Stay informed by reading current blog entries from our Quaero experts. Learn more about industry trends, gain insight into recent client successes, get up to date on company happenings and get to know us — and our opinions — even better.
Showing Blogs: 1–25 of 432
Posted on: 5/23/13
Quaero works with many media and publishing clients. We help them drive traffic and client engagement on their digital properties and, by capturing and analyzing the data that comes along with this, we also help them monetize this traffic and these relationships. These two related industries may look very similar, but they face diametrically opposite challenges.
Posted on: 5/14/13
Today, customers are exposed to advertising everywhere— while listening to Pandora, browsing Facebook, on their smartphones when they are checking last night’s scores, and of course during their favorite TV shows. This advertising has a strong effect on the decisions and purchases customers make. But how do marketers make sense of what advertising channels are working? How do they decide which channels are the most influential in driving purchases? This is where response attribution comes in to play to actually measure the influence marketing channels have towards driving sales.
Posted on: 5/9/13
Many companies have a blog these days, but not many require their employees to contribute to the blog. So usually people who have some predisposition for writing are the ones doing all the blogging. And it works out well for them. Those who don’t like to write and don’t have to do much of it in their job don’t blog. And I think they miss out. Blogging is simple; there are no rules or strict requirements. I strongly believe that blogging even a few times a year can have a positive impact for you and your organization.
Posted on: 5/3/13
A follow-up to the previous meeting-related post: “12 Tips to Run More Effective Meetings.”
Working for a Client Engagement Agency (CEA) like Quaero affords the opportunity to serve an array of clients across multiple industries. While this exposure certainly has benefits living within diversity, it can lead to a number of key challenges when working across clients. One such obstacle is the occurence of back-to-back meetings with differing clients. While there is no panacea, the following list of Best Practices can help maintain overall Meeting Hygiene as it relates to single and multi-client environments.
Posted on: 4/26/13
Though meetings are essential components of the working-world, serving to mark milestones and drive key decisions, many of us dread the time and frequency required to “meet through” projects and issues. While there can be true value to meetings and group thought, impelling a meeting to fulfill its objectives can be an imprecise process. The 12 key steps presented below serve as discreet guidelines to organize, establish, and execute efficient, effective meetings. While upfront preparation may be intimidating, the downstream benefits are considerable, namely: less follow-up meetings, streamlined processes, increased throughput, and increased visibility.
Posted on: 4/11/13
Engagement. It’s a concept that we in industry love to debate. I hope you won’t judge me if I side-step the arguments. Rather than making a case for “the” way to measure, I simply want to share ESPN’s take on quantifying engagement and how it has impacted our organization.
As a multi-media company with roots in television, ESPN sought a core engagement metric that could translate across platforms but still answer the foundational questions of a TV rating: “how many” and “how much.” What we landed on was the notion of “average minute audience,” a measure of the total number of fans online in the average minute (Total Minutes Consumed/Total Possible Minutes). The “average minute audience” metric helps us to make apples-to-apples comparisons with TV ratings and quantify engagement for our multi-platform advertisers. For instance, based on our average minute audience in February, ESPN’s digital properties rated higher than several major cable networks, including FX, AMC, Discovery, and Food Network.
Posted on: 4/9/13
Forrest Fenn, an art collector from Santa Fe, New Mexico, has placed a 40+ pound bronze antique lockbox, filled with gold and other treasures, ‘in the mountains north of Santa Fe’ for you to find. The lockbox, and all its contents, have been estimated to be worth up to $2 million. This treasure hunt has been going on for the past 2+ years, but recently has been given a publicity boost on the Today Show. So, if you are interested in hunting for $2 million, I’d suggest you start now. Where to start?
Posted on: 4/5/13
Warning: Walking Dead Spoiler Alert
Like so many of my friends and colleagues, I have little time to watch the few television shows that truly pique my interest and engage me. I have an unnatural affinity for the SyFy channel and have been sucked into all seasons of Downton Abbey, Justified, and American Horror Story.
So it might come as no surprise that I also watch - and have since the beginning—the Walking Dead (WD). It's got all of the usual trappings for me—monsters, gore, and the conflicted protagonist. Most importantly, however, it tugs at that small place inside that knows that although zombies are not—no, cannot—be real, this alternate world could somehow be possible (hence my love of the retired show Fringe).
Posted on: 3/28/13
I moved to the United States from Russia when I was little. I learned English by watching TV—cartoons specifically since I was a kid. I still vividly remember some of the first cartoons I ever watched in America, I think mostly because I couldn’t understand them. I remember watching Rugrats, which was on Nickelodeon. And Nickelodeon, of course, was on cable.
This was back when cable was pretty straight-forward. There were no set-top boxes, but this was also an exciting time for TV. DVDs were becoming popular and the first DVRs were starting to appear as well. Of course I had no opinion about the technological aspects of television or cable back then. This was simply how I learned English.
