How new analysts can take their skills to the next level

As I’ve been writing about tools and tactics quite a bit lately, I thought for this month’s column I’d take a step back and share some ideas on how you can become a better analyst.

And improving our analysis skills as marketers goes beyond broadening our career options and helping us be better at our craft.

It should actually improve all areas of your life as a byproduct of nurturing our critical thinking skills. Some ideas follow that I apply in my own life and hope you’ll consider too.

Find a passion outside work which involves developing hypotheses

The scientific method, as you know, is a body of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge.

You’re already applying this to your marketing and analytics practice by putting it to work for testing and optimization efforts (for example, having a hypothesis that a new landing page with less clutter will convert better, which you then test).

But beyond work, you should also, in free time, be involved in something which flexes your prediction muscle.

Whether this manifests as fantasy sports, investing in startups or some other activity which involves future predictions (and cool datasets!), this can be a fun and rewarding way to sharpen your mind and will help you see analysis problems in a new light.

Learn to fill in the missing pieces, be comfortable working with imperfect data/information

100% perfect data is really only possible in a controlled lab setting with expensive and fine-tuned equipment. While, of course, we should ensure our analytics implementation is setup correctly to keep our own data as clean as possible, we must also get comfortable working with a “good enough” information.


This is necessary in order to be agile in how we work and keep projects moving forward. A great analyst will work out the way to fill in the missing pieces and make effective projections (while of course providing a rationale/caveats where needed).

You want to get confident enough to make recommendations and create analysis’ based off “minimum viable data.”

Have a sandbox project to test new tools

If you are truly serious about improving your skills, doing analyst work in your live business environment isn’t enough.

The reason being you can’t test and tinker with any new tool without permission or change settings at whim, you likely have compliance and managers to work through.

But a sandbox project such as your own site, app or side business provides a place you can test, tinker and experiment in a no-stress setting.

Bonus: our team at Google recently launched an Analytics Demo Account for this very purpose.

GA demo

Live and breathe your company and sector metrics (beyond what you’re accountable for)

Being a great analyst isn’t about just running reports and delivering insights that are your remit.

Rather, the best analysts have their finger on the pulse of the bigger pictures and are deftly able to put their own work into context with the larger organization and sector as a whole.

The analysts I talk to that leave a lasting impression are the ones who can speak articulately about various areas of the business and how they make impact across teams and functions.

Be a part of the industry, network and collaborate with peers

I’m personally a big believer in educating others about digital marketing and since starting my career well over a decade ago I’ve spent time both at and outside of work helping others learn our craft.

Our industry is tight knit and so being an active participant who helps others is of great benefit (not to mention fulfilling).

For you, whether this takes the form of speaking/attending events (such as ClickZ Live), starting your own local analytics meetup, or even making friends with other analysts near you to talk shop this is a valuable use of time.

Adam Singer will be speaking at ClickZ Live San Francisco in August. 


Measuring the Good, the Bad and the Ugly – How to get started with Analytics

I’m often asked where do you start with Analytics? How do you go about doing it? The simplest answer to that question is start with your customers needs and work back from there. To illustrate lets take a simple example … Read more › The post Measuring the Good, the Bad and the Ugly – How to get started with Analytics appeared first on Blackbeaks Blog, Digital Analytics and marketing optimisation blog .

Source: Measuring the Good, the Bad and the Ugly – How to get started with Analytics

Kick-Start Your 2017: 5 Research-Backed Techniques to Develop Your Social Strategy

2016 has undoubtedly been a remarkable year for social media. Below are just some highlights:

One thing is clear: Social media can no longer be ignored. It is making and destroying nations, it is accelerating the spread of leaks and classified information and it has created more revolutions than we can count.

The important question, however, is: How is social media influencing businesses?

Apparently, not as much as it should be–46 percent of business-to-business marketers report that they are not sure whether any social channels have generated revenue for their businesses, and a whopping 59.5 percent of chief marketing officers are not sure that social media is a successful part of their marketing strategy.

