to pass judgement on those he’s studying, but by ignoring that judgement, he is ignoring the greatest ethnographic comparisons that could be made. Also, while he investigates the real money that can be made in Second Life, he ignores the real money that can be lost. Many people spend far more than they earn, which also impacts real-world relationships. This is almost a parallel to those on an addictive drug. I may sound like an alarmist, but I know of many in the World of Warcraft community and of those, very few were able to actually balance out their virtual activities with the real world.

 

Digital ethnography: The next wave in understanding the consumer experience

Masten and Plowman’s study was completed in 2003 and they were definitely onto something. With the evolution of social media from Myspace to Facebook and now with the increased popularity of Tumblr, it’s clear that entire buying behaviors and emotions are shaped by digital ethnology. The study’s Valentine’s Day example can be played out today with any holiday and the creativity seen by some would be on Pinterest today. 

 

Questions

1. Do you have a similar experience to the one I had with Call of Duty? If so, do you agree with my general evaluation of people in virtual “game-like” communities?

2. What do you see as the next evolution in digital ethnology?

3. Why do you think games like Second Life or World of Warcraft are so popular and do you see that popularity diminishing soon?

 

 

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Social Analytics and CRM

The Marketing Blueprint

When watching the blueprint video, my mind immediately thought of Spinnakr. In the future, I think there will be a strong demand for software that automates the analyzation of analytics and data. To me, the video was pretty straightforward. The suggestions made by Gill Media including content, volume, and sources are just as transferable to other industries. The idea of quality leads in sales, marketing, or online analytics is in reality all the same. It’s a highly intelligent marketing technique that they used, but it does not help explain what sources are quality or to increase volume.  It only highlights the main issue that most people of, which is making sense of analytics and finding the best way to use it.

Hootsuite Analytics vs. Adobe Marketing

Hootsuite Analytics are very basic compared to those discussed in the Mashable articles. Hootsuite allows for reporting and tracks likes, follows, etc, but it’s monitoring feature is quite weak. They do not have direct quotes of potential leads via social media posts nor do they have advanced reporting that most marketing professionals of large companies seek. Hootsuite Analytics has the same issue that many find with Google Analytics in that they are just numbers. Many can’t understand what they mean nor convert the statistics into new opportunities. In reality, it would be better for them if they had a solution similar to Adobe’s solution where they see signals. Vocus is similar to Adobe with their “buying signals,” while Sprout Social is a more advanced version of Hootsuite. I think many people lump social media marketing solutions together, but content creation and external monitoring are far different. It’s much more useful to listen to external signals than to only monitor the reaction to posts that you make.

 

Effects of the Recession on Public Mood in the UK

The study on the impact of recession on public mood in the UK highlights the need for advanced listening. By monitoring social media for sentiment, content can be tested to create certain emotions. Marketers can manipulate these details to increase the likelihood that someone would purchase a product. While content, volume, and conversion rate as discussed in the video are important, what helps drive sources? If your only sources are paid, that’s not very useful. Far more useful is testing public relations and referral techniques and then testing the sentiment to those releases. That cannot be tested by Google Analytics or Hootsuite alone. Surprisingly Google could have provided answers in this area by combining Google Alerts into Google Analytics, but is choosing not to.

 

Social CRM is a Tough, Worthy Goal

The issue of a CRM is still one that hasn’t been cracked. I’ve experienced this in politics as the value of tying a voter file to social media sites is insanely valuable. Every social media page is tied to an email address, leading to greater potential for email marketing campaigns. I know from my personal experiences that SalesForce can hold a lot of information, but is not as social as needed. Without deep human analysis spending hours trying to match profiles to a customer list, there really isn’t a good way to automatically link the two. For now, banks and other companies will have to hope for voluntary social information given either through liking one of their pages or engaging them in some other kind of way. Through campaigns though, I’m sure they can link far more than the average group.