Posted on: 3/15/13
I recently had the opportunity to present the opening thought at a Board Meeting for a non-profit organization. In preparation, I drew inspiration from an article about an innovative new program this organization developed five years ago in answer to a desperate need in the community. I was so impressed with the thinking…and frankly a bit envious of the pioneering spirit that led to such an amazing program. So I did some research on Innovation to determine if I could see how to elevate its use in my business.
Posted on: 3/7/13
I recently re-visited my StrengthFinder profile. Marcus Buckingham’s seminal book from 2001 is a keeper in my mind along with the profile created for readers that take the online survey. One of my strengths is Strategic. Per the book “The Strategic theme enables you to sort through the clutter and find the best route. It is not a skill that can be taught. It is a distinct way of thinking, a special perspective on the world at large. This perspective allows you to see patterns where others simply see complexity.”
As the week draws to a close and I reflect on a variety of happenings and try to find connections, I love the farewell email from Groupon’s former CEO to his employees. His humor and candor is endearing, but Andrew Mason’s comment puzzled me, “My biggest regrets are the moments that I let a lack of data override my intuition on what’s best for our customers.”
Posted on: 3/1/13
Since it is almost the weekend, here is something fun, yet relevant. A TED Talk published today featuring Adam Thurman, President of Mission Paradox, a consulting firm that focuses on marketing and branding issues. He talks about the people who we as data marketers typically consider as 'unmarketable,' and asks us to consider how we can connect with them to creat a 'whole new type of power.'
Posted on: 2/22/13
Talk of federal budget cuts have not affected the big data evolution. In early 2012 the Obama administration announced their big data initiative with plans to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on big data R&D. As part of that plan, the Department of Defense created the XDATA program, a $100million effort with a focus on accelerating big data and big data insight technologies.
Posted on: 2/8/13
I thought snow days ended once school did. Yet here I am, today, locked in my apartment waiting out what I'm told might be the biggest snowstorm in the history of Massachusetts (I don't quite buy that promise, but will admit it's already quite terrifying out there!). Still, even with the menacing (although mis-named in my opinion) "Nemo" raging down on my home, I am still able to work. For me, as a young employee, this is the only type of workplace that I know. The ability to work remotely and to stay connected even during the most treacherous conditions has led to constantly teathered employees. But is this a good or a bad thing? Well, I don't want to place any value judgement on it, but there are certainly differences between the two realities.
Personally, I am happy that I am still able to get my work done today. The fact is that in the Northeast, we are the only ones faced with dealing with this storm, and our other employees, partners, and clients around the world are still counting on us to perform. If I wasn't able to work, it wouldn't mean that my projects would just go away. They would still be there on Monday, along with the workload for the following week, and I'd rather not have to worry about that overwhelming feeling!
Posted on: 2/1/13
It’s not about the 30 second commercial anymore! Advertisers and brands are looking to Mobile and Twitter to engage with consumers long after their ad spot is over.
Keep your iPhones out and charged this Sunday. We are sure you will need them! Mobile is expected to play a large role in the marketing experience during the big game, as it is a great, less expensive way, to engage with consumers during one of the year’s biggest marketing extravaganzas. It also costs a little less than a 3.8 million dollar TV Spot, which allows for more brands to leverage this channel.
Posted on: 1/25/13
Communicating is a major part of your daily life. You communicate through email, talk to your coworkers, have hour-long conference calls where you answer questions and relay information. And you do all this effortlessly, without thinking about what you’re doing. But when it comes to writing something for the sake of writing, be it as simple as a blog or as involved as a white paper, the world stops. You don’t know what to write about; you don’t know how to get started; and most importantly, you just don’t want to do it.
Although a bunch of tips about how to write probably won’t make you want to write any more than you do now, they might present some techniques that can make the whole process easier. Think of getting your writing done as an accomplishment. Even if you don’t think much of it, all the online publications that come out with your name on them will live on indefinitely and stay as a representation of you. You might as well put a little effort into it and make yourself look good.
Posted on: 1/18/13
As the new year begins, you've probably been thinking about your marketing initiatives. Social media should certainly be one of your objectives. Facebook remains the most popular platform and is worthy of some attention. Of course staying social and engaged from a B2B perspective is a challenge all of its own. As you think about the content and communications you have put out on your company’s Facebook page over the last year, keep an open mind and review some tips. You might rethink some of your strategies or even get a few new ideas:
Posted on: 1/10/13
With "big data" being such a buzz word these days, vendors are quickly attempting to tell you why their platform is better than all the rest. But in this blog, I am not going to be talking about vendors nor will I focus on their products. The basic question that I want to answer is one that I get asked the most by my colleagues, which is, “When should I use Hadoop instead of an RDBMS?”
So where did this question come from in the first place? We live in the age of data, everything we use in this digital age generates data and collectively, a pretty massive amount of it. In its 2011 report IDC estimated the size of the digital universe to be 1.8 Zetabytes. A zetabyte is 1021 bytes, or equivalently one thousand exabytes, one million petabytes, or one billion terabytes. That’s roughly the same order of magnitude as having one disk drive for every person in the world. This collection of data is locked up in the largest of web properties, such as search engines, scientific or financial institutions, etc. Of course, all of the event-oriented data that is being generated every day is known as BIG DATA. With the increasing democratization of data, the amount of public data that is being made available is also increasing every year. This is important because the success of organizations in the future not only depends on how they use their internally generated data but will be dictated largely by the extent of their ability to extract value from the public data and data available from other organizations as well.
