Email Marketing- your surferchick656@hotmail.com address may be outdated but email certainly isn’t

Is email marketing dead?

Email marketing is not dead and essentially email marketing is one of the most cost effective ways to communicate with customers for a particular business. Emails don’t require postage and they wouldn’t require fees or phone bills for either sending text messages or calling customers. There are 3 types of leads in regards to emails, they are

1. word of mouth   2. inbound    3. outbound

Cold e-mailing is very effective in regards to marketing. It’s an untapped resource because it’s the cheapest and least invasive form of marketing. Compared to cold calls it’s more convenient for customers and allows them to access the material on their own time when it’s convenient to them. I once received an email from a partner company who shared email addresses. I had bought something at their partner’s store and gave them my email when checking out. Since the partner company had similar merchandise the e-mail marketing their new store opening in the area intrigued me and led me to not only go look at their website but visit their new store and buy something as well. Though some customers may avoid these types of emails and regard them as spam, they’re an effective way to spread your business’s message to potential customers. Another statistic on email marketing is that email marketing is 40 times more effective than Facebook or Twitter which I found surprising.

When composing emails for a business be sure to use headers that are clear and truthful and aren’t false or misleading. The subject line also should be deceptive in order to get potential customers to open the email. Also, ensure that at the bottom of the email there’s an unsubscribe link for customers who want to opt-out of receiving emails. This is an essential part of e-mail marketing because some customers who are added to the emailing list won’t want to receive emails as frequently as your business sends them. Another tip is have the unsubscribe link lead the user to a website where they can specific if they would simply want to receive emails less frequently or completely unsubscribe from the business’s emailing list. This allows customers to select the frequency of emails they receive but still allows the business to market to a wide range of customers.

Here are some e-mail marketing tips to ensure your business is sending the most effective and informative e-mails to customers:

Email marketing is growing and when I began to ponder it, email marketing has been effective on me as a customer. I receive emails from Nordstrom. I receive roughly 3 emails a week and I’ve noticed that the emails I receive are personalized to me and are based on my previous purchase history as well. When I compared the emails I receive to the emails my mother receives from Nordstrom’s the emails are personalized and tailored to each of us based on the segment of the target market we fall into. Here’s a sample email I received from Nordstrom’s during their anniversary sale which resulted in me going to the store to purchase sales items.

Hubspot also discussed what factors help businesses send the right email to the right customer. As a business, you should:

1. Determine the accurate audience

2. Assess your contact database and segment it accordingly

3. Assess at what point in the buyer stage your engaging with the customers

Before watching the Hubspot video, I didn’t know that there are more than 3.2 billion email accounts today which rivals with the amount of Facebook profiles there are worldwide. Also, since such a large portion of the internet users don’t only have email accounts but check them regularly so ultimately using emails as a way of communicating with customers is essential for your business.

email marketing

Similar to inbound email strategies, businesses should also follow the same standards in regards to inbound sales. Very few customers want to be randomly approached to by a product through outbound sales. Many customers would prefer to have interacted with a business or have an interest in a product and them be approached through inbound sales instead, myself included. Though sales and marketing are in different departments in a business and perform different functions they’re still integral to each other and the tasks and functions they perform go hand in hand. When Googling inbound sales definitions from various sites, they all discussed how inbound marketing is the combination of sales and marketing which cemented my belief that the two departments go hand in hand. A key component of inbound sales is understanding what it takes to sell your product or services which will ultimately will make your business successful.

Hubspot defined the combination of sales and marketing as smarketing

To integrate the two departments Hubspot had 5 suggestions to improve inbound sales:

1. Speak the same language

2.Set up closed-loop reporting

3. Implementing a service level agreement

4. Maintaining open channels of communication

5. Collecting and analyzing the data your business possesses

As inbound sales evolves it’s important for businesses to be adaptive and to have a clear understanding on what customers want as well.

Until next time,

Sophia

Advertisements

UX and UI – What do all these Marketing acronyms stand for?

