Editor & Chief Creator of AwesomeExperience Design | Writer | Public Speaker | Industry Analyst I analyse industry trends and report them here for you to learn. I write a lot of other things too, but this blog is a curated list of my technology and marketing related articles.
I went to Adobe Summit to discover what brands are being told to measure in 2016 and beyond. I welcomed the chance to tell you about emerging trends in online marketing, brand experience, and analytics.
I wanted to show you that leveraging this information will shape you as a front-runner.
I undertook to empower you to raise the bar for all influencers.
But as much as I want to, I can’t write that article.
Don’t get me wrong, I still want to… but I’d be wasting your time.
“Why?” you ask, confused. “Why the heck would you * not * share the goods? And what do you mean, ‘waste my time’?”
Analytics, a broken system
Forever and beyond the onus has been on bloggers to report reader statistics to the brands they work with. Some brands may add a tracking link to see how many people click through to their site but beyond that it’s been your job to share page views, unique visitors, post engagement, reader demographics, and more.
We YouTube, go to conferences, and Google like ninjas. We learn, we test, we implement. We continue to tweak our Google Analytics in the hopes of getting the most information possible from our audience.
We create reports, add bold colours and infographics, and proudly hand them over to a PR intern in hopes they are tacked up on the wall – not unlike a proud mom displaying her precious snowflake’s toddler’s scribbles.
I call bullshit. On all of it.
You’re doing your job, excelling at it even, but never before have I seen a group so ill-equipped to deliver what is expected of them.
Even with the best analytics set-up there’s no way you can compete with enterprise solutions – i.e. what the big brands are using. And before you ask if that’s really a problem in our world… Yes. Yes it’s a problem, and yes it’s a big one.
Even at your best – you’re absolute on-the-ball, the-dark-side-isn’t-calling, omg-the-kids-let-me-work-without-burning-down-the-house, best – you’re in no position to deliver results marketing executives would kill for.
I can’t tell you how to do your job better because you’re doing it!
Imagine for a moment that you could create a blog post 100% optimized for engagement and conversion. Wouldn’t you want to know what percentage of original versus stock images resonates best with your readers?
— Angele Lafond (@shoeboxbegone) April 18, 2016
Suppose you knew the optimal number of sidebar ads that would maximize your affiliate sales without disturbing the flow of your words. The impact of an improved reader experience goes much further than a few extra shares and finally reaching the threshold for your AdSense payout.
Consider the significance of the added value you’re offering to brands who partner with you. Picture the allure of a pitch that proposes – and delivers – substantive data and engagement, that maximizes the investment they are making in you.
Imagine how this information could effect change to blogger programs and how these changes could elevate our industry.
The brands you know and love are investing hundreds of thousands of dollars for the top analytics solutions the world has to offer. Never mind nurturing our fantasies of the perfect post formula – these tools are designed to render reports we’ve yet to even think of.
Remind me again why we can’t produce these types of reports? Oh. Right. We don’t have hundreds of thousands of dollars lying around.
Is there a solution?
Of course there is! I’m just not sure ya’ll are ready for it yet.
It’s mind-blowing. It’s a game-changer – a hang-on-to-your-pants-we’re-about-to-fly kind of game-changer.
Consumers & Customers
We know you’ve wowed your consumers – your readers – but it’s not enough anymore. We are entering a new wave of business transformation, a wave where experience is everything. You must now also delight your customers – the brands that trust you to influence your audience.
The head of marketing would love to make board members sing, backing up their influencer strategy with hard data. Bloggers would be tickled pink at the idea of a secret sauce for optimizing engagement and conversions.
So how do we do this? How do we provide a WOW experience to our customer, the one who writes the check?
You forget everything you’ve ever heard about ‘how it’s always been done’.
The industry as a whole needs to look beyond the front porch, to push the boundaries. Influencers, marketers, and analysts should no longer be segregated; they must play together and learn to share resources.
It’s time – for all of us – to brush-up our sandbox manners and learn to collaborate.
Collaboration, the Golden Goose Egg
Analysts have the Golden Goose Egg and it’s big enough for everyone.
A script that is embedded in a blog post can cook up a recipe for the coveted secret sauce; a formula with which marketers can create campaign guidelines, increased readership and bigger opportunities for the influencers involved. An exquisite dish to amuse a director’s palate. A perfect omelet, served family style to the executive, the marketer, and the influencer.
There’s more than enough to go around and this sandbox is the chef’s table at Chez Analytics.
We have become stewards of experience. Isn’t it time we were all roused by the occasion?