Posted on: 12/31/12
Well, another year is in the books. How did 2012 turn out for you? Whether it was a wonderful year, or a trying one, it’s important to reflect back on it and make note of the lessons learned in order to improve for the future. And since the world didn’t end (thank goodness!), there is a future to look forward to. A common exercise at this time of the year is to generate a list of New Year’s Resolutions. Perhaps you have done so in your personal lives before – I certainly have (despite the extremely low completion rate of my plans). As I look ahead to my next year here at Quaero, I thought it might be useful to share my plans to become a more effective marketer in the New Year. So, here are 3 New Year’s Resolutions that I believe will improve your marketing in 2013:
Posted on: 12/28/12
Last year, I wrote a blog post reflecting on our webinars throughout the year. So, in keeping with this now annual tradition, I wanted to recap our 2012 content as well. We were able to generate some fantastic webinars featuring Quaero experts along with guest panelists from Forrester Research, Inc. and Neolane. Here are the 4 webinars from 2012, if you haven’t yet gotten a chance, please view them at your leisure!
Posted on: 12/27/12
A friend of mine recently received a phone call from a supermarket because she had purchased a jar of peanut butter that was potentially contaminated with salmonella. The store knew that she had purchased the peanut butter and how to contact her because she made the purchase with a loyalty card. This just seems like a really practical way to provide useful, even beneficial, information to your customers and whether or not you consider this a marketing tactic it sure would motivate me to register my loyalty card and use it on a reguar basis. There is no doubt that the more useful the message and the content you provide to your customers, the more likely they will be to engage. On a related note, I came across this slick history of Content Marketing called “The Power of Story." This reinforces the notion that succesful marketing relies on messages that are relevant to consumers. Enjoy!
Posted on: 12/14/12
Is data quality really that big of a deal?
The answer is yes, 53% of companies in the recent TDWI (The Data Warehousing Institute) study reported they have suffered losses, problems, or costs due to poor data quality. In a data warehouse, data quality issues can come from many different sources like historical data, data migrations, legacy systems, or data entry errors. Irrespective of the source of the bad data, it can cause various other issues related to costs, performance, and metrics. For marketing data warehouses, down stream costs such as postal mailings to non-existent and wrong addresses can add up quickly.
Posted on: 12/6/12
When your boss walks in and says ‘I want you to head up the infrastructure side of our new Big Data solution and we have decided to use Hadoop,’ what is your first question? Mine was “What is Hadoop?” The next thoughts that volleyed through my head were; how do I learn a new operating system, how do I learn the hardware specifications, where am I going to get this information, do I have the ability to learn all this and, how on earth and I going to pull this off? Yes, I kind of panicked. And then I answered him, “Okay.”
My first Google question “What is Hadoop?” returned 5,030,000 results in 0.17 seconds. Not promising. But what I learned was Hadoop is the answer for distributed parallel processing of huge amounts of data. And by huge, I mean massive amounts of data. Did you know that Google, Facebook, and eBay, just to name a few, are using Hadoop or the ground work that created Hadoop to store and manage all of the data they ingest every day? Me either. Just to give you an idea of what that means, Google processes about 24 Petabytes per day. That’s 25,165,824 Gigabytes per day! Where does Google store and process that data? Why in the ground work that led to the creation of Hadoop, of course.
Posted on: 12/4/12
So many of us strive to create greater customer relationships, but unfortunately the very idea remains a challenge for many companies. After a thorough analysis of the ACE Survey results, combined with interviews, and our own experience of serving a wide range of companies, we have come up with a few top suggestions. Our hope is that this insight will help you build more valuable customer relationships and create greater engagement.
Posted on: 11/29/12
In recent days, the topic of Big Data has taken leaps and bounds on the web, media, academia, and in industry white papers. If you are in the business of data management, data visualization, and analytics, I am sure you have read success stories, challenges, opportunities, and judgment statements related to Big Data. While there have been many success stories, organizations still face challenges developing a winning plan outlining the business benefits of a Big Data solution, including the initial size of their Big Data environment. The business benefit depends on the nature of your business, e.g., online media: it may be to increase online fan engagement/interactions, analyze web traffic and consumption to determine premium content, etc.; Cable and Telecom industry: it may be to increasing customer value through analyzing call transactions, to provide superior customer service through tracking customer location. Before you invest in a Big Data solution, you may consider deconstructing this complex topic by taking the following steps.
The journey starts with defining business opportunities, which may drive a need for Big Data. This requires a good understanding of your business model, the growth strategies data can drive, and the limitation(s) of your current data strategy. You should start with engaging stake holders within or across business units who may benefit from larger data sets for short term (next 6 months) and long term (18-24 months), and determine the value proposition.