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Online Surveys

The value of online surveys

Although severely outdated, the article by Evans and Mathur accurately depicts the successes and potential pitfalls of online surveys. They identify global reach, diverse appeal, flexibility, speed, convenience, and overall control as positives of online surveys. They identified skewed internet population, lack of online expertise, impersonal, low response rate, and perception of as junk mail as negatives. Since their survey, I think the lack of online expertise and age skewing are not as much as an issue as seniors flock to social media websites like Facebook. Still remaining as issues are the potential of them being impersonal and quality control, but overall, the strengths continue to outweigh the weaknesses. Of the positives, I would add advanced analytics as another item that is a definite strength of online surveys. This is a modern branch of “Ease of data entry and analysis” as I think the ability to manipulate the data based on demographics with responses is an important advantage of online surveys. 

As time has moved on, I think the value of mail surveys has gone down significantly as very few people are no longer connected, but more and more do not check their mail in a traditional manner. In fast, I’d argue that there’s more of a demographic bias in mail surveys than online now. 

The possible solutions to the weaknesses laid out are outstanding. The small incentives suggestion and opt-in only surveys will help ensure that a lot of the “impersonal, spammy” feel to them will be removed. It’s also obvious that aside from their suggestions, there’s a lot of other variations as there are a large quantity of companies that offer services to conduct surveys in varying industries. 

 

Online Survey Services

Survey Monkey, Opinion Lab, and Qualtrics are all trying to serve a similar purpose, but target different markets. Just by looking at their websites, it’s very obvious that SurveyMonkey targets the low end while OpinionLab has a strong focus on mobile and is targeted on retail B2C’s. Qualtrics is the most advanced with a strong focus on marketing research and advanced advertisement testing. 

I signed up for a free trial with SurveyMonkey. I found the system fairly basic, but perhaps a little more advanced than Wufoo forms. It seems as though perhaps it may be a good option for a small business trying to get feedback from customers, but even the paid versions have limited usability since they don’t integrate well with more advanced services to use for overall marketing efforts. I do think that the question bank area is useful to novices to brainstorm question ideas though and the ability to analyze the results was solid. I would be interested to see the paid version used by a professional since the free trial gave me a limited view of its abilities.

 

Questions

Are there any other survey services that you have used and did you find them useful? Also, how do these services connect with marketing automation?

How often do you think a marketers personal opinions influence the outcome of a survey? 

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Google Basics and Analytics

Google Basics

Google uses three key processes when delivering search results: Crawling, Indexing, and Serving. When crawling, Google finds new sites to be indexed. The “Googlebot” visits websites to find new links and Google is very careful to make sure that this part of their business is kept separate from AdWords. This article talks more about the “Googlebot”.

Indexing a website uses the information from the crawling to compile a massive database of all words and their location on a page. It also focuses on key tags and attributes. When considering how websites are indexed, it’s obvious that accessibility comes into play. One point I thought about when reading about indexing is what if you do not want a website indexed. This article by Google discusses the robots.txt file.

When serving results, Google uses over 200 factors to determine relevancy including PageRank. They obviously don’t give much information away in terms of the determining factors used for the algorithms other than identifying quality links. This article explains PageRank in further detail. 

 

Google Analytics

Google analytics have come a long way in both functionality and appearance. The latest improvement is in the social media aspects. By using Google Analytics, you can see conversion rates and how your social strategy is impacting your goals. By seeing which content is viewed the longest and how viewers react to it, A/B testing and content experiments can be run to see which content will ultimately help drive the most sales. Surprisingly for me, I found Google Analytics to be fairly rudimentary though as they do not allow social tracking or IFTTT situations. Companies like Vocus are able to take the social conversations and analytics a step deeper. Companies like Spinnakr are able to take bigger data and run tests on the fly. In the long-run, Google Analytics could definitely be expanded to cover more ground, but the question is profitability

 

Questions:

What tools other than Google Analytics have you used to track both website and social media performance?

What do you think Google could add to their analytics that would help digital marketers specifically?

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Search Engine Optimization and Marketing

Conversion Rate Experts

My first reaction to the conversion rate experts table is wow, that’s a lot of options! I think the table itself is extremely basic and vague though. It’s highly unrealistic to expert the “From 40€ AB Tasty” to compete with the Accenture solution that runs 6 figures. I think this was done highly ineffectively as it should be split up by the type of customer/consumer. To me one of the most important indicators of capabilities though is the “Type of MVT” section. It’s important to make sure that a wide swath of split testing options are available.

