Last week, I wrote a post on the new version of Google Analytics which drew a response from Avinash Kaushik, Web metrics guru and current Google analytics evangelist. Avinash, well-known for his blog and best-selling book, wrote me to clarify some of what I explained last week. I thought his points were well-taken, so I am revisiting the subject today.
I have a busy travel schedule this week and I was graced with a hotel with broken Internet access yesterday, so I am posting today’s blog from the airport before my flight. That’s why I am going to cheat, rather than write a completely new post. Revenue Magazine posted one of my columns online, “Search Marketing is Direct Marketing”—I hope you enjoy it. Back with a longer post tomorrow, I promise.
Regular readers know how much I care about experimentation in marketing. Seth Godin is starting to call this “layering” and it’s at the heart of my book, Do It Wrong Quickly. But no good name has emerged. I was contacted recently by Ronny Kohavi, Microsoft’s General Manager of Experimentation Platform, who uses the market research term “controlled experiments” for what they do. Ronny came to Microsoft from Amazon, where he served as Director of Data Mining and Personalization, and he’s written four of the top papers on machine learning according to CiteSeer. He was gracious enough to answer several questions for you to explain how experimental marketing works in real life.
It’s no wonder that your customers have learned to be a bit wary on the Web. Spam steals their attention. Scams still their money. Phishing steals their very identities. Some of your customers are relying on search engines to separate the wheat from the chaff. If your company shows up at the top of the search results, searchers assume that it’s because your company is reputable, but John Nagle thinks Google needs some help.
Typically, a new communication tactic emerges before anyone knows how to measure its value, and blogs have been no exception. You can look at your Technorati rank, or use FeedBurner to measure your subscriptions, but you should expect more metrics to emerge in this new field. One such emerging metric is from SocialRank, whose badge I display on my site. (My blog breaks into the top 100 marketing blogs now and then.) SocialRank is self-described as the new Web 2.0 network to discover the top stories of the blogosphere within your areas of interest. To learn more about SocialRank, check out this interview with one of its co-founders.