First off, what are all of these acronyms like UI and UX that are thrown around in the marketing world? To make things more clear before I continue, here’s some quick terminology:

UX stands for user experience and deals with the overall experience and the whole navigation of the site.

UI stands for user interface and deals with the internal site and the look and feel and the navigation of a specific page on the site.

The article, UI, UX: Who Does What? A Designer’s Guide To The Tech Industry, described various design roles that are prevalent in big companies such as Google, Apple, and Microsoft and are directly correlates to the marketing that occurs between companies and their customers.

“Design is a rather broad and vague term. When someone says “I’m a designer,” it is not immediately clear what they actually do day to day. There are a number of different responsibilities encompassed by the umbrella term designer.” The article focused on 7 main roles in design that were:

UX designer: is known as the user experience designer and they focus more on how the overall product feels and are more big picture in their approach. They will be more concerned about the entire site and all of the different pages in the site and the flow between them.

UI designer: Focuses on the user interface design and would be concerned with how the product is laid out and are focused on more fine tuned details.

Visual designer: is known as the graphic designer and “pushes pixels” and they’re focused more on their individual assignment and they aren’t concerned about how someone interacts with their specific project or the site as a whole.

Here I though designing the Chrome app visual (below) was a simple insert of the image adjust the height, width, background color, and the borders, however after further research I came to the realization that those simple manipulations are just the tip of the iceberg in regards to visual design.

Interaction designer: is known as a motion designer and focused on the bouncing animation and other features that require motion.

UX researcher: who is known for understanding what the user needs and wants and communicating these needs to the right individuals so they’re implemented accordingly.

UI developer: is responsible for the front-end development through writing and implementing code.

For example,   making this like button would have taken approximately 200+ hours to code and design. It would have take a while to write the code so it’s compatible with various browsers, various versions of browsers, and cleanly translates into other languages as well.

If you want to learn more about this, watch Margaret Gould Stewart’s TED talk on How giant websites design for you (and a billion others, too).

Product designer: Finally, the product designer is someone who will be involved in various aspects of the design and ultimately can perform any of the tasks or roles that were listed above.

An important thing to note when looking into UI and UX is the UI/UX ambiguity – big companies have the resources and the needs to break all of these design tasks up into 7 different careers, however smaller companies and start-ups don’t have this luxury and will often clump many of these roles together since some of the requirements and capabilities of the employees overlap. However, these are still different features and are more successful when separated out into distinct roles.

Another key factor when implementing design is resistance. Many times employees will face resistance from partners (business people) and developer who has to write code and implement your design. Even if your research shows your design is what’s best for the business and customers you may still face resistance. This is why it’s essential to have some coding knowledge even if you’re not implementing the code so you can explain in technical terms what you want and negotiate with the developers since it is their time and energy at stake as well.

For example, I use the Pinterest app on my Iphone — religiously.

Normally, you would touch an image and the navigation would pop up for if you wanted to pin, like, or send the specific pin like what’s shown on the left. However the recently updated the app and changed the design to where the like button (also known) as the heart was no longer there. It changed my whole experience with the app since I like many of the pins and I slowly stopped opening the app on my phone as frequently. However, I was pleasantly surprised to open the mobile app a week later and the like button was back. After learning more about UI and UX I realized that they were trying out a new feature, even though they shouldn’t necessarily have been testing it on their loyal customers instead of new customers, but after seeing it’s negative effects on multiple users they decided to revert back to their original ways. Moral of the story, design and simple design features can drastically effect customer’s experiences.

UX and UI may seem like a minor part of marketing and communicating with customers however I was surprised to see how much the removal of a very small button drastically impacted my use of the application.

Another important aspect of UX and UI on sites is landing pages. Landing pages are essential because they intercept your customers from going directly to your home page. Many times conversion rates are drastically higher when you use a landing page where you ask for email addresses, request individuals to make an account, or suggest that they sign up for a free trial because customers are more likely to sign up if they’re presented with a pop-up instead of taken to the home page. Landing pages should be simple, clean, have minimal text, and get straight to the point. As a business, you want your landing page to be easily understood and easy to use as well.

