The title is funny and accurate. Web Analytics Wednesday Toronto is on a Thursday in March and April. I hear that people like technical presentations and business presentations. So, the March 31 edition at the Charlotte room and will feature presentations by Simon Colyer and Robin Ward. I will be presenting a recent study on Increasing Campaign Effectiveness from the business side. The eMetrics Toronto edition happens on April 28th and will have Jim Sterne, Jim Novo and Eric T. Peterson. Why should I come out? The Toronto analytics community is exciting and growing. According to Indeed, there are six published open recs for web analysts in Toronto. There are 806 open recs for analytics in Toronto. Publicly posted recs[…]

9. They know that any mention of a list is total baiting. People love lists. You’re here now, aren’t you? 8. They deliberately use an odd sounding number for the length of a list. Round numbers like 10 sound engineered. 7. They know that there’s a high reading completion rate on such a list. That is to say, the probability of a person clicking through to another page, right below the list, is high, thereby increasing overall ad impressions on a single visit. 6. They know that some of the most effective list titles contain a promise of insider information. 5. They know that a small percentage of the population creates lists, but a large percentage of the population cares[…]

Creativity is measurable. A long time ago, two scientists, Yang and Smith, demonstrated how creativity can be quantified and linked through to marketing performance. How can you tell if a message or ad is creative? On the dependent variable side, they enumerate attention to the ad, motivation to process the information, depth of the processing, ad attitude, brand attitude, and purchase intention. What causes something to be creative? They identified divergence, relevance, and production quality. This gets broken down again – into originality, flexibility, synthesis, elaboration, artistic value, relevance of the ad to consumer, and relevance of the brand to consumer. And then, if you break it down further, you have very specific criterion, accumulated from multiple false starts on[…]

I cut the cable on March 17. Cutting the cable means ‘to unsubscribe from cable and/or satellite TV”. First, a few words on the substitution. I face the CN Tower, with a clear line of sight. As a result, over-the-air for the live weather and idiotic fluff works nicely. It provides zombie noise for those 10 minutes between checking the pad for the hard news (because there is no hard news on in the morning…anywhere) and running out. Check. Netflix provides a lot of zombie noise. I prefer to work to reruns of ‘yes minister’ and ‘arrested development’. Yes Minister is nothing more than a university textbook on public policy dynamics and arrested development is benign background noise. Zombie viewing.[…]

A good twitter exchange with Evan Lapointe follows below. I’ve tried to put them into sequence, but admittedly, we were actively tweeting at one another in a cluster of ideas. I started tweeting Evan out of the blue, in part because of a podcast he was in, I initiated: CB: @evanlapointe You make good points. I’m skeptical that the person holding the ruler should also be responsible for generating the strategy EP: @cjpberry I wouldn’t say generating the strategy, necessarily, but conducting the orchestra once the music is written CB: @evanlapointe Yes. I agree. I make the distinction between measurement, convenient reasonsing, strategic analytics and marketing science. EP: @cjpberry we’re lucky if it’s only 4! CB: @EvanLapointe Measurement is straight[…]

A Forecast uses a statistical method and historical data to make a statement about what is likely to occur in the future. A Scenario uses a generalized model, in the absence of contextual historical data, to make a statement about what is likely to occur in the future. A Target is a statement about what what the future should be. The linkages between forecasts, scenarios, and target setting are subject to all sorts of phenomenon. Anchor-and-Adjust, optimistic thinking, convenient reasoning, and prospection error all come into play. The gap between a target and the predicted future is either a source for dissatisfaction or for celebration. One uses a forecast to minimize that error, and, ideally, to be smarter going in.[…]

I encounter a lot of artifacts of analytics communication: dashboards, ppt decks, and excel files. You can tell a lot about an organization from such artifacts. You can see sandbagging. You can see staff transfers riddled throughout some of them, and you can sense the ghosts of analysts promoted or churned. You can definitely see the ghosts of EVP’s long gone. You can sometimes make out the intended audience, the originally intended audience, and how incredibly diluted something became over time. An analytics report is akin to sand on the beach. Sometimes the tide comes in and scrubs away the footprints. Much more frequently those footprints add up, muddle the situation, and then fossilize. Why it happens and a possible[…]

The Panda Cheese commercials are brilliant, and I’d like to believe, a product of scientific advertising. I have no basis for that, but I’m heaping praise on the creative and the analyst who worked on it. You can see the series of commercials here. Specific elements: Divergent use of a violent panda. Repetitious use of a song across all five ads. Consistent direction (ie. over the head reaction shots from Panda POV). Desired behavior demonstrated (“Get another one…”). Divergent tag line, phrased in the negative. “Never Say No To Panda”, which contradicts the affirmative bias we’ve had for years. Brilliant – check it out.  

I cut the cable tomorrow. For specific firm, I will go from being worth a stable $170/month subscriber, complete with PVR, to being worth nothing. I’m switching my Internet to a non-UBB restricted wholesaler. I will continue to spend $10/month for Netflix. I will get my live TV with the “free”, Over-The-Air broadcast signal from CN tower, which I have a clear view from. Dedicated ad impressions will take a pretty big hit, as the number of must-see, full attention shows are less than 5. I can’t anticipate myself suffering through TV without a PVR. I can’t imagine deliberately exposing myself to an abusive medium any longer. That attitude ought to concern broadcasters and marketers alike. I’m not alone in[…]

The paper “Increasing Campaign Effectiveness”, abbreviated ICE, is out. You can find the paper here. ICE is not the successor to Value of a Fan, abbreviated VOAF. We asked different questions. Last year, in response to VOAF, many of my cohorts came forward with brilliant follow up questions, and the dialogue that ensued contributed to the subsequent study and model design. Work continues. I welcome, in the spirit laid out by Tsang, engagement on the topic. What do you think about Increasing Campaign Effectiveness using social media? What would you consider and explore?