Select Page

In this episode of In-Ear Insights, Katie and Chris take you behind the scenes as they examine first quarter marketing data. Listen in as they audit Trust Insights’ own marketing data, identify weak spots, determine a course of action, and look at ways to gather additional data for better marketing insights.

Listen to the audio here:

Download the MP3 audio here.

Machine-Generated Transcript

What follows is an AI-generated transcript. The transcript may contain errors and is not a substitute for listening to the episode.

Christopher Penn
This is in your insights, the trust insights podcast.

In today’s in your insights, we are turning, I guess, the mirror or the looking glass inward. Katie, you wanted to tackle a problem that I’m sure a lot of other marketers have. But we’re looking at in our own data. So why don’t you set the stage?

Katie Robbert
Yeah, absolutely. So every month, as good marketers responsible marketers, we collect our own series of metrics around the health of the company and our growth. And today being the first of the month. I did that for the previous month. And so what I’m seeing in our data is substantial growth in terms of traffic awareness, people interacting with our content, downloading materials signing up for our newsletter. However, that’s not necessarily leading to conversions in terms of people raising their hand and saying, I want to work with you. And so the question that we’re wrestling with and thinking about if we take ourselves out of it, what advice would you give to a client? The question is, I’m really great at driving traffic, but nobody is converting. What do I do?

Yeah. So Chris, I would sort of turn to you. And say, if a client came to you with a question like that, where would you even start them?

Christopher Penn
So I look at a couple things. One, are you punching people in the face hard enough? Which is to the the the way of saying how obvious Are you being with your calls to action, all the calls to action blending in or they like screaming in your face? If you need this, do this. And so I guess the first place I would start is looking at the UI. And I would do I call the room test where if you load up a page, any given page on the new step across the room is the call to action obvious enough on your laptop screen from across the more if you take your mobile phone, and you load the you hold it at arm’s length is a visually obvious call to action. And if there is, that means it’s not a creative issue. That means then it’s probably an Well, let’s let’s step back, Bob stone in 1968, created a framework called the direct marketing framework, which he calls list offer creative, and it’s super straightforward. Do you have the right audience the list? Do you have the right offer? And then you have the right creative?

Do we have the right audience? Are we getting the right people to the website? It’ll be question number one. So we look at the demographics who we want to be targeting. And we’ll look at the demographics based on things like Facebook Audience Insights from our tracking pixel and Google Analytics to say, are we getting those people? If we’re getting people who are, for example, not shopping for you know, professional services, then yeah, we’ve got a list problem. Now, based on who we’ve seen sign up for, you know, CRM and marketing automation software, I think we’re okay there. I mean, we’re seeing people who have you know, manager, director, things like that. So I think we’re mostly okay to have the audience we are getting there. There’s always more work to be done there. So that’s number one. The offer, what are we offering them? So you were saying earlier, you’re looking at the data, what is it that people are participating in?

Katie Robbert
So what we’re seeing it, so we have a lot of gated content, free content, but it’s gated.

And we’re getting really, really great interaction with that content. So for example, when you or I

speak publicly, the slides are always available when we create original research, people tend to really enjoy that, because we’re offering them answers to questions that are commonly asked around hashtags and trends and planning. So we’re getting really great engagement with that content, but then it stops there.

Christopher Penn
Okay, so our top of the funnel offer is good, but our middles bottom of the funnel offer, then either we’re not being obvious enough, like, Hey, you got this thing, if you want to think just like this thing, you need to call us and tell us you want the thing, or the content is not doing its job of people saying, Okay, that was cool. How do I make use of this? How do I how do I turn this into something actionable, which I know personally, is one of my own weaknesses, I’ll make something cool people like that’s awesome. Now what?

