We had the opportunity earlier this week to interview Avinash Kaushik, Google’s Digital Marketing Evangelist, leading up to SES New York. Avinash will be the keynote speaker at the 5-day conference being held March 19th-23rd in NYC. With an obvious passion for the work he does, Avinash shared some excellent insights about meeting customer expectations in a digital marketing world, the biggest risks marketing executives can take in 2012, and the best metrics for measuring the success of a digital marketing campaign.
Supercool Creative: On your blog, Occam’s Razor, in a post titled “The 2015 Digital Marketing Rule Book. Change or Perish,” you wrote “Aim to meet super-insane customer expectations and you’ll future-proof your business.” How can analytics and data help marketers and their agencies pinpoint and even predict those expectations?
Avinash: There are two ways to look at this. You can look within your own data and see the emerging trends and preferences of your audience. Stories they love, products they buy (and then stop buying, switching to something else), performance of experiences with lower bounce rates, Per Visit Value of your flash content vs. straight HTML5, things people are searching on after they land on your site, products getting more reviews (and more passionate ones) than others etc. etc. There is so much data you have access to, it is not even funny. Use it.
You can look at your industry ecosystem data, your direct competitors data. For example tools like Insights for Search will show your the most statistically significant rising searches for any category. You type in Shampoo, you notice the fastest rising term is Hemp Shampoo. You don’t sell Hemp Shampoo. You have never heard of such a thing. Guess what, your customers are looking for it. What’s your plan? Leave that category for your competitors? Using tools like Compete.com and Trends for Websites it is extremely easy to run queries to understand how the behavioral patterns on the top industry sites are changing (go investigate what they are doing better), or you can dig in and understand how the acquisition strategy of your competitor is working (try some of those for yourself!). And so much more.
Supercool Creative: What’s the biggest risk marketing executives can take in 2012 and what are the potential rewards?
Avinash: It is extremely difficult to guess where the world is going and have any sure bets any more. Most definitely for the next few years as nothing short of a tsunami of changes are coming our way when it comes to influence, acquisition, meeting expectations and extracting outcomes.
With that context the biggest risk executives can take is to allocate 10% of their marketing budget to failing faster. 15% if they really want to be successful. Everything is changing. You can’t guess what is going to die and what is going to fly. So take some of your budget. Experiment with new channels, messages, acquisition mix, landing pages, product offers, a real social strategy that is not based on shouting, and all those other things that matter. Measure what works best. Fail a little. Succeed a lot.
The reward is the eternal survival of your business.
Supercool Creative: From an analytics perspective, what are the top 3 criteria that should be used to define success in a digital marketing campaign?
Avinash: It depends. Rather than giving you three metrics (though you can get them from this post: http://zqi.me/bestkpis), I want to share a framework. For every digital marketing campaign, make sure that you’ve chosen one metric that helps you identify success in each of these three categories: Acquisition. Behavior. Outcome.
- How will you know that your campaign was magnificent at acquiring the person?
- How will you know that your digital presence (site/mobile app) kept the promise made in the campaign?
- How will you know that your campaign added to the company’s online or offline bottom-line via your campaign?
So three metrics you might choose could be: Cost Per Acquisition. Bounce Rate. Average Order Value. For different types of websites the specific metric you’ll choose will be different. But you have to have a metric from each of the three categories. Or else you are not really measuring end to end success.