 

Webmaster Guidelines

The webmaster guidelines section on Google’s website is interesting as they cut-down on many of the “cheap” ways of improving SEO. As Google adjusts though, more tools come out to help professionals. PRWeek recently released an article discussing some of Google’s changes to web link tactics. I found it interesting how much Google’s article focused on speed and other areas not always associated with SEO. It will be interesting to see what new techniques marketers can release to combat many of the paid social media strategies that agencies have begun to implement.

 

SEM Glossary of Terms

Most of the SEM terms were very familiar to me as I work for a cloud marketing company. For example,Eloqua is one example of a marketing automatic software. Canonicalization was a term I wasn’t familiar with although it has been a goal of mine to make sure all websites that I produce do not have duplicate links. This article discusses the new co-optimization support between paid and organic SEO. It’s important to note that many companies use both to bump out competition and to further enforce their authority when they are near the top of both. 

 

Questions

What do you think will be the next major change in Google’s rules to prevent paid or unnatural techniques used for SEO purposes? 

What terms were familiar and what terms were foreign on the Glossary?

Have you used any of the testing services and if so, what did you like or not like about it? If you haven’t, do you think you will try a certain service and why?

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Interactive Media and Advertising to Millennials

Database of Brands

As noted by Q Scores, demographics dramatically change the opinion that people have about brands and analyzing each separately is important when evaluating if you’re reaching your target audience. Familiarity, attachment, and a positive opinion can go a long way to not only ensuring greater short term revenues, but also repeat customers that can potentially withstand a bad product or publicity. It’s also very interesting that with children and teens, they did not focus on brand attachment like they did with adults. Although we do not have access to the actual study, here’s my question:

What differences do you think were seen specifically in brand imagery between adults and kids/teens?

 

Advancing Digital Commerce Capabilities to Drive Financial Value

An interesting thing I noticed about the digital commerce trends more than anything is that I’m already seeing the 2014 trends currently being engaged now with both my company and start-ups I’m familiar with. Between Vocus and Spinnakr you are seeing customized personal offers through Facebook apps and data analyzation become a reality. You can also see this with Facebook as they are integrating more Cloud Commerce items. The success of Yelp and similar companies is also evident when looking at the importance of recommendations for businesses in Digital Commerce. I think when looking at KPI’s, Recognition and Personalization is crucial and is a pre-cursor to the future of Cloud Commerce as spoken about earlier. Placing the right product in front of an interested person dramatically increases the likelihood of buying. This is an automated, online answer to the cold calling or canvassing techniques used by companies for years. For most companies though, the qualitative responses when bench-marking digital commerce abilities seem to be more valuable.  When using so many different modules and trying to compare competitors, the weight put on certain results could lead to a skew of the results.  Not to mention although they are competitors, each company could have a different driver of sales.

Do you agree that Qualitative is more valuable than Quantitative in the report by Booz?

Also, the state that shocked me a lot is that more people have cell phones than a toothbrush. Was that statistic the most surprising to you?

 

 

Next-Generation Strategies for Advertising to Millennial

The impact of interactive media on millennials is highly evident with the continuing trend where young people are less impacted by television advertisement than those that are older. Although this is more of a life-stage situation than a generational, it is still important as it shows that television is probably not the most effective method of advertisement, especially when considering the associated cost with television advertisements. Millennial familiarity with digital formats have made them more likely to respond to the more affordable digital advertising though. Engagement levels also have a huge impact on selling opportunities.

 

 

My Take

When combining the comScore and Booz studies, one thing becomes very evident: Millennials respond far better to public relations driven earned media than traditional advertising. This is not spoken about at all by either study, but the fact that younger people respond to brand based discussions based on reviews and other opinions instead of traditional advertisements points to the value of PR. In fact, the areas of PR and Marketing are clearly converging based on the data. Engagement is typically a PR function as reporters engage the public on various issues. Many research techniques including opinion monitoring with analytics have become more prevalent in marketing despite originally being a function that was rooted in PR.

What do you think about the convergence of PR and Marketing and do you see any other departments converging with them?

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