Measuring how effective an organisation is in engaging and driving reach through digital communications channels is essential in order to understand which channels need to be resourced and invested in so knowing what, why and how to measure is becoming an essential requirement for any digital marketer to ensure you’re gathering the right findings to impact change.
All organisations are swamped with data sets and it’s becoming the fine art of understanding what these datate sets mean and how to leverage the data to create actionable insights. I caught up with Annie Cushing, VP Marketing and guest blogger on Search Engine Land who is a leading personality in web analytics who identified the growing demand and created an online analytics training program providing students with practical strategies in how to get the most out of Google Analytics, as well as various tools that help you analyse social media success and competitive intelligence.
Tell us a little about Annie
I blog at Annielytics.com, a blog for marketers looking to learn how to cull data from marketing tools and visualize it. I make data sexy.
When did your digital career start?
2004 when I went back to school to pick up digital design skills.
For a newbie entering the world of analytics, where should they start? There seems to be a library of analytics content which one can easily get lost in!
I’d say the Google site to learn the basics.
A recent study by Econsultancy claims there is a growing skills gap in workers having the right analytics skils – Why do you think this is the case when organisations seem to be drowning in world of data? Or is that the problem!
That is exactly the problem. Organizations have firehoses of data spraying at them, and they’re overwhelmed. If you can tease actionable insights from marketing data you will never want for a job.
Knowing what to monitor and measure seems to be a common theme as to why having a successful analytics program to support an organisation fails – Is this mainly down to a lack of understanding by an organisation/s to the opportunities analytics provides?
I think many decision makers have a fairly good idea of what they need to measure, for the most part. They just don’t know how to get the data to tell the story it needs to.
With the introduction of Google not provided in 2012, do you have any recommended reports SEO’s and analysts could be running to monitor the effectiveness of their organic search strategies?
We should be focusing on organic landing pages. I have a doc I use for YourTango.com that marries a host of keyword data with a host of landing page data for the page(s) each keyword ranks for. It’s pretty massive. But for the most part, I focus on performance of the landing pages that are earning visits from search.
What’s your thoughts on the next challenge for analytics?
Getting a handle of attribution across channels. Google Analytics has made a herculean effort with its Multi-Channel Funnels, but because direct traffic is attributed differently in its MCF engine, their MCF data can’t be integrated with the reports from its Core API. So most marketers have no idea what to do with it or how to integrate this data with their reporting systems.
Any advice for a newbies moving into digital?
Plan on being a lifelong learner. You’ll never feel like you’ve mastered your art because the landscape changes from day to day, and no two days are the same. If you want predictability become an accountant. 🙂