Are You Branding Your Internal Analytics Practice?

06-Oct / 9 COMMENTS

The first boss I had, after graduating college, taught me two* valuable lessons.
Lesson 1: Invest wisely so that you can make a lot of money, in a relatively short amount of time, so that you can retire early and become a ski instructor in Austria.
Lesson 2: You must treat internal customers like you would treat external customers.  They aren’t going to use your product just because you work for the same company.  You have to market to them and sell them on the value of your services.  If you force your product on them, they will begrudgingly use it while they curse you under their breath.  If you give them the choice, and they select your services, they will reap great rewards and will become your champions.
* To be fair, he was an amazing boss and he taught me many, many more lessons, but these are the two that are relevant for this post.
I took lesson 2 to heart and had the opportunity to put it into practice when I was hired as Web Analytics Manager at Spark Networks.  I was lucky in that I was going into a company that had zero web analytics, I had a clean slate (one of the main reasons I took the job).  As I began wrapping my head around the measure needs of the organization, I also began to think about how I would brand my practice.  Branding to me was as important as the vendor interviews I was conducting.
You may think it silly but I created a small analytics company within Spark Networks — I called it “Sweet J Analytics” — I even talked the creative team into designing a custom logo so I could brand everything I possibly could.
Before I selected a vendor, I spent several months just talking to internal teams.  It was my opportunity to sell my solution to them.  Remembering the words of my boss, I knew they had a choice, be it  company supported or not, to use my product.  I’d been there before.  Forced to use a company mandated product that didn’t work, and I found my own solution to the problem.  I knew they had other options, it was my job to connivence them that my product was the best choice for them.
After selecting a vendor and rolling out tracking across our suite of sites, I created an internal web site where I shared industry news, recent analysis, and other measure necessities such as a corporate glossary, variable map, and web analytics road map.  Of course, all of these things were clearly branded “Sweet J Analytics”.  Even as the practice matured, the branding exercise never stopped.  By now, I was working with my friend Hila, we put together a bi-weekly newsletter featuring all things analytics and we continued to push the limits of what could be done with our analytics data.  As our customers matured, we had to mature, if our product didn’t keep up, they would look somewhere else.
Never once did we take our internal customers for granted, they were paying for our services, literally.  Each department that choose to partake of our services, provided a portion of their budget to cover our costs.
I’m am convinced that the lesson my boss taught me years ago is responsible for making the web analytics practice at Spark Networks as wildly successful as it is.
So, does your practice have a brand?  If not, you better start creating one today!

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  1. 9 Comments
  2. Sarah Hodges
    Oct 7, 2010 at 11:16 am

    Awesome post. After spending months trying to get users to adopt our analytics tools, it’s finally started to dawn on us that others don’t just inherently share our excitement about the value our platform can bring to the org…because we need to show them! The simple concept of branding your analytics solution is killer. Love.

    • Jason
      Oct 7, 2010 at 4:46 pm

      Thanks Sarah.

  3. Pritesh
    Oct 7, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    Love it Jase. Great idea.

    I will be printing this quote on a banner tomorrow (very large banner it will be too) and placing it in the reception area for all our internal team to worship as they enter the studio: “As our customers matured, we had to mature, if our product didn’t keep up, they would look somewhere else.”


    • Jason
      Oct 7, 2010 at 4:47 pm

      I will of course require photos of the banner :)

  4. Steve Adamis
    Nov 17, 2010 at 8:27 am

    Great post! This is so true. The first company I worked for doing web analytics we had a hard time getting internal people to look at our reporting. We had a guy on our team build a web site that was a central location for people to go to find their reporting. A site that was one click away made all the difference! The first key to evangelizing is to get true followers. Once they started to use the site we got bombarded with requests.


  5. Chris Thompson
    Nov 17, 2010 at 10:21 am

    Hi Jason,

    Your story could not have come at a better time! I am in the midst of trying to create an analytics mindset at our company, but I am up against a lack of knowledge and buy in from our various departments. My biggest hurdle is getting them to ‘listen’ to the data. Too many of our marketers have set-in-stone ideas about how our site should look and operate and dismiss the data proving them wrong. With your approach, if I can get them to listen to my solution, then I can get them to ‘listen’ to the data.


  6. Adam Greco
    Nov 17, 2010 at 10:58 am


    Awesome post! I think it is often the case that we “drink the kool-aid” too much and need to brand ourselves internally. I suggest the Heath books “Made to Stick” & “Switch” for your readers who want to get some good ideas… Thanks for sharing.


    • Jason
      Nov 17, 2010 at 11:04 am

      Awesome. Thanks Adam. I just ordered both of those books from Amazon :)

  7. EmptyMind | Analytics All-Stars: Think Before You Code – analytics
    Apr 10, 2011 at 5:55 pm

    [...] You can read more about how I branded and marketed the analytics practice in my blog post titled ‘Are You Branding Your Internal Analytics Practice?‘ [...]

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