Katie Robbert
know and i think i think that’s exactly it, I think that it is a two fold problem that we need to sort out I think, you know,

it’s interesting, when I look at the data, people are coming from social media, people are coming from other channels, they’re not going direct to our website and downloading this content. So I would argue that our website is part of the problem. And that’s, that’s a problem that we aware of that we’re in the process of tackling. But I do think that we in a lot of other companies struggle with, I put out this really cool thing. But I’m not really giving you enough context to say, now you need to do something with it. A lot of it is just very one directional in terms of, here’s the data, here’s a report. And you know, how many, we could probably take a poll and ask people, how many reports do they download in any given month, that just sound cool to look at. So they can say they have to report, you know, the CMO survey, there’s a really great example of that. There’s a lot of really good useful, actionable data in that report. However, how many people actually do something with it versus just sort of? Okay, I looked at the latest cmo survey. So what, right? And I would say we are in a boat, very similar to that, where here’s a lot of really cool data about what’s happening in the industry. But we’re not taking it that next step further of here’s what it means for you. And here’s what you have to do. Right?

Christopher Penn
Yep. So that’s on the offer side. And then obviously, the creative side is the UI. And it’s interesting, because in Bob stones framework, he’s adamant that creatives us is usually the first problem people tackle. And clearly it is because it’s the first thing that jumps to mind for me, but it’s the least important of the three is, if he’s it is thing as if you don’t have the right list, it doesn’t matter what else you do, you’re not going to get buyers because you’re you’re targeting people who are not qualified to buy. So we could definitely do some research there. The other thing I think about when I look at at the numbers I’m looking at a spreadsheet of it now is are there ways to, again, hit people over the head more obviously, to see, do we have the right people? So there are things like pop ups, they’re things like chatbots, they’re all these different tools that we can use to take advantage the eyeballs while they are on the site. And then assess like, yeah, this is this is getting people to participate, we see the same thing happening to a degree in our slack group to where there is a lot of people watching and listening, but not a lot of participation. So do we need to find either find a more engaged crowd that has bigger problems? Or can we elicit the the responses, the energy, the the interest from the audience, we do have, and those are two different problems.

Katie Robbert
You know, it’s interesting, we were traveling last week, and I was talking with someone who does participate Well, I participates around with someone who belongs to our analytics for marketers, community. And she was saying, I don’t feel smart enough to participate, but I lurk all the time. And so it’s, you know, it’s something that

we struggle with, but also a lot of other companies struggle with.

We want to present the latest and greatest information to people. But is it too over people’s heads? Is it the right information at the right time? Is it? You know, to your point, a mismatch of audience, the people who would you know, get down with like the deep data science and artificial intelligence aren’t the people necessarily that we’re that we’re trying to reach? We’re trying to reach marketers who could benefit from their analytics being powered by these tools, but they don’t necessarily need to use them, or know how they work in order to know that they need to take actions and insights. So I think that there is a little bit of a mismatch in terms of our messaging and the types of questions that we’re trying to answer for people, and the questions that they’re actually asking.

Christopher Penn
So to your original question, if this was a client, what would we have them do? I would say you need to add new characters. So we think about, I was listening to a podcast recently, where were two of the hosts were saying, like, you know, one, Jose, my role is a smart person and the other hosts a my role is sort of the goofy person. And the goofy person, It functions as voice of the audience, who is who articulates The so called, quote, dumb questions. They’re not dumb questions, but they are questions that

the audience is mentally thinking, but will be intimidated to ask the smart person on that show. Like, what’s the survey? How do I know this survey is good? You know, should I ask this kind of question on survey, the things that would say, you could easily say, if you were to try and ask that question to the smart person on that episode, you’d be like, I don’t want to pick like, I’m really, really dumb, even though it’s a perfectly valid question. So if this was a client, who would say okay, let’s look at your characters in your play?

Are they all smart? Yes. Do they all have that public persona of being intimate and smart and and unreachable? If so, do we need to pivot one or more of the characters in the play to be the more of the every man?

Katie Robbert
And I think that that’s it. It’s not that you’re discrediting people’s intelligence. It’s that confidence and intimidation factor. So people might be curious about something like predictive analytics or artificial intelligence. But they’re not really even sure where to start to ask questions of what does this mean for me?

You know, we really try to answer some of those questions. But it really getting this kind of, you know, feedback through the data, really challenges us to say, are we answering the questions the right way? Are we answering the questions in a way that reaches the most broad audience or even our audience?

