Module 4: Think Optimised

“Let’s get analytical, analytical. I wanna get analytical. Let’s get into analytical,” sang Olivia-Newton John. Of course she didn’t. She wanted to get physical; but Squared students this month may well have been singing this (I know I was), as we were getting to grips with Google Analytics (GA).

The buzzword this month has been data. Data, data, data. Eating data till we’re blue in the face, or at least until we can make sense of it. And that was the key thing we learnt: you have lots of data and your fingertips, but you need to make sense of the data, provide an insight into how it can make marketing communications effective.

So the mission this module was to analyse the Squared website’s traffic data via GA, and produce a report that provided insight into how Squared can improve their digital marketing. Pretty crafty, eh?

To mix things up we were assigned a new group to work in, so i bade farewell to my old team mates and got acquainted with the new crew. Via Google Hangouts, of course. I’m not sure I’ll ever get used to them, Hangouts that is.

To help us fulfill the brief we were provided with instructional videos to show us how to use GA. The videos covered several areas of reporting and were narrated by GA specialist Gilli Goodman. She provided an overview of the software, and showed us several of the reporting features such as: location analytics, traffic sources, mobile reporting, AdWords analytics, and multi-channel analytics.

We had five questions to cover for the report, taking into account the data point (the actual data), insights (what we gleaned from the data) and recommendations (improvements they could make from our insights). The five areas we covered, and actions we recommended, came from mobile report, traffic source, location report, conversion report and AdWords report analysis.

To break up the tasks we decided to split off into pairs to report on a question each. In my pair, we grabbed our bowls, filled them with mobile data from GA, and stuffed our faces till we found insights into how Squared can improve their mobile marketing (which includes mobile phones and tablet devices). The amount of information can be overwhelming, but after digesting it for a while you find trends that show how improvements to the user journey and desired conversions can be made.

Once we conducted our initial research we fed back our findings to the team and gave our thoughts on each other’s work. We then took on board suggestions made and honed the report accordingly. Now the report is with Squared and we play the waiting game. Of course we have the next, and final (!), module to start on before we find that out.

Also this module, we had a glimpse into what’s in store for the final part of the course, and were signposted to some interesting talks. Simon Rogers, formerly of the Guardian and now data editor at Twitter, took us through data journalism; how it works and how it’s changed with digital development, and we had an intriguing talk from Google’s “analytics evangelist”, Avinash Kaushik.

See Avinash in action:


Module three: Think like a brand

That’s it, module three is done and dusted; although no dust would have time to accumulate as it’s just complete, weird expression that. Simply ‘done’, then. But enough about semantics, let me tell you about module three of Squared Online.

This part of the course set out to enable us to think creatively and effectively about integrated campaigns comprising traditional and new media. And it certainly did just that.

To kick off the module we learned about the customer journey, and what Brian Solis discusses in his book, What’s the Future of Business (WTF): Changing the Way Businesses Create Experiences, the MOTs (The Moments of Truth). He neatly sums up MOTs in this blog post, but i’ll summarise the moments here:

  • Stimulus: when someone becomes aware of a product (eg from advertising).
  • The First Moment of Truth (FMOT) is when someone is about to make a purchase.
  • The second moment of truth (SMOT) is the experience someone has when they become a customer.
  • The Ultimate Moment of Truth (UMOT) is that moment when someone shares their experience.
  • UMOT is the next person’s, and what Google terms, Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT).
The Four Moments of Truth by Brian Solis (CC BY 2.0)

The Four Moments of Truth by Brian Solis (CC BY 2.0)

We also had a look at the digital marketing mix and the role that various channels play.

Since being introduced to this terminology I have been intrigued by the way brands use integrated campaigns, how they complement traditional above the line media (eg telly ads, mag ads) with digital (websites, social). I’ve noticed the brands that get it right, and the ones who get it wrong.

Later in the module we looked at content marketing and how the advertising landscape is changing. Before the digital revolution brands used to essentially shout their messages, now they’ve become their own media, in a way, producing (sometimes) useful content that people want to actively engage in and share.

We also learned about the importance of storytelling in advertising (and for humans in general: it’s how we interpret the world). We were signposted to some interesting resources on the subject. I found the following video from Nathan Guerra very useful in understanding how YouTube can be leveraged in intriguing ways by brands:

Other highlights this month included classes on search and display advertising and AdWords bidding; Eric Shimoda, search solution specialist at Google, showing us some unusual ways brands use search; and Ciara Byrne and Jessica Robinson, display specialists at Google, introducing us to DSP (demand-side platforms).

We had a couple of inspirational speakers, too. Sir John Hegarty gave a talk on why it’s the best time to be in advertising and how we shouldn’t let letting clichéd crap get in the way. Rory Sutherland, UK vice chairman of Ogilvy Group, was another speaker who provided his take on what influences consumer behaviour

In this module we also undertook another group project called ‘Think like a brand”. We were tasked with bringing a fictional hair colour brand into the 21st Century by developing a digital marketing strategy that complimented their above the line activity. Hopefully our group successfully created a presentation that shows our understanding of what was taught in this module.

Roll on module four…