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: 51–75 of 452
Posted on: 11/2/12
Communicating and staying in touch with your customers, and doing it well, is a top priority. You have to consider many issues, your offers, the type and content of your communication, and even if you have all the necessary approvals. Why not make your life a little easier with Neolane? Typology rules and custom approvals offer many options that you might not find in other places.
With limited marketing budgets, marketers are often left to wonder what’s the best bang for their marketing dollar when it comes to the myriad of offers and products they have to market. To truly be customer-centric in your marketing, you need to think about what’s the good, better, or best offer for your consumer at this point in time—and how to maximize your marketing spend. With Neolane typology rules you can optimize your face-time with your consumer and select the most appropriate and profitable marketing contact. You utilize the control, filtering, pressure, and capacity rules in Neolane to pick the right contact at the right time. In addition, you can be more cognizant of marketing fatigue and utilize your best offer to capture the limited attention of your end consumer.
Posted on: 11/1/12
Contributed by Adobe Campaign, formerly Neolane.
For more than a decade, the marketing industry has been espousing the benefits of 1to1 marketing: increased response rates and revenue, reduced churn, greater customer loyalty, etc. By now, it should be a no-brainer why brands should embrace 1to1 marketing. The more pressing question is how?
There have been significant technological advances in the past decade that have not only made 1to1 marketing feasible but have democratized it beyond sophisticated Fortune 500 companies like Amazon.com. If there’s a will and a way, then what’s still standing between brands and 1to1 marketing? A holdout from traditional campaign management processes: segmentation.
Posted on: 10/31/12
When it comes to determining what you want from a Dashboard, keep repeating this mantra: less is more. Determine which metrics are useful to your success metrics and planning efforts and stick with them. Just because you may have access to an excessive wealth of data, it doesn’t necessarily mean it is a good use of time and resources.
Posted on: 10/30/12
Extreme storms like Hurricane Sandy have always been news-worthy, but until recently, they were localized, the focus of regional news outlets and weather junkies. That is no longer the case, thanks in large part to social media.
Hurricane Sandy, dubbed the Frankenstorm, has become a national, if not global, weather-watching event as images, video and memes hurtle through the blogosphere. Everyone is talking about it—people and brands alike (my favorite boutique just posted a “thoughts are with you" message on Facebook). In fact, I received no fewer than five Facebook posts from family across the country asking if we were affected here in the Boston area (answer: yes, but minimally).
Posted on: 10/24/12
Former Chairman of the IAB and CEO of Forbes.com, Jim Spanfeller, took a somewhat unpopular view in a room full of ad tech companies at the Digiday Publishing Summit in West Palm Beach, Fla. yesterday. In essence, he said that the dizzying acronym explosion that is now the ad technology landscape (DSPs, SSPs, DMPs) has created an ecosystem of tariffs and false sense of scale that have done nothing more than satisfy demand fulfillment, not what we'd all hoped for, which is demand and margin creation. Frankly, we couldn't agree more. We've been swimming upstream with this message for years.
Yes, ad technology and the evolution of available targeting tools are pivotal to capitalizing on a digital spend that is forecasted to eclipse television in the next four years. However, many of these platforms that promise scale fall short on effective targeting. DMPs for example, have created a wave of audience commodization that is depressing CPMs overall and ignoring the value proprietary data and contextual placement have on ad performance.
Posted on: 10/23/12
Today, your customers are engaging with your brand in so many ways, it can seem daunting. Social media, information availability, and choice have forever changed the way in which people buy and make decisions about those purchases.
Just think of all the technological changes over the last few years alone. Every company has had to make adjustments to stay competitive. Conventional marketing has given way to customer experience where engagement, rather than promotion, is key. Armed with insight derived from data, analytics, and technology, it’s possible to truly engage your customers in an informed, intuitive, and timely manner.
Posted on: 10/18/12
At some point, everyone has received that 75 page “data dump” report and you ask yourself, so what? It doesn’t tell me anything, provide recommendations or even make sense to the naked eye.
Everything starts with data, but it must end with customer intelligence for it to be truly meaningful and useful. Data for the sake of data gets you nowhere – and it doesn’t get you nowhere fast, it actually gets you nowhere in a slow, distracting, misdirecting and time-consuming manner and, typically, at a high cost with no value. For that matter, customer intelligence for the sake of customer intelligence can be an equally futile effort, if not done in a thoughtful, systematic and measurable way.
Posted on: 10/17/12
Before we get into the “what and how” of KPI Dashboard Design, there are some overarching guiding principles to consider for identifying what metrics you need, how you want to view them, and more importantly, how to develop and support them:
Posted on: 10/10/12
How do you measure engagement on media sites? The primary method used in the past was unique users (UUs) over time (UUs per month). That is still a valid measurement to understand your active audience size and growth over time, but it does not provide an accurate measure of online engagement. You need to consider the behaviors your users take, their time on the site, and ultimately the value each individual user provides. After all, advertisers need to be thinking about quality over quantity.