For example, the landing page below from Anthropologie is very simplistic and creates a watermark on the home page which lets users know they’re on the right page and that they can exit out of the landing page and then be directed to the home page. Also the landing page is simple and only asks the customer to do one thing, enter their email address.

Capture.PNG landing

Another important feature of landing pages is they should be an extension of a website’s home page, however there should still be some distinct differences. For example, the Spotify landing page below is an extension of their homepage, there are similarities like the layout and placement of buttons, however there are still key differences that make their landing page unique. If you Google Spotify, and click on the first link, you’ll be directed to the landing page. Spotify has efficiently set up this model so more people will sign up for premium since they’re prompted to the landing page compared to leading customers to the home page where they most likely won’t sign up for premium. Here are the two different sites, the one of the top is the landing page for Spotify and the one on the bottom is the home page for Spotify.

Capture- spotifyCapture -spotify 2

Spotify made an excellent landing page because it’s an extension of their main homepage once you log in, however the landing page does have distinct differences. Also the landing page is simplistic and only asks the customers to do one thing “Go Premium”.

Until next time,

Sophia

Social Media Marketing – I Tweet every once in a while – does that count?

Wrong – tweeting every once in a while is good, however it under utilizes the full potential social media marketing offers businesses. Simply creating social media content is only the beginning of social media marketing for businesses.

“Internet users spend 4x more time on Facebook than on Google.”

Capture.PNG - social How crazy is it to think people spend more time on Facebook scrolling through updates of their friends, rather than actively searching on Google. At first, this statistic surprised me but when I stopped to assess my internet usage I can admit I fall into the same trap. I think that I don’t spend that much time on Facebook however in the hour spent watching the HubSpot video I’ll admit I checked Facebook 3 times (to my defense 2 of those times were due to notifications). None the less, Facebook is an incredibly important social media platform for businesses to have a presence on. The key takeaway, a potential customer, depending on your target audience and demographic, would be more likely to see your advertisement or content marketing if you decided to advertise it on Facebook compared to Google. Especially, if you have the content pop up in their News Feed.

So how many users are on Facebook?

Here are some crazy statistics from the HubSpot video on active users on multiple social media platforms are:

  • Facebook – 1.3 billion users
  • Twitter – 645 million users
  • LinkedIn – 300 million users
  • Google+ – 300 million users

These statistics illustrate the increasing importance of having a strong social media marketing presence because there are so many customers and potential customers on these platforms. To not have a presence as a business would be a waste of a valuable marketing resource.

The article Listeners Never Lose, mentioned how “Right now, anyone with the right technology can scan a huge portion of the Internet and – within minutes – see how people across the web feel about a topic. ‘Social listening’ (or sometimes ‘social monitoring’) refers to any software that searches social networks and websites for mentions of a keyword.”. When I pondered this idea, I realized there is so much data at our fingertips right now and the ability to ‘socially listen’ to keywords and trends at a certain point in time and then alter your data to fit this is transforming how businesses use social media marketing. Also, social media – specifically social care – is the best way to address customer issues and complaints. You can address the mistakes your company has made and rectify the situation through communication with your customers vocally and visibly.

You need to start by asking the right questions to develop your content. Furthermore, knowing your buyer persona when developing your social media marketing is crucial as well. If content is king then distribution is queen and having a presence on the right social channels is essential. You also want to optimize your profiles in a similar process to how you optimized your business website however it will be done on a smaller scale for your social media profiles. Also, include keywords in your profile or posts to make your business more searchable and will improve the SEO of your website.

Distribution is Queen

As a company, you also want to establish how you’ll address angry customers – Are you avoiding them or facing their complaints head on?

Here are some tips from The Beginner’s Guide to Social Media on how to handle a crisis with social media:

Email tips

If a complaint does occur and it’s publicized on a social media platform try not to escalate the situation and instead to reply to the customer through direct messages (DM) to fix the problem. You want to take the conversation offline so you don’t have numerous spectators, however you still want to make sure you address their issues and complaints quickly and effectively. This is a key aspect of having social media profiles because many of your customers who have issues or complaints will turn to these platforms to voice their issues because of the sheer visibility it gives them.

