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Big Data and Marketing: A Confused Relationship?

big dataThis post comes from our Analytics Channel Sponsor iJento whose mission is to help marketers turn fragmented data into unified, actionable customer intelligence that accelerates their business.

Clearly Big Data is one of 2013’s biggest topics.

It’s all we hear about at every conference. It’s all vendors seem to want to talk about. I was at a marketing conference a few weeks ago and there were so many Big Data references that presenters actually started to apologize for overusing the term.

Despite the rampant overuse, some marketers are still confused.

If you asked 20 marketers the question, “What is Big Data,” you’d probably get 20 different answers. Its enough to make us want to bury our heads in the sand, and dismiss Big Data as just the latest buzzword.

Google Databoard for Research Insights

Google Databoard.Jon ParksAs marketers, we live in a constant deluge of information. Data, reports, charts, studies and more. And while all of this data is intended to help us have a better understanding of the markets we serve or the topics we focus on, in reality, it is easy to get bogged down. The result: we’re awash in data. Enter the Google Databoard for Research Insights released to the public on Tuesday.

How Google Databoard Aims to Help Us Better Understand Data

The team at Think With Google created the Google Databoard for Research Insights tool to make it easier for us to understand what the research, data and reports (all from Google data) are trying to tell us. They do this by breaking it out into bite-sized chunks and turn it into graphics. (I’m resisting the urge to say they are dumbing down the data, but I’ll leave it up to you to draw your own conclusion.)

FTC Commissioner To Push “Reclaim Your Name” Privacy Initiative

computer-security3The never ending battle for possession of consumer data looks to be taking a significant swing in the direction of the consumers themselves if Julie Brill, an FTC commissioner gets her way.

Network World reports

U.S. consumers should be able to reclaim control of their personal data from data brokers, websites and other companies, a member of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission said Wednesday.

Commissioner Julie Brill, a long-time privacy advocate, will push for an initiative called Reclaim Your Name that would give consumers knowledge and technology tools to reassert control over personal data held by companies, she said. Consumers should be “the ones to decide how much to share, with whom and for what purpose,” Brill said during the Computers, Freedom & Privacy Conference in Washington, D.C.

AdSense Scorecard: Good for You and Google, Too

adsense 10AdSense is celebrating its tenth anniversary with lots of free tips, training classes and even a dashboard upgrade. Google says they want to take care of the “heavy lifting” so you can concentrate on great content. And that’s not just PR speak.

Google keeps tweaking their search engine to weed out spammy sites and reward those that are genuinely informative or entertaining. The days when you could make thousands on a two-page niche site are rapidly fading but there’s still plenty of money to be made on the web. You just have to be a little more strategic.

If you need a refresher, check out AdSense 10 Tips for 10 Years - a brief slideshow that’s great for beginners. If you have the time, sign up for the free AdSense 10 Challenge. This is a 10 week course on Google+ that will teach you how to make the most of your websites.

Facebook Attempts to Make Page Insights More Useful

facebook insightsClick on the Insights tab on your Facebook Page and you’ll find a wealth of information. There are graphs and grids, percentages and mini bullhorns. So much data! And yet, every time I try to interpret the data, I come away more confused than ever.

I’m a smart girl. I read. I ask questions. And still, Facebook Insights leave me more perplexed than not. I’m being straight with you, so hear me out.

Part of the problem lies the contradictions: I have less “Fans” but more “Friends of Fans.” I have two posts with the same Reach, same Engaged Users but one has a virality score of 1.91%, the other is zero. How is that possible?

What I Learned About Me From Twitter’s Public Analytics Test

I’m always looking for new ways to measure my social media response, so I was excited when I heard that Twitter had “quietly” opened up analytics to the public. The tool is a subset of the Twitter Ad Dashboard. I’m not a Twitter advertiser but I was able to log-in and access some of my data.

twitter analytics

It’s hard to read, I know. I’ll have some close-ups in a minute.

At the top is a timeline showing Mentions, Follows and UnFollows. What I got was a section of data from May 14 through June 11. You can’t change this. It’s just a representative piece of the pie. I had 94 mentions in that time period. Since I have nothing to compare it to, I’d say that’s a nice number. I also picked up 108 follows. But I lost 46 people. That surprised me. Not that I think I’m so wonderful that no one ever leaves me, but it was a big reality check to see that I lose several followers on most days.

Marketers See Big Data Analysis As Critical Skill for Success

As marketers there is too much to keep up with for one person. Online, offline, traditional, digital, social, search, the list can go on and on.

However, a recent study from The Economist Intelligence Unit (which was sponsored by Lyris and repackaged in the chart below by Marketing Charts) makes it clear that big data is a top priority amongst all the things a marketer could know. Of course, just acquiring big data means nothing. It’s the ability to utilize data analysis skills to extract predictive findings that is at the top of marketers’ list of skills they feel are critical.

LyrisEIU-Necessary-Skills-Successful-Marketer-Today-June2013

What might surprise some, especially those who are in the ‘latest and greatest done by the cool kids’ school of marketing which assumes social media skills is on the top of every marketers’ wish list’ camp, is that there is real desire to fully understand e-mail best practices.