Christopher Penn
Do we even have the right questions? All right, that’s it if someone’s not willing to speak up? Yeah, no.

Katie Robbert
That’s a really good point. So yeah, if this was a client coming to us, we would say, go back to your audience and start doing some market research to figure out what really are the questions that they have? are you answering the way crust right questions, and it might be that mismatch?

Christopher Penn
Yeah. I would say like, go run a survey on your audience’s email list. Right? I mean, now they’re on your on your email list, I would I would tell that to the client, ask them, Hey, what, what questions do you have? I would build a using Google consumer surveys, one of Google consumer surveys options is to run a survey on your website that pops up and says, Hey, answer this question. And you can collect the data, you know, you don’t have to survey everybody, you just have to survey your audience to ask folks that. And then maybe even do a retargeting campaign to the people you’ve already cookie didn’t get to bring them back to like a blog post or a download or something. So that they see the survey and go, Oh, that’s kind of cool. I can answer that one question survey. So yeah, go back to the eyes forgot, do you even have the right questions to ask this audience to find out, this is a thing where this is not a thing.

Unknown
And I think,

Katie Robbert
along with that, what we would recommend to a client is to do a little bit of a deeper dive into the Google Analytics data, the onsite data to try to figure out how long are people on average, staying on your website? Do you even have an opportunity to try to keep them engaged while they’re there, if it’s less than 30 seconds, it’s going to be tough, but it’s if it’s more than that, if it’s you know, between two to five minutes that they spend on your website, then you have an opportunity to try to keep them engaged. So you can do more to your point, more pop ups or something to sort of keep them on the site. Take a look at the pages that are working, and try to figure out Are there any calls to action on those pages? Or they just general informational pages? And then Chris, to your point, do that? I forget exactly what you call it. But that tests where you step away? And are the calls to action really clear.

Christopher Penn
Yep. I agree with that. The other thing I would do, again, if this was a client, and they were paying us, you know, 40 $80,000

to just which is something that functionally we would want to do because it could mean that much in revenue for us, right? Is take all of our data out of Google Analytics page, page, number of page views per session time on site, bounce rate, X ray, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, and run it through Watson studio and say, build me a model with conversions is the target, the ones that we care about? Right, but contact us conversions? because there aren’t many of them? I’d say, is there a statistically valid model that says this, these data points matter the most, these should be your KPIs. If you want those specific types of conversions, or we could use all conversions and say, you know, just to get anybody to raise their hand and do something other than silently Look what things drive that and use that as a way to refine KPIs. Well. Now that project, that’s a that’s a, you know, anywhere from one to two month project, it’s not a small thing that you just whip out instantly. But if you’re trying to, again, if it’s a client, this would be step one in that Google Analytics audit, like let’s take your data and figure out what’s really working for you. I would also run Markov chain conversion analysis, do attribution analysis to figure out where’s our traffic coming from what traffic really matter? So it’s, it’s funny the way this is very much. I think almost every one in the marketing and the marketing technology industry has this problem. This is the cobblers kids have no shoes. Right? You’re so busy making shoes for everybody else, you don’t put it on your own?

Katie Robbert
That’s right. Well, you know, and it sort of goes back to a little bit of making sure you have the right people in the right seats. You know, we have that analogy to have a successful business or successful team, you need the minder, the Finder and the grinder. And in this context, I’m the minder, and I’m always looking at the data always thinking about what could we be doing better. And that’s a good sort of PSA for other companies is, don’t skimp on looking at your own data, don’t forget to see what you’re doing. Because if you’re wanting to improve, than looking at your data is the best place to start. I mean, and I’m going to, I’m going to quote back to you, the CMO survey from February 2019, less than 50% of CMOS are using data to make decisions, I believe it’s 43.5%, which is great, the number is up from previous years, but it’s still less than 50%. And we’re trying to really encourage people to use their own data to make decisions. So this is where a lot of this conversation started from is we’re looking at our own data, we’re seeing what’s working, what’s maybe not working, and we want to do better. And we are going to continue to message that’s really the only way in this digital space. To know if you’re being successful or not.