Here’s an example of  a customer complaint on twitter:

Domino’s Pizza did a wonderful job of not only address the issue the customer Stephanie had but also moved to take the conversation offline by requesting her to DM them with specific information so they could remedy the situation and prevent it from blowing up.

Also, monitor who has access to write tweets for your business. Many agencies that tweet for companies have a representative who will write tweets for your business, however they also have personal twitter’s and could accidentally tweet something to your business’s twitter instead of their personal twitter account that could hurt your business or brand image. Make sure there are checks and balances to prevent this from occurring and monitor how frequently you use automatic tweets as well. As a business, you want to monitor and ensure the tweets your sending out don’t send the wrong message at an inappropriate time. During the Boston bombing, a certain Boston business had set up automatic tweets and didn’t check current events on that day and was sending out encouragement for the race. They quickly had to resolve the situation and turn off their automatic tweets.

Ultimately, social media is an essential tool that all businesses should be utilizing in the ever changing digital world. However, there are added mishaps and issues businesses will encounter by utilizing social media platforms and they need to be prepared to deal with these issues in a timely and efficient manner.

Until next time,

Sophia

Content Marketing – What is good marketing content?

As we delve further into HubSpot and content marketing in class, I began to ponder what is the difference between good and bad marketing content. How do marketers create content that is meaningful but still engaging for customers to view?

Content marketing is all about informing customers and giving them potential answers or solutions to questions they have instead of interrupting their experience. As Kane talked about in his blog, there are a lot of changes happening in digital marketing. Specifically the shift towards mixed format content to present information to customers which I feel is incredibly accurate. Customers now days need informative, engaging, and remarkable content this is unique. We live in an age where an unprecedented amount of information is at our fingertips. In the graphic below, there are some stats on content marketing which emphasize it’s increasing importance.

More content is being created in 48 hours than what was produced from the beginning of time until 2003.” – Eric Schmidt 

content_marketing_matters 1
As digital marketing becomes more prevalent, the use of videos, podcasts, graphic designs and even blogs are incredibly important for businesses and can increase their following and can even increase their profits. HubSpot defines a business blog as “a collection of articles that provide helpful, valuable, educational, and remarkable content to your target audience. By providing this value, blogs can easily and effectively draw prospects to your website.”

Here are some tips from HubSpot to keep in mind for writing a business blog:

  • Keep the title to (55 characters) max
  • Include a meta description about your blog post and keep it to (140 characters) max
  • To be more searchable, include image file name, Alt tags, links and tags
  • Focus on mobile optimization and making sure your blog is compatible with various browsers
  • Blog frequently and consistently – ideally you should be blogging once a day

Here are some stats from the HubSpot video on 79% of marketers with a company blog reported inbound ROI for 2013 and 43% of companies acquired customer through a blog. These stats illustrate the ever growing importance of blogging for a business and the impact it has on your customers.

A key factor in content marketing is knowing who your audience is and tailoring your content to fit their needs. For example, both Dove and Axe are owned by Unilever. Both of these brands hold very different brand images and their target markets differ drastically. If Axe was to use the same type of video story marketing content, like the Dove campaign sketches (there video story is below), they wouldn’t be accurately creating content that would target their audience.

As stated above, it’s essential for businesses to create content that’s informative, engaging, and even personal for their target audience. In the two YouTube clips below, Dove has two videos that have personal and engaging content that isn’t related to their products and advertising.

More well known is the video below, which is the Dove Beauty Sketches video. I personally shared this video via Facebook a few years ago because I thought it was an inspirational video and represented a powerful message.

