Debuting in 2002, The eMetrics Summit was the birthplace of the Digital Analytics Association and is all about the world of digital marketing analytics. In 2016, it coincided with the Predictive Analytics World conference. The Summit was a deep dive into the latest strategy, tactics and tools that promised to help achieve stronger, more measurable results from digital marketing campaigns.
#1) Why attend the eMetrics Summit?
I wanted to find the one conference to attend this year that was all about data analytics. Presentations, case studies, speaking one-to-one, these are the places where I get inspired and learn the reality of what is going on in companies in the US and abroad. Anyone in Marketing knows how technology has changed the landscape and constant learning is a must. Good thing I love to learn.
This was my first time at eMetrics and overall I enjoyed it. This is the place for data enthusiasts. Presentations are laid out like case studies with real examples. This is important since I try and stay away from conferences that appear to be mostly sales pitches pushing specific products. Was it good for networking? Not really, but they do try and promote it. An added bonus was being able to download the presentations afterwards. I am digesting even more information and reviewing a few of my favorites.
#2) What to expect
eMetrics consisted of two tracks: “Applied Science” and “Cornerstones.” I spent one day in the Applied Science tracks, which proved to be far too granular even though most presented case studies. I felt like I was deep inside the weeds of a specific data analyst’s day-to-day. I spent the second day in the Cornerstones tracks and they proved to be much more relatable (to me). Presenters reminded us to think strategically about performance measurement and to ask ourselves, “What am I trying to achieve and how do I know when I’ve achieved it?” Don’t forget about business goals (it happens), how different teams can work together (analysts, scientists, marketers), and user experience. Depending on where you are at in your career and day-to-day job functions, my advice is to try out both tracks the first day and see which ones really gel for you.
#3) Presentation highlights
Analytics Demystified highlighted how analysts and marketers can work better together toward common business goals. Honestly, both presentations were very insightful with great reminders about objectives and goals.
Shiyi Pickrell from Microsoft.com’s analytics team went over real-world case studies focusing on customer-centric metrics like unique visitors, campaign, audience, and repeat purchasers, as opposed to tactical metrics like visits, page views, CTR, impressions and clicks.
Rand Fishkin, Wizard of Moz, did not disappoint. Especially the interesting example of how top ranking companies on Google search are also the companies that are top spenders on AdWords (correlation or causation?). Interesting insight into how the use of the back button is killing conversions and overall skewing data. Other ponderings occurred, like does Snapchat work for people who have a little gray hair? Should we care about how concerned Bill Gates and Elon Musk are about artificial intelligence and the rise of the terminators?
#4) Key takeaways
- Don’t lose sight of the larger goals: Increase revenue, decrease costs, improve customer satisfaction, create new products
- Customer-driven framework should be pre-built into measurement and optimization
- Don’t rely on NPS anymore (controversial statement for some)
- Use analytics in every step of the digital process (find the content your audience is truly engaged with – stories about cats that are 500-1,500 words maybe?)
- Experimentation and testing for continuous improvement
- Data analytics continues to be fun and challenging for every size company
- Large companies struggle with so much data and reports, leaving less time to glean insights and ladder it up to larger business goals
- Does Marketing know its target in terms of expected results? Is 10 conversions a week good? Or is 1,000 conversions a week good? Based on ad spend and reach, a marketer should figure this out and not expect the analyst to provide this information
- The ability to find insights in the data and make business recommendations to the C-Suite is an experienced skill that takes time to develop and communicating business objectives within the organization helps focus these efforts
#5) Technology cheat sheet
There are several platform providers to choose from. Here is a very short version, as provided by Scott Brinker:
- Audience/Market Data: Nielsen, Oracle, Salesforce
- Marketing Analytics, Performance and Attribution: Origami Logic, Google, eBay
- Dashboards and Data Visualization: Tableau, Domo, Geckoboard
- Business/Customer Intelligence & Data Science: IBM, Oracle, Microsoft, Alteryx, DataMentors
- iPaaS, Cloud/Data Integration & Tag Management: Google, Adobe, Datalicious, TerraSky, Wombat
- Data Management Platforms (DMP): Adobe, Oracle, Rocketfuel, Google, MediaMath
- Predictive Analytics: Optimove, CustomerLabs, Radius
All in all, here is my impression of the 2016 eMetrics Summit: We care about data! We just want everyone else in our company to care too. We want to impact and inspire change (some just want to pull reports all day and let others interpret them). The change is here and it can seem overwhelming. The eMetrics Summit showcased this change and how to harness the power of data analytics for Marketing good.