In The Headlights: September 2, 2020 Issue


In The Headlights

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Can you measure too much?

On a recent LinkedIn conversation, a colleague was positing that you can measure too much, do too much analysis, and fail to take action. That’s absolutely true; measuring the wrong things is a waste of time and resources. The challenge is, for many marketing professionals, measurement is an awful lot like ad spend. John Wanamaker is famously quoted as saying “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don’t know which half.”

The same could be said of your marketing analytics. Which half of your data, analysis, and insights is good? Which half is bad?

Is this a solvable problem?

The answer is yes – it is absolutely solvable, but the question is whether or not solving it is within your reach. Like everything in life, once you master the basics of data analysis, you very quickly hit diminishing returns until you level up your skills. When you make that transition, when you graduate to the next level, you start seeing improved results again until you max out your skills at that level. The process repeats itself over and over again.

When you encounter people who say, “Stop measuring too much”, what you may be encountering is a professional who has reached the ceiling of their current capabilities and hasn’t made the jump to the next level yet for one reason or another. Maybe they’re drowning in customer work and they don’t have time for professional development. Maybe they’re unmotivated to grow their skills because they don’t enjoy analytical work. Either way, their point of view may be limited by their capabilities.

It’s akin to handing a master chef and a home cook the same pile of mediocre ingredients. The master chef will make the most of what they have, while the home cook might struggle to make something edible. The master chef knows from experience what to put in the dish and what to leave out; the home cook tends not to know that. Same ingredients, different outcomes.

So what’s the takeaway? If you’re struggling to make something masterful of the data you have, avoid the temptation to simply throw it away and go on gut instinct. Instead of saying “stop measuring too much”, question what skills and capabilities you’d need, what you’re missing to take your analytical capabilities to the next level and know what data is and isn’t important.

As for solving what is and isn’t important data – that’s a topic for another newsletter. Stay tuned.

The Bright Idea

In this episode of In-Ear Insights, Katie and Chris discuss leadership: what is it, what models exist for it, and how should we think about it? We discuss the different types of power and what balance we should be seeking while in leadership roles.

Watch the discussion now!

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Rear View Mirror Data

In this week’s Rear View mirror, we look back at Facebook engagement rates for brands over the past few months. With the major changes that have happened over the past few months, including the new layout rollout (which became permanent on September 1), what have we seen?


What we see is that so far, there’s not a clear indication the new Facebook layout has had a statistically significant impact, one way or another, on brand engagement. There’s a hint of an upward trends since the new layout, but we won’t know for at least another month whether that’s just seasonal noise or sustained brand interest and growth. We’ll look again in the beginning of October, once users have had a full month on the new platform. What we didn’t see is engagement falling off a cliff; had the new layout been a disaster for brands, we would have seen that right away.

It’s also worth pointing out that compared to 2019, Facebook’s engagement rates for brands is still substantially higher. At the end of 2019, Facebook engagement rates for brands hovered around 0.02%; they are currently 6x higher. They’re still not great, but that’s a substantial improvement.

Having said that, we are also still in the middle of a pandemic, and as such, user behaviors compared year-over-year are not meaningful; the audience is fundamentally behaving differently now than before.

The takeaway is to continue experimenting with Facebook as it makes sense for your brand; you might see better performance now than you have in the past.

Methodology: Trust Insights used Facebook’s Crowdtangle software to extract 2,546,318 posts from 3,042 brand pages; brands were provided by Crowdtangle and augmented by Trust Insights. Engagement is defined as the sum of reactions divided by fans/likes at posting. Content included unpaid and paid brand posts. The dates of extraction are June 1, 2020 – August 30, 2020. The date of study is September 2, 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, and declares no competing interests.

In Case You Missed It
Partner Spotlight

AI Academy for Marketers is an online education platform designed to help marketers understand, pilot, and scale artificial intelligence. The AI Academy features deep-dive Certification Courses (3 – 5 hours each), along with dozens of Short Courses (30 – 60 minutes each) taught by leading AI and marketing experts.

Join Katie Robbert, CEO of Trust Insights, and Christopher Penn, Chief Data Scientist of Trust Insights, for three separate courses in the academy:

  • 5 use cases of AI for content marketing
  • Intelligent Attribution Modeling for Marketing
  • Detecting and Mitigating BIAS in Marketing AI

The Academy is designed for manager-level and above marketers, and largely caters to non-technical audiences, meaning you do not need a background in analytics, data science or programming to understand and apply what you learn. One registration gives you unlimited access to all the courses, an invitation to a members-only Slack Instance, and access to new courses every quarter.

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Interested in sponsoring In The Headlights? Contact us for sponsorship options to reach over 10,000 analytically-minded marketers and business professionals every week.

Shiny Objects

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

Data Science and AI

SEO, Google, and Paid Media

Social Media Marketing

Content Marketing

Get Back To Work

We’ve changed things up in Get Back To Work, and we’re looking at the top 310 metro areas in the United States by population. This will give you a much better sense of what the overall market looks like, and will cover companies hiring in multiple locations. Want the entire, raw list? Join our Slack group!

What do you do with this information?

By looking at this data, you’ll see what the most popular titles are; use any of the major job/career sites to ensure your resume/CV/LinkedIn profile matches keywords and phrases for those titles. For companies, search job sites for those companies specifically to see all the open positions and apply for them.

You can also hit up LinkedIn and see who you know at companies listed, and see if your connections have any inside tips on hiring.

Top Marketing Positions by Count, Manager and Above

  • Marketing Manager : 439 open positions
  • Digital Marketing Manager : 265 open positions
  • Social Media Manager : 199 open positions
  • Account Manager : 174 open positions
  • Director of Marketing : 156 open positions
  • Marketing Director : 135 open positions
  • Project Manager : 132 open positions
  • Product Manager : 124 open positions
  • Program Manager : 92 open positions
  • Product Marketing Manager : 88 open positions

Top Marketing Hiring Companies by Count, Manager and Above

  • Services LLC : 130 open positions
  • Google : 93 open positions
  • Pearson : 85 open positions
  • Northrop Grumman : 83 open positions
  • Mattel : 80 open positions
  • Thermo Fisher Scientific : 74 open positions
  • Deloitte : 65 open positions
  • Amazon Web Services, Inc. : 62 open positions
  • Verizon : 58 open positions
  • Facebook : 43 open positions
  • Microsoft : 43 open positions

Top Locations of Hiring Companies by Count, Manager and Above

  • New York, NY : 632 open positions
  • Austin, TX : 413 open positions
  • San Francisco, CA : 408 open positions
  • Chicago, IL : 362 open positions
  • Seattle, WA : 331 open positions
  • Atlanta, GA : 293 open positions
  • Boston, MA : 263 open positions
  • Los Angeles, CA : 260 open positions
  • San Diego, CA : 250 open positions
  • Remote, NA : 215 open positions

Methodology: Trust Insights uses the API to extract open positions from a geographic area focused on marketing analytics, marketing, social media, data science, machine learning, advertising, and public relations, with a filter to screen out the most junior positions.

Our Featured Partners are companies we work with and promote because we love their stuff. If you’ve ever wondered how we do what we do behind the scenes, chances are we use the tools and skills of one of our partners to do it.

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?

  • INBOUND 2020, September 2020, virtual
  • MarTech East, October 2020, virtual
  • MarketingProfs, November 2020, virtual
  • MadConNYC, December 2020, New York City

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

Want some private training at your company? Ask us!

In Your Ears

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. All Featured Partners are affiliate links for which we receive financial compensation. 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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