In the Headlights, January 27, 2021: MarTech Backups, Federal Reserve Bank Data, SEO for Customer Retention

MarTech Backups, Federal Reserve Bank Data, SEO for Customer Retention

In The Headlights

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What’s Your MarTech Backup Plan?

I’ve noticed with an alarming increase in frequency in the last few months that some of the major cloud infrastructure providers – Amazon’s AWS and Google Cloud chief among them – have been having more interruptions. We don’t see those interruptions necessarily on the services themselves, but we experience them as customers when everything built atop these massive providers breaks.

Messages in Slack or Discord load more slowly, if at all. GMail stops working. File sharing and uploads break on popular websites. Websites themselves get slower to load. Even marketing automation tools and software slow down or outright shatter, like a tower of blocks built on a shaking table.

What we don’t realize, as business professionals, is just how dependent so many of our marketing technology tools are on just a handful of large technology platforms. We don’t see the interdependencies until things break, and then we see breakage showing up everywhere.

So here’s the million-dollar question: what’s your MarTech backup plan? What backups do you have in place so that you have at least some digital marketing business continuity if a major set of services are taken down?

For example, we’ve advocated that anyone using WordPress install the simple, free, open-source analytics system Matomo for WordPress. It’s local analytics – not as robust as Google Analytics, not as feature-rich, but it runs entirely and only on your website. There’s no cost other than your web hosting, and if the day ever comes when Google Analytics goes away, you’ll still have your data.

What about your marketing automation system? At Trust Insights, we use a free, open-source product called Mautic and host it on a VPS server. It’s no Hubspot or Pardot, but you could easily set it up in parallel with one of the SaaS services as a backup – and if that service ever goes down hard or experiences a substantial outage, you still have the ability to get email campaigns and nurture programs out the door.

The ideal with any kind of backup system is that you never have to use it, but given the macro perspective – that cyberwarfare is the new battlefield – I’d strongly recommend you develop a marketing technology business continuity plan and put all the pieces in place for when the next, inevitable service interruption happens. As the cliche goes, you never need a backup until you REALLY need a backup.

One Click Poll

Do you have a MarTech backup plan?

The Bright Idea

In this week’s In-Ear Insights, ask the question: why don’t we focus on or measure SEO for customer retention? After all, useful, valuable content isn’t solely the provenance of new customer acquisition. Keeping existing customers happy and providing them value is equally or more important – but we don’t typically measure that in marketing. You’ll learn about the importance of site search, UI/UX, Google Analytics for customers, and more.

Watch/listen to this episode of In-Ear Insights here »

Coming up tomorrow on So What?, our weekly livestream show on Thursdays at 1 PM Eastern Time, we’ll be starting our multi-part series on data preparation and data analysis.

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Rear View Mirror Data

In this week’s Rear View Mirror, we want to share one of our secret weapons in data: FRED. FRED stands for the Federal Reserve Economic Database, a massive, easy-to-use data system published by the United States Federal Reserve Bank. FRED contains over 750,000 data series and all of the data is free-to-use, paid for by taxpayers.

Nearly every industry, every sector in the United States has high-quality data available to it for analysis. If there’s third-party data you need to augment market research in the United States, FRED probably has it – and for free.

Data is available in all the major formats you’d expect – CSV files for spreadsheet software, XML files for ad hoc importation, and an API for programmatic ingestion of data into your own software.

Let’s take a look at one example. This is a FRED data series from the Federal Reserve Bank itself, M2 – the amount of money that exists in the United States.

Money Supply

You can see this has all the standard controls of any basic analytical interface, the ability to change the period of time analyzed, key periods of time noted, etc. You also have the ability to compare and contrast multiple data series together.

Above, we see that after the start of the pandemic, the United States government started printing money like crazy. Because all modern money is largely fictional (meaning it’s not pegged to a physical asset like gold), governments can create money at will, with the side effect of creating inflation. We see above that the government materialized 4 trillion new dollars out of thin air in 2020.

As a marketer, our thoughts turn to what the second half of 2021 will look like, once the pandemic abates. Many virologists and epidemiologists believe that it will be largely over by July, with mass vaccinations and faster-spreading strains. What does that have to do with M2?

That means there’s an extra 4 trillion dollars just floating around in the economic system. As banks, companies, and individuals start to use this supply of money – assuming the government doesn’t vaporize it (which it can) – there will be much more marketing opportunity for everything in the second half of the year. Think of it like a post-war economic boom. By looking at this data, we see conditions for a stunningly-good economic recovery in the next year or two – so be ready. Make sure you have a scenario plan where suddenly budgets unfreeze all at once, and consumers – eager to get out of their homes – swamp the marketplace, ready to buy just about anything.

That’s the power of what FRED can offer your business and marketing – incredibly relevant, vetted, trustworthy data you can use to make decisions. Get started today!

In Case You Missed It
Partner Spotlight

Do you want to understand data science better as a marketer? Would you like to learn whether it’s the right choice for your career? Do you need to know how to manage data science employees and vendors? Take the Data Science 101 workshop from Trust Insights.

In this 90-minute on-demand workshop, learn what data science is, why it matters to marketers, and how to embark on your marketing data science journey. You’ll learn:

  • How to build a KPI map
  • How to analyze and explore Google Analytics data
  • How to construct a valid hypothesis
  • Basics of centrality, distribution, regression, and clustering
  • Essential soft skills
  • How to hire data science professionals or agencies

The course comes with the video, audio recording, PDF of the slides, automated transcript, example KPI map, and sample workbook with data.

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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

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Content Marketing

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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. Get all the data in our Slack group!

Upcoming Events

Where can you find us in person?

  • MarketingProfs B2B Forum, March 2021, virtual

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