Jim Novo is right about the relevance of financial data to marketers. There’s a wealth of information in those transactional records, and most companies don’t have analytics practitioners embedded within those departments. Just as reporting (reportage) isn’t analytics, accounting isn’t analytics. There’s something to be said about the parallels between finance and analytics. Both have prediction, definitions, jargon, simulation, machine learning, ratios, rules, laws, and statistics. Both become confused with bookkeeping and dashboarding. One is older than the other. If accounting/finance is an 110 year old, marketing analytics is 18. There are very specific rules in bookkeeping, handed down for centuries. There are very specific standards in finance, handed down since at least the Renaissance. Should we be so lucky[…]

Some excellent work by Jerod Santo and his Hacker News Trend visualizer. Pretty sweet. Hacker News is a nice, social curation program. It’s a pretty good indicator of what data developers and hackers are thinking and doing in many markets. It’s one of the main bellwethers of the bootstrap community, and there’s typically a lot of content that I find interesting. All trend lines that follow are adjusted for size of community at the time. The first chart, below, describes the persistence of analytics and the rise of specific, applied uses – the a/b test. It also shows that the term ‘data science’, as a category of interest, had a bit of a bubble in late 2009. That’s great, but[…]

Analytics at the marketing / technology interface. What a jam. On the one side, there are massive time constraints on developers who struggle with super tight deadlines and last minute tweakings. On the other side, you have marketers who are buffeted by super tight deadlines, little time to plan, and tend to follow an anchor-and-adjust mentality. (Don’t we all?). Much of the frustration within analytics derives from watching both sides of the equation, and actively attempting to collaborate between two groups. I can sum up the fight between the two as: Marketer: “You go too slow!”IT: “You tell us about a project at the last minute!”Marketer: “You’re too slow!!!”IT: “You don’t know how to make choices!”Marketer: “You’re too slow!!!”Analytics: “Guys,[…]

For a complete running commentary, see Dr. Dann’s twitter stream, or run a search for mktsci2011. A few points you might care about. The problem with communication flow between academia and industry is not an academic problem. They’re doing just fine, and it certainly appears as though the money is flowing. The problem is on the practitioner side, and our ability to understand, interpret, and attempt to derive some value from their efforts. It would be great if bigger and more meaningful bridges could be build between industry associations and their associations. There would be benefits on both sides for a subset of both. So long as each side understand the terms of the relationship, very, very good things would[…]

The INFORMS Marketing Science Conference is like woodstock for us people. I took in the second half of the MSI anniversary track. The MSI, or Marketing Science Institute, is a 50 year old institution. It’s at the nexus between business and marketing science academia. As a result, it has money and databases. Because it has both, it gets to set research priorities that are influential. The 90 minute track I took in had to do with page 8 of their list, “Managing Brands in a Transformed Marketplace”. I can’t resist. Branding is a problem for Marketing Scientists for many reasons. It is not transactional, it may be measured in many ways, it manifests itself in many ways, and it subject[…]

Ketchup, in North America, generally comes in one flavor. It’s that familiar sugary taste with a hint of what is supposedly tomato. It doesn’t really taste like a tomato though. It’s different elsewhere, like in Germany, where it seems to be more juicy. But in North America, there’s one generally accepted flavor. People know what they’re getting with ketchup. They know how much a bottle of it will cost at the costco, the grocery store, or the convenience store. They have a firm idea of what to expect. It’s ketchup. There’s a general expectation around ketchup. That’s is clean and easy to use. Most of the time it comes in those squeezy bottles, an advancement in usability that has been[…]

Join me in congratulating Carol Leaman, Ilya Grigorik, and the PostRank Team for their acquisition by Google. They’re incredibly talented, work very hard, and I’ve been very pleased with what they’ve done for years. This is great for them, great for Google, and, if they’re able to be effective in their new environment, good for you. All the best to them.