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Posts in Data & Analytics

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The single customer view: Is it really achievable?

Achieving a single customer view is supposedly the ultimate goal for digital marketers, but is it really feasible?

Building this complete, joined-up view of the customer is a costly and time-consuming project, and while some have made decent progress, others still have a mountain to climb.

A new report published today by Econsultancy and Innometrics investigates the current landscape for businesses seeking to obtain that single customer view, and looks at how brands are approaching the gap between digital and retail, among other challenges. 

The Single Customer View report features in-depth opinions from senior-level executives working within ecommerce, online and marketing departments, from companies including Mothercare, Camelot, myHermes, EE, Clarins, Rank, Occam and Seren.

Here’s a brief summary of three topics investigated in the report...

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Using data science with A/B tests: chi-squared testing

In my previous posts about A/B testing, I made the case that you need to consider the math behind A/B testing, or risk having invalid, or even wrong, results.

My first suggestion is to use sample sizing, but that requires a lot of tests.

Here's how to do something similar without nearly as many.

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Optimize your time: the future of conversion rate optimization

Almost two decades ago, Jeffrey and I started evangelizing the notion that your conversion rate is a measure of your ability to persuade visitors to take the action you want them to take.

Good companies know how to persuade visitors, but legendary companies better understand their visitors and their desires, and do more than simply satisfying those desires.

Great companies find ways to delight them along their journey. This is sometimes labeled as 'flow' in the UX world.

In other words, conversion rate optimization is a critical discipline, but by itself, will it be able to transform a good company into a legendary one?

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How does Google judge quality content?

Everybody talks about the need to provide quality content on your site if you want to rank well in searches. But how do search engines identify quality content?

Successive Google algorithm updates (culminating in the recent Panda 4.1) aim to refine results so that they match the intent of the search query and deliver the most comprehensive, accessible and well-written answer.

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Using data science with A/B tests: Sample sizing

A/B testing is now an integral part of digital marketing.  

But the tests can produce the wrong results if they are not conducted correctly. Here is part one of a three-part series about how you can use data science techniques to avoid making big mistakes with your A/B tests.

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Why trust is vital if brands are to make the most of consumer data

Anyone who has ever watched Spider-Man will know that with great power comes great responsibility.

Digital technology has given marketers access to an unfathomable amount of customer data, however it should be used in a responsible manner for risk of destroying consumer trust.

This is particularly important in our world of freemium products that rely on a value exchange of digital services in return for access to personal data.

A new Econsultancy/Acxiom report investigates consumer attitudes towards sharing their data with companies, revealing that opinion is split on whether brands can be trusted.

Only 6% of respondents in the Delivering Value in the Data Exchange Survey indicated that they had ‘a great deal of trust’ in companies to whom they provided data. 

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Making the move from Big Data to 'Smart Data'

In the past decade there has been a massive increase in the amount of data that is potentially available to marketers.

But simply having a lot of data is of no real use to anyone. It’s the quality of the data and what you do with it that counts.

If I may indulge in the use of some buzzwords: marketers need to move from big data to smart data.

A new report from Econsultancy and Acxiom investigates the complexity of the data landscape, especially in relation to marketing, and the importance of getting it right in the mind’s eye of the consumer.

Entitled Delivering Value in the Data Exchange, the report is based on interviews with brand-side senior executives as well as an online survey of 1,000 UK consumers.

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The undead customer: reviving the ghosts & zombies on your website

Is your website haunted by strange apparitions? You may not know it, but right now you have an army of ghosts, zombies and vampires creeping across your website.

In this blog we reveal their true identities and how to harness their strange powers.

Like a scientific data-driven ghost-buster, if you will.

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A thoroughly entertaining beginner’s guide to data and analytics

Confused by cross-channel analytics? Bewildered by big data? Stupefied by structured data?

Well I’m not surprised. Who wouldn’t be?

It’s a big world of complicated words, terms and phrases that can intimidate even the most digital savvy of webmasters wishing to dig deeper into the information their website has been quietly amassing over the last few years.

Help is at hand though, in the form of this very beginner's guide.

I have written it in the form of a glossary, as it seemed the clearest method of presentation. Not only is it alphabetical but it should also make logical sense if you read it in order.

This is for anyone whose had a rudimentary glance at Google Analytics, or spent a little time in the Site Stats of their WordPress site, or has a copy of our Measurement and Analytics Report but has yet to open it. 

We call these people the intrigued but slightly baffled. Welcome, you’re in good company!

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Nine internet marketing stats we've seen this week

The stats we've seen this week continue a trend for the past year.

There's lots about advertising, lots about mobile and plenty about where the two collide. Other highlights include the dreaded 'millenials' and their economic outlook and some interesting insight into the state of mobile in MENA specifically.

As always, if these stats don't sate your hunger, head on over to the insights and data in our Internet Statistics Compendium

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Announcing The Digitals awards shortlist

So, after reading through more than 700 entries, we have decided upon a shortlist of 189 for our Digitals Awards

All entries were judged during the first phase by Econsultancy's internal staff then sent to our external judges, comprised of some of the finest minds in digital marketing and ecommerce. 

The judges work at firms such as John Lewis, Sky, Selfridges, BBC, Oxfam and more (You can see the full list here). 

There have been some really fantastic things going on in digital in the past year or so, and the shortlist represents real innovation and best practice in our industry.

Well done to all who have been shortlisted, and commiserations to the others who just missed out (some by very narrow margins).

In no particular order, here are the shortlisted entries...

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Ironically, five things that could stop clickbait

Once upon a time, the success of an article was judged by how interesting it was to read.

Of course, front page splashes, naked girls and free giveaways had an impact on print sales, but so, too, did regular columnists of quality and serialised work.

Essentially, serving your audience was thought to be important and publications often had agendas that went some way to determining their output.

I think this is still the case with print media, but one can't ignore the fact that print is receding. As it does, news and media online is to some extent being depoliticised as social media allows any publisher to reach an extended audience. Reaching large audiences is important for driving up the cost of advertising inventory.

Don't get me wrong, the sophistication of the internet is a good thing. It's no longer acceptable or, more pertinently, advantageous to massively keyword-stuff your editorial or add the terms 'porn' and 'XXX' to your title tags.

Ad technology, too, is getting better at allowing advertisers to understand revenue associated with campaigns across platforms. But the fact remains that many believe advertising needs to break away from the religion of the impression.

If it continues, it's going to become increasingly difficult to find subcultures. Parody and the parodied will be indistinguishable.

So, what can stop clickbait?

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