In both of the videos above, Dove isn’t explicitly advertising their product and conveying how it will solve your problem. However, they are creating powerful content that is engaging and sends a message to their existing customers and potential customers. Dove is also creating an image for themselves that their brand will be associated with. Since the video aired, I’ve heard many people refer to Dove as the brand who care about creating good body image among women. I’ve also had people ask “Have you watched that video with the sketches by Dove?”. This sort of content marketing creates positive buzz around their products and naturally makes people think about their brand next time they’re shopping for body wash.

Another important aspect of creating content is making sure it’s searchable. SEO, search engine optimization, is essential. As a business you can create the best content in the world but if people can’t find it in search engines it’s useless.

Another example of a content marketing campaign is the campaign Microsoft made for their product OneNote. Microsoft utilized various social media platforms and various well known individuals to market their new product and to make it more appealing to their newly defined target market, students. However, the video they created below wasn’t a 30 second advertisement on the product, but instead Microsoft told an engaging story about the power of OneNote and how it can transform the process of team collaboration to produce phenomenal products, such as bionic arms for children. I found this to be a powerful way to create content marketing because the video illustrates the power of OneNote through showing the product in action and it didn’t mention the specifications of the product once.

Creating marketing content is a fundamental necessary for any business. Each business needs to assess their target audience and create content that is engaging, informative, and in my opinion tells a personal story of why they should choose your product or business. What sets your business apart from the rest? What’s the story you want your business to be known for?

Until next time,

Sophia

A/B Testing – Does it really matter?

A/B Testing is still a relatively new development and it has emerged as traditional ways of marketing and focusing on the opinion of the HiPPO (Highest Paid Person with an Opinon) are less effective on customers. A/B testing allows companies to compare differences to a website, email, or other digital media such as changing the color of buttons or changing the layout. The article Listen to Your Customers not your HiPPO, discussed how quite simply A/B testing is a controlled experiment that has “two variants: control (A), or treatment (B)”. After comparing the differences between the pieces of digital marketing, marketers can analyze how it affects the overall decisions or purchases their customers make. I couldn’t resist adding in this funny A/B testing joke (see cheesy joke below) because I feel like it accurately describes A/B testing and the comparison between differences. Let’s hope the guy below decided to buy her something from Tiffany & Co. to apologize instead of using marketing puns.
ab testing The Optimizely site defined A/B testing as, “a simple way to test changes to your page against the current design and determine which ones produce positive results. It is a method to validate that any new design or change to an element on your webpage is improving your conversion rate before you make that change to your site code.”
So why is A/B testing important to companies? Why does it matter whether the button is green or red or on the right or left side of the page? As illustrated below, A/B testing is important because it can create more conversions and ultimately it can help bring in more revenue for your company, an essential goal of many but not all businesses. Ultimately, visual aesthetics, appealing layouts, and colors choices that capture the attend of customers is essential in digital media and can drastically influence a company’s conversion rate.ab explainedDue to the shift of focusing on the customer, the HiPPO (Highest Paid Person’s Opinion) is no longer the most important opinion when making marketing decisions, and the customer and what the data collected from A/B testing experiments is becoming increasingly important. Various aspects of digital content can be A/B tested and there are few aspects that can’t be tested leading to testing various content on viewers. A/B testing can be performed on the following content: headlines, sub-headlines, paragraph text, testimonials, call to action text, call to action button, links, images and media models. This is not an exhaustive list and there are other forms of content that can be A/B tested, however I’m going to focus on the content mentioned above in the rest of the post.

During Obama’s re-election campaign in 2012, his team focused on digital content, emails in particular, and utilized A/B testing to determine how layout visual aesthetics, and wording influenced their audience to donate to the campaign. The campaign team also tested subject lines in the emails they sent out to see which subject lines were more effective.

