The Frequent Flyer of Digital

During my travels, I always get this intrinsic feeling when walking through the airports.  The feeling of passing through a space intermittently as an intersection of life and travel that is somewhat odd yet intriguing.  I’ve been to many places but only in passing through this gap in travel.  Kind of like window shopping but never even passing the front entrance of the store to get a whiff of the smell and energy. There is this space and time continuum within our industry of digital analytics and as I walked through an airport recently, going up and down escalators, through security, and taking advantage of the amenities, I come upon an analogy that may help us realize some of what we don’t know.  Because the reality is, no one person knows what they do not know.  I’m not trying to be clever and play on words.  Hear me out.   You have three types of travelers: The frequent flyer – Extremely familiar with the airport process.  Has things packed ahead, car waiting or a cost effective parking situation.  Travels with pre-check to avoid long lines and earns points with airlines to have premium access through airlines.  They know best on how to maneuver through the system of an airport more efficiently and more cost effectively than anyone else.  They are the Premier members of flying.  They have been doing this for quite some time and have the experience.   The leisurely traveler – Enjoys the annual trip to a beach destination, a few trips across a few states, and maybe a couple travels to see a place they have not...

Your game plan is worthless unless you can execute

Why are so few analytics experts freely sharing their knowledge? Is it a competition thing?   Whenever I hear of people closely guarding their analytics strategies, I can’t help thinking about the Utah Jazz in the days of “Stockton to Malone.”   Every team knew that the Jazz were going to continually run the pick and roll with Stockton and Malone. If fact, I remember being at one game, watching John Stockton come down the court, holding up one finger, and all the opposing players started shouting out “pick and roll, they are running the pick and roll,” yet they couldn’t stop it.   Did the Utah Jazz offensive system with Stockton and Malone work so well because their game plan was a closely guarded secret? NO! It worked, despite the fact that the other team, the announcers, the ball boys, and everyone else in the arena knew their plays. It worked because they executed to near perfection.   If you are not openly sharing your knowledge, if even just within your own organizations, I suggest your start asking the question ‘why?’   REMEMBER: Your game plan, your frameworks, your secret sauce is all worthless unless you can execute!  ...

Research In Creative Podcast: Data Based Decision Making

This week, I made a guest appearance on the Research In Creative Podcast where I talked about how:   Organizations need to do a better job collaborating data types to make holistic business decisions Social media offers the ability for organizations and individuals to create relationships that might otherwise never happen Analytics and digital optimization work in conjunction with traditional market research and survey solutions Attribution models and ROI Broadcasting vs. relationship building Flattening out the industry and breaking down the research and analytics silo’s   You can download the full podcast [Audio 37:48] at Carbonview.com.  ...

Value Generated Is More Important Than Hours Worked

When we established 33 Sticks, one of the first, and most important, decisions we made was that we would charge our clients for the value we deliver rather than the hours we work.   I’m paraphrasing Alan Weiss, consultant/speaker/author, here as he says it best, any time you are charging by the time unit, you are in an ethical conflict with the client. The client is best served by quick resolutions. But the consultant is best served by taking the most time. It’s impractical and an unwise business approach. It’s unethical to the client and unfair to the consultant.   I got my first exposure to the world of consulting in 1999, when I was teamed up with a group of consultants from Andersen Consulting. From there it has been an colorful adventure of hiring and managing consultants early in my career to running a consulting team later in my career.   In all my interactions with the consulting industry, there was one common tread that stitched my experiences together and that thread was a general focus on hours billed to the client rather than value generated for the client. In fact, there was an inverse relationship between hours and value, the more consultants focused on hours the lower the quality of work they delivered.   As the years went on, I found myself becoming more and more dissatisfied with life as a consultant. I found the majority of my time being spent on managing operational overhead, made necessary by the need to continually account for every 15 minute increment each consultant worked, rather than doing the work that...

Build a Simple Heatmap Using R

Heatmaps have historically been given a bad name in the web analytics industry but they can be a powerful tool for data visualization.   noun ˈhētmap   1 a : A heat map is a graphical representation of data where the individual values contained in a matrix are represented as colors.   In this blog post, I’m going to show you how easy it is to create a simple heatmap using R.   NOTE: This tutorial assumes you already have R installed. We will also be using RStudio in this example.     1. Import Your Dataset The data for this example are the total player stats to date (current as of 2.5.2013) for the Utah Jazz. The data is already prepared for import and is available here.   Load the data into R using read.csv:  ...

Test&Target Global mBox Strategy

A traditional Test&Target deployment requires individual mBoxes to be added to specific site content that has been identified for optimization.   Example:   [javascript] [/javascript]   This approach makes swapping in test content really easy, I just need to create an HTML Offer that contains a different image that I want to test:   Sample Offer: [javascript] [/javascript]   However, this approach forces you to know ahead of time what content you want to test. What happens 3 months later when you have new content you want to optimize? If you are like most organizations, you place a request into IT to have the new code deployed and they respond how happy they are to include your code in the next release that is scheduled to go out in 6 weeks.   Now what?   This is where a Global mBox Strategy becomes your friend. A Global mBox is really nothing more than an mBox deployed to every page of your site (or specific pages on which you are focusing your optimization efforts). This mBox is different than the one we described earlier in this post in that it doesn’t wrap or define any specific content on the page to be tested.   Global mBox Example: [javascript] [/javascript]   Now that we have our Global mBox deployed, we can test any page content we want without having to identify that content ahead of time. The method of creating your test offers will be a bit different, you will write script to manipulate the page rather than just coding in standard HTML. Once you are confortable with this approach, your...