Below are the majority of your key online metrics in ascending value order. Although all the metrics should be used to provide a holistic view of the performance of your site, those metrics at the end of the list provide the best means to truly measure engagement. In fact, the final two metrics should be your primary focus.
- Unique Users: Used to determine audience size, audience growth over time, and audience seasonality.
- Registered Users: Same as unique users but for registered users only.
- Registration Rate: The percent of anonymous users that registered.
- Online Behaviors: Number of page views, sessions and video views, amount of time watching video and listening to audio, number of blogs and depth of the blogs.
- Average Minute Audience: This is the average number of users per minute. At first glance this metric seems similar to UUs but it is not. This metric also considers the average user time on the site as well as the number of users. When determining the overall engagement on a site this metric is much more reliable (and insightful) than UUs.
- Customer Value: Your ultimate goal should be to apply a value to each individual user online. The aggregate value of your users is your KEY online metric.
Why evolve your online measurements to customer value and average minute audience? Let’s take a look at a few concrete examples:
- You are spending a considerable amount of your budget on social and paid search in hopes to drive incremental traffic to your site. How do you gauge the effectiveness of these efforts? Cost per click? That’s only half the story. You need to know the value of the user driven by each site and individual campaign to calculate a true ROI and determine which campaigns are performing the best.
- You have several online events over the next 3 months and would like to know which events to market given your fixed budget. Typically, the event that drives the most users or registrants is allocated the greatest marketing budget. But, what if you knew that one of the smaller events drives users that are worth twice as much as the other events? I imagine you may be inclined to allocate more marketing to that event now.
- A site comparison metric is needed to determine the overall engagement of a site compared to its competitors. The July 2012 Sports Category Comscore report below is an example of how average minute audience is a much better site engagement metric than unique users. Yahoo Sports had 50% more unique users than ESPN (in red), but ESPN’s fans are on their site nearly 3 times as much as Yahoo Sports fans (in yellow). This results in an ESPN average minute audience at twice that of Yahoo Sports (in green).
- You want to set up an easier registration process in hopes to increase your registration rate—so you integrate Facebook Connect. Will that increase the registration rate? It could, but what is the value of the Facebook Connect registered user compared to other registrants? It is key to understand the value of the fan you are driving to your site. Gauging the effectiveness of a registration effort solely by the number of registered users realized, or the increased registration rate, is only part of the picture. You need to know the value of those registrants as well.
Finally, it is critical that you apply a value to both registered and anonymous users. Most likely, your anonymous users are worth less than your registered users but still, this is not always the case. This also sets a baseline on what incremental value you incur when an anonymous user registers, which ultimately informs what you should ‘pay’ to drive a registration.
Posted on: 9/28/12
In part 1 of this series I provided an overview of Google Analytics with Remarketing, a valuable tool set for online marketers that would like to target customers (both known and anonymous) online based on interests. But what if you want to integrate all that rich online data within other sources to build a complete view of the customer and apply those insights in all available channels? This is currently not possible using Google Analytics as data access is limited. What are your options? Below are a few tips to get you started-
Online Data Capture: The traditional definition of online analytics is the capturing of online interactions, into a data store, and delivering insight from that data through a reporting interface. You have a few online analytic solution options that provide native access to the online data including IBM NetInsight (Unica) and Omniture. Those solutions, as well as others, provide access to the raw data so you may incorporate into your full customer intelligence ecosystem. Another option, that continues to gain tracking, is the open source solution PIWIK. PIWIK includes a slick reporting interface and a data consolidation process that rivals the big boys. PIWIK will not scale to huge websites anytime soon (this is not their target market nor should it be) but it is a viable option for small to medium size sites.
Posted on: 9/21/12
By now, we should all be familiar with Pinterest, the social site where you pin anything and everything you like. You might have already been sucked into looking at pictures of cute animals, colorful arts and crafts, and antique furniture. If you haven’t—be warned—it’s addictive. And while you might have a Pinterest account of your own, so does your company, right? No? Well, then it might be time you rethink that decision. Pinterest is the 3rd largest social network today—an impressive feat considering the site was started only a few years ago. It drives an enormous amount of traffic, and is the fastest growing social network in history!
But when it comes to Pinterest and B2B marketing, it just doesn’t seem like an effortless match. That is true in a way. Companies with actual products have a much easier go of it, but there are still plenty of things you can do. You might also want to keep in mind that there was a time when your company didn’t even have a Facebook page, and before that, a website. Social media has come a long way since then. Chances are that you have a presence on Facebook these days, and may also be tweeting, blogging, and embracing all the things social has to offer to the fullest. Getting a head start on the relatively new Pinterest might be a worthwhile pursuit as it will evolve and undergo changes in the years to come.
