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INBOX INSIGHTS: We’re Hiring, Post-Mortems, LinkedIn Algorithm (9/1)

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How to Run an Effective Post Mortem

Last week I went camping. I loved it. L-O-V-E-D it. I’ve been camping before but it’s been a very long time so I forgot a lot about what I used to know.

I was off the grid for two whole days, which might not sound like a long time but it was long enough. In those two days, I learned a lot about where I needed to make adjustments to make the experience more comfortable.

This brings me to today’s point. A Post Mortem. A post mortem is a review after death. In business, it’s a retrospective of a project, what worked and what didn’t. The best practice after the completion of any project, big or small, is to do a post mortem.

The structure is simple. You pull together everyone directly involved in the project and talk through what went well and where there is room for improvement. Then you make an action list and learn from the project with the goal of not repeating mistakes.

Sounds simple? Ah, there is always a catch, isn’t there?

After my first night camping, my husband and I spent the next morning talking through what we could have done better. This was everything from how we packed, to what we packed, to what time we started the campfire, to where we parked the car. We turned over every stone. What didn’t we do? We didn’t do the number one thing that makes a post mortem unsuccessful. Finger point and blame.

Blaming is where a post mortem goes wrong. It is VERY easy to look around a conference room and say “you didn’t do this” or “you messed this part up”. However, that is highly unproductive and rarely solves any problems. All you accomplish is making your team members angry and slowing down the solutions.

How do you hold a productive post mortem? Lay down some ground rules and be clear about the goal. If you want to review what happened, make sure to state that expectation. If you want to review what happened AND make a plan to do better, set that expectation. Make sure you’re clear and everyone is on the same page. Next, and most importantly, set the expectation that there is zero blame. You succeed as a team and you fail as a team. The second someone starts to say, “Well, Chris didn’t do…” you need to stop that conversation.

It’s not as easy as I’m making it sound. It takes practice. There were times that I brought in someone trained in conflict resolution to moderate conversations. A post mortem on a project that did not go well can get very contentious. A post mortem on a project that went well can also get contentious. Try to keep the peace, stay objective, and be patient.

Even if the conversations are difficult, helping the team see where there is room for improvement is important. The more you work to make continual improvements, the better the projects themselves will become. The better the projects become, the more effective the post mortems will be.

Tell me about your post mortem experience in our free Slack group.

– Katie Robbert, CEO

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In this episode of In-Ear Insights, Katie and Chris discuss MarTech stack drift. What happens when your strategy changes, but your marketing technology doesn’t? What are the consequences, and how do you begin remediating it? Tune in to hear the 5-step strategy for realigning your MarTech with your overall strategy.

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Data Diaries - Interesting Data We Found

In this week’s Data Diaries, you voted for Kickstarter data in our Analytics for Marketers Slack group, so let’s see what we were able to find.

In an sample of ~31,000 Kickstarter campaigns in July 2021, we wanted to understand funded vs. non-funded campaigns (meaning that the pledged amount matched or exceeded the goal amount) and what factors, if any, seemed to hint at whether a campaign would be funded or not. First, let’s look at the landscape.

Number of Campaigns click for a full size image

The top 3 categories for total number of campaigns are Narrative Films, Graphic Novels, and Classical Music.

Which campaigns attract the most generous pledges?

Pledge Sizes click for a full size image

The top 3 categories for most generous median pledges are performance art ($107.29 per backer), spaces ($103.68 per backer), and wearables ($100.46 per backer).

Which campaigns accrue the most backers?

Backer counts click for a full size image

The top 3 categories for largest median number of backers per campaign are tabletop games (201 backers per campaign), playing cards (149 backers per campaign), and puzzles (145 backers per campaign).

Now, onto funding. What campaigns successfully close the most?

Funding by campaign type click for a full size image

For campaigns with substantial volume, Dance campaigns closed at a 100% rate in July 2021, followed by Graphic Novels at 98.75%, and Photobooks at 98.52%.

The big categories that did less well were jewelry, wearables, and poetry.

Key takeaways: Kickstarters are all about networks. The better you market your kickstarter, the more backers you’ll receive. The better you set rewards, the higher pledges you’ll receive. What we see in this examination is that entertainment-focused campaigns seem to perform the best – but in any category, there are a lot of campaigns competing for attention and dollars.

We’ve got even more data to share, but it’s too much for this newsletter, so we’ll post the remaining data in Analytics for Marketers.

Methodology: Trust Insights extracted 31,221 unique Kickstarter campaigns from WebRobots.io for July 2021, with duplicates filtered out. The timeframe of the data is July 1-31, 2021. The date of study is August 31, 2021. 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.

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