Category Archives: Measurement

A Case of the Shoulds

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About this time of year as we finally emerge from short days and cold nights, many of us suffer from a sudden onset of the shoulds. You’ve probably experienced them.

Bordering the fine line between healthy obsession and mental illness, the shoulds usually look like this:

“My website should be updated. It should have some new content. Maybe I should be updating more often. I should do a bunch of videos. Or at least I should make overdue fixes to existing stuff. I should really look at ways to make it faster.”

“I should tweak my SEO strategy. Or maybe I should try that A/B testing program I’ve been thinking about. Should I re-strategize my email campaigns? Actually, I should spend more time on analysis. Yeah, but first I should fix that technical glitch.”

“I should fix that service issue right away though—that should get the most attention. Maybe I should entirely rework the way we think about customer experience. I should really drink more water and get more sleep. I should eat better.”

Before you know it, you should all over yourself. You sit there, practically paralyzed, overwhelmed, exhausted. The optimistic attitudes usually associated with spring cleaning and renewal are suddenly sour. What could be a healthy and productive time now looks like ten pounds of junk in a five-pound bag.

But at the risk of adding a few more shoulds, here are two things you should remember:

  1. Perfect is the enemy of progress.
  2. A good plan now is better than a great plan next week

Getting started with a slow and steady strategy will move you in the right direction.  Websites are never “done.”  SEO is never “done.”  Good nutrition is never “done.”  But, as you make small changes, and measure them, you will be working toward a continuous improvement for your customers, your business, and your life.

In your business, if you need help sorting it out and turning the most important shoulds into a prioritized strategic action plan, we’re here to help.

What about YOUR Super Bowl Ad?

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For a moment, let’s say you found a bit of inspiration in this year’s crop of Super Bowl ads. Maybe a few of them struck you as dead-on, engaging and everything that’s right about mass-market advertising. I’m willing to bet, though, most of them didn’t. But that’s OK. Let’s continue the thought.

Despite your enthusiasm, you’re probably thinking, “I can’t imagine having a budget like that!” Well, just for a moment, imagine you DO have a budget like that.

Imagine you just got a text message from your CEO telling you that you MUST spend $5 million to buy a 30-second spot for your business during next year’s Super Bowl. One spot, $5 million, that’s it.

As you inconspicuously try to wipe the smile off your face, your mind races about the story your ad will tell. Will it be funny? Will it be straight-ahead and factual? Will it seek to build your brand? Will it be powerful and inspiring? What will you do? And how will you know it worked? Or how will you know it wasn’t mocked on Twitter or just ignored entirely?

Don’t look at us—our experience with advising on Super Bowl advertising is exactly zero.

But what if your Super Bowl ad could actually contain success metrics like digital marketing? What if you could set up KPIs like site visits, pageviews, time on site, referring traffic sources and cost-per-click? Or what if it could track things like open rates, click rates, bounce rates, unsubscribe rates and list growth rates? Or maybe total referrals, conversions, cost of acquisition, attributable revenue, qualified leads, lead sources and more?

Now THAT would be some ad. And unlike most Super Bowl ads, you’d actually have some real data. Of course, that’s not really possible with a TV ad. But it is possible (and flat-out required) for digital.

We tend to think of Super Bowl advertisers as the superstars in marketing. After all, the prestige of running even one ad is the top of the mountain, isn’t it? Yet year after year, it almost looks like Super Bowl advertisers don’t learn much of anything. The reality is that exorbitant budgets and questionable results are the norm.

In your business, you can do far better.