Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Buzz Word Bingo

If we look closely we discover that the area of measurement in marketing is a fertile ground for people to throw in their new words to describe well established techniques. One I discovered yesterday was Synaptic Marketing, which defined is simply taking offline metrics and combining them with online metrics to fine-tune the offering. We shouldn't be surprised because this is, after all, the field of promotion and consultants deserve to give a snappy name to a technique they are selling. For the student this is a warning: there is hype-jargon and useful jargon, sometimes they switch position. One thing is for sure, this vocabulary creates a big distration from understanding the subject matter.

The only way to appreciate the jargon is to play a private version of buzz-word bingo. Circle words that are new to you, learn the meaning and build your vocabulary. You are learning a new language, but unlike French or German this is a fast moving language. Words come and go and meanings even change before your eyes.

Have a nice day


Friday, 26 December 2008

Bouncing Hoovers and Ivomec

I began this blog with a sort of lament. I felt that software suppliers, by no fault of their own, had started to dominate analytic software with their own vocabulary and techniques.

The classic example in marketing is the word "Hoover" which has entered the vocabulary to mean a vacuum cleaner, a more obscure example comes from livestock farming with Ivomec. Ivomec is an endectoparasiticide - that means it kills things inside and outside the animal's body. Although Ivomec is a brand name it has entered the vocabulary of UK farmers who say "I'm going to Ivomec them".

This is a tribute to the marketing of these products. However there is a real problem for marketers of these products, if I ask for a Coke (because I mean a black cola soft drink) and I get a Pepsi I'm reasinably happy, but the marketing efforts of the Coca-Cola company have been wasted.

Back to Marketing Metrics. Google with their Google Analytics have really led the way. However we find words that they have created or adopted, some go beyond Google and are used by other software suppliers but some stay with Google.

Let us just consider the word BOUNCE. This is firmly a part of Google reports . It measures the quality of a visit because if someone arrives at your site, then leaves, this is called a bounce. In other words they have not gone to any other pages. Google don't own the word, but you will see that anyone using it has, not knowingly, "got" it from Google.

Next time you meet a word in this area, ask yourself: Is this generic or is it related to one firm?

The answer may not be easy to find, but in the process you will understand the idea and you will have a better chance of remembering it. Have a great Boxing Day.

The Metricman

Thursday, 25 December 2008

My man Vlatko

Today I've been happily reading a book on marketing metrics that everyone studying marketing should buy and read regularly.

Farris, P., Bendle, N.T., Pfeifer, P.E.  Reibstein, D.J   (2009) Key Marketing Metrics The 50+ Metrics Every Manager needs to know’ Prentice Hall, London 

There is a great section for online and web measures. Good because it blends in well with traditional advertising metrics.

My web master, for various web pages I have, made some suggestions on how best to convey the knowledge of web tracking to students and I will be following his advice. He is incredibly talented in design but also has such a wide knowledge. A thoroughly interesting and pleasant person. These are his words

"I think that the most important thing that they will learn is that "page views" are actually "pages with valuable content" (1st phase) and "visitors" are real people (2nd phase). If they only learn about the statistics data, they will have a distorted picture of of the life of some web site. Big numbers do not mean big profits."

very wise words.

Happy Christmas to all my readers



Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Xmas Metric Books

In the field of online marketing metrics tuition there is an interesting problem. The field is so new and so dynamic that regular teaching textbooks do not exist. Once published a book is out of date and any resources that exist are a problem because they are closely associated to the software provider.

As an academic it is therefore a problem because teaching should be valuable and important but also should have a long shelf - life. Nobody wants to study a qualification that is based on information that has changed before the end of the course. Interesting indeed.