Here are some examples of the A/B testing the campaign team used:

digi1

Though a mere 5% increase between the two versions may seem small, when talking about hundreds of millions of dollars it does make a difference. Something essential the campaign team used when performing A/B testing was ensuring the audience for both views were randomly selected. This is something important that businesses need to implement when using A/B testing – the individuals who are a part of their A/B testing need to be randomly selected. Also, the participants of the A/B testing should ideally be new customers/ visitors not returning customers/ visitors. They should be new visitors because they haven’t seen your previous content and they won’t observe a change. If your company used returning visitors to test on and decided to revert to their old formatting and content, they would confuse their users. As shown below, the two sites differ drastically from each other and would definitely catch the attention of returning users.

digi

Another implementation suggestion for businesses, generate personal content compared to generic and bland content because it will draw a larger audience and will also help the maintain this as well.

The key takeaway from the Obama re-election campaign is sending out emails at the same volume as the campaign team did will not benefit your organization, but will most likely hurt it. Why? Receiving countless numbers of emails will annoy customers and could simply remind them to unsubscribe for your email list. Personally, I’ve unsubscribed from email lists because of the sheer volume of emails I received (roughly 3 emails a day) and it was simply based on the volume not on the content of the email. My advice, limit the number of emails you send out to your email list and make sure the content you’re sending them is important, engaging, and straight to the point.

Until next time,

Sophia

Inbound Marketing – How to make Customers watch your Company

As I began to think about outbound marketing, I can’t remember the last time I haven’t screened a call from a 1-800 number or answered the door and engaged with door to door salesman. I personally believe that outbound marketing is starting to decline, and people are less receptive to blanket marketing advertisements or cold calls.

As we delve into inbound marketing, I couldn’t help but think of how logical inbound marketing is. Instead of marketers chasing after potential customers, and bombarding them with ads and ill-timed cold calls that may or may not be relevant to them, they instead work to tailor ads, digital content, and interactions to be more personalized to the needs of potential customers. In the article by Marketo, they defined inbound marketing as, “being promotional in nature, but instead is relevant to your prospective buyers”. As the marketing world is evolving, many companies will need to reassess and reinvent their marketing tactics and channels used to engage with buyers to keep up with the growing presence of digital marketing, as illustrated in the image below.

4-15-15

According to Hubspot, there are three skills that are essential to maximize your inbound marketing.

The three skills are:

1. Write compelling content that will attract customers to your business.

2. Distribute your content in a way that can be easily accessible and discoverable by potential customer, especially via search.

3. After attracting customers, make sure to engage with your followers who frequently interact with your content.

There’s a lot of work that goes on in order to turn strangers into active customers who are frequently engaged in your marketing content. When examining my own behavior with companies a specific example came to my mind. I currently follow a number of companies on twitter, instagram, and Facebook. Many of these companies will post updates daily, but the two companies who create good inbound marketing content are Nordstrom’s and Starbucks. Both Starbucks and Nordstrom’s have instagram account where they post artistic photos each day of different content, this is different from outbound marketing, such as flyers in the mail, because users have to “like” or subscribe to the page or account in order to see these updates. The digital content created by both of these companies doesn’t lead to direct purchases, since followers aren’t on their specific site, however it does create interest and buzz around their brand and essentially their products. Both of these brands have been able to engage users and have them post pictures with certain hashtags, such as #HolidayCups or #Redcups, which is a frequent hashtag to see around the winter time thanks to Starbucks marketing. Starbucks is also able to announce different drink releases to their followers and market to them subtly through drink posts as well. Though this is subtle they are essentially able to market their products to you, with the assumption that this content may cause a purchase to occur.

Here are some examples of their instagram sites below.

nordstroms

starbucks

Another thing Starbucks does well with inbound marketing is the use of their mobile app on the iPhone.

sp2Through using their app, I’m able to receive not only personalized drink coupons but see how many stars I have left until I reach the next level (ps. I’ve been a Gold Member for many years). One thing that I love is how interactive their app is. I was in Seattle a couple weekends ago and I was in desperate need of a cup of coffee. When I clicked the map feature in the app I noticed a new order tab and when I clicked it, a popup loaded and asked me if I wanted to try ordering my drink via the Starbucks app. I quickly ordered my drink and received an ETA of when it would be ready. What I realize now is that if an ad had popped up during my internet browsing and had interrupted my search, I would simply close the ad and pay no attention to it, simply because it’d interrupted my experience. However, since I had downloaded the Starbucks app and am a frequent user, I didn’t mind this interruption and was more receptive to their advertising and trying out their beta version of a new service. My observation, depending on your interaction with a certain company and whether or not your receptive to their inbound marketing techniques determines how you react to their digital content and advertising. The Marketo article listed a number of different types of content used in inbound marketing, I believe these different types are becoming more important than ever before. s

