Sarah Hodges

Archive for July, 2011|Monthly archive page

Vanity Metrics: Are you optimizing for what really matters?

In Analytics, Campaign Anaytics on July 31, 2011 at 6:22 pm

Vanity Metrics
Erick Schonfeld wrote a great piece in Tech Crunch this weekend, warning of the danger in what Lean Startup guru, Eric Ries, refers to as ‘vanity metrics.’ Can I get a ‘hallelujah’? An ‘amen’?

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve met with a founder or marketing manager who references a startup’s tweets, followers, ‘pageviews,’ etc. as signs of success and an indication of its future growth trajectory. Unless you’re earning $ based on the number of pageviews your site receives, these metrics likely don’t mean beans. Startups need to focus on what really moves the needle–metrics that directly impact revenue over time.

Key takeaway? Make sure you’re optimizing for the right metrics. Period.

Read more on Tech Crunch.

Campaign Results: Sharing is Caring

In Campaign Anaytics on July 23, 2011 at 8:50 pm

Sharing Campaign Results

You rock at identifying optimization opportunities, pulling together a strategy and executing on your vision. But just because you get it, doesn’t mean your team does.

Alright Casanova, use your words to make us swoon

It’s up to you, master marketer, to tell a story that will resonate with your co-workers and lay the foundation for future marketing efforts. Learn how to share and communicate test results by painting a compelling picture, and you’ll quickly catapult from JV to Varsity.

True Story…

At a previous company, our team tested three different tones in our page content. The end result–tone didn’t matter. Bummer, right? Wrong; what a killer thing to learn about our content strategy! By sharing this information across the organization, we were able to help other teams focus their testing on more meaningful elements of our landing pages that might actually move the needle.

Goldilocks had it right

Sometimes you have to try out a few options before you figure out what really works. Through a process of trial and error, you’ll quickly come to realize what methods of sharing campaign data work for you, but my general rule of thumb is to be thorough and diversify.

Here’s a strategy that’s been effective for me in the past:

– Send out a launch email to key stakeholders when you deploy your campaign with a summary of your hypothesis, success metric and campaign details.

– Follow up with a results summary email at the conclusion of each campaign.

– In my experience, concise email summaries are well-received; few stakeholders take a deep dive into more comprehensive docs.

– Track tests in a spreadsheet on a shared drive that anyone across the organization can access. Consider including fields for :

1. Start and end date

2. Hypothesis

3. Success metric

4. Key takeaways

Link each row to a PDF or similar summary of the results. Include a high-level overview, as well as any relevant charts and detailed campaign info. Most importantly, be sure to include recommendations for next steps!

– Depending on the nature of your organization, it might also make sense to periodically present results to your team (monthly/quarterly).

I wrote this post in response to a conversion optimization post on Quora. It also appears in a killer new Marketing Playbook entry on Performable Analytics‘ site. 

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