In The Headlights: February 19, 2020 Issue

In The Headlights

Got a question for you, a 1-question survey. Can you take 20 seconds to answer just this one question about email newsletters? Thank you!

On a recent webinar, I was walking through the basics of how to get started in marketing data science, and the top question, the most frequent question I received was, “What tools are you using?

This should have been the third most frequent question, not the first.

Tools are just that – tools. Instruments. Implements. Utensils. Appliances. In business, in marketing, we suffer from the illusion that if we just have the right tools, magic happens and we get results. While there’s no doubt that the right tools do make a difference, they are secondary to the most important part: you.

Think about it from a cooking angle. Say you want to make a cheese omelette. What tools will you need? Well sure, you’ll need a pan. You’ll need a spatula. That’s about it.

What else do you need for the omelette? Eggs. Cheese. Maybe some salt and pepper. A bit of chopped herbs if you want to get super fancy. Not a lot of ingredients here, right?

What happens if you put all the ingredients out and all the equipment out?


Unless you know how to cook, unless you know how to make an omelette, what an omelette’s supposed to look like, how long to cook the eggs over what heat, etc., nothing will happen. The pan won’t cook the omelette itself.

Extend this analogy to data science. Yes, you should have some of the basic tools. Yes, you should have data to work with, preferably good quality. But most of all, you need to know how to do the statistics, the analysis, the hypothesis testing – the skills.

Most things in life require the trifecta of skills, tools, and ingredients/materials. Place your focus on the skills first and foremost! Just as a master chef can make delicious food from average ingredients and equipment, so can you deliver outstanding results from average tools and data if you have the skill to do so.

Make learning the priority. Make you the focus.

The Bright Idea

This week’s Bright Idea is the Agorapulse Social Success Summit, Season 3. It’s a free online conference with a twist: unlike traditional online conferences that have schedules you need to follow, the Social Success Summit is like a season of a show on Netflix. The entire thing is available for four weeks, and you can binge in any order, any session that you like. Watch 38 different sessions, including ours on competitive social media analysis, totally for free.

Sign in and binge watch Season 3 now!

Rear View Mirror Data

This week’s Rear View Mirror looks at the top videos on YouTube year to date. Looking at over 15,000 YouTube videos that have had 100 views or more, what do we see?

2020 02 19 08 52 30
YouTube Views

When broken out by decile (10% brackets), we see that it’s still very much a powerlaw curve – the top videos garner the lion’s share of views and engagements. However, there’s plenty of opportunity for videos and channels at lower levels – and as with so many other social networks, when your audience size is smaller, your engagements tend to be higher. On YouTube thus far, the top engagement rate is 6.27% for the smallest decile – a massive leap ahead of other social networks where engagement rates for small accounts can be under 1%, sometimes substantially.

The key takeaway? Just because you’re not one of the whales on YouTube doesn’t mean it won’t work for your brand. If you haven’t already ramped up your video strategy, now is the time to do so, while opportunity for awareness and engagement is still rich. But act sooner rather than later; when compared to our October 2019 data, engagement has dropped at the lowest decile from 10.15% to 6.27% – a 38% decrease. Take advantage of the audience while you can.

Methodology Disclosure: Trust Insight s used Talkwalker’s software to extract 15,720 videos with 100 views or more, based on the use of the keyword ‘the’ in the title or description. Because of the filtering, there is a bias towards videos partially or wholly in the English language. The timeframe of the data is January 1, 2020 – February 18, 2020. The date of data extraction was February 18, 2020. Trust Insights is the sole sponsor of the study and neither gave nor received compensation for data used, beyond applicable service fees to software vendors.

In Case You Missed It
Shiny Objects

Shiny Objects is a roundup of the best content you and others have written and shared in the last week.

Social Media Marketing

Media and Content

Tools, Machine Learning, and AI

Analytics, Stats, and Data Science

SEO, Google, and Paid Media

Business and Leadership

Got a “Silly” Question?

One of the things we’ve found with friends and colleagues is that you have questions you don’t feel comfortable asking in front of your peers for fear of appearing less knowledgeable. We all have those questions – they start with phrases like, “I really should know this but…” or “I’m so embarrassed to ask this, but…”

So we’ve put up a page where you can ask those questions anonymously, and we’ll answer them here or on our blog, podcast, YouTube channel, newsletter, etc. without ever naming names.

If you’ve got a question that you want to ask privately/anonymously, go ahead and ask it here!

Join the Club

Are you a member of our free Slack group, Analytics for Marketers? Join 800+ like-minded marketers who care about data and measuring their success. Membership is free – join today.

Upcoming Events

Where can you find us in person?

  • Agorapulse Social Success Summit 3.0, February 2020, Online
  • Social Media Marketing World, March 2020, San Diego, CA
  • MarTech West, April 2020, San Jose, CA
  • ContentTech Summit, April 2020, San Diega, CA
  • HELLO Conference, April 2020, New Jersey
  • Women in Analytics, June 2020, Columbus, OH
  • MAICON 2020, July 2020, Cleveland, OH

Going to a conference we should know about? Reach out!

Want some private training at your company? Ask us!

In Your Ears

Trust Insights Podcast

Would you rather listen to our content? Follow the Trust Insights show, In-Ear Insights in the podcast listening software of your choice:

Stay In Touch

Where do you spend your time online? Chances are, we’re there too, and would enjoy sharing with you. Here’s where we are – see you there?

Required FTC Disclosures

Events with links have purchased sponsorships in this newsletter and as a result, Trust Insights receives financial compensation for promoting them.

Trust Insights maintains business partnerships with companies including, but not limited to, IBM, Talkwalker, Zignal Labs, Agorapulse, and others. While links shared from partners are not explicit endorsements, nor do they directly financially benefit Trust Insights, a commercial relationship exists for which we may receive indirect financial benefit.


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