Posted on: 9/11/12
Google Analytics has been a tremendous asset for marketers. It tells them where your site visitors come from, what they look at, and what they’re most interested in. Google Analytics pairs seamlessly with AdWords and the two can be used to create highly targeted campaigns. But Google is taking it one step further and has recently released Remarketing with Google Analytics. Remarketing was available in the past but it required custom code and the retargeting criteria was limited. Now that Remarketing is tied to Google Analytics the process is more seamless and your targeting options are much greater.
As the word implies, remarketing is simply marketing to those who have already been on your site. Say that an anonymous customer searches for a certain product, a pair of shoes. He browses a site for a while, but doesn’t make a purchase and leaves. Remarketing comes into play now. Since cookies were collected from his search, he will start seeing ads for shoes appear on any site he visits later that day that is part of the Google Display Network (GDN) – or any site on the GDN the marketer chooses. Because of remarketing, he is now more likely to come back to the site he initially visited and make the purchase. What does this mean for Google Analytics?
Posted on: 9/6/12
I just read a great article on Maria Shriver’s blog by Anea Bogue. The article includes nine supportive tips you can share with your teen daughter as she heads back to school. To read the article, click here. As I read through the helpful tips, I couldn’t help draw parallels to the customer engagement agency space and the anxiety marketers feel every day. I’m sure my daughter won’t appreciate the correlation, but others may:
Posted on: 8/27/12
You may have read the story of Annie and Perry Klebahn, the parents whose daughter went missing in Chicago’s O’Hare airport after a series of grievous mishaps by United, the airline flying the young girl to camp. I won’t rehash the entire story; you can read it here or see the video here. Suffice it to say, this truly was every parent’s nightmare, exacerbated by the incompetence and complete lack of a moral compass by every United Employee who came in contact with Phoebe and her parents throughout the girl’s journey.
Posted on: 8/24/12
If you missed the Neolane Customer Forum in Boston this week, you missed hearing an array of great speakers, interesting topics, free user training, wonderful hospitality and an amazing venue.
If you missed, here are my Top 3 Noteworthy Takeaways:
Posted on: 8/23/12
Have you given much thought to your last purchase? Perhaps you ordered a new computer online. Chances are that your interest in the purchase was sparked by an ad and preceded by some research. After seeing an item on TV, you might have started with a simple Google search, browsed through some sites, and clicked on a few ads before you made your final decision. We’ve all gone through the compare and contrast dance when it comes to purchases, but I don’t think many of us realize just how much work goes into measuring the results and success of ads.
CMOs have a tough job when it comes to digital advertising. How exactly can something as abstract as the patterns people follow when making a purchase be measured? Well, while the solution is not an exact science, media mix modeling and conversion attribution can offer great insight. Just think of the possibilities that come from knowing exactly what type of ad works best for your customer.
Posted on: 8/17/12
Facebook and Twitter can be effective marketing channels for media and entertainment companies. In order to successfully utilize them, you need to understand what each is good for and align your strategies and resources accordingly. By understanding what challenges two of the most popular social networks face, you will be able to better execute your marketing strategy.
The main issue with Facebook stems from the fact that it engages the already engaged. With the Like button, the associated word of mouth is not an effective recall of commercial posts within friends’ feeds. But at the same time, Facebook is using the said Like button to track both users and anonymous visitors on your site. Facebook uses this insight to better monetize their audience—making money at your expense.
Posted on: 8/14/12
It is an Olympic effort to stay on top of emerging technology and choices to engage customers. I love the Procter & Gamble commercial that honors everything all moms do to help their children succeed. It showcases the amazing moms behind Olympic athletes at the London 2012 Olympic Games. As the commercial goes, “The hardest job in the world is truly the best job in the world.” If you haven't seen it, you can watch it below.
Posted on: 8/9/12
I'm an eternally indecisive shopper. So when I absolutely can’t decide between two or three of something, say curtains, I buy all of them. I figure I’ll try each one, see which looks best, and return the others. Retailers’ easy return policies make it convenient to do this, and avoid the cognitive dissonance so feared by shoppers like me. Unless of course, they lose the receipt. Which, if you’re anything like me, has probably happened on more than one occasion, leaving you stuck with, well, three pairs of curtains.
Last week, after getting new bedroom furniture, I was laser-focused on finding the perfect bedding to complete my room’s new look (made ever more complicated by my prima donna ways when it comes to softness and high thread counts). After scouring dozens of websites, I found the perfect duvet set—a soothing minty color with a fresh design, all in luxurious sateen cotton. As I anxiously awaited its arrival in the mail, I went ahead and purchased throw pillows to accent, in a crisp shade of gray that offered just the right contrast. All this only to find--when the duvet set finally arrived--that what the manufacturer called “jade”, which appeared to be a soft pastel green on my computer, was actually more of a jarring lime. After sending it back, I decided online shopping may not have been the way to go, and headed to the mall instead.