Social media will be much bigger in 2017, but you need to change your approach to make things work. Here are five research-backed techniques to use when developing your social media strategy for 2017.

Document your social strategy

The very first step toward a successful social strategy is to have a documented strategy–many people fail at getting results from social media due to lack of a documented strategy. Since there’s no documented strategy, they have no idea what role a certain action plays as a part of their overall game plan.

According to data from Content Marketing Institute, 60 percent of people with a documented strategy will get results, compared with a measly 7 percent of people without a strategy.

Create a clear, actionable strategy that outlines the steps you plan to take and when, and make sure everybody that will be involved in your social media usage partake in the process of creating your strategy.

Measure your results

According to research from Pardot, about 30 percent of marketers are not tracking the impact of social media on lead generation and sales. Another source shows that 53 percent of social media marketers don’t measure their success.

Not tracking results is a recipe for failure: It is important to know what is working and what isn’t so that you can justify how you use your social media resources and also tweak your strategy accordingly.

In 2017, if possible, conduct a monthly review of your actions–identifying and monitoring key metrics–to see exactly how social media is working for you. You need to measure results to consistently get results, so take steps to measure the results your social media effort is generating.

Use facts and data, not opinion

Imagine the following mindset from two social media marketers:

Social marketer No. 1: “Posting the same update multiple times is intrusive. I can’t do it, or I will be disturbing my fans.”

Social marketer No. 2: “Wow, I had no idea that just 0.7 percent of people will engage with the average tweet, and engagement on Facebook isn’t much better, either. I also had no idea that resharing content can increase engagement by 686 percent. I definitely should revise my strategy.”

Who do you think will get the better results of the two marketers? Marketer No. 2, of course. While you can try to act based on opinion in a lot of areas without much consequence, doing so in marketing can have disastrous effects.

Scour the internet and reliable reports for the latest data and statistics on social media return on investment, know what is working and what isn’t, align with your goals and always be ready to revise. Don’t ever hold an opinion about what you feel works best and what doesn’t–and even if you do, be careful not to let your opinion influence your strategy. Only plot your strategy based on actionable data and statistics.

Make blogging a core part of your social strategy

Yeah, I know, right. When talking social media strategy, blogging is probably the last thing that comes to mind–we easily think of Facebook, Twitter and the likes. However, blogging as a part of your social strategy will be more important than ever in 2017.

2016 was the year when major social media platforms decided that they wanted more control, creating an environment that makes it increasingly difficult to reach the audience you’ve attracted on their platform. Facebook took a lot more control with Instant Articles, and a few other social media sites introduced equivalents.

Of course, your blog won’t start competing with Facebook’s 1.79 billion MAUs, but decentralization on your social channels will have a huge impact on your success. Blogging will definitely be advantageous.

For one, blogs are rated as the fifth-most-trusted source of information online, and research shows that making blogging a part of your social strategy can boost conversions by up to 67 percent. If you don’t blog yet, it’s time to start.

There are several resources on how to create a blog, and getting something set up on WordPress, Drupal or Blogger won’t take your time or cost you extra.

Readily revise your social media strategy

When you hear “strategy,” you’re probably thinking of a very rigid action plan that must be followed to the core. Maybe in some instances, but definitely not with social media–a huge key to effectively leveraging social media is knowing when to adapt and change techniques.

Just a few years ago, Instagram didn’t exist, but right now, statistics show that engagement on Instagram is almost 10 times higher than engagement on Facebook and almost 40 times that of Twitter.

New social media networks pop up every day, and your audience probably changes its social media habits on a regular basis. The key to success lies in keeping up with the trends, knowing what is working and what isn’t and revising your strategy very quickly when necessary.

John Stevens is the founder and CEO of HostingFacts Reviews and a sales and marketing consultant to hundreds of businesses.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.


1 20 21 22 23