Christopher Penn
I would say there’s one other aspect and you’re gonna get a giggle, face pop out of this, which is we have the people right, we have the platform we have all the technology in the world. Well, we don’t have is the process? We are we do have the bus, we don’t follow it on behalf of ourselves as well as we should. That comes from strategy and planning, right?

Katie Robbert
That’s Yep.

Christopher Penn
Well, I’m fired. Well, again, this is one of those things. It’s like the cobblers kids have no shoes, you spend all your time and effort as we should, investing heavily in our clients, right investing in the people who pay the bills. But we also need to, to set up maybe a process, you know, Google used to do this thing. 3am does this thing you know, it’s the 8020 rule for every employee 24 spend your time you should be doing something other than the main part of your work. If you interpret that, as you know, 80% of the time you should be serving customers, guess what, 20% of the time, you should be solely focused on the most important customer wishes yourself. And I don’t think that I know personally, for myself, I can’t speak to anyone else in the company. I know, for myself, I don’t spend enough time on the business.

I spent all my time in the business, helping customers, but not on the business making the business better.

Katie Robbert
Hmm. That’s a really good point. And I think that that’s, you know, when we even look back at other roles that we’ve been involved in, that’s always been a challenge, because it feels like there’s so many other things to do that putting the business first feels selfish in a way because well, I have all of these clients who need things. How can I prioritize the business? But you’re absolutely right, it has to be done. So what’s in a nutshell, what are we telling this fictional client of ours? How they can they’re getting a lot of traffic, but no conversions? What do they need to do?

Christopher Penn
So I think what we’ve settled on versus is set up the process itself pick like one day a week, because that’s 20%. One day we can that is build the business day, I could be Friday, it could be something like that, or at least really set aside eight of the 40 hours of the work week to build the business. That’s number one. Because without that you can’t do anything else. If you don’t make the time you won’t do any of the rest of this stuff. So that’s number one. Number two, is follow the bob stone framework list to offer creative. validate that you have the right list. validate that you have an off of the people want that comes from serving and asking the audience what do you want? And then third and final work on the UI the UX to fix up those things. But you need to do in that order list offer creative and so for our clients trust insights, guys get it together.

Katie Robbert
Seriously, this is going to be one tricky demanding needy client.

Christopher Penn
Yes, absolutely. Media small And the worst part is the one you can fire. Right?

Katie Robbert
That’s right. Well, just to be clear, this is not an April Fool’s prank, we really are talking about our own data on our own podcast.

Christopher Penn
It is and and it’s something that I hope if you are working in a company in house if you’re working at an agency if you are an entrepreneur as well fought learn from the process we’re doing I something that video blogger Damion Ross said, I thought was really insightful was don’t tell the rags to riches story after the riches to rags to riches story as you’re in rags, and how you’re going to get to the riches. And this is part of that process of like airing the dirty laundry as I want to say like, yeah, we could be doing better in these areas. And maybe it’s something that you as your listeners may something that you can help you can learn from as well. And if you’ve got tips that have worked for you, either on the process, or the things that you evaluate when you have no value and Alex, please join our free slack group. If you go to trust insights, as analytics for marketers join over almost 200 other people no dumb questions exists your anyone’s Welcome to Ask anything they want and share your own successes and your failures as you take yourself in your career and your company from rags to riches. As always, please subscribe to the trust insights newsletter at trust insights.ai and, and the podcast and the YouTube channel and all the all the things on thanks for listening.

Thanks for listening to any or insights leave a comment on the accompanying blog post if you have follow up questions or email us at marketing at trust the insights.ai If you enjoyed this episode, please leave review on your favorite podcast service like iTunes, Google podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify. And as always, if you need help with your data and analytics, visit trust insights.ai for more


Need help with your marketing data and analytics?

You might also enjoy:

Get unique data, analysis, and perspectives on analytics, insights, machine learning, marketing, and AI in the weekly Trust Insights newsletter, Data in the Headlights. Subscribe now for free; new issues every Wednesday!

Click here to subscribe now »

Want to learn more about data, analytics, and insights? Subscribe to In-Ear Insights, the Trust Insights podcast, with new 10-minute or less episodes every week.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This