Though shifting towards digital content is essential for some companies, each company needs to asses their key segments and target customers to decide what they’ll be most receptive to. For example, my mom loves receiving yearly Nordstrom’s catalogs and flipping through the pages. I on the other hand prefer weekly email updates on the latest trends, scrolling through their pinterest account, and receiving updates via my instagram feed. All in all, each company needs to assess what’s the right amount of digital marketing content vs. traditional marketing content and how much inbound vs. outbound marketing to produce and what types of customers will be receptive to it.

Until next time,

Sophia

Google Analytics continued

As the date to take the Google Analytics Certification exam quickly approaches I’ve watched the tutorial videos and reading other blogs that have tips on how to successfully pass the GAIQ exam. Let me just say the opening sound and closing sound of the tutorial videos is officially stuck in my head, thanks Justin. As the 70 question examination quickly approaches (HELPP) here’s what I’ve learned so far and some of the key takeaway points.

For today’s material, I found it similar to the previous 6 units however I liked how it delved even deeper. It dealt directly with the four stages Google Analytics goes through when analyzing data:

1. Collection: Which is collecting the raw data from various sources such as websites, mobile apps, and there’s even a way to collect offline purchases, purchases that occur in stores, to be able to have this customer data as well.

2. Configuration: Configuration is taking the raw data from collection and altering it by apply filters. NOTE: once you apply these filters it can’t be changed because GA simply won’t pull this information at all. For example, if you were to take out employees from the collection phase using a filter this couldn’t be changed and their data wouldn’t be included in the final report.

3. Processing: In the processing phase, GA will take all of the data it has collected so far from all platforms (website data, mobile application, and offline data ) and combine it using the filters that were applied to the data in the configuration phase.

4. Reporting: Finally, in the reporting phase GA is able to take all of the data that’s been processed and put it into reports. The GA report is a dashboard that is easily accessible and can be interpreted easily as well. After playing around with the dashboard site for a while I found it to be much easier to use than I expected and a lot of the features were fairly intuitive. I was initially surprised because Google Analytics had always intimidated me however after realizing GA simply collects information about a specific user, records how long their session on the site is, and finally records all of the interactions they have during their session it became way easier to understand how GA works.

Capture

On the main Google Analytics page they take about some of their success stories (as seem below):

Capture

I delved further in depth and read the attached PDF on the AccuWeather success story using GA. I found it interesting that before using GA, AccuWeather was unable to track interactions customers had with their mobile app and how many customers opened their alert emails. Through using GA and their four platform principles, AccuWeather was able to understand more about their customer interactions with their site and determined that their custom email alerts had an 80% open rate among customers. They were able to also determine that 10% of their customer traffic used the mobile app. AccuWeather was able to determine this percent using the Measurement Protocol feature in the dashboard in the reporting process. Through this report, I was able to see the four platform principles in use in a very applicable way, which is something the video tutorials didn’t go over in depth.

I found it interesting how the videos also discussed the hierarchy of users, sessions, and interactions and the importance each one has on business data and the final dashboard reporting in GA, such as determining the demographics of the users and the number of hits the site has on a particular day. I personally enjoyed the tutorial videos from today more because they discussed the coding aspect and I was able to use some of my previous CS knowledge to understand the JavaScript code that Google Analytics inserts into the beginning of the document, before the closing tag in your HTML (this is IMPORTANT), to collect raw data from various sources and pull it into GA for further analysis. Though it was overwhelming at first, I’m enjoying learning more about Google Analytics and preparing for the certification on Monday.

Wish me luck on studying and until next time,

Sophia