IMI had a great presence at Etail East 2013 in Philly a couple weeks ago and I had the privilege of being the chairperson of the track for “Data Management, Analytics, and Testing on Wednesday afternoon of that week. As the chairperson, I gave the opening remarks and moderated the speakers and panels throughout the afternoon. Here is the video of my presentation:
Thanks so much for that introduction. My name is Brent Gleeson, and I am the co-founder and CMO of IMI, Internet Marketing Inc., and we are a leading full service digital marketing agency based in San Diego CA.
I hope everyone has been thoroughly enjoying Etail East 2013…this has been a great show so far with outstanding speakers and panels, great vendors, and of course, a few outstanding agencies!
As we wind down the conference today, we come to one of the most important topics of all: how we collect and manage our data, perform the right kind of testing at the right time, and use all of this to gain actionable insights from the data in order to make informed marketing and business decisions.
Everyone wants to reference the latest buzz word “Big Data”…but what we really should be focusing on is “Good Data”. What good is tons and tons of data collected, just to end up sitting on some digital shelf gathering digital dust?
So we need to make sure we have clearly defined goals, the right kind of analytics implementation that is right for our businesses, and the proper resources for analyzing the data on a regular basis.
Before we dive in, I wanted to show you this quick clip about the importance of good data based analysis…
That video clip is actually quite relevant to a quick story I am going to tell you about using good data to catch the bad guys!
Prior to joining forces with my business partner Brandon Fishman, who happens to be from right here in Philly, I spent five years as a Navy SEAL. Of the 1000 applicants that applied for my class, 250 of us were approved to start training, and ultimately only 23 of us graduated and went on to advanced training. During advanced training, 9-11 occurred and that is when we realized that our careers as SEALs was going to be quite different than we had originally envisioned.
I joined SEAL Team 5 in San Diego and after about a year of platoon training we went straight out the door to Iraq. We were the first SEAL task unit in Baghdad after the city fell. Our primary objective was to run capture or kill missions – hunting down the guys on the deck of cards, the black list, Saddam loyalists, and insurgents. We were working in cooperation with the CIA who was providing the intel and data from which we developed our assault packages.
Some of the challenges we faced however were that we had (1) a lot of data, and (2) often times flawed data. Human intelligence gathering is faulty and often leads to deriving incorrect conclusions. Incorrect conclusions then lead to a mission that is screwed from the very beginning.
I can’t tell you how awkward and embarrassing it is to blow someone’s door off in the middle of the night, snatch him right out of his bed, throw a sandbag on his head, flex cuffs on his hands, toss him in the back of a truck, only to later realize during interrogation that you kidnapped the bad guys neighbor.
I’m not saying that happened to us…three or four times……nobody’s perfect…..but that’s neither here nor there.
So again: Improper data analysis (or the lack or proper data analysis) will lead to incorrect conclusions and poor decision making. The same philosophy applies to our businesses.
As big data themes continue to encroach on retail, especially with the profusion of channels, devices, touch points, and usability tests, retailers are realizing that the same old analytics dashboards aren’t going to cut it anymore. Part of the solution to this issue is for retailers and agencies to develop new skill sets within their teams, we need to make room for data scientists.
In this graph from a 2013 Forrester report, 40% of retailers surveyed said they had open positions for marketing analysts, more than any other position in 2013.
Which data is valuable, and how, remains to be seen: While data may help improve key metrics, such as markdown optimization or credit
extension, its contribution to larger objectives like driving new customers or incremental sales still remains unproven. The unstructured, hard-to-categorize nature of social media data also calls into question the value and benefits to be derived from big data.
Online retailers are still struggling to maximize their investment in customer analytics. Much of this is due to using the improper platforms and the wrong metrics to assess business success.
In a 2012 Forrester survey of online retailer customer analytics professionals the results proved a drastic underutilization in analytics resources that could potentially dramatically improve business decisions and revenue:
- 57% customer focused data driven decisions
- 51% for satisfaction
- 51% for retention
- 40% for loyalty
So why are online retailers underutilizing their investment in analytics resources?
- We need a new breed of data scientists – do we go out and recruit these people, train them from within, this role as it id currently needed is very hard to fill
- Analysts are spending too much time answer questions using minimal data rather than using predictive analytics and applying their knowledge to optimization techniques and strategic planning that will result in selling more products online
- Often times analysts spend too much time on the easier to track data such as click through rates and campaign lift as opposed to more important data such as customer life time value etc.
But we are going to get into all this and much more!!
So, we have great program for you today with some awesome speakers. Here is just a quick run through of the schedule.
Alright! Thanks so much.
And with that, I will introduce you to your first speaker:
Ashish Braganza, the Senior Manager global Business Intelligence for Lenovo