The Wrong Incentives Are Killing Your Marketing

CEOs have complained for decades that half of marketing spend is wasted, and we don’t know which half. Despite the move to digital, the massive amount of data that Google and Facebook have collected about each of us and the near-Orwellian AI systems that can automatically pick a face in the crowd, we are close to where we started, with […]

Incrementality in Marketing: How to Be Confident in Your ROI (video)

I was at the MAU conference this year, discussing the topics of measurement and incrementality. How can you confidently tell whether the money you’re spending on marketing is bringing incremental customers or orders – those that wouldn’t have come anyway, without all your marketing hoopla?

Marketers, Your CFO Is Your Ally, Not Your Enemy

Many marketers have chosen our profession because we love the creative aspect of our work. We worship the brilliant campaigns of our colleagues, those that are remembered years later. We are constantly looking for an authentic, culturally relevant angle that pulls on heartstrings and creates an emotional connection that transcends the cold, transactional nature of commerce. For […]

The Dark Side of A/B Testing – Avoiding the Pitfalls

As product designers and marketers, we love the clarity that comes from A/B testing. We have an idea; we implement it; then, we let the customers decide whether it’s good or not by running a controlled experiment. We split the users into unbiased groups and watch one treatment overtake the other in a statistically significant, […]

Getting a Return from Awareness Marketing, or Measuring the Immeasurable

An engineer by training, I’ve always been attracted to problem spaces that offer a feedback loop. Got something right? Observe a metric go up. Want to know which approach your customers like better? Run an A/B test, look at the numbers, clearly see the best path forward. You can make a lot of product and […]

Incrementality in Marketing, or Marketing Economics 101

It’s easy to grow a consumer business: attract new customers, increase your sales. Just give your prospects money. That’s right, get on top of a nearby building and scream “Anyone want money? Take some of my money! I’ll pay for your first 5 purchases from me! And give you a $50 gift card!..” What, you’re […]

If your team isn’t on-track, try this

The most concise, truly beautiful definition of leadership I’ve heard is “having others WANT to follow you.” This definition means two things 1) that you’re actually moving somewhere, not standing still and 2) that others are convinced, not coerced, into going along. There are so many leadership books out there, some talking about vision, some […]

Your team just screwed up badly — here’s what you do next

You’ve been there. Someone on your team just screwed it up. Your production website went down in the middle of the night, it took hours to bring it back up. It’s 10am the next day, you’re at your daily standup, and the culprit is looking down, ashamed and quiet; the team is noticeably uncomfortable and […]

Machine Learning and Digital Marketing: Melding Human and Machine

In digital, you can easily spot two opposing camps — the artists and the quants. Artists are folks like the New York Times: Pulitzer prize-winning journalists use their intuition and skill — their unique talents — to create one-of-a-kind stories, and the judgment of the Chief Editor is pure gold. Artists create incredible brand value; true loyalty — lifelong fans. Quants are […]

Are Your Company Values Just Empty Words?

I had a chance to interact with two companies recently: Homegrown and City of Bellevue Utilities. These two companies helped me crystallize the difference between “value statement on the wall” and “values that are coming through to customers.” Homegrown’s tagline is “sustainable sandwich shop.” Their About Us page has the word “organic” mentioned 22 times. It says that “stores are designed to […]