Posted on: 8/3/12
KDNuggets.com recently released the results of their annual data mining software usage survey and the top 4 analytic software packages used are open source. The top 13 shown below (I don’t consider Excel a viable data mining solution). Full survey results may be found here.
The top two open source solutions, which complement each other well, are R and RapidMiner. R is a powerful analytic solution that continues to become adopted in the analytic commercial community, but requires programming skills and has a steep learning curve, while RapidMiner is an intuitive point-and-click GUI based analytic solution. Other nice open source analytic solutions are available such as KNIME, WEKA and Orange. Orange is coming on strong of late and shows great promise especially considering it is a Python-based solution which allows for easier integration and flexibility. As Orange continues to build out its analytic functionality, I expect user adoption to grow.
Posted on: 7/31/12
Did you get a chance to attend Pipeline’s Webinar, Big Opportunities from Big Data? If not, don’t worry, you can watch it here and then share some of your thoughts on the subject. The online event featured three experts from CSG International: Monica Ricci, Director of Product Marketing, Jennifer Fellows, Vice President of Product Management, and Dan Smith, Chief Architect, Quaero. Listeners got a thorough overview of Big Data and its importance, particularly as communications services providers (CSPs) evaluate the role analytics will play in their organizations.
Big Data is a term associated with the constantly growing amount of digital records. But really, how big is Big Data? Well consider this: Big Data is growing at a rate that is seven times greater than the growth rate of the overall IT sector. According to Forrester’s Mike Gualtieri, Big Data is measured by excessive growth in one or more of the 3 Vs: volume (think exabytes or zettabytes), velocity (TBs per second), and/or variety (e.g., unstructured data).
Posted on: 7/24/12
I recently watched a video on Mashable and decided to share it with some of my “followers." With the social integration of today’s websites, I glanced to the share button and noticed that I had 6 choices. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Linked-In, Google+ and StumbleUpon. As a lover of social media, and active on all 6 choices, I stopped and had to think. Where should I share this?
My one decision to share then turned into reviewing my 6 social media options. As popular as Carly-Rae Jepson’s “Call Me Maybe” video parodies are, I decided sharing the video to my LinkedIn business connections might not be the best career decision. I’m still trying to understand Google+, and StumbleUpon won’t reach any of my friends, co-workers, and fellow social followers (who really need to see this video!). In the end, my Twitter followers were graced with the link to the video.
Posted on: 7/19/12
With the latest releases from Microsoft, it is obvious that they no longer wish to be a software focused organization. The XBOX 360 - 67 million sold - and Kinect -19 million - have clearly been their most successful non-software ventures to date. I give a shout-out to the Zune - 9 sold (this number isn’t validated, and yes, I was 1 of the 9), prior Windows phones, the plethora of MS branded keyboards, mice and webcams that have all been widely regarded as utter failures.
Individually, these new product offerings from Microsoft aren't really ground-shattering: Smart Glass, Windows 8 (single OS on PC, phone, tablet, etc.), and the Surface tablet are all pretty standard individually. It is this new "Micro Way Galaxy" that peeks my interest, where the Xbox is the sun that the other devices orbit around in supposed seamless fashion.
Posted on: 7/11/12
Today in the world of analytics, the big buzz word being thrown around is “Data Scientist”. It seems like every day new articles are published about Data Scientists, the ever growing need for them and the importance of these roles within an organization. While the term is loosely used in industry, according to NC State’s Institute for Advanced Analytics very own Dr. Michael Rappa, data science is a blend of fields including statistics, applied mathematics and computer science. While this is certainly true, these fields prepare a person to become a data scientist and better enable them to crunch through tons and tons of data to solve complex business problems. However, I believe one aspect is being overlooked when describing what makes a Data Scientist.
As much as organizations need people who can analyze data and draw conclusions from that data, they also need people who can paint a picture from these conclusions for management to easily understand and take action on the findings. I call these people Data Artists! The real value of analytics comes when the results can be used to form a business plan. The easier it is to interpret results, the easier it is to get people within the business onboard to form a business plan around the analysis. Data Scientists should not only make an effort to broaden their skills with new methods and learning software, but to also become Data Artists and broaden their skills on how they use visualizations to present data to more effectively communicate their findings so everyone in the audience can understand what is going on.
Posted on: 7/10/12
The news about Big Data and its attendant, emerging technologies, are reaching a crescendo on the hype meter. New terms for measuring large quantities of data seem to be entering the lexicon every month. Every major technology company has jumped on the bandwagon by inking partnerships with the likes of Cloudera and Hortonworks, trying to grab some of the halo as well as the capabilities that will come through an alignment with these "big data" players.